The drivers might not be in Shanghai, but the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix is still a go for 2020. The race is going online, with some of F1’s brightest stars joining in on the action. Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s race.
12 months ago, fans lined the Shanghai International Circuit to cheer on Lewis Hamilton as he secured yet another Grand Prix win. However, 2020’s rendition of the Chinese Grand Prix will be eerily different.
No fans, no trophies to lift, and no champagne to spray at the finish line — if you don’t bring your own, that is. The Chinese Grand Prix is going online, like a number of Formula 1 events have since drivers were taken off the track indefinitely.
Some of Formula 1’s biggest names will race alongside other talent from F2 and other divisions, and a host of sporting stars and celebrities, around the virtual Shanghai International Circuit this weekend.
If you want to chase the action, we’ve got everything you need to know.
When is the Chinese F1 Grand Prix 2020?
The flag will drop for the virtual Chinese F1 Grand Prix on April 19 at 12pm PT. If you aren’t located on the west coast of America, we’ve got local times below.
- ET: 3pm April 19
- GMT: 8pm April 19
- AEST: 6am April 20
Another race to cheer on your #FDA drivers ?
— FerrariDriverAcademy (@insideFDA) April 14, 2020
F1 confirm Real Madrid star for Virtual Chinese GP
On April 16, Formula One confirmed a number of stars participating in the Virtual Chinese Grand Prix. Six F1 drivers are featured, most notably Charles Leclerc, who won the previous virtual Grand Prix.
Other names from real-life F1 George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi, all of whom will try to dethrone Leclerc.
“Alongside a star-studded grid of Formula 1 drivers,” the F1 announcement said. “Real Madrid and Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will make his Virtual Grand Prix debut for Red Bull, with a host of other exciting names set to be announced over the coming days.”
The goalkeeping star is arguably the biggest name to debut in the Virtual GPs thus far. Past instalments have seen ex-One Direction’s Liam Payne and star cricketer Ben Stokes feature, but Courtois might top them all.
Virtual Chinese F1 Grand Prix streams
No matter who races, the event will be streamed live through the Formula 1 website, Twitch channel, and YouTube.
For your convenience, we’ve embedded the Twitch stream below. The YouTube stream will be available at a later time.
Some of the individual racers have also streamed their perspectives in the past. If you want to get in the driver’s seat with Leclerc or Norris, the opportunity might be there if they go live on race day.