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F1's Fernando Alonso launches Esports racing team

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ABU DHABI -- Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has launched his own esports racing team.

Alonso hopes his team -- FA Racing -- will contest a number of racing series online. The Spaniard's F1 outfit, McLaren, this week confirmed the signing of Rudy van Buren, the winner of a competition it created looking for the "world's fastest gamer", to the role of official simulator driver for the 2018 season.

Alonso, who won F1 titles in 2005 and 2006, says his team is open to anyone who has the talent to perform.

"I am really excited," he said during the announcement at Yas Island's F1 circuit. "A couple of months ago I had this proposal from one of our partners, and I thought it was a nice idea to create and link these two sports. The fans will no longer be spectators. The fans will no longer just be spectators.

"The fans will be a key role in my world and they will drive for my team maybe one day. I think we all have a gamer inside us, and competition is no different. I am extremely happy and there are unlimited possibilities in our team. An elite team, professional team, racing in the best races in the world - especially here in the F1 championship, but not only here - in Rfactor, the world's fastest gamer from McLaren, in the E-simulators, and that is something we will explore with time."

He shared a video to accompany his announcement.

When asked how close current racing simulators were getting to the real thing, Alonso said: "Definitely it is getting closer and closer. The technology has changed massively in the last five or six years, I think no one knows what the future will bring, in a couple of years' time. It is true that in F1 or motor racing there are very limited seats, we race every two weeks, but at home and gaming, there are unlimited possibilities that is something we want to explore."