Ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, McLaren Racing Formula 1 driver and noted gamer Lando Norris stopped by Fortress Melbourne. While he was there, he hopped in one of the bar’s Alienware racing sim rigs and set a hot lap in F1 2021 around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Here’s the thing: if you head in over the next couple of weeks, you can take a crack at beating Lando’s time: 1:24:510. This lap time is only slightly slower than the IRL Albert Park lap record of 1:24:125 set by Michael Schumacher in his F2004 Ferarri in 2004. Obviously, if you’re quick and well-practised on F1 2021, you’ll know that Lando’s time is surprisingly doable. This is because F1 2021, while a strong simulation, is still a video game and cannot fully replicate what it’s like to actually drive the circuit.
So what does that mean for you? Well, if you head into Fortress Melbourne before April 13th, you can take a crack at Lando Norris’ lap time. Jumping into the racing sim is free and if you top the leaderboard for the day, there’s McLaren merch and prizes to take home. The sim rigs are running on high-end Alienware Aurora R13 gaming desktops with Alienware 34″ Curved QD-OLED gaming monitors, exactly the setup that makes you realise how much having a sim rig at home would rule.
Norris will take to the circuit at Albert Park this weekend alongside partner driver, Australian Daniel Ricciardo. He became particularly popular among young fans when, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he began streaming sim races on Twitch. He also formed a YouTube channel called Quadrant with other UK-based sim racers and influencers.