The release of F1 2020 has been a massive success, with the game reaching new fans and bringing updated tracks and better handling to the Codemasters series. Now it takes to the esports stage!
Season 4 of F1 esports is approaching, and it is set to be the most competitive field ever assembled.
Let's go over what's new for this season.
Racing from home
Due to obvious reasons, F1 esports will not see 20 drivers from 10 teams race in a packed Gfinity Arena in London.
While the broadcast will still be hosted in the familiar setting, the drivers will be racing from home.
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This is a monumental challenge, but one that the Virtual Grand Prix Series in the spring showed can be overcome.
While the atmosphere of racing will be a little different, the comforts of home could well be a benefit for some of the drivers.
New faces, familiar foes
11 drivers were added to the F1 teams during the Pro Draft, while the off-season was full of driver movement and teams taking some bold decisions with their changes.
The likes of Shanaka Clay, who had a successful karting career against Lando Norris and George Russell, join the series. Jarno Opmeer has moved to Alfa Romeo, while Marcel Keifer steps up to Red Bull.
Here's the full driver lineup:
|Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen F1 Esports||Daniel Bereznay Dominik Hoffman Jarno Opmeer|
|BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team||Daniele Haddad Lucas Blakeley Shanaka Clay|
|FDA Hublot Esports Team||David Tonizza Enzo Bonito Filip Presnajder|
|Haas F1 Team Esports||Cedric Thome Floris Wijers Simon Weigang|
|McLaren Shadow||Dani Moreno James Baldwin Matthias Cologon|
|Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team||Bardia Boroumand Bono Huis Brendon Leigh|
|Red Bull Racing Esports Team||Frederik Rasmussen Marcel Kiefer Tino Naukkarinen|
|Renault Vitality||Casper Jensen Fabrizio Donoso Delgado Nicolas Longuet|
|Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports Team||Joni Tormala Manuel Biancolilla Patrik Holzmann|
|Williams Esports||Alvaro Carreton Michael Romanidis Salih Saltunc|
Longer races, more coverage
After three years of using the 25% race distance, things are changing for this year.
Codemasters is making a special build of F1 2020 that has a 35% distance just for F1 Esports.
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On top of longer races, viewers are also getting more action this year as qualifying shows will be introduced.
F1 Esports 2020 schedule
There will be four events for F1 Esports this year, but each one is split into two days! With longer races and added qualifying coverage we are set to see even more of the amazing drivers and wheel-to-wheel action this year.
Event 1 - 14-15 October
A far-east tour kicks off the season. Bahrain will be slipstream central, while the brand new Vietnam circuit could be chaotic with its unusual corners, close barriers, and awkward final sector.
Then there is China. Always a thrilling race, the longer race could cause some chaos with the tyre strategy while weather is also more of a factor there than it is elsewhere.
Event 2 - 4-5 November
Another new circuit, Zandvoort will be a challenge with its narrow track and flowing rhythm.
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Both Canada and Austria will be full of overtakes and incidents, as they have huge braking zones and some long DRS zones.
Event 3 - 18-19 November
Silverstone and Spa are glorious pieces of tarmac to go racing on. The drivers will be going wheel-to-wheel are nearly ever section of the track.
Monza will be the ultimate slipstream fest. With four points where drivers will hit 200+ mph, breaking tows and cooperation with slipstreams will be key to success. It's going to be a tactical battle as much as it is about raw pace.
Grand Final - 16-17 December
The final round takes the drivers to the marvelous ribbon of tarmac that is Suzuka, before dropping them into Mexico and Brazil, where overtaking is common and tyre life critical.
How to watch
The races will be broadcast on Sky Sports F1 at 7.30pm.
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