F1 is reportedly launching simulation experience centers for fans. This will give fans a slight idea of what it is like to sit in the cockpit of a vehicle that is capable of traveling at more than 300 kmph.
The sport wants to bring together racing in a social environment in more than 30 cities around the world. Each center will host 60 state-of-the-art simulators, giving fans an immersive social racing experience. The first center is expected to open at the One New Change center in London at the end of this year, with plans to extend to the USA, Middle East, and Asia in consideration as well.
Ben Pincus, the sport's director of commercial partnerships, said of the new initiative:
“We’re thrilled to partner with best-in-class operators on this global opportunity, which will create an incredible entertainment experience for a worldwide audience, and a go-to hospitality venue for Formula 1 fans and non-fans alike. The racing simulators will bring to life the experience of driving a Formula 1 car in a high-octane, stylish and fun environment, giving more people the opportunity to enjoy and get closer to the world of F1.”
F1's Max Verstappen has praised sim racing
Despite being the reigning real-world champion, Max Verstappen has claimed virtual sim racing has helped him strengthen his real-life racing. In an interview with personal sponsor CarNext, the champion praised sim race drivers for their speed in the virtual world, saying:
“It’s very interesting to see them drive because they have no real experience of a car but, somehow, when you look at how they’re braking, how they’re controlling, it is how it should be. It’s very interesting for me to then compare myself to them because they’re naturally quick on the sim, I’m naturally quick in real life. For me, that’s another motivation, because I know that I’m confident that when I want to jump in a real car, I’ll be quick.”
F1's fastest Dutchman has revealed that he enjoys indulging in his sim racing hobby, claiming it helps him set up his real-life cars better. He said:
“It keeps me ready to go because I’m spending a lot of time also then on the setup. I’m not racing a Formula 1 car on the simulator, but it’s like GT cars, so it’s also a different technique of driving. I just keep testing myself, and especially these sim drivers... they’re so quick!”
With 2022 F1 cars set to be radically different from 2021 cars, fans can look forward to a year of action and drama between teams like Mercedes and Red Bull.