Recent eSports events like the ‘Road to Vegas’ focus on a merger of sim racing athletes and actual racing drivers competing on a single platform, providing a place for both to compete that doesn’t require either party to have years of training in the other discipline. However, a cross-dimensional approach could happen as soon as two years time according to Formula 1’s Chief Technical Officer, John Morrison.
As per a report from Formula 1 Journalist James Allen, the majority of tech necessary for this to happen seems to be in place, citing 2016’s Virtual Grand Prix channel as proof of this. This creates a fully virtual version of the race through the use of data which feeds into the system.
The main hurdle currently is the accuracy of the GPS needed to allow sim racers and Formula 1 drivers to go head-to-head. The systems of today can be on-point to a distance of 100–200mm but if a worthwhile venture into gaming-enhanced racing were to be a possibility, that number would have to be brought down to a minuscule 10mm.
The primary reason behind this for Morrison, is so that cars can react in-game as they would in the real world should there be collisions. Even in dedicated racing sims, collisions have always been an issue. To date, most titles bounce between cars acting like magnets or simply thudding against each other with no notable disadvantage to doing so unless you’re careening into a wall at a high-speed.
This isn’t a venture F1 management want to rush into, if they aim to achieve ‘cross-racing’ it’s imperative the playing field is even between sim racers and the drivers.
You can read the full report here where Morrison also comments on possible future implementations of VR and discusses the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize (F1CP) with comments made back in October. As development continues, it could provide fantastic exposure for sim racing eSports whilst also bringing it to the mainstream.