F1 drivers and other pros switch to esports in the age of the coronavirus

The Race’s All-Star Esports Battle brought together many names from racing in the wake of the cancellation of all the weekend’s F1 and IndyCar races. [credit:
The Race
]

As we’re all settling into this new reality of working from home and social isolation, lots of people will be looking for distractions to take their minds off the most serious global public health crisis since the H1N1 pandemic more than a century ago. That’s made a little harder with the cancelation of just about every televised sporting event, but perhaps in the age of coronavirus, esports might step in and fill that gap. On Sunday, we got a taste of how that might work, as professional racers from F1, IndyCar, and other series took things digital, drawing big crowds on YouTube and Twitch in the process.
Sunday was supposed to be a big day in racing. If we weren’t experiencing a terrifying pandemic, my plan was to start off in the morning with Formula 1, which was supposed to kick off its 2020 season with the Australian Grand Prix. F1 had already postponed a race in China set to take place in April, while the Bahrain Grand Prix (scheduled for March 22) was going to take place with no spectators. Then, on the eve of the Australian event, the McLaren team announced one of its team members had tested positive for COVID-19. What followed was most undignified, as Formula 1, the race promoter, and the regional government all tried to hide from their responsibility to the public, before eventually bowing to the inevitable and canceling the event even as fans were lining up to get in.
Sunday afternoon was going to involve watching the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was supposed to be the start of IndyCar’s 2020 season. As coronavirus fears grew in the preceding weeks, IndyCar had decided to go ahead and run the event without spectators, but it too had to face reality, announcing last week that it would hold off on racing in March and April.Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Source: Car news one

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