In a surprising announcement, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports has announced the recruitment of two of sim racing’s biggest names: James Baldwin and Graham Carroll.
James Baldwin needs little introduction to sim racing fans, as the Brit has been a major player in the genre for several years. From being named ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ in 2019, to becoming the dominant force in Assetto Corsa Competizione, Baldwin is now enjoying a purple patch in his sim career.
Although his early motorsport ambitions stalled due to funding issues, Baldwin made a successful transition to the British GT Championship in 2020, finishing fourth overall alongside teammate Michael O’Brien, taking a win and a further two podiums.
This year, he took part in the Spa 24 Hours GT race in a Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3, where his race was curtailed by a radiator issue. He also won the accompanying Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series race at the same venue, but real-world motorsport opportunities have been few and far between otherwise.
Arguably, Graham Carroll’s arrival comes arguably as a bigger shock, given that he has left Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports – one of Mercedes’ biggest rivals.
The Scot, who enjoyed great success in the Formula Ford 1600 category – winning the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy in 2015 – has previously raced in the iRacing-based Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Most recently, he secured fourth position in the Formula E: Accelerate competition using rFactor 2. His adaptability across multiple sims is surely an asset Mercedes are banking on.
Mercedes announced their six full-time esports drivers yesterday (7th September), and followed this up by confirming that Jarno Opmeer, Dani Moreno and Jake Benham would represent the brand in the 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro championship
Which begs the question, where are the team’s two new signings, alongside the returning Bono Huis, likely to end up racing in future?
How do you rate the team’s new signings? Let us know in the comments below.