This year’s F1 Esports competition starts in just under two weeks, but if you want to find yourself in the hot seat next year the process begins right now.
The F1 Esports Challenger Series for the 2021 competition starts today, with a special event that lasts through the month of October. It’s available in the F1 2020 game, on any platform — PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One — in a special section of the home screen. Simply head into the F1 Esports tab to find the qualifying event, and another next month.
October’s event takes the form of a special challenge. You’ll be taking part in the 2019 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, driving the #77 car of Finland’s Mercedes-AMG driver Valtteri Bottas. The challenge itself is pretty simple: reach at least second place (ouch) by the time the race finishes.
You’ll gain points for your race depending on not only your finishing time, but the difficulty of the challenge itself. Wind the AI up to full Verstappen or drop off the driving aids — or both — and you’ll gain more points, ranking higher on the leaderboard as a result. There’s no limitation on the number of attempts you make, so you can keep on improving your score throughout the entry period.
The highest ranked drivers from the two challenges — November’s is yet to be announced — on each platform will then qualify for the Challenger Series. This is a series of online races among the best drivers, with categories for PC, PS4, and XB1 players, to determine qualifiers for the 2021 Pro Draft.
In addition for the 2021 series, there’ll be a route to qualify via Weekly Events. Codemasters will invite players who win a Weekly Event to an exclusive Time Trial, with qualification spots for the 2021 Pro Draft on offer.
All players who participate in the F1 Esports challenges will get access to special in-game items — gloves, helmet, livery, and special trophies for your profile — as an added bonus. The first qualifying event is underway right now and will continue through to October 31. Handily, for PlayStation users, F1 2020 is discounted in the PS Store as part of the Games of a Generation promotion.