Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Verstappen chooses Australian Supercars’ Esports series over F1’s Virtual Grands Prix

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Max Verstappen will contest two races in Australian Supercars’ official iRacing-based Esports series on Wednesday.

He will drive a car using a livery based on his real-world Red Bull RB16 in the event, which will use simulations of two F1 tracks: Silverstone and the Circuit de Catalunya.

“It’s going to be a challenge as it’s not a car I’ve driven a lot on the sim, but they are pretty cool to watch in real life,” said Verstappen. “We always race with Supercars in Melbourne so it’s going to be interesting to see how I get on against all the regular drivers.”

Red Bull has a team in the real-world Supercars championship, which runs Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen.

“I’ve tried the Supercar now a few times on iRacing and it’s a very tricky car to get right,” said Verstappen. “I’m looking forward to racing alongside my mate Shane, or Pastor, as I call him.”

“He’s a top shunter on the sim,” Verstappen joked. “We race online a lot together so hopefully we can do well for Red Bull and it should be a bit of fun racing against the other V8 drivers as well.”

The Red Bull driver has declined to participate in F1’s official Esports series which uses the series’ official game, F1 2019. Verstappen told Lando Norris last week he will “never” join in the series. His Red Bull team mate Alexander Albon made his first start in the series last week.

The next round of the Australian Supercars Eseries will take place on Wednesday at 10am BST/5am EDT.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 31 comments on “Verstappen chooses Australian Supercars’ Esports series over F1’s Virtual Grands Prix”

    1. Verstappen chooses Australian Supercars’ Esports series over F1’s Virtual Grands Prix

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      Verstappen chooses iRacing series over F1 licensed codemaster series.

      1. Yeah titles get views

      2. Verstappen chooses his own interests over making some bored fans happy.

      3. But why not the IndyCar series, then? It seems more his area of expertise, and I doubt they’d turn down a guest star like Verstappen if he expressed his interest.

        1. Maybe that is an possibility but it’s also a issue how he drives in redline colours or Red Bull liveries. I think Max was asked to join his friend in the super V8.

    2. Verstappen choses the money check!.

      1. Nah, he chose a sim over a game.

      2. So do Hamilton, Vettel, Kimi etc… What e-sports series have they picked?

      3. Codemasters F1 game is childsplay compared to iRacing, that is why he choosing the latter

        1. Exactly!

      4. alex, you haven’t explained at any point what financial interest Verstappen has from participating in an alternative game, such as iRacing.

        You say that he “chooses the money check” (there are two o’s in choose, by the way), but don’t seem to explain where this money is supposed to be coming from – this particular eSport series is not providing any payments, as far as I can tell – or why a driver who earns $25 million would be worrying about being paid a comparatively small sum for competing in iRacing events.

    3. Racing From Home era

      1. Has Verstappen crashed today?

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      13th April 2020, 16:32

      Cool. Next stop Indycar!

      1. That would be awesome!

    5. Right now that’s THE place to be… :)
      IndyCar, the drivers and broadcasters are doing a damn fine job.

    6. Sounds pretty much like F1 has missed the boat on eRacing. Its official product seems to be best described as an arcade game which no doubt appeals to the “general” gamer.

      Had they also bought/invested in a professional sim package, they’d have been able to run a half decent series but they’re way too far behind now. Having drivers like Max and others avoid it or criticise it isn’t going to help sales either.

      1. Or maybe hes scared of changing games? As lando said last week he doesn’t want to get beat on a game hes not committed to!

        1. It was a joke by Lando.
          And he himself isn’t being too positive about the codemasters game either

    7. “I’m looking forward to racing alongside my mate Shane, or Pastor, as I call him.”

      Must feel bad being Pastor, when Verstappen of all people uses your name as a nickname for someone who runs into other cars a lot.

      1. The dirtiest driver in the history calling other driver dirty jajajaja what a joke….

        1. But all the players call the Verstappen to everybody that crashes….
          Jajajaja

    8. Can’t help but to wonder how F1 can have it so wrong with esport while Indycar, Supercar and Nascar have it so right… Djeeez, wake up, Liberty media ! Such a missed opportunity to both please (a bit) the partners/sponsors, keep the fans in the sport and potentially bring new fans to it. All of these points should be top priority to F1 and Liberty media.

      Instead we have barely 3 to 5 F1 driver present, no real TV commentators, and all that using a arcadish-multi-platform game that does not have a proper on-line mode (nor technique).

      F1 can be complex, with his worldwide organization, but at the end of the day, it’s a question of willingness, belief and organisation that makes the difference. In in these lock-down time, it’s not like if people were overbooked.

      Could you imagine ? All F1 drivers + a few guest stars doing a virtual F1 race on iracing ? And like in Supercars, every WE you would have 2 races: 1 on a F1 classic track, and 1 on a non F1 track: Nordschiefe, Elkaert Lake, Bathrust, Lemans, Laguna Seca… I mean, come on, sign a deal with iracing…

      1. to be fair nobody knew covid 19 was going to happen and F1 had an arcade game for the general public. they didnt make the game for the drivers to play at home. thats not what it was made for

        1. You’re right, and I suppose it’s easy from my part to criticise.

          But still, you would have the 20 (or most of the 20) drivers connected on F1 2019 and some good commentary (the teams used by F1 TV) it would already be a big improvement.

          And you know… There are 2 F1 cars available on iRacing (ok, not the latest, but every team could use one as a baseline and paint it with their colors) + a lot of the modern-ish F1 tracks (Spa, Silverstone, Suzuka, Interlagos, Monza, Barcelona, Imola, Canada, Zanvoort, Texas, Nurburgring…), so technically “easy” to organise. Probably some contractual aspects to manage and maybe a bit of compensation to foresee with Codemasters, but my uneducated guess is that it should be very doable in a short amount of time… if Liberty Media wanted to do it.

      2. I think it’s an issue that Liberty inherited from the Eccelstone era. Liberty have been doing a lot to bring F1 to the 21st century. I would imagine that getting a better esports presence will be moving up their list of priorities real fast.

        1. The trouble they have is that getting a better esports scene means either creating a brand new sim that is as good as iRacing which many experienced companies have tried and failed at or agreeing to follow Indycar and NASCAR into iRacing which they will never do because of pride.

          If they create their own sim, they have to accept that it’ll take time to get right – there’s a reason why no sim releases a brand new game every year. That means reducing the money they make and I can’t see F1 ever taking that option.

          The solution for me is for a bunch of drivers to just do an unofficial series on iRacing. They can change what cars/tracks they drive each race at random and can easily create custom paintjobs to include their own sponsors. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with F1 or the teams they are contracted to – it’s something they can do in their own personal time – I’m sure there’s nothing in their contracts saying they can’t otherwise Lando and Max wouldn’t be allowed to do what they usually do.

      3. Totally agree. COTD. It’s an embarrassment. Even Average Joe would have been able to organize a professional rimrace, and with the money Liberty Media has there’s simply no excuse. Someone is not doing their job, or simply don’t know how to do it.

    9. Phillip Melson
      14th April 2020, 12:01

      LOL.. Max… you have spent most of your life playing on simms, you should ace any vr circuit with your eyes closed,literally…

    10. Of course he chose that series, because crashes feel more closer to when he crashes on the track.

    Comments are closed.