How to watch the F1 virtual Grand Prix in Azerbaijan this weekend

This week brought the news that motorsport fans had been waiting for: the confirmation of the first eight races of the 2020 F1 season.

But until that starts in Austria on 5 July, Formula 1 is running virtual races online using the official F1 2019 game.

This weekend will be the seventh virtual race, and you can expect mayhem around the streets of Baku as eight current F1 drivers jump into their simulators for “not the Azerbaijan grand prix”.

When is the next F1 Virtual Grand Prix on?
Sunday, 7 June
6pm UK (BST); 5pm UTC

The event will last around 90 minutes including 18 minutes of qualifying session followed by a half-length race, compared to the real-life version.

The F2 Virtual Racing and F1 Esports Pro Exhibition races will be shown before the main event at 4pm and 5pm respectively, in which pro esports racers will show how it’s supposed to be done.

How do I watch the virtual F1 races online?

The races are streamed live on the website as well as on the official YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels.

It is also being broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix, plus on other partners around the world.

It’s hosted by the Gfinity Esports Arena in London, with drivers joining remotely. 

Which F1 drivers are racing in the virtual series?

This weekend, a record eight of the current drivers will race including:

Charles Leclerc
Lando Norris
Alex Albon
George Russell
Antonio Giovinazzi
Nicholas Latifi
Pierre Gasly
Sergio Perez

Other F1 drivers have a lot of experience of sim racing, but not in F1 2019 (which is considered more of an arcade game than a ‘proper’ simulation like rFactor 2). This is why the likes of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have – so far – declined to take part and will likely just wait for the start of the real F1 season.

Drivers have identical cars (so no performance variations) and are allowed to enable ABS and traction control if they want to – a concession for those less familiar with the game.

For more details about the real championship, read our separate guide on how to watch F1 races.

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