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McLaren claims F1 first with esports initiative

McLaren has launched a new esports competition that will give gamers the chance to serve as an official simulator driver for the Formula One motor-racing team.

McLaren has teamed up with partner Logitech G, a developer of gaming equipment, to launch World’s Fastest Gamer. The competition is said to be the first of its kind in F1.

The competition will pit gamers from around the world against one another, with the winner to be offered a one-year contract to work as a simulator driver for McLaren.

The individual will then work with engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre and at circuits to develop the cars operated by the team’s real-life drivers.

Darren Cox, founder of the GT Academy motorsport television programme, will work on the venture, while sports media platform GiveMeSport and motorsport accessories company Sparco have also backed the initiative.

The competition will have its own channel on video sharing platform YouTube and will be promoted across McLaren’s social media channels.

A group of experts will select six international finalists to compete in World’s Fastest Gamer, with a further four finalists to be selected from online qualifying events to be held this summer.

The grand finale will be held in the autumn at the McLaren Technology Centre, with drivers to do battle across a range of gaming titles. McLaren said hopefuls must also demonstrate their engineering capabilities and an ability to work in a team to stand a chance of winning.

McLaren Technology Group executive director Zak Brown said: “World’s Fastest Gamer really aims to democratise the process of finding the best virtual racer out there. The contest isn’t limited to one platform or one game; we’re very keen not to restrict access or entry for people, but rather welcome the worldwide gaming community, whether that’s on mobile or on high-end simulator platforms.

“And the winner will genuinely be a key part of our team at McLaren. This is for real: we absolutely require additional support across our two simulator platforms, so the competition and the selection process will be rigorous, ruthless and compelling to watch.”