F1 Esports is back but with a few changes for 2023. A brand new name, new location, and new drivers make for an interesting competition this year.
Instead of heading to the Maldives, all drivers, team members, and broadcasters are at DreamHack in Sweden to compete. Once again hosted using Codemasters' F1 series, this time F1 23, let's take a look at the new F1 Esports championship.
Update: First round postponed
In news that will surprise pretty much no one, the first round of the F1 Pro Sim World Championship has been postponed. According to a League Racing News post on X (formerly Twitter), the postponement is due to a dispute between F1 and the organisers over the potential prize pool.
As a result, the first round will now reportedly take place on Saturday 25 November, with the second round following the same day. Hopefully, an agreement can be reached before then so the racing can begin.
New name, same racing
F1 Esports has seen a spot of rebranding this year. Gone is the F1 Esports name, with the championship now known as the F1 Pro Sim World Championship. With a name almost as long as a lap of Spa, the changes don't just stop with the branding.
2023 sees the racing return to the LAN format of previous years. This sees all drivers competing in the same room using equal sim rig setups, as opposed to competing separately in their respective HQs.
Despite trying to convince us all that the racing would take place in the Maldives, the drivers have actually headed to DreamHack in Sweden for the first round. This may all seem very sudden, but as it turns out the racing may be right around the corner too.
Rumours are rife that the first race of the season will be today at 16:00 CET (15:00 GMT/10:00 EST/09:00 PT). Bahrain is expected to be the season opener, with the event due to be streamed on Formula 1's Twitch channel.
This all sounds incredibly exciting, if the racing can begin that is.
Delayed race start
Along with the start time rumours, there are also whispers that the DreamHack event may be cancelled. This is due to issues with contracts, potentially between F1 and the event hosts.
A crisis meeting with the team managers is reportedly happening in Sweden, with League Racing News reporting there will be no prize pool for the series if the DreamHack event is cancelled.
Just like the sport itself, it seems as though outside factors may block the racing action. Unlike last week in Las Vegas, however, there is more than just a drain cover to navigate.
Hopefully, any contractual issues can be sorted and the racing can begin. If not, perhaps there will be some last-minute flights to the Maldives after all!
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