Double Points in Spain for BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team!
Esports Pros take first double points finish in another Esports-filled weekend
BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team were back on the virtual track for another weekend filled with Esports activities at the end of last week.
Both of our Esports Pro Drivers were in action across the weekend, partnering up with a familiar pairing who both were looking to impress in the Virtual Grand Prix on Sunday evening.
The Race All-Star Series – Round 2
Race 1 Grid: P8
Race 1 Result: P30
Race 2 Grid: P24
Race 2 Result: P28
Race 1 Grid: P25
Race 1 Result: P26
Race 2 Grid: P08
Race 2 Result: P10
The weekend began on Saturday with BWT Racing Point F1 Esports drivers Lucas Blakeley and Daniele Haddad returning for The Race’s All-Star Series in the rFactor 2 Sim Cup.
The second round took place around the Circuito Estoril – former home of the Portuguese Grand Prix. Both Lucas and Daniele looked to hit the ground running against a grid filled with 30+ Esports Pro racers and racing drivers.
Qualifying was a tale of two halves. Daniele gave his all around the Portuguese circuit but could only claim P25, with his sole qualifying run coming amongst multiple groups of tough opposition. Lucas, meanwhile, managed to find plenty of lap time around the 4.1 km circuit to put himself P8 for Race 1.
With collisions and carnage expected in the opening lap, there was plenty to play for in the run towards Turn 1. Both Lucas and Daniele were able to escape the opening lap frenzy cleanly, with Lucas holding on to P8 and battling with ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ winner, Rudy van Buren.
But it wasn’t to last. At the beginning of Lap 2, the rear of Lucas’ car escaped him exiting the opening turn and the Scotsman spun out of P8. He was able to resume racing but dropped down to P25 as a result, losing further places as damage to his car cost him performance.
Daniele continued on, hoping to clinch valuable points for Team Silverstone, but the Italian faced tough competition with the likes of Joonas Raivio, Mike Epps and Nuno Pinto – the race eventually concluding with Daniele in P26 and Lucas P30.
For Race 2, with the grid now reversed from the previous qualifying result, there was hope for Daniele as he lined up P8, whileLucas had plenty of work to do from P24.
The opening lap saw Daniele and Lucas lose a place apiece at the start to sit P9 and P25, but the pair remained well and truly in touch with the competition.
As they passed the halfway stage, both drivers remained in their respective positions, with Daniele holding on to P8 despite mounting pressure from Kamil Pawlowski behind.
Lucas’ challenge ended abruptly when he dropped multiple places as the race drew near its conclusion. Daniele eventually lost out to Pawlowski in the closing stages and immediately became embroiled in a battle with David Greco for P9.
The Italian fought valiantly but couldn’t hold him back for long – the race eventually concluding with Daniele crossing the line in P10 and Lucas P28.
After a challenging day around the menacing Portuguese circuit, both Lucas and Daniele will hope to bounce back in the next round on 18 May.
F1 Esports Pro Exhibition Race – Spain
The F1 Esports stars took to the track once more on Sunday for the Pro Exhibition race, taking place around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the official F1 2019 game by Codemasters.
Qualifying saw both drivers on the pace in the RP19, with the pair setting quick lap times around the Spanish circuit.
Repeating their strong qualifying efforts from Brazil, Daniele and Lucas were able to secure solid grid positions for the race, with the former setting the sixth best time and the latter eighth fastest– sitting directly behind his team-mate for the start.
The start of the race was clean, with both drivers remaining in contention at the front – Daniele holding on to P6 and Lucas passing Alpha Tauri’s Joni Tormala for P7 on the opening lap.
The difficult nature of overtaking in Barcelona meant the pit stops would be vital in a bid to gain track position. Daniele was the first of the front runners to jump into the pits at the end of Lap 4, switching to the mediums tyre compound and emerging in P19.
Lucas, meanwhile, stayed out – opting for a marginally longer opening stint on the soft tyre before pitting a lap later, coming out in P16 ahead of Brendon Leigh and teammate Daniele.
As the rest of the field eventually made their stops, both Lucas and Daniele’s positions steadily improved to see them sit inP6 and P8 respectively as the race neared its conclusion. Lucas gradually started to close down on P5 and a collection of three cars fighting for the last podium spot.
On the final lap, Lucas made his move on Williams’ Alvaro Carreton – going side-by-side into Turn 7. But the Scotsman couldn’t execute the move and was left defending against Leigh for P6, eventually winning the battle against the double-F1 Esports champion to take home P6, with Daniele not far behind in P8.
The result marked BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team’s first double points finish in the Pro Exhibition series. A positive result to follow on from Brazil, where the team collected its first podium of 2020.
F1 Virtual Grand Prix
Following the Pro Exhibition race, it was time for the Virtual Grand Prix to take centre stage around Barcelona.
Reuniting for a second event in succession, YouTube star, Esports commentator and Twitch streamer Jimmy Broadbent joined FIA Formula 3 driver David Schumacher behind the virtual wheel of the RP19.
With them for the ride was Daniele Haddad, who swapped the rig for the headphones to serve as race engineer – providing advice and strategy calls for the duo in a bid for a strong result.
Qualifying proved to be a challenge, as the twisty nature of the Barcelona circuit meant one small error could be costly. In a grid packed with F1 drivers, junior drivers and sport stars, any time gained in qualifying could be invaluable.
Jimmy found the rhythm early with his qualifying runs, breaking into the top 10 and ending the session in P8 – beating the likes of Pietro Fittipaldi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Lando Norris. David, however, could only settle for P15 with his lap – the German showing the potential to move up the field with his final lap before a spin at the last corner cost him dearly.
With the Virtual Grand Prix often providing drama on the opening lap, the start for both Jimmy and David would be a chance to snatch some places.
Both drivers escaped any drama on the opening lap – although Jimmy lost a place to Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi. David, meanwhile, had a lightning start – making up four places to take him up to P11 behind his team-mate.
Sadly, that strong start was to prove short-lived for the young German, as he lost control of his car at the exit of Turn 8 and crashed into the barrier. Fortunately, he was able to resume and quickly caught up with the field, closing in rapidly on former F1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi and legendary Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.
On Lap 8, Jimmy made his first stop from P8 for medium tyres, coming out in P14 ahead of David but behind Aguero. Our man immediately attempted to pass the Argentine striker, who defended aggressively down the main straight in a tense exchange between the two. Eventually, both David and Jimmy made their way past – but not without a fight, to be fair to the rookie!
Soon after Aguero, David allowed Jimmy past to catch the pack in a bid to score points. On Lap 15, David made his one and only stop – fitting hard tyres and re-joining in P13, losing only one place during his stop despite all the early drama.
Jimmy pushed on with the medium tyres until lap 20, when he made the switch to the hard compound for the end of the race. Down in P12, Jimmy was on the hunt for Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois in the Alfa Romeo.
On lap 30, Jimmy caught up with the Real Madrid goalkeeper and made his move for P11. After an intense battle with the pair regularly swapping places, Jimmy was successful and claimed the position, before a time penalty relegated him to P12 at the flag with David following behind in P13.
After back-to-back weekends of Esports action, the pros will return with The Race’s All-Star Series on 18 May, with another round of the F1 Esports Pro Exhibition Race and Virtual Grand Prix set to take place on 24 May.
Stay tuned for more Esports action!