The latest edition of the Formula 1 Esports Series has been launched with its 4th Season starting this week onwards, which this summary for you to keep you up to date. It is an annual Championship held (this year) from October to December and features 12 races (called rounds). The Series Preview published on the official F1 Esports website explains the format in detail. The Pro Draft was held on 14th October 2020, in which some saw big-name transfers as well as the emergence of lesser-known drivers thrown in the mix.
The teams are the same 10 teams that compete in the real-life F1 Championship. Their eSports divisions will certainly hope to replicate their teams’ on-track successes in the game. Each team is allowed to sign 3 drivers for their line-up, and we saw some pretty strong names retained by their teams from the 2019 season. David Tonizza, the winner of the 2019 Driver’s Championship, will once again represent Ferrari, known as FDA Hublot, in the competition (FDA standing for Ferrari Driver Academy). Frederik Rasmussen also continues with Redbull Racing, last year’s Constructor’s Champions. Lastly, hot prospect Jarno Opmeer races for Alfa Romeo this season. These are top 3 title contenders this season, and things surely point this way after 3 rounds.
Round 1 – Bahrain GP
The first race took place in Bahrain. Renault aced the qualifying, thanks to Nicolas Longuet but Alfa Romeo dominated the race proceedings. Longuet grabbed the pole position at Bahrain, but a poor opening lap and the sheer pace of his adjacent drivers saw him fall back the order. He still managed to secure a top 5 finish in what was just his second official career race. Alfa Romeo pair Opmeer and Dani Bereznay took matters into their own hands right from the 5 red lights and proceeded to show a stellar strategy, ultimately finishing in P1 and P2, respectively. Title favourite Tonizza suffered severe front wing damage early in the race and hence finished last. The last place on the podium was secured by Marcel Kiefer of Redbull Racing.
Round 2 – Vietnam GP
The second race took us to the Hanoi Street Circuit. Renault’s Longuet once again took centre stage, qualifying on pole. It was here that we finally saw Tonizza bounce back from Bahrain, qualifying second. Qualifying certainly looked more competitive than Bahrain and left the race wide open. Bereznay had a race to forget whereas previous race winner Opmeer had to make do with a podium place. The battle of the round was between P1 and P2. Tonizza and Longuet had a very long duel right from the start, and ultimately, the strategy calls made the difference as Tonizza won the race on the last lap by a few tenths of a second. While FDA Hublot might have taken this win, the real winner was Longuet, who has started his official eSports career with a bang. He will definitely be the driver to watch out for this season.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 14, 2020
Round 3 – Shanghai!
The Chinese GP has always been a source of delight or frustration for drivers, and the same holds true in-game. Opmeer had collected 40 points from 2 races before Shanghai and was the favourite to perform at this track. Alfa Romeo dominated China. Opmeer qualified on pole, just a few thousandths of a second ahead of his teammate Bereznay. His alternate pitstop strategy saw him drop down to 6th after a few laps on his mediums. But once he switched to the speedy soft tires, there was just no stopping him. Opmeer ended up winning the race, with his teammate finishing P3. Redbull driver Kiefer split the two Alfas and scored his 2nd podium of the season in 3 races. Both Ferrari drivers suffered from early disconnections. Their cars, driven by the AI, finished in P19 and P20, and Ferrari will surely look to bounce back strong from this race.
At the end of the 3rd Round, this is how the Drivers Standings look like:
As for the Constructors’ Table, Alfa Romeo is running away in P1 and will be the first team to cross triple-digit points from the looks of it.
And that concludes the current season’s overview. Stay tuned as we head to the Netherlands on the fresh new track of Circuit Zandvoort! The event will be held on November 4th, so make sure you tune in for the live broadcast of F1’s official YouTube channel or Twitch handle.