It is in Limoges that the Alpine team has established its quarters for the F1 eSport world championship. In this case, it is the Race Clutch company, partner, which manages the team. We are in the middle of the world championship of this discipline. And a small handful of people, who had registered in advance on the internet, were able to meet the pilots and ask their questions. « We expected to accommodate only 40 to 50 people, but in four days, all the slots were already taken! » Richard Arnaud is still astonished.
A podium from Limoges
In front of the simulator, the queue is formed. Race Clutch had, in fact, put a simulator in front of the entrance to the room for those who wanted to practice. Max and Sara took the plunge, not without fear. « The steering wheel is hard, it’s astonishing » said Max at the end of the lap in the race. What salute the performance of the pilots who will then practice on the circuits of Portimao and Zandvoort. Each of the 30 pilots have the same elements (seat-PC-steering wheel), and some possibilities to modify some elements. The settings make all the difference. Driving on the F1 2021 video game therefore makes all the difference. In this game, Fabrizio Donoso, the Chilean Race Clutch-Alpine rider has won his bet: the podium in Portugal.
A satisfaction even if, because of eventful qualifying, the driver started last in the second race. He will eventually finish 16th. Two races in a row, that is to say around forty laps, it is not insignificant in the day of the pilot. « I am satisfied with my event because I managed to hold on well physically. These are long days, from 9 am until 10 pm-11pm. You also have to have this mental capacity to switch if you do a bad result on the first one. race « explains Fabrizio Donoso.
Bad luck on the other hand for the Hungarian Patrick Sipos, rookie of this year, who started in 4th position and who will finish 8th in the race. Nevertheless, he scores his first points. A source of pride for this new Limougeaud.
A real sport, a real business
The virtual pilots of this world championship have indeed all moved to Limoges. They live in a roommate in Panazol, in the Limoges agglomeration. They also undergo a real training with neurovisual exercises like the pilots of real single-seaters. “In fact, it’s a cut and paste of what happens in the real professional world,” explains Richard Arnaud. « We need to take this as seriously as possible to attract talent as well »
Because obviously, this virtual championship has become a real issue, including financial for all players. Hydro, the host of the evening and streamer since 2016 of Formula 1, explains it well: « In 2017, it was an independent competition. In 2018, the first real championship took place. It is developing, now the teams are supported by the real manufacturers. » A brand concern to attract young people, consumers of eSports. « It’s also a way to make the pilots shine » and therefore the stables underline the discerning observer of the world of motorsport.
Anyway, the « watch party » organized by Race Clutch worked very well. A second edition could be held. In the meantime, the pilots left to rest before the race this Thursday evening in the United States and the last round on December 16th.