The F1 Esports fraternity were caught unawares today as Ferrari made the blockbuster signing of two-time champion Brendon Leigh alongside 2019 winner David Tonizza. It marks the first time in F1 Esports Series history that a team has hosted two world champions in the same team.
Leigh joins the Italian team from the Mercedes F1 Esports team. He has been with Mercedes since the introduction of teams for Season 2 of the popular racing esports championship.
The change of teams also represents another big change in the Englishman’s life, as it’s been reported that he will be moving to Italy in order to fully integrate with the team.
“My excitement in joining the FDA Esports F1 team is off the scale. I’ve only just signed, but it’s already clear to me that their passion and commitment to winning mirrors my own.
I get a sense of the unity within the team which makes it one big race-winning family. I can’t wait to get to work with the team and sport the red Ferrari colours.”Brendon Leigh, Ferrari Driver Academy
Unquestionably, this signing puts the Ferrari esports team near the top of the list in terms of driver strength. With pole positions and victories often determined by thousandths of a second, it’s going to be imperative that Tonizza and Leigh integrate well ahead of the 2021 F1 Esports Series. Whether this signing is enough to halt the near-domination of Red Bull Racing Esports and Sauber Esports team, is yet to be determined.
Luckily, there will be a dress-rehearsal of sorts available to the new driver pairing. Last week, Formula 1 announced that there would be a return of the Virtual GP series and that the esports professionals would feature as the qualifying event for the team during a 5-lap sprint race.
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