Round 7: Portimão, Portugal (23 Laps)
Joni Törmälä: P5 – Sebastian Job: P16
Mixed fortunes for our sim racers in Portugal. Joni Törmälä made the most of a great qualifying, starting P5 and keeping that position to the chequered flag. However, Sebastian Job paid the price for underperforming in qualifying, having to start from P17. He was unable to make progress in the race, not helped by a penalty for speeding in the pit lane, which definitely compromised his performance.
Round 8: Zandvoort, Netherlands (25 Laps)
Joni Törmälä: P7 – Sebastian Job: P11
At Zandvoort, there were more points for the team, courtesy of Joni Törmälä. The Finn fought his way through the field to cross the line in seventh place. Overtaking is really tricky at this track, as Sebastian Job discovered, as he managed to make up two places, but unfortunately, he just missed out on points, finishing P11.
Round 9: Austin, USA (20 Laps)
Sebastian Job: P10 – Joni Törmälä: P11
Back on the calendar, having skipped last year, Austin’s COTA track lived up to expectations, producing a closely fought race with very small gaps between the cars. Once again, qualifying proved crucial. Sebastian Job enjoyed the rollercoaster ride of the Circuit of the Americas and he made it to Q3 and was a top ten runner in the race, bringing home the point for tenth place. Joni Törmälä came close to points in this third round, but at the end of the 20 laps he had to settle for P11.
“Portimão qualifying was pretty much perfect for me after struggling in practice. In Q2 and Q3 I nailed both my laps and was very happy to get P5. I started on Softs, having planned a very safe strategy hoping for a top 5 finish, as we need the points. It worked out as I planned and P5 after all our struggles in the first two Events is an amazing result and a massive confidence boost.
Zandvoort was again pretty good. In Q3 I was going for pole on my final lap but messed up the final sector, which cost me the tenth I needed, so P6 was a bit disappointing but I can’t complain. In the race I went with the same approach as Portimão to get good points again. This time, it didn’t work out as planned. I pitted too early compared to others and didn’t undercut anyone and dropped to P9. After that I managed two overtakes for P7. It means we overtook Williams in the Constructors’ for seventh place, which is awesome.
For Austin, I got through to Q2 easily but on my last lap, I got too much oversteer as my tyres were destroyed so I ended up 13th on the grid. I wasn’t happy as I think I could have done much better. In the race, we executed the strategy as best we could. But me and Seb lost touch with the train in front because of the Ferraris and got attacked by loads of cars as we didn’t have DRS. But on the final lap we did some amazing teamwork to secure a point for Seb. I’m happy that we got at least one point as every point matters and we are still P7 in the team standings.”
“Not a great start in Portimão and Zandvoort: P17 and P13 in qualifying and to be honest I couldn’t do anything from there in the race. Grid position is incredibly important at both those tracks and there’s not much you can do to make up for it with strategy. In Race 1 I got a speeding penalty and that was really my race over.
In Zandvoort, I gained two places to be P11 but just outside the points. To be honest it was just so hard to overtake. So the poor qualifying ruined the day, but luckily Joni got some solid results to put us seventh in the classification.
We made a bit of progress in Austin, scoring one point. I was top five for most of qualifying, but my last Q3 lap was the worst of the day, so I ended up P9 on the grid. In the race, me and Joni had a good strategy, undercutting several cars, but Brendon (Leigh, Ferrari) was holding us up a lot and so we lost touch with the guys ahead with no DRS. That spoilt the race completely as I was in the second group. We just managed to get the final point on the last lap with some insane teamwork between Joni and I. We have made progress and I have figured out ways to improve. So, not the worst result, but it could have been a lot better.”
The 2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship is back in action on 15 and 16 December with the last three races of the season that make up the fourth and final Event of the series. Our digital cars will be on track at our home circuit of Imola, before flying off to Mexico and Brazil.