Brightening up our winter Sundays, from 31 January to 14 February, the drivers race at Spielberg, Silverstone and Interlagos, in virtual cars, running the Codemasters FI 2010 video game.

OUR TEAM. Each team is made up of four drivers: two celebrities alongside two pro sim racers. We have gone for a tried and tested line-up from last year, with Vitantonio Liuzzi who raced in Formula 1 with us in 2005 and 2006, alongside Manuel Biancolilla, while professional motorcycle racer and influencer in the world of cars, Luca Salvadori, is paired with Joni Tormala.

HOW IT WORKS. Each event lasts 90 minutes. There’s a one-shot qualifying attempt for the pro sim racers who then take part in a 5 lap Sprint Race, the result of which decides the grid for the Feature Race. This is where the celebrities come in, running over 50% of the real race distance. Points are then given out on the same scale as in Formula 1. The performance and set-up of the cars are all identical, so speed and driver ability are what make the difference. There’s an option to use ABS and traction control.

THE PRIZEFUND. The Virtual Grand Prix Series was set up to keep fans entertained while waiting for the start of the real racing season and it is all in a good cause. Formula 1 has put up a prize fund of 100 thousand dollars, which all goes to charities nominated by each of the teams before the series began. Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports and Red Bull Racing Esports have both nominated Wings for Life which funds research into spinal injuries. The winning team after the three races gets the top prize of 20 thousand dollars, the second gets 14 thousand and the third, 10 thousand, while those finish fourth to tenth each get 8 thousand dollars.

Here are the dates of the virtual races and the links to the Results pages and to the Live pages to re-watch them all:

31 January: Austrian Virtual GP
7 February: British Virtual GP
14 February: Brazil Virtual GP
Final Standings:
2021 Brazilian Virtual Grand Prix standings by Scuderia AlphaTauri2021 Brazilian Virtual Grand Prix standings by Scuderia AlphaTauri - square