With only two seats per team at any one race in the Formula 1 Esports Series Pro Championship, it does mean that one of the official lineup for every outfit misses out on a chance to race. Unfair? Perhaps. Then again, it offers the organisations options on who to field and give experience and faith to.
Enter Josh Idowu; McLaren Shadow rookie and a man who knows what role he has to play in the grand scheme of things.
“Every single driver wants to do all twelve races,” explained the Shadow Academy graduate.
“The dynamic we have within McLaren – we’re one of the only teams to have three top top-quality drivers. It is fair the way we organise things. Danny Bereznay has the experience and Bari adds ridiculous pace. I have to accept I’m the rookie and it’s important we have the two best drivers racing every time.”
Incredibly humble and mature words from a guy who is used to winning at grassroots and even F1 Esports Challengers level. Similar to fellow rookie Sebastian Job, Josh seems more than content to take on board every bit of advice he can get with Bereznay receiving heaps of praise for his mentoring.
“It’s super useful having Danny in the team. Setups are a big part of F1 Esports and he has a lot of setup knowledge. Danny always knows what’s working. In China, he was the one who told me my strategy to use for that race.”
An Idowu points finish was not out of the question. The young Welshman, like everyone, had to deal with extraordinary weather conditions which only Jarno Opmeer arguably lucked into mastering. Had it been a dry race? He could have scored points at the first time of asking. Not that the lack of points discouraged him.
“It really is a bit of everything in terms of having your debut. As long as I give it my all I can’t complain. The step up is crazy from league racing to Challengers and then to Pro. For my first race in China, the [qualifying] lap time was fairly decent and only enough for seventh. My teammate went pole. A massive jump from what I’m used to. But I like it!”
Josh confirmed on Monday (25th October) that he would be driving for a second time in Round 4 at his home race of Silverstone. The plan is to put a lot of effort into qualifying. After a top-10 starting spot in China, there are even greater expectations this time around with fifth considered the lowest target. Great ambitions and hopes for a rookie.
You can definitely understand his unique vision of the jump from Challengers to Pro. Just because he’s taking a step up, it doesn’t mean that he’s any less a driver than before. Indeed, someone who knows all too well how it counts to believe in yourself is the championship’s most recent new winner Lucas Blakeley.
Despite coming through the now largely dismissed Pro Draft system, the Aston Martin driver revealed that there are better ways to prove yourself now by racing against actual F1 Esports drivers in league racing. A direct comparison for teams to scout and then follow up on.
This is the route Josh Idowu took and, dismissing taking part in any other championship on any other sim for the foreseeable future, he’ll be hoping that this new way of proving one’s self helps him cement his case for a drive for many seasons to come.