F1 2020: Mix of Virtual & Real GPs

F1's Virtual GP underway as drivers race each other in simulator rigs
F1 Virtual GP series will replace real races till end of May. After years of imaging the future, are we already living in it? 2020 will be a season of hybrid-races, virtual and real.

The future is NOW! F1 Virtual GP series will replace the cancelled / postponed rounds of the 2020 Formula 1 season. Who’d have ever imagined such a start to the sport’s 70th year. The upside is that we will see rivals race in equal cars, something otherwise unheard of in Formula 1. The downside could be that not all drivers will participate. Ironically, Nico Hulkenberg, who couldn’t find a cockpit in 2020, will be racing in F1 Virtual GP for Bahrain. You can catch the action live on F1’s YouTube channel.

2020 will be a hybrid-season of races, many virtual and some real? In this episode, we discuss the steps Formula 1 has taken to try bring us as many real Grands Prix in the second half of the year. We could experience the longest off-season and the most-cramped-period in history in 2020, oh, the joy!

Also in this episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we discuss Sebastian Vettel’s possible following of Fernando Alonso’s path in life after Ferrari. After the fiasco in Australia, Formula 1’s made a series of smart decisions to protect the sport, the business & the teams. We discuss why a postponement of the new rules for 2021 is a step in the right direction. Clearly, the virus has already impacted three seasons of Formula 1 and we’re yet to see the economic aftereffects. Tune in!

(Season 2020, Episode 10)

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Here’s what’s in store for you in this episode:

0:00-3:00 – Formula 1 finally making slick business decisions – the first seven races stand postponed or cancelled (Read: Would Bernie Ecclestone Have Handled F1’s Mess In Australia Better?)

3:00-6:00 – Will we have a hybrid-Formula 1 season in 2020? A mix of virtual + real Grands Prix. Formula 1 has announced the Virtual Grand Prix series from Bahrain till Monaco

6:00-9:00 – Will the second half of 2020 more than make up for the lack of races in the first half? We’re betting that it’ll be one of the most-cramped calendars ever

9:00-12:00 – Formula 1’s ‘spring break’ in 2020 will be unfair to the team personnel but be good for the sport in many ways – flexibility in the calendar + even-out competitive disadvantage

12:00-15:00 – If fewer teams and drivers compete, will the 2020 Formula 1 World Championships still be considered credible by the sport’s standards?

15:00-18:00 – The COVID-19 outbreak has already impacted three Formula 1 seasons – 2020, 2021 and 2022. We discuss the economic impact that could follow – country’s choosing to not host races? Sponsors pulling out?

18:00-21:00 – F1 Virtual GP series – great step to capture the fan interest. Is the future of Motorsport here already? Yay, for drivers getting equal cars, even if it’s only in the virtual world.

21:00-23:00 – Formula 1’s decision to stick to existing rules for 2021 is smart – but will Mclaren retain Renault power units? Will Pirelli move to the 18-inch tyres?

23:00-25:00 – Could Sebastian Vettel follow Fernando Alonso’s path in his after-Ferrari life? Well, we all know how that ended up!

25:00-end – A listeners teaches us the French pronunciation of Cyril Abiteboul

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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