Valtteri Bottas has given an indication that he could became the latest Formula 1 driver to take up sim racing amid the suspension to real-world motorsport caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A number of F1 drivers including the likes of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris have been keeping themselves busy with the 2020 F1 season temporarily on hold by taking part in a number of online sim races.
Sebastian Vettel made his Esports debut on Saturday in a Legends Trophy race that also featured retired F1 world champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Jenson Button, with the four-time world champion finishing 15th and 12th in the two races he contested.
And now Bottas looks set to join in on the action after taking delivery of a sim racing rig for his home in Finland last week. Bottas, who has also been involved in a number of virtual cycling events with Mercedes sponsor Ineos, teased that his fans could be seeing him racing online in the near-future.
“I did my first e-ride with Team Ineos, on an indoor trianer, which was pretty cool,” the Finn said. “I will do a lot more of those no doubt, I enjoy it.
“But I actually got my home simulator to get some virtual racing stuff. The team helped me to get a nice set-up, so I think you might be seeing me in some online racing at some point maybe.”
Bottas said he has been focusing on using the hiatus from F1 to maximise his fitness and remain sharp for when racing finally does resume.
“The situation in Finland is pretty good in a way because you can do stuff outdoors, so I’ve not only been training inside,” he explained.
“I’ve been able to mountain biking, road-cycling. Obviously you need to still keep your distance but it’s all fine. You can enjoy the nature.
“Actually I’ve been able to get quite a bit of real driving in, in terms of go-karting and rallying. It’s a good place to be and a good place to keep your driving skills sharp.
“I’ve really been trying to make the most out of the situation for myself and for my performance, trying to work out the right things to do to be at the best possible performance when it all starts.”
F1’s official Virtual Grand Prix series continues tonight with the Dutch Virtual Grand Prix at 1800 BST. Find out how to watch the event here.