Formula 1 has guaranteed a place for a 15-year-old fan in one of its official online events after they were dropped from its Drivers Versus Fans simrace at short notice last weekend.in a post on social media he was “very upset and disappointed” after spending hours preparing to take part in Sunday’s Challenge Williams event only to be “kicked out” shortly before it began.
“Eventually, I was given the reason from the broadcasters that they had to make space for a Formula 1 [or] 2 driver and my name came up randomly,” he added.
F1 is running its official series of Challenge events on weekends when its Virtual Grands Prix are not scheduled. Manohar’s place in the event was taken by Williams’ development driver Dan Ticktum, who was participating alongside race drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, plus reserve driver Jack Aitken.
An F1 spokeperson told RaceFans there had been a “misunderstanding” with Manohar over their participation.
“For the final event we [invited] the Williams drivers to race against a grid of F1 fans. We build out a shortlist of fans to take part – they need to post their Steam details on social.
“We have to oversubscribe the list to account for drop-outs to ensure we have enough people for a full race, and unfortunately this weekend this driver didn’t make the final grid for the race despite having been in the lobby ahead of the race. However we are trying to minimise the number of drivers that join the lobby moving forward.”
“Both F1 and Williams have followed up with the driver in question to guarantee him a spot in the next Challenge event as a goodwill gesture after his disappointment not making the grid,” they added.
Fan David Zamora won the race after the two Williams race drivers collided at the final corner. Ticktum retired after five laps.
The Virtual Grand Prix series is due to resume on Sunday, when the Dutch Grand Prix would have been held. As Zandvoort does not feature in the 2019 edition of the official Formula 1 game a poll of fans was held to decide where the race will take place, which was won by Brazilian Grand Prix venue Interlagos.
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