With the Premier Sim Gaming Leagues F1 PC championship seemingly slipping out of his grasp, Bari Boroumand produced one of his best performances on F1 22 to reduce Thomas Ronhaar’s championship advantage to 11 points with two races to go.
The Iranian finished six seconds clear of the Dutchman after Ronhaar fought through the field to reduce the damage in the title race.
Boroumand’s former F1 Esports teammate, Wilson Hughes, secured his second successive podium with third.
In Q1, there were no huge shocks with every F1 Esports driver progressing safely. F2’s recent champion, Will Lewis, was the big casualty, and he was joined by Jan Haladej, Tycho Hardy, and debutants Kamil Stachura and Harlem Marquis in the drop zone.
Nicolas Longuet was one of the favourites for pole, but crashed at the end of Q1, after seemingly forgetting to take control of his car and lined up 15th.
Dylan Warren narrowly missed out and started 11th, with Andrey Tarabukin, Ledjen Rosenberg, and Istvan Puki all failing to qualify for Q3.
There was a glitch during the final runs of Q3, meaning Bari Boroumand took pole ahead of Jake Benham and Mirko Suriano impressing in third.
Wilson Hughes ended up fourth, ahead of Matthijs van Erven and Max Wissel on the third row.
Alvaro Carreton, Thomas Ronhaar, Otis Lawrence, and Ismael Fassi were all caught out by the glitched lobby and completed the grid for Round 9 of Season 32.
All but one driver started on the hard tyres, with Max Wissel going for the softs. The German got an exceptional start and was up three places on the opening lap. The Aston Martin development driver continued his progress and was second when he eased past Benham on Lap 3.
Further back, Lawrence and Ronhaar made decent progress after passing Carreton and Van Erven at the start. But the two former Xbox drivers went head-to-head for the first time this season, with Ronhaar attempting a move at Turn 1 on Lap 4.
The two made slight contact but settled back into their rhythm.
One person clearly in the rhythm was Boroumand in the lead, as after Benham got stuck behind Wissel when his soft tyres started to drop, the Iranian broke the DRS and sailed off into the sunset.
His teammate Nicolas Longuet was also making steady progress, passing multiple drivers after a poor start to get him onto the brink of the points.
Ronhaar and Lawrence went at it again on Lap 12, with the Dutchman forcing his way through.
The Welshman did not lick his wounds and caught the Dutchman lacking and breezed past on Lap 13, but the two were out of DRS ahead, allowing a simple re-overtake from F1 Esports’ Rookie of the Year to claim back fifth place.
Lap 18 saw fourth-placed man, Mirko Suriano, trigger the undercut on Benham and Hughes after being stuck in a DRS train. Hughes covered him off the following lap, with Benham opting to go two laps further into the race to have better tyres at the end.
The undercut did not work for the Italian, and instead, he had Lawrence behind him after Ronhaar pitted the same lap as Benham to give him an advantage at the end.
With 11 laps remaining, Lawrence made a huge error that cost himself and Suriano a potential place on the podium after out-breaking himself into Turn 1 and spinning the Italian around.
Benham, Ronhaar, and Carreton all avoided the incident and moved up into the top five, with Benham returning to the podium positions.
With Boroumand cruising out front, all eyes were on the battle for second, with Benham and Ronhaar having fresher tyres than Hughes, but had to close nearly 3 seconds to catch the Scotsman.
Eventually, on Lap 33, Ronhaar overtook Benham as the Englishman got within touching distance of Hughes’ DRS.
It slingshot Ronhaar into the DRS of the McLaren, and he breezed past Hughes on Lap 35 to reduce the damage in the championship to four points between himself and Boroumand.
The Iranian won by over six seconds in the end in one of the most dominant drives on F1 22.
Hughes held off Benham to take his second-successive podium, with Carreton completing the top five.
Longuet pitted on Lap 25 and flew past drivers in the closing stages to take sixth ahead of Warren, Puki, Fassi, and Suriano, claiming the final point after Lawrence picked up a post-race penalty.
Next up, a trip to Austria for the penultimate round of Season 32 when Thomas Ronhaar can secure the title if he outscores Bari Boroumand by seven points and Jake Benham fails to outscore the Dutchman by three points or more.
SEASON 32 PREMIER SIM GAMING LEAGUE PC F1 CHAMPIONSHIP: ROUND 9 RESULTS
- Bari Boroumand – Ferrari
- Thomas Ronhaar – Haas
- Wilson Hughes – McLaren
- Jake Benham – Mercedes
- Alvaro Carreton – Williams
- Nicolas Longuet – Ferrari
- Dylan Warren – McLaren
- Istvan Puki – Aston Martin
- Ismael Fassi – Alpine
- Mirko Suriano – Mercedes