The V10s howl over the track, as F1 Esports champion Joni Törmälä is looking to repeat his success.
Last year, Joni Törmälä was on top of the world. He raised the constructor’s trophy in the F1 Esports Pro Series alongside his Red Bull Esports teammates. This year, Joni will want to continue that success. But another challenge has arrived for the Fin, as the V10 R-League has recently started.
When the announcement came, we quickly got word that Joni would also be part of it. As a member of the Red Bull Racing Esports Team, Törmälä is looking to repeat history and win it all again. We asked him about his expectations and hopes for this new chapter in his career.
OverTake: Hey Joni. What are you most excited about in terms of the V10 R-League?
Joni: I think the main differences are in aerodynamics and the engine. The dirty air behind another car can punish you a lot if you don’t handle it correctly. Also, with how powerful the V10 engine is, it’s easy to make mistakes you wouldn’t normally make. Adding to that, when you are close enough behind another car, the slipstream effect is more powerful than what I’m used to.
OverTake: How does the new car feel? Is it comfortable to drive or challenging?
Joni: The basic elements of driving are really similar, in my opinion, and the feedback you get from the car is really good. It’s comfortable to drive. However, I’ve found the car harder to be consistent with what I’m used to.
OverTake: Given that the V10 R-League is on a different game than you are used to, was it easy for you to adapt to Assetto Corsa?
Joni: Kind of easy, yeah. However, since it’s a completely new simulation for me I’m still learning more in every practice session. It’s always a challenge to switch between the games, but that’s a challenge I enjoy a lot.
OverTake: Which tracks will be especially exciting and really challenging, in your opinion?
Joni: One exciting track for sure is Brands Hatch, because it’s a really tight circuit and the car is so fast. Spa as well, as it is one of my all-time favorites and a really fast one. Lastly, Vallelunga because I think the track is really nice to drive with this car. In terms of challenges, I would say Nordschleife, since I’ve never driven the track before, and I need to learn it from scratch. But I’m still hoping to perform at my best there.
OverTake: What are your expectations for the V10 R-League in terms of racing? Who do you see as your biggest competition?
Joni: I’m looking forward to some good and close racing, which the format should be perfect for. I think all the teams are really good in terms of competition, and we can’t underestimate anyone. We will take it round by round and hopefully end up victorious.
OverTake: Since the V10 R-League is a team championship, do you prepare differently than for the F1 Esports Pro Series?
Joni: In terms of preparation, it doesn’t really differ at all. We all push to be as fast as possible before each round. However, in the actual races, there might be some tactics involved you wouldn’t see in regular races since the team race has a reverse grid starting order. But overall, preparation is really similar.
OverTake: Do you think your title win in the F1 esports Pro Series will help you achieve the same in this series?
Joni: I certainly hope so. I think what we did last year in F1 Esports gave me some valuable experience. But since the format is completely different, it’s going to be a learning curve for everyone.
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