(Reuters) - Ferrari have added a second Italian to their Formula One esports lineup with Enzo Bonito joining reigning champion David Tonizza for the 2020 series racing virtual cars.
With the coronavirus forcing top sporting events to shut down around the world, some esports backers hope their events can gain a new following as the best place left to watch championship competition.
Bonito, from Reggio Emilia and some 30km down the road from Ferrari’s Maranello factory, raced for the McLaren Shadow team last year. The 25-year-old is a former winner of the iracing GT3 championship and 2019 virtual Race of Champions (eROC).
Tonizza won the F1 esports Pro series title last year in Ferrari’s first season.
The team is sponsored by Swiss watchmaker Hublot and run as part of the driver academy (FDA) whose real world drivers include Michael Schumacher’s son Mick.
“I expect them to both be in the fight for the drivers’ title, which will allow us to also challenge for the teams’ championship,” said FDA esports team boss Marca Matassa.
Red Bull won the team trophy last year.
A third Ferrari driver will be selected at a draft event to take place in London shortly.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Peter Graff