Kurt Verlin
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Lando Norris Will Be Back for “Not the BAH GP” Substitute Race

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F1 2019 will be used to host "Not the BAH GP"
Photo: Codemasters

Last Sunday, Formula One driver Lando Norris was the most-watched streamer on Twitch, hitting over 70,000 viewers as he competed in the “Not the AUS GP” online race. The race was held as an unofficial substitute to the canceled 2020 Australian Grand Prix, and now Bahrain — also canceled — is next on the schedule.

“Not the BAH GP” will go live at 6 PM GMT on Sunday, March 22, and Lando Norris will once more be at the virtual wheel to give his fans a show. He’ll be joined by professional athletes from within and without Formula One, including soccer and golfing pros, as well as by seasoned F1 2019 gamers, sim racers and YouTube personalities.

This particular event is hosted by Veloce Esports, but meanwhile, The Race will also host its own Bahrain Grand Prix alternate event, just as it did for Australia. However, because that race uses the rFactor 2 simulation instead of the officially licensed Codemasters game, the race will not be held on the virtual Bahrain circuit but around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course instead. It will also have a $10,000 prize pot.

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With as many as seven of the season’s opening races suspended or canceled, it’s very unlikely that “Not the BAH GP” will be the last race of its kind. In fact, it’s probably a missed opportunity by the FIA or other organizers to not have tried to set something up in a more structured fashion, with incentives for more big names to join. If Lando Norris, an F1 rookie in 2019, was able to pull over 70,000 viewers, imagine what Lewis Hamilton could do.

Indeed, with sports events and competitions being canceled all around the globe, sports fans are experiencing something of a drought, to the point that even ESPN is now turning to alternative sports…like marble racing.

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