The official F1 Esports Series Pro Championship has now got underway, and it’s already looking like a changing of the guard after the first of four race weeks.
Lucas Blakeley, who placed third in 2021, qualified on pole position for the Bahrain race in his new McLaren team having switched from Aston Martin. Team-mate Bari Boroumand was third, with newcomer Thomas Ronhaar a surprise second for Haas. Defending champion Jarno Opmeer made a quick start from fifth to squeeze into a podium spot, then ran long on his first stint to emerge in the net race lead after the stops. However, after scrapping with both McLarens, Opmeer had to settle for second as Blakeley took the win.
Ronhaar sprung another surprise by taking pole position at Imola ahead of Red Bull’s Marcel Kiefer, but was quickly overwhelmed by both Kiefer and Blakeley in the early stages. Blakeley then seized the lead into Tamburello on lap seven. A strong undercut saw Frede Rasmussen close up onto the back of his team-mate after the mid-race pit stops, but the Red Bull duo couldn’t prevent Blakeley from winning his second straight race. Opmeer could only place tenth after being clipped in a spin by Ferrari’s Brendon Leigh on lap one.