Back on Track with F1 Esports!
Racing Point Esports took to the virtual track in various Esports races
With sporting events across the globe halted due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the motorsport community came together last weekend through Esports, with various competitions taking place.
We were no exception, with some household names behind the virtual wheel of the RP19 and BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team driver Lucas Blakeley taking on some of the world’s elite sim racers in an all-star battle!
The Race’s All-Star Esports Battle
After finishing P4 in The Race’s first ever ‘All-Star Esports Battle’ on rFactor 2, our 2019 F1 Esports draft pick Lucas Blakeley was granted an invitation to enter the following round – the 18-year-old taking on fellow competitors from F1 Esports and various other sim competitions on Saturday.
Piloting the Taatus PM-18, Lucas qualified in P12 for the race, with the top five earning a spot in the grand finale. After an intense start to the 10-lap race, Lucas quickly found his way up the field, climbing up P7 place – making up five places on the opening lap alone!
By the half-way stage, the young Scot found himself engaged in a close squabble with fellow F1 Esports driver, Bono Huis, managing to overtake the Dutchman for P6 and only needing one more position to earn a spot in the final once again.
Despite putting in a battling performance right to the flag, Lucas couldn’t quite break into the top five, finishing P7 as Huis made his way back past. Despite missing out the Grand Finale, it was a solid drive from our 2019 draft pick.
Rudy Van Buren – winner of McLaren’s ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ campaign – went on to win the overall competition.
F1’s Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix
Sunday evening saw Formula 1 take to the virtual track for the inaugural Virtual Grand Prix, with F1 drivers, celebrities, and streamers forming an exciting driver-line up for some action on the official F1 2019 game.
Representing BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team were YouTube star, Esports commentator and Twitch streamer, Jimmy Broadbent, with former Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg joining him behind the virtual wheel of the other RP19.
Qualifying saw Nico use all of his experience to qualify P5 overall around the Bahrain International Circuit, while technical issues forced Broadbent to start the race from the back of the grid having not set a time – alongside Lando Norris, who suffered a similar fate.
The start of the race saw instant carnage, with Nico involved in an incident in the run towards Turn 1, resulting in damage to his car. Jimmy, meanwhile, avoided the drama and quickly made his way up to P11.
Nico recovered in the latter stages of the race and was in the mix for the final points paying positions, squabbling with the likes of Esteban Gutierrez and Dino Beganovic to eventually crossed the line in P11.
Jimmy, meanwhile, had worked his way brilliantly up to P4 in the latter stages, with a hard-charging Norris closing in fast behind him. The pair fought wheel-to-wheel on the final lap, before a last-corner collision which saw both off the track!
Jimmy came off the better of the two, standing firm to take a well-deserved place just outside of the podium positions with a strong recovery drive – but it certainly didn’t come without a fight!
With an exciting weekend of Esports coming to a close, out appetites have been well and truly whetted for more events in the future. F1’s next Virtual Grand Prix will take place around Australia on the 5th April 2020, with dates for the official 2020 F1 Esports series to be confirmed.
Watch this space...