LONDON (Reuters) – The all-electric Formula E series trumpeted a breakthrough on Friday with the launch of a ‘Virtually Live Ghost Racing’ game enabling fans to compete against the drivers in real time on mobile devices.
The game, free to download on iOS and Android, will be operational from the eighth round of the season in Paris on Saturday.
“I promised that one day our fans will be able to race against their favourite drivers in real time, making them a part of the racing more than ever before,” said chief executive Alejandro Agag in a statement.
“And now this dream is a reality.”
Formula E, which is now in its fifth season, said the game was the first of its kind and would revolutionise “fan participation and in-play options compared to other sporting disciplines”.
It said the speed, positioning and movement of drivers on track was mirrored identically in the game using timing data and hyper-realistic scenery to provide an authentic racing experience.
“Gamers will no longer be racing against an algorithm or computer but live against the most competitive field in motorsport,” the statement added.
Fans can also personalise their cars with special tuning and set-up options.
The series has 11 teams and 22 drivers, with the 2018-19 season ending in New York in July.
The first seven races of the championship have been won by seven different teams and drivers. Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio is leading, one point clear of Portugal’s Antonio Felix da Costa.
Mercedes and Porsche are set to enter the sixth season in 2019-20, joining manufacturers like Nissan, Citroen, BMW, Jaguar, Audi and Mahindra.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)