Williams’ esports team apologises after ‘unacceptable conduct’ in iRacing event

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In the round-up: Williams’ esports team has apologised after an investigation into controversial incidents during the Daytona 24 Hours iRacing event.

In brief

Williams esports team apologises after ‘unacceptable conduct’ in iRacing event

Williams’ esports team has apologised after an investigation which determined some of the team breached its conduct standards in last week’s Daytona 24 Hours iRacing round.

Williams Esports cars took overall victory in the top split of the endurance simracing event last weekend and third place in the GT class. However, the team was heavily criticised for the manner in which they secured pole position for the race, running on the apron instead of the banking in violation of iRacing rules.

The team was also accused of using unsporting tactics with its second GT car which fell many laps behind in the race. The drivers appeared to ignore blue flags and delay rival cars at times which observers claim was done to assist their team mates. Williams have apologised to their competitors following their investigations.

“We find that the actions of some members of the Williams Esports team breached our standard for acceptable team conduct,” they said in a statement. “We apologise wholeheartedly for that, both to our fellow competitors and to the wider esports community.”

“Williams Esports, as a key player in the industry, is continuously committed to working with game developers and tournament organisers to ensure consistent enforcement of clear regulations and consequences for breaches. Accountability, integrity and regulation are key to the continued growth and sustainability of simracing, and of the wider esports industry and we are committed to driving that forward.”

Mercedes named among FTX creditors

Mercedes AMG F1 W13 rear wing, Miami International Circuit, 2022
Mercedes ran FTX logos before it collapsed
The Mercedes Formula 1 team is named among the thousands of creditors of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, which also includes several of the world’s most famous companies. Mercedes removed FTX’s logos from its cars at the Brazilian Grand Prix – where the team scored its only victory of 2022 – as the exchange plunged into bankruptcy.

The full list of FTX’s creditors runs to more than 100 pages. Other companies owed money by FTX include Meta – the owner of Facebook and Instagram – Apple and Netflix. The top 50 creditors are owed over $3 billion (£2.4bn) between them, according to reports.

Vettel holds “huge admiration” for rally drivers ahead of ROC

Retired four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel praised rally drivers’ “incredible skill” ahead of his appearance in the Race of Champions event in Sweden this weekend.

Vettel reached the final of the Champion of Champions event in 2022, also held in the Swedish snow, to multiple World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb. Vettel says he lacks in skill compared to the experienced rally racers in the field.

“I have a huge admiration for rally drivers,” Vettel said. “I think it’s an incredible skill.

“Obviously, this is a tiny glimpse of what it might feel to do a rally, but it feels like I arrive with a screwdriver and a hammer, like two tools, whereas they arrive to turn one with the whole toolbox set – whatever might happen, they have the right fitting tool! I think it’s a great sport. There is the racing element and the skill, but it’s very different in many ways.”

Garcia joins FIA F3 with Jenzer for 2023

Alejandro Garcia will compete in this year’s FIA F3 championship after becoming the first of the Jenzer Motorsport’s drivers to be announced for 2023.

The 19-year-old raced in the Euroformula Open championship in 2022, finishing in seventh place in the drivers’ standings. He also took part in the 2022 post-season test in Jerez with the team completing 174 laps across the three days

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Comment of the day

With Formula E world champion Stoffel Vandoorne speaking exclusively to RaceFans about how he wants the series to make driver look “more like heroes“, @skipgamer outlines their blueprint to grow the series…

Two things need to happen, and I really think it’s either will do rather than necessarily both.

The racing needs to get better. The tight street circuits combined with the nature of incredible braking and acceleration capability mean corners get taken dreadfully slow, from an external view at least. This leads to what looks like bumper cars as cars jostle through the corners rather than in F1 where it’s terrifyingly exciting when two cars even get close to each other in the corner. I’d rather watch anything else than FE as far as race-craft goes.

The technology needs to be bulletproof. To really unseat the ICE and drive the manufacturers motivation as Vandoorne says, there needs to be no question at all that electric vehicles are the future. This will all come from battery R&D, how they are created, destroyed and charged. For sure there are a lot of arguments for, but there are still too many arguments against for it to be an absolute no-brainer.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hoshi and Kingshark!

On this day in motorsport

Juan Pablo Montoya, Max Wilson, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW20, 1998
Williams launched its red FW20 today in 1998

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Williams’ esports team apologises after ‘unacceptable conduct’ in iRacing event”

  1. “The top 50 creditors are owed over $3 billion (£2.4bn) between them”. Jeebus. How did FTX get that far? You’d think after Madoff etc, people would have been asking questions a lot sooner. Rich Energy could only dream of those kind of numbers. I very much doubt Merc are expecting a penny.

    1. The creditors list does not differentiate between suppliers, landlords, investors, and customers. The latter group numbers in the millions and is owed the biggest share of the pie — there are approximately 7000 non-customer creditors. There is a lawsuit filed by customers asking for preferential treatment due to the fact that the FTX terms-of-service state that customer deposits do not become the property of FTX, and therefore should be treated differently than other debts incurred by the company.

      Some numbers have been made public: AWS is owed just over $4 million. Riot (aka League of Legends) is owed about $12 million for their sponsorship deal, where FTX missed payments since August. The county of Miami-Dade who own the arena is not owed anything, as based on court filings, FTX had paid until the end of 2022.

      None of the above is new information — it has all been available for weeks in public court documents. The list of creditors that has now been made available appeared in previous filings as mailings lists.

      One new bit of information is that Mercedes was granted a motion this week to have the partnership agreement terminated as of December 30th 2022. The filings do not mention if Mercedes is owed any back payments, but there is a mention of NFTs, so it appears the Mercedes is trying to make sure those things are not lost forever.

      1. @x1znet Thank you, that’s a great answer. I’m still not sold on NFTs, but I guess Merc are.

  2. Ey thanks for the shout out.

    That’s a promising s397 update. Everything happens for a reason and if it takes an event like Le Man’s to steer their development to tackle long standing low level netcode bugs they’re already aware of then that can only be a good thing.

  3. I struggled to tell the circuit from Alpine’s Renault PU test bench run.

  4. Who is that second reserve driver at the Williams launch in 1998? Kinda looks like Pedro Lamy – but it isn’t.
    Also, I didn’t know JPM was affiliated with Williams that early on. Interesting.

    1. I think it’s Aluizio Coelho

  5. With what happened with Williams esports and the Le Mans 24hr, streamed online Simracing has really shot itself in the foot recently….

  6. Shockingly, people cheat in competition when rules not enforced properly. Happens wherever rules are badly written or badly implemented.

    I don’t care about computer games, but it’s not limited to pretend racing.

  7. What’s as much of a travesty is that the virtual Daytona 24h is getting more attention than the actual race and build up. Does the new LMDh/LMh GTP class not warrant a little more? F1/others driving virtually doesn’t deserve as much column inches as it’s getting, especially when there’s actual racing going on.

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