Last Sunday the Australian GP should have taken place in Melbourne, Australia. The chatter of hundreds of thousands of people and the screaming noise of Formula 1 racing car motors were supposed to fill the air. After one of the participating teams, McLaren, withdrew from the race because one of its members was diagnosed with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the race was canceled on the Friday morning of the race weekend.
Instead, the F1 motors howled online when McLaren’s F1 driver Lando Norris took it to the Albert Park circuit in a Codemasters’ F1 2019 race organized by esports organization Veloce Esports, dubbed “Not the AUS GP.” Competing against Norris was a field of 19 including professional racing drivers Stoffel Vandoorne (Formula E), Esteban Gutierrez (Formula E), Sacha Fenestraz (Super GT), Louis Deletraz (F2), and Ryan Tveter (F2); racing simulation esports pros including the World’s Fastest Gamer James Baldwin and F1 Esports driver Daniel Bereznay; Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois; and several racing content creators. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton joined Veloce Esports’ stream for some commentary as well.
Norris’ personal stream topped Twitch as the most-watched, hitting a maximum of 70K concurrent viewers spectating the virtual race. During his four-and-a-half-hour stream, Norris generated 131K average views on an average of 25K viewers. The race’s organizer Veloce Esports streamed the event for a duration of two hours and had a maximum of 12K concurrent viewers tune in.
Following the success of the event, Veloce Esports announced a second edition of the virtual race, “Not the BAH GP,” taking place this Sunday, the day the F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain was originally scheduled. Norris, Vandoorne, Gutierrez, Courtis, Bereznay, and a few others will compete again with several new editions completing the field.
Source: Veloce esports