- For fans of Formula 1 “esports,” the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team is sharing some tips for players by offering track guides to the circuits the team visits in real life.
- The newest guide is for Spa-Francorchamps, this weekend’s Belgium Grand Prix venue.
- Anyone 16 and older can try to make the Pro Draft of the F1 esports series; “racing skill and overtaking prowess” are the skills needed.
There’s a thin checkered line between racing fans and people who dream of becoming race-car drivers. These days, instead of street racing, speed demons can get their fix in any number of racing video games. And the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 esports team is sharing a few tricks so you can climb the digital podium.
They’re called track guides, and Mercedes-AMG has now released seven of them for different F1 circuits so far. Hungaroring, Hockenheimring, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Monaco, and Baku City were all released earlier this year, and the latest, released this week, is for the 4.4-mile-long Spa-Francorchamps circuit. That just happens to be where the real-world 2019 F1 Belgium Grand Prix takes place this weekend.
Mercedes started making video track guides this year as a way to preview the upcoming race as well as give background information about the characteristics and challenges of the individual circuits. The videos also show the complexity of professional esports and give viewers some insight into how many things drivers need to get right to set a competitive time.
Mercedes shoots the videos at its esports training center in Brackley, north of London. Brendon Leigh, the 20-year-old British driver on the Mercedes esports team, hosts the videos and races the virtual track in F1 2019, the official video game of the F1 Esports Series, while simultaneously talking to viewers. The insights he shares are based on his personal experience as the reigning Formula 1 Esports Series World Champion.
The team will release track guides for the majority of the remaining races this season. With F1 esports live sessions starting soon, though, the main focus for Leigh and the rest of the company’s esports gamers will shift toward competition.
The competition could include you, someday. Anyone can try to join the F1 Esports Series, as long as they’re at least 16 and register an account in the game on a qualifying platform (Xbox, Playstation, or Steam). To get an invitation to the Pro Draft, you have to start by racing in the online qualifying scenarios where the organizers say they are “not just looking for the perfect lap, but a demonstration of racing skill and overtaking prowess.” If you’d like to be the one in the simulator giving out track tips, heeding Leigh’s free advice today might get you on the right track.