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Lewis Hamilton: No Benefit To Sim Racing

The world-wide outbreak of Covid-19 has seen an absolute explosion of real racing driver participation in eSports events in the past two months.

Until this spring, it was usually young drivers like Lando Norris or Max Verstappen who grew up sim racing who embraced virtual racing but the lack of options to go out on track in real time saw racing drivers drivers from all ages and walks of life to embrace sim racing, even including the notoriously online-shy Sebastian Vettel.

One high profile name has been missing from the participant lists though: World Champion Lewis Hamilton. While brother Nicolas is a regular competitor in the F1 eSports series, Hamilton’s involvement in virtual racing has been limited to enjoying the Gran Turismo franchise, a game he’s also contributed lap times for players to beat to.

While many of his colleagues are looking to keep their race craft sharp in sims during this downtime, Hamilton thinks there’s little to nothing to gain from doing sim racing for him, according to a recent interview with the Mercedes Benz F1 Youtube channel:

“I never drive simulators – very, very rarely. With simulators, it’s very, very difficult, because the movement is never perfect. It’s something they constantly try to improve on. Obviously if you’re at home with a simulator the seat doesn’t move, and your mind is telling you that the car’s moving, but you’re not getting any cueing of movements.

You have to kind of override your mind and I don’t really like doing that, going through that process. Then you get in the real thing, and it’s completely different”

Due to these limiting factors, Hamilton considers virtual racing merely as something to enjoy with friends but nothing that would help him get an edge in the virtual world:

“I don’t find personally any benefit whatsoever doing the simulation thing, but the fun gaming side of things, when you get to play with friends and people online, that’s a plus.”

You can watch his full statement in the interview video below, his remarks on virtual racing start at around the nine-minute mark: