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Photos: Renault F1 races into Second Life

silicon.com takes on Heikki Kovalainen - and guess who wins?
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By Tim Ferguson, Contributor on
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1 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

silicon.com takes on Heikki Kovalainen - and guess who wins?

The ING Renault Formula One team has opened its very own island and race circuit (above) - in virtual world Second Life.

The island was launched at a virtual press conference - which took place at the Monaco Grand Prix and in London - with Renault racer Heikki Kovalainen and a team spokesman answering the questions.

Photo credit: Second Life/Linden Lab

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2 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The audience in Second Life listens to the interview - with the avatars of Kovalainen and the spokesman sitting on the stage.

The interview was played over the loudspeakers in London, with questions being put to Kovalainen and the spokesman via IM.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson

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3 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

silicon.com's Tim Ferguson watching the interview in Monaco and taking notes in Shoreditch.

The spokesman said the team's entry into Second Life is a "fantastic opportunity" to interact with its fans. "It's really part of our strategy," he said.

"The benefits are very much linked with fan interaction and being the first F1 team present," he added.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson

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4 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The avatars of journalists and others explore the ING Renault F1 island in Second Life.

The island took two months to develop from the initial concept. The spokesman said a return on investment for the project is a longer-term objective.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson

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5 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

silicon.com's avatar explores the Renault F1 garage on the island. The details mirror those of the real world set-up the team takes to every Grand Prix.

The island also has a race circuit.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson

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6 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

A Second Life kart race around the island's circuit rounded off the launch. Here, silicon.com's avatar warms up for the race while chatting to other competitors.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson

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7 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Kovalainen unsurprisingly took victory in the race.

After a spirited performance silicon.com came in second to last.

Photo credit: Second Life/Linden Lab

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