It's been a long and silent wait for the F1 Esports season to get underway, but it is at last approaching.
While all is quiet from official channels and even the teams, there's been no stopping the event organisation slipping out. The only thing we don't know is when and how fans can watch.
So what's going on with F1 Esports, or F1 Sim Racing as it is being rebranded? Let's take a look.
Back on the grid
Esports drivers have been flooding social media with airport pictures and claiming to be on the way to the Maldives.
They are all in fact on the way to Sweden, and more specifically to DreamHack which takes place this weekend in Jonkoping.
It is expected that the first round of F1 Sim Racing's 2023/24 season will take place at the Bahrain track in a LAN event at DreamHack this weekend. However, the incredible lack of communication from official sources has baffled fans and left a booming series feeling totally deflated.
Even as teams confirm their lineups and new faces enter the stage to take on the established race-winners, there is no official information about the series yet.
The F1 Esports drivers are a friendly group, most of whom have come up together through the league-racing system. However, a new generation of drivers has been ruffling the feathers of the established names.
As reigning champion, Lucas Blakeley will be at the top of everyone's hit lists, but the rapid Thomas Ronhaar has been in the crosshairs of many as well following his rise to the top in his rookie campaign in 2022.
Ronhaar and two-time champion Jarno Opmeer have come to heated blows in PSGL races, with fans taking to social media to defend their favourite and make accusations at the other. It has driven a lot of discussion and tension in the community, but has also added some spice to a scene that can at times be overly friendly.
Not every team has officially confirmed their lineups for F1 Esports 2023. The main team keeping everyone in the dark right now is Mercedes. We know Jarno Opmeer will be back for them, but the rest of their roster is not yet official.
Here are all the drivers, confirmed (bold) and suspected (italics), for F1 Esports 2023:
- McLaren: Lucas Blakeley, Dani Moreno, Wilson Hughes
- Mercedes: Jarno Opmeer, Dani Bereznay, Jake Benham
- Ferrari: Bari Broumand, Nicolas Longuet, Istvan Puki
- Alfa Romeo: Brendon Leigh, Thomas Ronhaar, Matthijs van Erven
- Alpine: Luke Smith, Patrik Sipos, Ruben Pedreno
- Red Bull: Frede Rasmussen, Sebastian Job, Josh Idowu
- Haas: Alfie Butcher, Ulas Ozyildrim, Bence Szabo-Konyi
- AlphaTauri: Joni Tormala, Jed Norgrove, Tom Manley
- Williams: Alvaro Carreton, Marcel Kiefer, Ismael Fahssi
- Aston Martin: Simon Weigang, Fabrizio Donoso, John Evans
Where can you watch?
As we mentioned, there has been no official communication from Formula 1 or any production team about how or when to watch F1 Esports this year.
We suspect the races will be shown live on the official Formula 1 social media YouTube and Twitch channels as they were last season.
With DreamHack running from 23 November to 26 November we could see the races run at any point during the week. Given the lack of build-up, it is conceivable that the races will not be shown live, and instead aired at another point which would be a huge shame.
We will update this post once confirmation comes so be sure to check back soon!
For more articles like this, take a look at our Esports page.