(Motorsport-Total.com) – In the latest issue of our interview series #thinkingforward with leading heads of motorsport, Jess McFadyen and James Allen talk to the two-time Formula E champion and e-sports pioneer Jean- Eric Vergne.
Long before Sim Racing experienced a real increase due to the Corona crisis, the former Formula 1 driver recognized its potential. Vergne joined the British e-sports company Veloce three years ago.
After the cancellation of the Australia Gigantic Prix, Vergne and his companion reacted quickly and quickly organized the first # NotTheGP. This has since become a series of regular virtual races.
Footballers and golfers compete against F1 aces
Not only real Formula 1 drivers like Charles Leclerc or Lando Norris take part, but also stars from other sports. Thibaut Courtois, the goalkeeper of the football club Proper Madrid or golf ace Ian Poulter are regularly on the initiate up.
The concept of having real racing drivers compete against other athletes in a virtual race is a cause for some die-hard motorsport fan for amazement or even rejection. An attitude that Vergne can partially understand.
“Formula 1 fans want to see Formula 1 drivers because they support Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc or Lando Norris,” says Vergne. “So they also want to see their stars in e-sports.” But the possibility of letting racers drive against footballers, golfers or tennis players also has a great fascination on Vergne.
Come this way new fans to Formula 1?
“This is a likelihood that you normally don't get in life. Against Charles Leclerc or Lando Norris Driving in a Formula 1 game … That would not be possible in real life, “says the Frenchman.
In addition, Vergne sees the likelihood of other athletes participating in the e- Sports races open up new target groups for motorsport. “Used to be happens when, for example, fans of Thibaut Courtois watch him at the races? They see Formula 1. And that brings a new audience to motorsport.”
Photo gallery: The development of the steering wheels in Formula 1
A simple piece of wood on one Metal frame, ideally still covered with leather: With such a steering wheel, the drivers are in the 1950 started in the first World Championship races in Formula 1 history. In this photo gallery we show how the steering wheels used to develop into high-tech toys! Photo gallery
In addition to the current distress in the corona crisis, Vergne also sees e-sports as a low-threshold entry into racing is important. “Motorsport is a complicated sport. It is not that you only have to buy a pair of shoes and a ball and then you can get started,” Vergne draws a comparison to football.
“You have to do a lot investing takes a lot of money, and not everyone has that, “said the Frenchman. “Thanks to the E-Sports actions, anyone who has a PC can compete against the best Formula 1 drivers. That's the nice thing.”