F1 Esports: Round 1 Review
October 30, 2018
Tomorrow is 2nd round of the 2018 F1 Esports event, so let’s review round 1 to give an idea of what to expect.
Australia was the first race held of the night, but due to the amount of time for the broadcast, the race had to be held earlier on in the day. Highlights were then shown on the live show.
In qualifying the two Mercedes locked out the front row with Brendon Leigh on pole position. Row 2 was Tino Naukkarinen and Joni Tormala. Alvaro Carreton, F. Donoso Delgado, Graham Carroll, Marcel Kiefer, Patrik Holzmann and Sven Zurner completed the top 10 on the grid.
Brendon Leigh got away from the lights well and lead out of turn 1. Many battles took place up and down the grid, including for P3 between Tino and Joni. We then cut to lap 6 where Sven and Salih are battling for P3 towards the chicane. Salih tried to go around the outside before the chicane with a brave move but had to back out of it. Salih then slipstreamed Sven and overtook him into turn 13.
Later, on lap 12 Bono Huis went deep on the brakes to overtake Patrik Holzmann. Bono made contact with the front end of Patrik’s car but made the move work.
Brendon Leigh made it a light to flag victory ahead of his teammate Daniel Bereznay who was later demoted to P6 after time penalties. After all penalties had been applied the top 10 was: Leigh, Naukkarinen, Tormala, Carroll, Doherty, Bereznay, Carreton, Sa. Saltunc, Rasmussen and Huis.
It was Mercedes on pole position again, however it wasn’t Brendon Leigh. Daniel Bereznay from Hungary managed to take pole position ahead of the Toro Rosso of Frederik Rasmussen. It was an all Hype Energy Eforce India second row with Fab Donoso getting the better of his teammate. Brendon Leigh started 5th with Allert Vanderwal alongside. Then behind them was Tino Naukkarinen, Graham Carroll, Patrik Holzmann and Salih Saltunc to round out the top 10 on the grid.
Enzo Bonito stalled on the grid getting away, while Bereznay lead Rasmussen through the sweeping first few corners of the Chinese race. Tino Naukkarinen put Brendon Leigh under pressure straight away out of the sweeping corners.
On lap 7, the halfway stage of the race, Brendon Leigh passed Rasmussen along the back straight and into the hairpin. Then just 3 laps later on lap 10, Leigh passes Bereznay for the lead of the race down the same straight.
On lap 12 of 14, Carreton tapped the rear end of Carroll breaking his front wing, coming out of the first few corners.
Brendon Leigh took his 2nd win of the season at China ahead of his teammate making it a Mercedes 1-2. Marcel Kiefer took the final podium position ahead of Rasmussen, Delgado, Sa. Saltunc, Huis, Carroll, Holzmann and Stafanko to round out the top 10.
Then it was time for the final race of the night. Azerbaijan has given us a thriller in real life F1 and gave us a thriller in F1 Esports.
We didn’t get to see the starting grid however, I can tell you it was Bereznay on pole position again for Mercedes, in front of the two Toro Rosso cars and then Brendon Leigh in 4th on the grid.
Bereznay held the lead through turns 1 and 2, while the rest of the grid made it through without any problems. At the end of lap 1 Leigh managed to pass Holzmann for 3rd place using the slipstream down the main straight. Rasmussen did the exact same move on lap 3 to take the lead away from Bereznay. Bereznay later took back the lead, and on lap 7 Brendon Leigh tried to make the exact same move again on Rasmussen but didn’t quite work out moving onto the 2nd DRS straight with Rasmussen standing his ground.
At the start of lap 11 Rasmussen passed Bereznay for the lead of the race through turn 1. Bereznay got a bad exit giving the chance for Brendon Leigh to pass, meaning Bereznay lost 2 positions on 1 corner.
On to the final lap and Brendon Leigh took the lead of the race through turn 1, demoting Rasmussen down to P2. Down the back straight to end off the lap and the race, Rasmussen passed Leigh on the line to take the win.
The final top 10 of the race was: Rasmussen, Leigh, Bereznay, Bonito, Huis, Holzmann, Vanderwal, Doherty, Delgado and Zurner.
With Brendon Leigh winning 2 out of 3 races he leads the championship over his teammate and Rasmussen. You can see the full standings below.
AOR Drivers (past and present) in the Esports event
Alex Hanses or you might know him as Syntetic96 joined AOR in 2017. In his first season he failed to clinch the championship, however he managed to do it second time of asking. Alex is signed to the Williams Esports but failed to get a drive for the first 3 rounds of this year’s championship.
Alvaro Carreton is the youngest competitor of the F1 2018 Esports Championship at just 17 years of age! Alvaro raced in AOR on the PC side finishing season 15 in 8th with 64 points. The Spaniard is also signed to Williams Esports and managed to land himself a drive in the first 3 races of this year’s championship. He currently sits P16 in the driver’s championship with 6 points that were scored at Melbourne, Australia.
We can’t go without talking about Brendon Leigh, the reigning Esports champion and currently leads the driver’s championship by 27 points. Brendon is signed to Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports Team. While in AOR he raced on the PC league, winning the league in season 15. In his current Esports season he has won 2 of the 3 races.
Daniel Bereznay is Brendon Leigh’s team mate at Mercedes this year at Esports. Currently sat 2nd in the driver’s championship with 41 points and reaching last year’s Esports final he has shown his worth. Daniel raced in AOR season 14 finish 3rd on the PC league with 198 points.
Fab or F.Donoso was the driver that battled Brendon Leigh on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Fab didn’t come out on top but did manage to clinch 2nd place. He will surely want to go one better this year. Fab also raced on the PC league in AOR, finishing P6 with 83 points. He was chosen to race in all 3 of the first races by Hype Energy Eforce India and is currently sat 11th in the driver’s championship with 12 points. The 12 points came from China and Azerbaijan.
Graham Carroll signed for Red Bull Racing Esports Team and was picked to race in all 3 of the first races. Scoring points in two of them means he sits P6 in the Esports driver’s championship on 16 points.
Harrison Jacks or otherwise known as Noble 2909 was picked by Mercedes for the Esports event for 2018. Harrison has yet to be given a drive in the first 3 races. Harrison raced in AOR in season 7 and won the championship by 138 points.
Kimmy Larsson drove in AOR on the Xbox league in season 15. Kimmy finished P17 with a respectable 17 points. He was then chosen by Renault Sport Team Vitality for the 2018 Esports team. He was not chosen to race in the first 3 races.
Marcel Kiefer raced in AOR in season 15 on the PC league. Marcel finished the season in 2nd place with 214 points. Marcel was chosen to race alongside Fab in the F1 2018 Esports event at Hype Energy Eforce India. Driving in all 3 of the first races he racked up 15 points and sits 8th in the championship.
Salih Saltunc or TheFlyingFinn08 has been a dominant force of nature in the AOR Xbox league. Salih won 4 seasons in a row between seasons 12 and 15. Now he is a F1 Esports driver for Sauber F1 Esports. He raced in the first 3 races, scoring points in Australia and China. He currently sits 12th in the drivers’ championship.
Salih’s brother Sonuc has also made it into F1 Esports after starting the AOR Xbox league. Sonuc left AOR at the end of the 14th season and finished 6th in that respective season. In season 13 Sonuc managed to finish 4th in the drivers. Sonuc only raced in 1 race in the opening round, finishing 15th, meaning he is one of two drivers to not score any points in the 2018 F1 Esports championship.
Tino or Timp is the only driver that is racing in the Esports championship along side AOR. Currently sitting P12 in season 16 with 10 points after 3 races. In season 15, his last fully completed season, he finished P4 with 165 points. Tino raced in all 3 of the first round races for Esports. He currently sits 4th in the championship with 18 points after scoring 2nd place at Australia.
Finally, it wouldn’t an AOR team if I didn’t mention Dan Hawkins or JessGames95 who worked on the spectator camera’s at round 1.
Make sure you watch the second round of Esports on Wednesday the 31st of October 2018 on the official F1 Facebook page, or on the F1 Esports website.
Written by Callum Rochester- @callum61100312