Transitioning from Sim Racing to F1 Sim Driver and then Real-World Motorsport

This week I once again bring you examples of drivers transitioning from sim racing to real world motorsport, but this time by way of an F1 team.

In addition to Sebastian Job’s transition from sim racer to sim driver for the Red Bull F1 team, I show the importance of sim racing to a Porsche Junior driver, how you can get the opportunity to parlay sim racing success to a season in karting, SRO Esports kicks off 2023 in style and how sim racing and Esports are crossing over to real motorsport sponsorship.

All this plus the latest competitive sim racing news, tech reviews and much more on this week’s edition of the Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

From Sim Racing to the Real Thing

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup
Sebastian Job

If you are wondering what a Formula 1 sim development driver does and how they fit into the structure of a modern F1 team, the Give Me Sport interview with Sebastian Job will fill you in. As a sim driver for Red Bull Racing, he explains how he assists the team in their race strategy and how important a sim driver is to the team.

The more interesting part is how Job is transitioning from sim racer to F1 sim driver and then on to real world racer. “Making the move from racing in Esports to being trusted enough to use the F1 sim and provide feedback that Verstappen and Perez will use over a Grand Prix weekend is already some jump for Job, and the natural progression would seem to be that he gets a real-life shot at racing at some level in the near future: “I’ve always wanted to do that and the stuff that I have learned in sim racing and in the F1 sim puts me in a much better position than I’ve ever been before. In my eyes, I don’t think there’s anyone in sim racing that is more prepared because of the work I’ve done – I’ve learned so much. I’ve spent nine years training my motor-skills to be able to adjust quickly, so I’ve spent nine years learning how to brake in different ways as I swap from game to game. I think because of what I’ve learned, I’m in a very good position if I were to get the opportunity, so that’s partly why I’m being quite proactive with it. And I think also, because obviously, your financial backing is the main thing you want to get sorted, it looks a lot better to an investor if I’m more likely to succeed which I’m definitely more likely now than I was before.””

Bastian Buus
Bastian Buus

In yet another example of a how sim racing is helpful to a career in real world motorsport, new Porsche Junior Bastian Buus explains how sim racing fits into his development as a driver. “I’ve also played motorsport video games on the computer since I was six,” adds Buus. “Sim racing teaches you instinct and sharpens your reflexes.” In the meantime, Buus has become so proficient in this field that he contests virtual races at a professional level for the Porsche Coanda Esports works team. In 2019, this talent also gave Buus one of the most decisive boosts in his career to date: When Allied Racing was searching for drivers for its Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport at a kart race with the help of a simulator, the then 16-year-old impressed by setting the fastest time of the day – and earned himself the cockpit.”

In addition to Job and Buus, former sim racers Cem Bolukbasi and Igor Fraga have both returned to a real world race car cockpit in Japan. Bolukbasi will be racing in Super Formula while Fraga will be racing in Super Formula Lights.

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

Traxion reveals that a new initiative has been launched by sim racer and reigning Praga Cup champion Jimmy Broadbent, in collaboration with his outfit Team87 and virtual racing platform, that will provide a season of karting for three worthy participants. The Team87 Sim to Real competition will take three talented sim racers and place them within a season of karting. To take part, you must be living in the United Kingdom, over the age of 18 and hold a driving license. Registration is now open.

Speaking of karting, EKN has posted a great chat with Bobby Krug of the Skip Barber Racing School who explains the transition that he made from sim racing to the real world karting. “When I learned about the program that Gateway Kartplex has with their iDrive Rental Kart Series and their scholarship program to earn your way into the Ignite program, it was an easy decision to make the transition from sim racer to kart racer. Both iDrive and Ignite were extremely affordable and very competitive. For what some people are spending on sim racing setups, you can kart race with the same budget. In iDrive, the Kartplex crew prepares all the Sodi rental karts to an equal setup and allows driver talent to shine through, which is the same with Ignite. The difference in that you must maintain your own kart, which was very easy once you learned it.”

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

When Gulf Oil International was announced as a partner of the Williams Grand Prix team, one of the topics that came up quite a bit was the fact that the Gulf logo was not as prominent on the car as many had hoped. The thing that caught my interest though was how prominently Gulf views sim racing and Esports as part of their sponsorship strategy in F1. In an Autosport article on how the Gulf deal has boosted Williams’s F1 commercial strategy, Gulf Oil International CEO Mike Jones explains how Esports fits into their commercial strategy. “It’s very attractive for us as well to have sponsorship across the Academy and Esports. Gulf is known as the iconic brand. Iconic is sometimes misinterpreted as old, and Esports was very attractive to us, because it brings Gulf into the younger generation. And finally the culture here is very much one of passion, very much one of teamwork. We really liked what we saw, and we felt it was a good fit.”

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

Somewhat related to the Gulf story above, when the Frikadelli Racing Team announced the new driver lineup for their Nürburgring 24 effort, they also debuted their 2023 liver. Have a look at the sponsor on the forward windshield above. The lines between sim racing and real world racing are blurring…

Competitive Sim Racing News

2023 SRO Esports

The calendars for the 2023 SRO Esports have been published and registration is now open with an €88,000+ prize pool on the line. The four online championships, distinct from the on-site SRO Esports Sim Pro Series, will once again represent Europe, America and Asia regions, with the fourth, the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) Esports series, allowing teams of at least three drivers to take part in endurance events.

Here are more headlines from the world of competitive sim racing:

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

Sim Racing Tips & Techniques

Transitioning from Sim Racing to F1 Sim Driver and then Real-World Motorsport

The above video by Kevin Magnussen on learning a new track is just one of six that are available on the Asetek SimSports YouTube channel. He covers everything from using visualizations to where to look when racing. It is worth the time to watch them all. You can see the complete playlist here.

Sim Racing Tech Roundup

Here is a roundup of the latest sim racing tech news and reviews from around the world.

Building The Perfect Beginner Sim Racing Setup

General Sim Racing News

Transitioning from Sim Racing to F1 Sim Driver and then Real-World Motorsport

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.