George Russell admits he enjoys F1 esports over real races - Dexerto

George Russell admits he’s enjoying “thrilling” F1 esports over real races

Published: 28/May/2020 7:31

by Isaac McIntyre


ROKiT Williams Racing driver George Russell has admitted he’s preferred the shift to Formula 1 esports races over the real thing so far, after the young British star notched another Virtual Grand Prix last weekend.

Russell had no equal out on the virtual streets of Monaco last weekend, as he soared to his second consecutive race win over fellow Formula 1 stars like Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, and esports debutant Valtteri Bottas.

The first-place finish is a far cry from where the 22-year-old British driver found himself for all but a handful of races in the F1 season last year. Despite being the Formula 2 champion before his shift to the top league, Russell has yet to earn a top-ten finish on race day in the sport’s premier competition.

Not so in the competitive ⁠— and perhaps a little more balanced car-wise ⁠— world of racing sim esports, which George Russell has taken to with ease. It’s no small wonder then, that the young F1 star admits he prefers it to the real thing.

Russell said he’s more than happy to keep battling away on the F1 2019 game alongside an ever-growing number of his real-world peers. In some ways, the Brit driver told Sky Sports, the ‘fake’ gaming world has been more fun.

Russell added he’s already got “more publicity from winning an esports race than [from] any single F1 race last year… at the back of the grid.” He’s using the new opportunity to “show the people what I can do,” he explained.

It wasn’t always that way though, Russell added. He “struggled” to adapt to the strange new world of gaming when he first accepted an invite ⁠— similar to how Leclerc admitted it was “unbelievably hard” to make the switch.

“I first started off doing it for a bit of fun, trying to provide a little bit of entertainment for the hardcore Formula 1 fans who are missing the racing and don’t have anything to support at the moment,” he said.

“I soon learned that the competition was high and I didn’t want to just compete to make up the numbers, I wanted to come in to try and win. When I struggled in [my] first race [at Albert Park], I thought ‘I need to turn this around’.

“It felt great [to win], to be honest, I forgot how much of a buzz it is, winning, and even though it’s virtually, the competitive nature of myself and going up against my pals – winning is nice. It’s quite thrilling, to be honest.”

Russell may have started ticking up better results as he set his mind to it, but it seems like he achieved his other goal too: the F1 fanbase has certainly embraced the motorsport’s shift in the wake of the 2020 season delay.

Big names joining the grid have helped F1 esports’ popularity too. F1 stars Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, and Nicholas Latifi have also competed in virtual events. Other sports stars like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thibaut Courtois, and more have had stints in a Grand Prix or two too.

According to stats site Esports Charts, fans watched more than 265k combined hours of the Monaco stint of the virtual series on Twitch, and concurrent viewers peaked at 217k. Another 50,000 tuned in on the YouTube simulcast.


How to master Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit’s photo mode

Published: 5/Nov/2020 16:27

by Kieran Bicknell


With its recent re-release for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch, Need for Speed (NFS) Hot Pursuit Remastered is targeting a whole new generation of gamers. Thankfully, players can show off the fantastic graphics and vehicles with the game’s photo mode. 

Improved gameplay, built-in DLC packs, and refreshed graphics all play a part in the new remaster of 2010 classic Need For Speed Hot Pursuit. As with the original game, players are able to showcase their cars and races via the in-game photo mode.

While there aren’t quite as many options available as the likes of Forza Horizon, players still have plenty of options at their disposal to create in-game artworks.

Audi TT NFS Hot PursuitPhoto mode is accessed via the pause menu.

Master photo mode in NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered

While the photo mode settings in NFS Hot Pursuit may be a little alien or confusing to first-time users, once broken down into individual settings they become much clearer. While these are all personal preference, these are the settings that we’ve found the best.

To access photo mode, players can simply pause the game at any time, and select ‘photo mode’ from the menu of options.

Create realistic photos in Need for Speed

With its high-contrast, dramatic graphics it can be tricky to create realistic-looking photos in Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. Thankfully, we’ve put together a guide to help you out. After a little experimentation, you’ll be shooting realistic photos in no time.

Need For Speed Remastered photo settingsA number of different effects settings are available in photo mode.

First things first, the camera position is the most important part of capturing a good in-game photo in NFS Hot Pursuit Photo mode. Players are able to move their cameras through a full axis of movement, including up/down and tilting the frame left/right for a dramatic look.

Not only can the camera itself move, but you can also zoom in or out of the frame. We’ve found to create the most realistic photos, the camera should be zoomed to about half way for the most realistic effect.

Photo mode effects settings

Now that the image is composed correctly, we can look at moving on to the effects settings. This is where the ‘atmosphere’ of the photo is really created.

Players are able to tweak the exposure, contrast, depth-of-field, motion blur, world color, and more.

Audi TT NFS HP Remaster photo modeMotion Blur can be used to capture speed well.

The main controls are exposure, contrast, and depth of field. Exposure alters the brightness of the image, while contrast adjusts the difference between the light and dark areas of the photo. Finally, depth of field can be used to adjust how much of the background is in focus.

The control levels in NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered are a little ‘notchy.’ This requires playing around with to find your unique style: For us, we’ve found the following a great ‘natural’ looking setup:

  • 50% brightness
  • 50% contrast
  • 50-75% motion blur
  • 100% world color
  • 10-20% depth-of-field
  • 50% focal length
  • 0% fish eye strength
  • Show damage set to ‘off’

While the above are the preferred settings that we’ve found work well, we encourage you to play around and find your own style. With so many gorgeous photo mode locations, cars, and modes to choose from, the possibilities are endless.