Emphasis on simulator work in motor sport means more drivers will emerge from the gaming scene – if they can conquer problems over the lack of ‘fear of death’

When Lewis Hamilton looked to his future in Formula One in 2012 and decided to leave McLaren, the team with whom he had grown up and won his first world championship, it was roundly questioned at the time. After securing two further titles for Mercedes, the move was regarded as inspired but predicting what is round the corner in motor racing has never been easy and, with F1 having just begun the process of reinvention under its new owners, the future is very much on the agenda.

Many sports have faced new challenges and opportunities because of the extraordinary changes technological advances have wrought in the past two decades. But that is true of F1 perhaps more than most, having stuck with a long outdated model that has increasingly failed to engage with a younger audience. If F1 and motor racing in general are to survive, doing so is crucial and it seems it is at the crossroads between the virtual world and the real that it is most likely to happen.

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