Rossi not interested in iRacing when real racing returns
While the outbreak of COVID-19 has been a devastating blow to the world we live in, there are some things that we will be able to takeaway from this experience once we see the other side of it, even though that point cannot come soon enough.
One of such things will be the rise of esports, which we now know can be used to whet the appetite of motorsport fans whenever they are devoid of racing, such as in the off-season, or mid-season breaks.
Having now had this experience, organizing a race like the American Red Cross virtual Grand Prix will be easier in the future, and this may make it appealing to a series like IndyCar as they do their best to keep fans entertained in the non-racing months of the year
And, considering this, Andretti's Alexander Rossi has voiced support for the use of virtual racing as a tool in the long-term. "I'm not going to speak to that, but I think you bring up a good point," started Rossi. "I think right now we have a really cool opportunity where there's not a lot of sports on television, so people are obviously stuck at home, they don't have a lot of choices as to what they're going to do."
"People that may have not necessarily known about or cared about motorsports before or watched an INDYCAR race before would tune in because at the end of the day they don't really have much else to watch and they could fall in love with the sport. What we could see is a big increase especially in a younger audience who are already pretty big into watching people on Twitch and virtual gaming and paying attention to that."
"I think if we do this right and we're able to put on a good show for the next couple of months, we can really grow and introduce ourselves to a new fan base, a different fan base. I don't know the technology is necessarily there to have something go on with kind of, like, augmented reality or anything. I think in terms of fan engagement, the potential for new people and new eyeballs, it's pretty high.
"I think that's the most exciting part of all of this," said Rossi, even though he said that he has no personal interest in competing in such an event. "As long as racing returns to normal, I don't think I'll be doing this again."
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]