F1 Esports, the esports division of international car racing league Formula 1, has reportedly cancelled its second sim racing LAN event of the 2023 season.
The F1 sim racing event was meant to be held on December 15th and 16th. The event follows on from the 2023 World Championship Round 1 in November.
On December 13th, racing news outlet League Racing News (LRN) made a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) claiming that the upcoming F1 Esports event had been cancelled. Shortly after the initial post, the outlet later reported that some driver flights had been booked by teams and that the event cancellation was out of their control.
Moreover, F1 has reportedly made no plans to reschedule the event or continue holding F1 Esports races in the future, according to LRN. Esports Insider has reached out to F1 Esports regarding the reports. As of the time of this writing, F1 has yet to provide any comments to Esports Insider about the situation.
Since LRN’s posts, several individuals in the F1 sim racing community have spoken up about the state of the esports scene. German driver Marcel Kiefer stated on Twitter that participants did not know the reason for the cancellation and he has also criticised the lack of communication on this matter.
Furthermore, Head of Sim Racing at G2 Esports, Nathan Tague, responded to community questions via his X page. Tague claimed that F1’s poor communication and continuous changing of deadlines were responsible for the current state of the esport. However, he did add that tournament organiser ESL had done its best to finalise the event.
In one response he stated: “There are issues between the teams and [F1 management], but these aren’t down to the teams being difficult in any way. They’re down to the constant moving of goalposts, reneging on promises and lack of clear comms, accountability, and direction from [F1 management’s] side.”
Targue further shared that the North American Championship was not the first F1 Esports LAN event to be cancelled: “There were LAN events planned for last year that also got silently canned behind the scenes. It’s an issue that’s been apparent for a while now.”
The reported cancellation comes amidst a turbulent year for F1 Esports. Although the Oracle Red Bull Racing 2023 Launch Event in February 2023 was F1 Esports’ third most-watched event in the esports’ history with roughly 385,000 peak viewers, November’s 2023 World Championship opening round received notable criticism from the sim racing community.
Whilst the LAN event did take place at Dreamhack Winter in Jönköping, Sweden, the series also ran into complications when it came to delivering the event. The F1 Esports scene also underwent a massive shift from a tournament organisation perspective this year, with the series moving from Gfinity to ESL.