Round 7: Monza, Italy (28 Laps)
Josh Idowu: P7 – Sebastian Job: P20
Our line-up for the opening race was Josh Idowu and Sebastian Job. They were both quick from the outset and started from the middle of the pack after a very close qualifying session. Monza never disappoints and once again it provided the perfect scenario for a thrilling race which went down to the wire on the final lap, victory going to Ronhaar (Haas.) Josh Idowu was seventh at the flag in his AT03, while Job had a more complicated time of it, fighting tooth and nail from start to finish in the top ten, although a penalty dropped him to last on the results sheet.
Round 8: Mexico City, Mexico (28 Laps)
Josh Idowu: P5 – Joni Törmälä: P11
This time, our pairing was Idowu-Tormala. Jarno Opmeer won for Mercedes at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, with Idowu again performing well to get his AT03 in the points, this time in fifth place, right behind Oracel Red Bull Esports’ Kiefer. It was a tough race for Joni, who finished where he started in 11th place, just outside the points.
Round 9: Austin, USA (28 Laps)
Joni Törmälä: P10 – Sebastian Job: P15
Tackling the Circuit of the Americas were Joni Tormala and Sebastian Job. Not only was qualifying tricky, but the race was complicated by rain which upped the level of difficulty. Job got away well, defending his position, while Tormala pushed on and made up a few places. With a few laps to go it looked as though the order was set, but the track dried quickly and a run of pit stops changed everything. Job was one of the first to fit slicks, but the gamble did not pay off. Tormala did a bit better, while out in front, there was a four way fight for the win on the final lap. Joni finished tenth, to bring home another vital point.
“For me, Event 3, while not as good as the previous one, went fairly well and I picked up some good points for the team. There is still some more pace to find but there are plenty of positives to take away from these three races. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on our side in the changing weather conditions in the USA but I’m sure Sebastian and Joni will both come back strong in Event 4.”
“For Mexico, I had the best qualifying pace of the season so far, but a mistake in Q2 meant I started down in 11th. I went for an aggressive Medium-Hard strategy, but towards the end I got eaten up by those now on Mediums so finished where I started. For the USA, we changed set-up completely just before qualifying and that did not go well, and I could do no better than 16th. We didn’t get the strategy right at the pit stops when dealing with the switch from wets to slicks, but I raced as best I could, finally picking up the point for tenth place. For the final races, I’ll be focussing more on my qualifying performance, which is not where I want it to be and so I will hoping to score more points in Event 4.”
“I was happy to qualify in the top ten again for Monza and things were looking alright in the race and a double points finish might have been on the cards. Unfortunately, I was a bit too aggressive with my DRS, so I was vulnerable to attack from behind and I was caught. After that, one bad thing led to another and, while I was making space for Josh on my inside, I tapped Brendon Leigh around and got a penalty, which meant I recorded my first no-score race of the season. No points at COTA either. We changed set-up just before qualifying and I was P11. I went for a wet set-up for the race, in the hope I could make up so much ground that when it rained at the end I would still be well placed, but we made wrong decisions in terms of strategy and set-up. A shame as I felt really comfortable at COTA. Fingers crossed we can do better in the final races.”
In just over a month, from 14 to 16 December, it will be time for the fourth and final Event of the F1 Esports Pro Championship 2022, featuring the last three rounds on the calendar: R10 Suzuka (Japan); R11 Interlagos (Brazil) and R12 Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi).