350K watch Guanyu Zhou win Formula 1's Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix - Dexerto
Racing

350K watch Guanyu Zhou win Formula 1’s Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix

Published: 22/Mar/2020 22:04 Updated: 7/Apr/2020 11:15

by Albert Petrosyan

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Formula 1’s Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix has wrapped up, with Chinese racing driver Guanyu Zhou coming in first place in what was an unprecedented event for the sport of racing.

The saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” was on full display in the world of Formula 1 on March 22, as the highest class of auto racing went completely virtual.

Due to the current state of global affairs, F1, much like other sports, had to postpone their events – so they decided to race the Bahrain Grand Prix on the F1 2019 video game, instead.

Formula 1Formula 1 decided to hold their postponed Grand Prix races virtually, starting off with Bahrain.

The current F1 drivers lined up against some of the biggest names in the racing game community, and it was Renault Sport Academy’s Guanyu Zhou who came in first place, over 11 seconds ahead of second-place Belgian driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

Landing in third was Australian pro Phillip Eng, who finished with a +3.593 interval behind Vandoorne. The highest-placing non-pro driver was YouTuber Jimmy Broadbent, who specializes in racing content on his channel. He came in fourth, 4.7 seconds after Eng – a pretty impressive feat, considering who he was up against.

FINAL PLACEMENTS:

The full race was streamed live on the official Formula 1 YouTube channel. We’ve included the VOD below, in case you want to relive the experience for yourself.

F1’s Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix gets massive views

Seeing as how this race was the first of several virtual events that F1 have planned, viewership was expected to be high, and the fans didn’t disappoint.

According to analytical agency Esports Charts, the number of concurrent viewers averaged at around 289,000 and peaked at a whopping 359,000, including 199,000 on YouTube, 180,000 on Twitch and 18,000 on Facebook.

British-Belgian driver Lando Norris, who ended up finishing fifth, was also streaming the race on his own Twitch channel, and his viewership peaked at around 100,000. All of these stats, of course, don’t include the people watching on SkySports, so the overall number was even higher.

What’s next for F1’s Virtual Grand Prix Series?

The next race in the series was scheduled to be the VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix April 3-5, so there’s a good chance we could see the event held in the virtual world, as well.

The rest of the postponed events on the schedule include the Heineken Chinese Grand Prix, Heineken Dutch, and Grand Premio De España, all of which are candidates to be raced in the F1 video game.

Racing

Lando Norris swaps F1 cars for buses in hilarious online race

Published: 27/Nov/2020 16:25

by Kieran Bicknell

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Lando Norris is best known for his talent in Formula One, but he is also an avid streamer and gamer. In his November 25 video with Team Quadrant, he swaps his usual F1 car for something altogether more utilitarian, with hilarious results. 

Monaco is famous as one of the most difficult and dangerous Formula One circuits on the F1 calendar, but Lando and Team Quadrant decided to make it even more difficult by changing their vehicles during a hilarious race.

Gone were the traditional open-wheel Formula One cars, and in their place were three British double-decker buses. Playing on Assetto Corsa, players are able to modify the game by adding new vehicles and circuits, with predictably strange results.

Lando Norris bus racing team quadrant
YouTube: Team Quadrant
Team Quadrant racing buses around Monaco must be one of the strangest uses of the iconic track we’ve ever seen.

Lando races double-decker buses at Monaco

Switching his usual McLaren-liveried car for a bright green bus with custom Team Quadrant graphics, Lando and the rest of the team took on Monaco circuit.

On the first lap, it was clear this wasn’t going to be an ordinary race. From the ridiculous image of double-deck buses traversing the iconic hairpin to predictably hilarious racing, the video is a barrel of laughs from start to end.

Highlights included Lando overtaking a number of crashed competitors, then plowing straight into the concrete barrier ahead; While at one point, teammate FNG was racing blind as he had “no idea where he’s going” due to not being able to see past the bus in front.

FNG (Niran) then somehow pulled off the most hilarious moment of the game, and managed to glitch the bus to be stuck on top of the trees. It seems that he didn’t mind this though, as in the comments he said “I maintain the interior design work on these buses was quite frankly delightful.”

SuperGT (Steve) surprisingly managed to get into the unusual situation, despite having to go “full lock” on the steering around almost every corner.

In the end, FNG was able to get within 2/10 of a second of Lando’s qualifying time, though unsurprisingly, Lando took the overall win. Steve was practically neck-and-neck with Lando across the line though, so if there was ever a real-world Bus GP at Monaco, it might be closer than you think!