Sahara Force India Joins Formula 1's eSports Online Racing Series

The just-announced Hype Energy eForce India team will be run from the team’s Silverstone headquarters in the U.K.

Sahara Force India

The Sahara Force India Formula 1 team unveiled its plans to launch its official eSports F1 team, which will aim to bring the professionalism of real Formula 1 to the realm of simulator-like competitive online gaming. The announcement came after Liberty Media, F1's owner, also announced that its own official eSport series will include nine out of the ten current F1 teams in 2018, with Ferrari being the only outcast.

According to a statement released by the U.K.-based F1 team, the newly formed Hype Energy eForce India eSports team will be run from the team’s headquarters near Silverstone, and it will be supervised by the F1 team's own chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer. While the eSports team will join Formula 1's official online-based championship, it will also run its own development and competition program, much like Renault and McLaren have done in the past.

The push to create an online-based community of avid enthusiasts is yet another effort to appeal to a younger and broader audience, much like the majority of the changes that the pinnacle of motorsports is currently experiencing under its new ownership. The need for Formula 1 to reach young viewers that will eventually become lifelong loyal followers is real, and it's something that it shares with most global sporting and entertainment brands.

“It’s great to see Formula One embracing eSports and to be launching our very own eSports team. It's a new direction for the sport and will help us reach a new and younger audience," said Szafnauer. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our partner, Hype Energy, to increase its presence in eSports and we share big ambitions for success in the digital world.”

Force India's partner Hype Energy will boost the team's success rate in the world of competitive eSports, as the energy drink company has already been deeply involved through a long-term partnership with the Epsilon eSports team, who currently compete at the highest levels in Call of Duty and FIFA video games.