Williams Racing announced it will be joining Formula 1 esports along with eight other teams for the Esports Pro Series beginning later this year. With the announcement, Williams also signed drivers Javier Perez, Jani Vitsaniemi and Bernardo Perez.
Drivers for Williams eSports will have access to the team’s factory in Oxfordshire for training and events, as well as the chance to work in the team’s Formula 1 simulator with technical staff and drivers.
JIM Racing Founder Javier Guerra will be responsible for Williams’ team activities across sim racing. JIM Racing will continue as Williams JIM Racing Junior, which will provide another route for drivers to graduate to Williams eSports in the future.
“Esports has grown dramatically in recent years to become a huge global industry, so we’re eager to take on the challenge of growing sim racing’s place in the esports world,” said Guerra. “We’re looking forward to developing our roster of drivers, offering a select number the incredible chance to become part of the Williams family.”
Steven English, Head of Creative Services, added: “Gaming and motorsport have had strong links for many years. Now, eSports is an innovative part of the sport and entertainment landscape, so this is a natural evolution of our competitive spirit. We’re ambitious about developing opportunities for our fans and our partners in this new and exciting space for us.”
Williams and eight other F1 teams will select more drivers from the Pro Draft in July. There are two qualification chances left to enter the draft with Catalunya taking place this weekend and Monaco May 25.
Esports Insider says: Great news for Williams eSports as it enters the Formula 1 Pro Series ahead of season two. While teams will be scoping out potential drivers for the Pro Draft in July, Williams’ is already ahead of the game signing three top drivers. We’ll certainly be tuned in to see if the decision fared well for them!