Have you ever wondered who the best driver in the world is?
In a world populated by six billion or more homo sapiens, can we be certain there isn’t someone living in Uganda, Papua New Guinea or even Somerset who couldn’t obliterate Lewis Hamilton’s Barcelona 2016 pole position lap time if placed in different circumstances?
Formula 1, while saturated with immense talent, has long been a collection of the best people that have access to the means required to rise that level. The criteria from which potential talent is plucked has reduced as more areas of the sport have industrialised, with teams whose profit centres require budgets to feed them.
It’s become far less accessible to the layman.
But what if it was possible to converge the viewing and the participating into something that translates into a meaningful competition?
Sony has been asking that question for several years now through its innovative Driver Academy which, in partnership with Nissan, has produced several successful racing drivers who began their careers playing the Gran Turismo racing game on their PlayStations.
Now through the latest Gran Turismo Sport game – the first version on the PS4 console from game maker Polyphony – the FIA has got involved.
The world’s governing body is beginning to understand the power of gaming and the message it generates in the minds of those not yet old enough to drive, or those who can only dream of racing single-seaters or supercars at the moment.