The 2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco continued with three more nail-biting races as drivers took on an iconic trio circuits, Silverstone, Monza and Spa, in Event 2, with Red Bull taking wins in the each of the three rounds. Jarno Opmeer and Lucas Blakeley continued their strong starts with more impressive displays, and lead the Drivers’ Championship with 101 and 87 points respectively. Meanwhile, in the Teams’ Championship, the picture reflects real life as Mercedes and Red Bull lead the way, both on 140 points, and are well placed to get the lion’s share of the $750,000 prize pot.
One of last year’s leading title contenders Frede Rasmussen, secured his first win of the season – a first for Red Bull this year – with a brilliant performance at Silverstone, where he also started on pole. Rasmussen had the lead for the majority of the race, but had to wrestle it back from Mercedes’ Dani Moreno, who took P1 with just a few laps remaining, before the Red Bull driver regained the position going into the final corners. Lucas Blakeley continued his brilliant start to the season for Aston Martin with another podium finish in P3, despite a timing error that suggested he had crossed the line in second place ahead of Moreno.
Wednesday’s action continued with another thrilling encounter at Monza, as Marcel Kiefer made it an even better day for Red Bull with his first win of the season, showing why he cannot be counted out of this year’s title race. Kiefer and Rasmussen looked set to deliver a valuable 1-2 finish, before Opmeer, who started on pole, jumped into P2 on the penultimate lap – and things got even worse for Rasmussen as he was spun by Ferrari’s David Tonizza going into the first corner of the final lap, and fell down the order. Blakeley secured another podium finish after benefitting from time penalties that were given to Moreno for leaving the track, who finished in P3, and Tonizza for his collision with Rasmussen.
Rasmussen made it three wins out of three for Red Bull in Event 2 with a dominant drive and a tyre strategy that worked to perfection for him as he was victorious in Spa. In very wet conditions, Rasmussen, Opmeer and Kiefer were among those that chose to start on intermediate tyres and hope that they would last to the end of the race, which they certainly did. It looked like a 1-2 was on the cards for Red Bull, with Kiefer sitting behind Rasmussen going into the final lap, before he was overtaken, first by Opmeer, who secured another big points haul in his title quest, and then Tonizza, with the two former world champions finishing P2 and P3 respectively.
Event 3 will see the drivers race for the first time ever on the Portimão circuit, before battling it out at Zandvoort and the Circuit of the Americas, in a trio of undoubtedly action-packed races on 24-25 November.
For all race results and standings, visit: www.f1esports.com
Drivers are continuing to race remotely from their homes or team facilities, as they did in the 2020 season, but the hugely popular competition continues to broadcast from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London. Following the same Event format as recent campaigns, teams battle it out on the official F1 2021 video game, developed by Codemasters, with the live shows are streamed online via official channels of Formula 1 on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on television via select international broadcast partners.
F1 Esports events have achieved over 40 million views across TV and digital, in the last 18 months, and this popularity led to a record number of people attempting to be a part of this year’s Pro Exhibition, with almost half a million taking part in qualification. Qualification for next year’s competition is now open through a challenge in the official F1 2021 video game, with the first event live until 31st October. If you would like to find out more information on how to take part in the F1 Esports Series and for more information on the Pro Championship presented by Aramco, visit www.f1esports.com.