What happens when a global pandemic shuts down F1, Nascar, Indycar and other professional auto racing? The pro racers become internet competitors! Real life F1 stars Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, IndyCar drivers Simon Pagenaud and Felix Rosenqvist, and a bevy of popular professional sim racers and YouTube personalities got together and raced online. There were commentators and the virtual event was every bit as good as an actual live one by most accounts.
This raises some really fascinating implications for our post-corona world. With computers and simulators becoming ever better – as good as real life – could the likelihood of increasing numbers of pandemics like H1N1 and Covid-19 cause a major shift in real sports?
Could real or interrupted seasons be augmented, or even completely replaced, by online competitions? What would this mean for the millions in advertising and promotion that ride on these events? Will giant, technology ladened stadiums become a thing of the past? And while these online events were friendly, it also brings up the extremely difficult topics of hacking, doping, cheating, and other nefarious activities already plaguing e-Sports.