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Formula 1 has launched a global esports competition based on the F1 Mobile Racing game.

The competition is open to anyone who downloads the free game which is played on mobile devices. It started yesterday and will take place over four months, with qualification competitions in September, October and November, leading to a final in December. The final will involve three, three-day rounds, and one winner will be awarded the F1 Mobile Racing Esports 2020 Champion trophy.

The competition will be based solely within the game – there will be no live events or broadcasts as there are with F1’s Esports Series, the esports competition based on the official F1 game for PCs and games consoles. The fourth season of the F1 Esports Series, which is sponsored by Saudi Arabian energy company Aramco, begins in October.

Julian Tan, head of digital business initiatives and esports at Formula 1, said, “Mobile esports is a booming industry as Gen Zs and Gen Alpha spend more time gaming and on their phones.

“We see huge potential to develop our product set and expertise in this area in our ongoing effort to reach out and build our younger fanbase, providing ever more touchpoints for them to engage with Formula 1.

“This is part of F1’s strategy to continue making the sport more accessible to our fans through gaming and esports, especially with F1 Mobile Racing developed by Codemasters being completely free to download and with participation being free and open to all.”

F1 said its Virtual Grand Prix series this year, run during the Covid-19 shutdown, attracted large numbers of viewers.

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