Renowned F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has become the first professional driver to set foot in the eSports scene, with him launching his own team just as Abu Dhabi Grand Prix kicked off.
The two-time world champion, in partnership with Logitech and G2 is looking to expand into the gaming world with a newly formed team. The team, which will be called FA Racing G2 Logitech, will compete in a host of top-line series both in F1 and other online categories.
Alonso said he had been approached by Logitech and G2 a few months ago, and believed it was the right time to get involved with gaming as eSports racing was starting to take off.
“It is very exciting, and it is a completely new thing to discover,” he explained. “I think eSports in other formats has been very successful but in racing, it is at the very beginning, and huge potential will come. I am happy to be one of the first investing in this direction and I think good and fun times are coming – not only for us, but for gamers at home and for fans.”
While the main focus on FA Racing will be on professional championships, competing in F1, rFactor and other leagues, Alonso said that part of his team’s plan was to find ways that fans could interact with them too. When asked if he’s playing with his own team, Alonso said: “Not yet. But we have some ideas for our fans to have online competitions, monthly, that they can not only participate with our pro drivers but also with myself. I will definitely be slower – more the amateur level. We will have fun, that is the first thing, and we will develop a platform that is available for everyone in the world.”
F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches believes Alonso’s decision to run an eSports team would be a big boost to F1’s profile amid younger fans.
“F1 and Fernando are getting in at the early stages, notwithstanding that it has been around a couple of years.”