Formula 1 has moved quickly to embrace e-sports with its own Esports F1 series launching in 2017. It's been phenomenally successful with the F1 Esports series 2018 watched by millions, 4.4 million to be precise. F1 can definitely claim to be at the forefront of the e-racing wave.
The steering wheel on a modern F1 car is often compared to a PlayStation controller and, in recent years, we have seen computer racing game enthusiasts make the move to racing real cars. Now, the tide is turning and some racing drivers are switching to the excitement and lucrative prize money of top line racing games, like Esports F1. The Formula 1 teams, including Scuderia Toro Rosso, have all been enthusiastic participants, each selecting drivers for the finals, from an original pool of 66,000 players who fought it out in four qualifying rounds, driving a total of 1.1 million laps on F1 2017, the official game of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One.
F1 esports series 2018 drew a huge audience, with 100 million recorded social media impressions and 20 million online video views. Most importantly, 70% of the audience was aged under 34, which is exactly the target audience that the "real" Formula 1 is trying to attract. The F1 esports series 2018 was a great success for Formula 1 and it also turned out very well for us, as the Scuderia Toro Rosso team came second in the Constructors' Championship at the London finals. One of our three drivers, Frederik Rasmussen even came third in the Drivers' classification. We can't wait for the 2019 season to get underway, on track and in the virtual world.