It’s probably fair to say that of all the major esports events that have sprung up over the last couple of months, F1’s hasn’t been the best, for various reasons. Initially almost completely devoid of current F1 drivers, in recent races the numbers have crept up.
This weekend there will be eight, as Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon will make their debut, joining Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon.
The other virtual seats have been filled by a mixture of ex-F1 drivers, drivers from other series, content creators and big names from other sports, most notably cricket, golf, and football. But this weekend’s Monaco round features perhaps the most WTF name yet – Luis Fonsi.
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) May 21, 2020
He’s not quite the first singer to take part a Virtual GP as Liam Payne raced in the first event in Bahrain. And although it’s a shame that F1 hasn’t managed to get its actual drivers to race in the game, you can’t really criticise the approach of trying to bring in some new fans by giving seats to people with huge fanbases from other areas.
Luis Fonsi may be mainly known in the English-speaking world because of Despacito, but the guy has had a long, successful career in Hispanic countries. He also has close to 20 million followers across Twitter and Instagram – if just a tiny fraction of those tune into the Virtual GP and like what they see of the F1 world, then that can only be a good thing.