Yes, I’m starting an F1 Esports Pro analysis with a reference to the bluesy Platters hit famously covered by the legendary Freddie Mercury. Hear me out. One of the key parts of this song goes as such; ‘I seem to be what I’m not you see, I’m wearing my heart like a crown’.
When we started this 2021 season nobody could have predicted that with three races to go, Scotsman Lucas Blakeley would be just a six-point overhaul away from becoming the new champion of this must-watch championship. This, as it turns out, included Aston Martin’s star himself.
“It’s been a new experience for me. It’s a privilege to be in this position and I’m just grateful I’m doing this in the first place. The nerves? I expected them to be much worse than they are now but I’ve been focused on the details. Be prepared to the best level I can be. I’ll let you know once I get to qualifying!”
No bluster, no revelation that he believes his own hype now. This young man came across wonderfully in the press conference as evidenced further on when questioned about his overall confidence.
“I’m more looking forward to it than dreading it. It’s more an opportunity to have a go at the championship.
“I’ve always had the self-belief to do well when it comes to racing. That’s always been there. Did I think I’d be in this position? I wasn’t relying on it. I take it race by race. No matter how it pans out, I’m going to be really proud of how the season has developed. I am ready to go out there and enjoy the experience of fighting for a title.”
Blakeley has become much-loved by the wider audience not just for his passionate reactions to success but because of how meticulous he is during race week preparation. I referenced him in my Nicolas Longuet overview a few weeks ago because his vocal dedication stands out amongst his peers.
The next set of tracks was no different and, unlike title rival Jarno Opmeer, every one of them held equal reward and peril. A similar blanket was thrown over his two championship rivals with both given their dues.
“They’ve all got their own unique challenges but each one gives the same points. I do believe these three tracks will give me a few grey hairs by Thursday! In order to hook up a lap, you must dig deep. I very much see each track as equal value but with prominent challenges.
“Jarno needs no introduction. He is the reigning champion. Frede is arguably, generally speaking, the fastest sim racer in the world. The amount of talent he’s got I respect massively. I have respect for both drivers. I know how difficult the level is. I see it as every race is a blank slate and I’ve got to turn up.”
So much so is Lucas’ grounded approach that he doesn’t believe for one moment that Aston Martin’s third place in the Team’s championship is safe at all. This is in spite of a 37 point advantage with neither Alpine driver winning this year so far. If there is any ego in him then it is hidden away under lock and key.
Opmeer would make history. Rasmussen would achieve what he has deserved for a long time. Yet something tells me that Blakeley will be the most popular protagonist come Wednesday afternoon. Just a good, honest person earning sim racing royalty.