IWC Schaffhausen joins forces with its partners, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team, to organize a virtual racing challenge. The “iRacing Esports Sim Challenge” will see two teams racing virtually at the Silverstone racetrack. One team will be led by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ driver George Russell, the other by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team driver and two-time F1™ Esports Pro Series Drivers’ Champion Jarno Opmeer. Gaming enthusiasts from all over the UK can register for the event and will have the unique chance to be selected to race for one of the teams.


In 2013, IWC Schaffhausen became the Official Engineering Partner of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM Team. In February 2022, both brands announced a multi-year extension of their partnership. For the first time, the collaboration also extends off-track, as IWC became an official sponsor of the Mercedes- AMG PETRONAS Esports Team. Now, the three partners collaborate to organize their first joint virtual racing event.


The “iRacing Esports Sim Challenge” will be disputed virtually on the Silverstone racetrack. Ahead of the challenge, George Russell and Jarno Opmeer call for potential teammates to join their teams. F1TM and Esports fans from the UK can register and have the unique chance to secure a slot on one of the teams. The final participants will qualify based on their fastest time during a “fastest lap challenge”. The final “iRacing Esports Sim Challenge” will take place on 17th November at the new IWC boutique at the Battersea power station in London and will be broadcasted globally on the live-streaming platform Twitch.

To mark the official launch, George Russell and Jarno Opmeer got behind the wheel of the team’s Esportsrigs at its headquarters in Brackley to test their driving skills on the iconic Silverstone racetrack.

George Russell explained: “Marginal gains in a race are everything. Suppose you can gain 50 milliseconds at every corner, equating to a whole second in a lap. So, if you think you are way back or off pace, break it down corner by corner, and psychologically, it makes things slightly easier. Whilst I won’t be able to make it to the challenge in person as I’ll be in Abu Dhabi ahead of the race weekend, I can’t wait to cheer on my team from the sidelines.”

Jarno Opmeer mentioned the importance of maintaining focus: “Staying focused for the full duration of the race is very hard; think about your strategy and your time over your competitors. I always try to focus on the task at hand and not the pressure. Then, if you make mistakes, it’s a chance to recognise what went wrong and not do it again.”



Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM Team is the works team of Mercedes-Benz, competing at the pinnacle of motorsport – the FIA Formula OneTM World Championship. Formula OneTM is like nothing else in the sporting sphere. It’s a demanding technical and human challenge, combining cutting-edge technologies and innovation, high-performance management and elite teamwork. At Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM Team, a group of passionate and determined people work to design, develop, manufacture and race the cars driven by seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton and young star George Russell. The team has set a new benchmark for F1TM success during the sport’s current Hybrid era, winning consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and the Constructors’ Championship in 2021. During those title-winning seasons, the team has scored 111 wins, 232 podium finishes, 118 pole positions, 81 fastest laps and 53 one-two finishes from 160 race starts.


The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team is the esports team of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1TM Team. Based on the premises of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM Team, Brackley, a purpose-built esports training center provides the team’s gamers with world class facilities and state-of-the-art equipment from our Esports partners, to develop their skills, train, and compete.