21.04.20 NL Blog

Training, fundraising and tricks of the sim racing trade…

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So, lockdown continues. But I’m finding lots of things to keep me occupied and I certainly haven’t had any moments of boredom yet.

Cardio, strength and neck training is my priority pretty much every day of the week. As I’ve said, I’m treating this like an extended pre-season, so I need to keep ticking all the boxes to make sure I’m at the correct level when we get back on track.

Aside from that, sim racing and Twitch streaming has been taking up lots of time.

The ‘Race for the World’ series that me and some of the other drivers organised raised more than $70,000 for the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Response Fund. That was amazing and exceeded all expectation of what we thought was possible.

The engagement from fans and the generosity of everyone that donated was really cool, so a big thanks to everyone that got involved.

Those three races were also decent training for last weekend’s Virtual Chinese GP in which I was racing for Williams. Unfortunately, that race was ruined for me after contact in the first corner but it was still a lot of fun battling up to P9.

I’ve also turned my hand to doing some streaming with F1 fans in the open lobbies on the F1 2019 game. It’s a new experience and a cool way to interact with people across the world.

And because these guys know you’re an F1 driver and you’re streaming live, you seem to get much cleaner races. I like that!

When people find out I’m doing an open lobby, it fills up in a matter of seconds. I’ve done two or three now and I try to start a new lobby every race so I get the chance to race against lots of different people.

It’s given me an insight into all the tricks the serious gamers use when they’re racing – and I know this because a few of them have kicked my butt recently…

For instance, some of the really quick eSports guys play with the ERS deployment and fuel mixture in every single corner – they change it before they brake and then again when they’re back on full throttle. Okay, it’s not what you do in real life, but it works if you want to be quick in eSports.

It’s impressive stuff and I’ve had some really, really good races in the last few weeks. I expect there will be more of the same in the coming days and I also plan to give iRacing another go now we have a small break from the F1 virtual races.

Continue to stay safe and well, everyone!

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