F1 Esports crowned two new race winners this week, as McLaren’s Bari Boroumand and Haas’s Thomas Ronhaar – in his debut season – took victory, but Lucas Blakeley’s ominous form continues.
Austria’s Red Bull Ring hosted round four of the championship, with Red Bull’s Frede Rasmussen taking pole position ahead of Ronhaar. The race itself started in wet conditions, but Ronhaar wasn’t in the mood to be cautious and spooked Rasmussen into an error up into turn three to take the lead. As the track dried out, the majority of the grid dipped into the pits for slicks, with only Boroumand remaining out so as not to hinder championship-leading team-mate Blakeley.
Rasmussen then retook the lead from Ronhaar – again at turn three – only to see Ronhaar reclaim it just two laps later. With Nicolas Longuet attacking from behind on softer tyres, Rasmussen settled into second until the closing stages.
Turn three was again the focus as Rasmussen attempted to hit the front, but Ronhaar seemed to have the knack of being behind just long enough to pick up DRS and out drag Rasmussen down to turn four. The Dutch rookie kept the advantage right to the flag for his first ever F1 Esports win – and a first for Haas. Idowu took third for his own first podium.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps hosted the next race, with similar qualifying results as Rasmussen again took pole. This time he kept the lead initially, but Blakeley on the softer tyres carved through the pack. He hit the front on this flipped strategy on lap six, building a second’s advantage by the time he pitted two laps later.
Blakeley then lost out to his team-mate due to the tyre differential, fending off Rasmussen – thanks to DRS from Boroumand ahead – for another five laps. Boroumand was just out of reach though, claiming his own first ever F1 Esports win. Idowu again rounded out the podium after passing Blakeley.
Zandvoort wrapped up the week’s races, with a home pole position for Ronhaar ahead of Blakeley. In very wet conditions the grid was split between wet and intermediate tires. Jarno Opmeer jumped up to second on the wets, helped by Ronhaar and Longuet colliding as Blakeley took the lead.
Opmeer switched to hards as the rest of the field pitted for mediums, losing out to both Boroumand and Rasmussen in the closing stages but holding on to fourth. Blakeley meanwhile would take the flag six seconds ahead of his team-mate in one of the most dominant drives in F1 Esports.
The results mean Blakeley remains first, 15 points ahead of Rasmussen, while McLaren now sits 37 points clear of Red Bull in the constructors’ race.
Lamborghini held the finals of its Real Race competition, crowning three new champions across its three regions.
In the Asia-Pacific region it was Andika Rama Maulana setting the early pace, taking pole position and a lights-to-flag win at the Suzuka sprint race from Lukas Birss.
However in the reversed-grid race Birss was able to quickly make his way up the field while Maulana was held up until the pit stops. Maulana was able to eventually grab second, but it wasn’t enough as Birss claimed the title by two points. Niklas Houben won the European region, taking the feature race win at Spa to secure the title ahead of his R8G team-mate Luke Whitehead.
After qualifying in third, Houben passed polesitter Mateusz Tyszkiewicz on the penultimate lap to claim second behind Bastian Richter. Houben then made the best start in the feature to leap up to third before taking the lead on lap five, which he’d not surrender.
That left the Americas region, with Renan Negrini taking the title after a controversial finish at Laguna Seca. Igor de Oliveira Rodrigues took the sprint race pole and win ahead of Negrini, but Negrini made short work of the pack in the reversed-grid race to hit the front with less than 12 minutes elapsed. Rodrigues did eventually catch up, and the two countrymen tangled in the final corner of the race – with Rodrigues conceding the race as the responsible party.
The three winners now have the opportunity to join the Lamborghini Esports team for 2023 as it takes on the various SRO Esports series.
British F4’s first official Esports series got underway this weekend with the first round from Donington Park. Alx Spetz took the first pole position of the season, but had to settle for second in Race 1 behind Munster Gaming team-mate Josh Lad.
The reversed-grid second race saw Oliver Stepanov on pole, in a Fordzilla 1-2-3, but it was the Apex cars who’d lock out the podium with Stanley Deslandes beating Jamie Fluke and Luke McKeown to take the win.
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