Considered F1 Esports Series Pro Championship pre-season title contenders, Red Bull Racing Esports were ultimately disappointing in the opening three races of the season. The tides turned on Wednesday evening when the team’s drivers won at Silverstone and Monza respectively, re-igniting their hopes not just for Teams’ title glory but their own Drivers’ championship hopes
Jarno Opmeer still led the standings but had seen his points gap diminish thanks to the solid form of Lucas Blakeley. Another wet race in Spa-Francorchamps offered an opportunity for all to spring a surprise.
Extraordinarily, the championship leader found himself out in Q2 yet again. Bewildering to think that this means he has started more races outside of the top ten than in during the 2021 season. Blakeley on the other hand fared marginally better but failed to set a lap time, leaving him P10.
David Tonizza, after his rather infamous cameo at the end of the last round, redeemed himself with his first pole position of the season, beating out the man he wronged, Frederik Rasmussen. Nicolas Longuet survived an unwarranted lap deletion to start third ahead of one of this year’s breakout stars, Bari Boroumandgohar.
Tyre selection was a nightmarish prospect for the drivers as Spa’s unpredictability returned with a vengeance. Nine of the top ten started on wet tyres, with the sole exception being Rasmussen who joined the lower half of the field on intermediates. Initially, this choice looked poor as he bogged down off the line. The Dane was lucky not to suffer a similar fate to Daniel Bereznay who, starting fifth, made contact with the Red Bull heading down to Eau Rouge.
The only reason a replica of Spa 1998 wasn’t the result of the Hungarian’s spin? Session settings ghosting his car to prevent such a mess.
All eyes turned to the sky. The question of the hour was if those, like Rasmussen, would end up with the advantage of not having to stop for the entire race; completing it on one set of tyres. The answer would arrive at the end of the seventh lap with Tonizza leading a stream of cars pitlane bound. Of the top seven, fast-starting Brendon Leigh and Daniele Haddad had the miserable task of doing another lap to avoid double-stacking.
Onto the ninth lap, Rasmussen held a three-second advantage over his teammate Marcel Kiefer with Jarno Opmeer grinning as yet again a poor qualifying session had been overturned. Pole sitter Tonizza now sat fourth with tyres much fresher, but lacking DRS assistance. Though his initial pace looked promising, as the race bore on he never seemed to light up the timing sheets as many expected.
In fact, there wasn’t much in the way of further movement with only Blakeley and Boroumandgohar able to fight their way up the order. In the dying moments, Kiefer’s rubber finally gave way, giving all the invitation needed for Opmeer and Tonizza to escort him off the podium.
The German’s job as rear gunner was successful though, with Rasmussen taking a second win in three races and confirming Red Bull Racing Esports’ sweep of the second 2021 Formula 1 Esports Series event.
A frustrating day for Blakeley means that Opmeer’s lead in the championship returns to where it started at the beginning of Wednesday’s action but the threat in the rearview mirror is clear with both Rasmussen and Kiefer scoring strongly. Red Bull now equals Mercedes-AMG on 140 points in the Teams’ championship as Aston Martin falls away without two consistent points scorers.
The next set of events is across 24th and 25th November, and we’ll have all the analysis here on Traxion.GG
- Frederik Rasmussen – Red Bull Racing Esports – 28:49.878
- Jarno Opmeer – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports – +6.803
- David Tonizza – FDA Esports – +7.768
- Marcel Kiefer – Red Bull Racing Esports – +8.170
- Nicola Longuet – Alpine Esports Team – +8.437
- Luca Blakeley – Aston Martin Cognizant Esports – +12.822
- Sebastian Job – Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports – +13.847
- Bari Boroumandgohar – McLaren Shadow – +13.987
- Simon Weigang – Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 Esports – +14.548
- Joni Törmälä – Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports – +14.914