For part 2 of the Esports Racing review, please look to the 1st article to get a general idea about this genre and some of my thoughts within. Moving on from that, let’s take a little look at what the F1 series, and its namesake online computer/game console offering F1 2019, had for us.
First off, there was quite a lot of promotion and build up to this one and with the might of the F1 brand behind it, assuredly it would get a lot of eyes tuning in. We came so close to getting the Australian GP in and everyone was ready for the 2020 season to begin.
I really think the approach was wrong here. The goal, I feel, should be to try and replace what we are missing which is real sport racing. What they did was put together a mixed bag of sim racers , celebrities and a smattering of F1 drivers. I can see now why Max decided to bow out as what we got in the end was more like a little fun filler piece you might see in between sessions on sky TV.
I feel the premise of inviting celebrities is a misstep as it belittles and brings down the perceived level at which fans wanted to see in competition. If a goalkeeper or a golfer can do it, it can’t really be for real right?
As with the other online races, I think they needed to get as many F1 drivers as they could, current, past or even future but that is not what we got. A few sim pros is fine to bring the interest from that side but perhaps the F1 drivers didn’t want to make the effort I don’t know. What I do know is that they are all extremely competitive and wouldn’t probably enjoy a race that was just a hap hazard goof around, as they are out there in front of the general public and their fans and wouldn’t want to look silly. This was supposed to be, or had the opportunity predominantly, to be a fill in for the fans of real world F1 and should have tried as hard as it could to make that happen. It is possible as we saw form the iracing event at Sebring.
The rules also opened it up for some buffoonery as we saw from Johnny Herberts corner cutting antics from way back in the pack to the front and the no-damage, track limits approach gives everyone from the competitors and the fans a sense that we were just watching a game rather than a proper competition which is in fact what we are all missing. I could just head to my den if I want to watch someone play a video game.
It’s not that F12019 is not capable of giving us a serious sporting race, the graphics are great and with damage and set ups available to be successful you have to drive with proper technique and approach. I often use the game to help me with our Parc Ferme track talks before the GPs, it’s a good tool.
Another disappointment was the commentary; to me it seemed a bit Wayne’s World rather than Wide World of Sports. There’s a reason there are professional commentators and with the world watching you would think F1 would have brought some of their pros to bring in a realistic feel and a production to the high standard that we are used to. I’m not knocking the guys that did it but I think they were a bit out of their league to what people would be expecting. Overall I think F1 did not take this very seriously but I hope that with some constructive criticism and with a bit more research on what is possible they can turn this around for the next one.
We may be in this place for a while and some effort would be greatly appreciated, so let’s try to put a little more sport in the Esport F1 series.