London, 22nd September 2022: IWC Schaffhausen joins forces with its partners, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team, to organise 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 One™ 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 organise 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. F1™ 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.”

Detailed information about the registration process can be found here*: 

*Terms and conditions apply.


Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team is the works team of Mercedes-Benz, competing at the pinnacle of motorsport - the FIA Formula One™ World Championship. Formula One™ 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 One™ 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 F1™ 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 1™ Team. Based on the premises of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, Brackley, a purpose-built esports training centre 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.


IWC Schaffhausen is a leading Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Schaffhausen in the north-eastern part of Switzerland. With collections like the Portugieser and the Pilot’s Watches, the brand covers the whole spectrum from elegant to sports watches. Founded in 1868 by the American watchmaker and engineer Florentine Ariosto Jones, IWC is known for its unique engineering approach to watchmaking, combining the best of human craftsmanship and creativity with cutting-edge technology and processes. 

Over its more than 150-year history, IWC has earned a reputation for creating professional instrument watches and functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as coloured ceramics, Ceratanium®, and titanium aluminide. 

A leader in sustainable luxury watchmaking, IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment. Along the pillars of transparency, circularity, and responsibility, the brand crafts timepieces built to last for generations and continuously improves every element of how it manufactures, distributes, and services its products in the most responsible way. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.