Virtual racing is more of a "diversion" than a viable alternative to real motor racing and Formula 1, according to McLaren driver Carlos Sainz.
Ever since Melbourne was cancelled due to coronavirus, a series of online races based on simulator games including F1 2019, iracing and rfactor have been attracting widespread attention.
Indycar and Nascar are now organising official series, and Formula 1's latest event will be on the virtual Shanghai circuit this weekend featuring Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and other active drivers.
"It's true that games like Gran Turismo Sport or iracing are really spectacular in terms of graphics, circuit layouts, car settings etc," said Sainz.
"Still, when you get into an F1 car and drive to the limit, you need a certain physical condition and skills and you never have these by sitting at home.
"I think it is very unlikely that you would get to F1 only through the simulator. Right now I use it more as a diversion than anything else. It helps me to keep the competitive spark going," he added.