Published: Sun, March 22, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Dutch, Spanish and Monaco GPs postponed due to coronavirus

Dutch, Spanish and Monaco GPs postponed due to coronavirus

In addition to the canceled Bahrain race, there will also be virtual Grand Prix' for each postponed race on the calendar - including Vietnam, China, Netherlands, Spain, and Monaco.

A statement from the FIA, F1's governing body, read: "Following unanimous agreement between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams, the implementation of the Technical Regulations due to take effect from the 2021 season will be postponed until 2022". A start date for the new F1 season is hard to predict but championship bosses hope to begin with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June.

Formula One joins the likes of Nascar in jumping on the esports bandwagon to entertain fans, after the United States stockcar racing series launched the eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series earlier this week, which will also feature some of its drivers.

However, the F1 racers will not be alone in the Virtual Grand Prix.

F1 has had its own separate F1 Esports Series that's been running since 2017, so there's no shortage of potential pro sim racers to fill the field (and possibly upset your favorite F1 driver).

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While the first several races have officially been postponed, the decision not to hold the Monaco Grand Prix at the scheduled date has led the race to be outright cancelled. Max Verstappen also took part in "The Race All-Star Esports Battle" last weekend and is due to compete in another round of the same event this Saturday. First up is the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix on what was supposed to be the second weekend of the actual F1 season.

During non-race weekends, Formula One will host online exhibition races, where fans from around the world will be given the chance to go head-to-head with its drivers, with more details arriving in the coming weeks. It is strictly for entertainment purposes, with no official points up for grabs.

While results will not count towards the F1 world championship the plan is to run the virtual tournament until the real racing can return. But due to this, the game settings will configure in a way to encourage competitive, entertaining racing.

Elsewhere, spending restrictions have been planned to make the sport fairer, while there will be fewer auto upgrades over race weekends and less in-season upgrades in order to improve competitiveness.

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