PSGL F1 PC S34: Back-to-back for brilliant Broumand

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The Ferrari driver continues a sparking run of form, with a dominant victory at the Hungaroring.
PSGL F1 PC S34 - Back-to-back for brilliant Broumand 02

Bari Broumand continued his fabulous form in Premier Sim Gaming League’s F1 split after a dominant victory at the Hungaroring.

The Iranian took his second win in three races with his nearest challenger five seconds back.

Alfie Butcher scored his best result in PSGL with second place, holding off a charging Brendon Leigh, who ended up on the third step of the podium.

Qualifying

In Q1, the McLaren pair of Lucas Blakeley and Wilson Hughes missed qualifying, so they would start on the back row of the grid, meaning 18 cars took part. Fabrizio Donoso was the shock elimination after a strong showing in Brazil, managing only 18th. The returning Piotr Stachulec narrowly missed out on Q2, as did fan favourite Dylan Warren.

With a couple of F2 reserves, it was an opportunity for them to impress, but none of them made the top-10 shootout. Mirko Suriano and Andrey Tarabukin squeezed into Q2 but could not make it any further and filled the bottom two slots behind Iker Baena. Otis Lawrence was a big shock, only managing 12th, with Istvan Puki at his home race missing out by 0.002 seconds in Q3.

Marcel Kiefer PSGL Season 34 2023 Hungary pole position

Into Q3, Marcel Kiefer took a shock pole position by the barest of margins. He pipped his Mercedes teammate Dani Bereznay by 0.012 seconds, with Broumand just 0.001 seconds behind the Hungarian. Benham made it three Mercedes drivers in the top four, ahead of Brendon Leigh and Alfie Butcher, who were also within a tenth of pole.

Thomas Ronhaar, who had looked the favourite, could only manage seventh, with Ismael Fahssi, Nicolas Longuet and Ruben Pedreno completing the top 10.

Race

There were two main strategies in play, the two Mercedes drivers on the front row, Leigh, Fassi, Butcher, Lawrence and Ronhaar, Blakeley, Hughes, Stachulec, and Baena, choosing the hard tyres. Everyone else opted for the softs, except Pedreno on the mediums.

Broumand and Benham overtook Bereznay and Kiefer on the opening lap, with Puki up to fifth after a strong start. The opposite occurred for Ronhaar, down eight places after contact on the opening lap.

Race start PSGL Season 34 2023 Hungary

The top two broke away at the front, with Puki unable to claim the DRS after passing his fellow Hungarian and Kiefer. He stopped very early on Lap 5 for a set of mediums.

The soft runners in the pack struggled from Lap 8 onwards, with Longuet, Donoso, and Warren heavily pressured by the hard tyre runners.

Benham stopped on Lap 10, attempting a 2-stop strategy, whilst Broumand stretched his tyres out front to Lap 14, with a 3-second buffer to Bereznay in second. The Iranian was 9 seconds back from Benham but with fresher tyres and going to the end.

On Lap 16, Benham approached the leading train, with Kiefer and Butcher choosing to pit for the mediums, initially ending up behind Longuet and Warren, but passed them easily with the advantage of fresh tyres.
Lawrence and Bereznay boxed on Lap 18 and 19 respectively, with Fahssi, Pedreno and Puki pitting on Lap 20, leaving Leigh out in front, with Benham second, and Broumand third, just three seconds behind after the Englishman got stuck in traffic.

PSGL F1 PC S34 - mid-race mid-pack battle

Leigh was the last to stop on Lap 21 of the leading hard runners and dropped to 14th but a significant tyre advantage on those ahead.

His first overtake was a double, with Longuet defending hard to help his teammate in the lead. Leigh snook up the inside of Pedreno, who was on the softs, and the Frenchman to take tenth.

Broumand closed to within DRS of Benham, and to prevent a potential overtake, the opening race winner stopped for a second time, but his progress was slowed by a resilient Longuet, who defended as Fernando Alonso did in 2021 to help his teammate in the lead.

Leigh continued his charge and dispatched Donoso, Warren and Lawrence in successive laps to move into the top six.

His former teammate was next, and Bereznay was defenceless, as was his Mercedes teammate Kiefer with Butcher claiming second place.

Fahssi was arguably Leigh’s easiest move into Turn 1, with the Spaniard helpless against the Brit.
His fellow Brit was also helpless against another Brit as Benham closed rapidly, passing Lawrence and Pedreno for seventh.

Kiefer proved a tougher opponent to pass for Leigh for the final spot on the podium, who held off two attacks from the two-time F1 Esports World Champion but could not fend off a third on the penultimate lap around the outside of Turn 4.

PSGL Season 34 2023 Hungary PSGL Bari Broumand

There was drama on the final lap between the two Mercedes drivers, as contact from a lunge from Bereznay dropped the German behind Fahssi and under attack from Benham.

Despite having older tyres, Broumand managed the gap out front to win by over five seconds from Butcher. Leigh could not get past his fellow R8G driver but rolled back the years with brilliant overtakes.

Bereznay ended up fourth ahead of Fahssi, with Kiefer beating Benham by just a tenth of a second. Puki’s two-stop resulted in an eighth place, with Pedreno and Ronhaar completing the points, despite the Dutchman picking up a 5-second penalty for speeding in the pits.

Next up, a trip to Silverstone for Round 4 of Premier Sim Gaming League top PC tier.

PSGL F1 PC S34 Round 5, Hungary, Results

  1. Bari Broumand – Ferrari
  2. Alfie Butcher – Haas
  3. Brendon Leigh – Alfa Romeo
  4. Dani Bereznay – Haas
  5. Ismael Fahssi – Alpha Tauri
  6. Marcel Kiefer – Mercedes
  7. Jake Benham – Alpha Tauri
  8. Istvan Puki – Red Bull
  9. Ruben Pedreno – Alpine
  10. Thomas Ronhaar – Alfa Romeo
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