For this event, the virtual Formula 1 World Championship, run using the official F1 2022 video game, featured the Austrian, Belgian and Dutch tracks. Our sim-racers brought home an excellent points haul, thus consolidating fifth place in the Teams’ classification. With a total of six races now completed, we are at the midpoint of the season: here are reports on the latest three and comments from our drivers.
Round 4: Spielberg, Austria (36 Laps)
Josh Idowu: P3 – Joni Törmälä: P15
At the Red Bull Ring, our drivers tackled one of the most closely contested qualifying sessions to date, with the top seven all within 0.064 of a second. Idowu looked comfortable on the Spielberg rollercoaster, getting onto the second row of the grid, a performance he then built on to finish third. It was his first podium of the season, shared with winner Ronhaar (Haas) and Rasmussen (Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports). Törmälä had a tougher time, after a complicated qualifying meant he started from the back row of the grid. He fought his way to 15th at the flag.
Round 5: Spa–Francorchamps, Belgium (22 Laps)
Josh Idowu: P3 – Sebastian Job: P5
Our two Brits, Josh Idowu and Sebastian Job, lined up to tackle the iconic Spa-Francorchamps track. Building on the momentum of the previous race, Idowu took a second consecutive third place at the end of a great race. Once again, an excellent qualifying performance, with Josh P3 and Seb P6, was the preamble to some spectacular racing. Idowu lost a few places at half distance, but a well executed strategy, great teamwork combined with fast and consistent lap times brought him back into the podium places for another P3, behind Boroumand (McLaren) and Rasmussen (Red Bull Racing). Sebastian Job made up one place from his grid position to take the chequered flag in fifth place, ensuring an important double points finish for the team.
Round 6: Zandvoort, Netherlands (36 Laps)
Sebastian Job: P8 – Joni Törmälä: P13
Joni Törmälä and Sebastian Job were at the wheel for us as they raced around the banked turns between the sand dunes at the Dutch Zandvoort track. Qualifying proved complicated and then came the rain to mix things up for everyone. Unfortunately, we opted to start on Intermediate tyres, which proved to be the wrong choice and both drivers dropped down the order. Effectively, there were two races on track, with ten cars on full wets at the front of the field and the rest of the pack on intermediates several seconds behind. When the track dried and our drivers were able to switch to Medium compound slicks, their pace was good. This allowed Job to string together a succession of spectacular overtakes as he carved his way through the field to get into the top ten, eventually bringing home the points for P8. Joni had a harder time of it and ended up outside the points in P13. Blakeley (McLaren) won this last round of Event 2.
I’m really happy with my performance in this event. After disappointment in the first round, I was looking forward to showing the team what I’m really capable of and I was able to do that with the help of my team and my team-mates. I hope I can continue this really good run of form in the coming events. I believe we have everything we need as a team to aim for a place in the top three in the Constructors’.
In Austria, qualifying didn’t go well for me, which meant I didn’t really have a chance in the race even in the changing conditions, I couldn’t make up enough ground and I ended up P15. Then in Zandvoort, my pace was a lot better but in Q2 I made the tiniest of mistakes that meant I got knocked out by 16 thousandths of a second and had to settle for P12. Once again in the race there were changeable conditions with wet and dry and we got the strategy wrong, starting on Inters. No points for me, but I plan to bounce back for the next one. At least Josh and Seb did a really good job.
I had a pretty good race in Belgium, qualifying sixth. Another half a tenth and I could have been in a similar position to Josh (3rd) because the times were crazily close, so that felt a bit frustrating. In the race, I pulled off a big undercut and was running around second or third. Josh and I worked together, which meant I wasn’t exposed to Opmeer (Mercedes) and he was able to attack Blakely (McLaren) and take third place. Great teamwork! At Zandvoort, I made a mistake on my final qualifying lap and had to start P9. We started on Inters which was the wrong call, losing huge amounts of time. Then I had some good pace and caught the group ahead and I pitted for dry tyres almost earlier than anyone. It was perfect timing and my dry pace was excellent so I was able to work my way up the order. The important thing is that we are improving and so I think Event 3 can be even better.
The F1 Esports Pro Championship 2022 will come back in a few weeks time, from the 2nd to the 4th of November, with Event 3 featuring the next three Rounds: Monza (Italy), Mexico City (Mexico) and Austin (USA).