2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button is back in Formula One this weekend. To make matters even better, he reunites with McLaren to partner Lando Norris in the F1 Virtual Grand Prix series.
F1 began the series to mirror the actual F1 season, with races in Australia and Bahrain. Since the drivers are racing on F1 2019, Vietnam is not available to race on, so Australia has been substituted for it.
Button joins fellow former F1 drivers Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson on the grid this weekend. The race takes place at 8pm GMT, live on Sky Sports F1 and YouTube.
The 40-year-old is just one driver in a star-studded line-up including six 2020 F1 drivers. So, the veteran squares off against Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi.
On the non-F1 front, World Cup-winning England cricketer Ben Stokes joins the fun. Button recently told on Sky F1’s Vodcast about a new addition to his Los Angeles home, a simulator. From there, he became attracted to eSports, via iRacing and is now relishing the challenge of the F1 2019 game.
Is Jenson Button prepared?
“He joined a race the other night on iRacing and he was surprisingly quick!” said teammate Lando Norris. “For the limited amount of time that I’m sure he’s had on it, he was pretty good. So I’m sure come Sunday I hope he can be a key player. These different games are not easy to get used to.”
According to the younger Briton, driving an F1 car is not easy, as Button has to consider several factors. First and foremost, how Jenson Button drives, and the tyre model physics. There are many tips and tricks needed for different cars and tracks. Of course, Norris could not resist boasting and declaring that Jenson Button may find it difficult to keep up with him.
As mentioned before, the Esports series is mirroring the 2020 F1 season, in theory. Since the game does not have Vietnam, F1 improvised and picked Albert Park instead. Formula One is force to explore the eSports avenue because the coronavirus pandemic forced its hand.