The next F1 Esports event is just around the corner! We talked to AlphaTauri, McLaren, Aston Martin and Red Bull’s esports drivers in the leadup to the next rounds.
Photo credit: EA / Codemasters
An iRacing specialist looking to master the F1 games, a hotshot rookie in a team of three top class drivers, a driver who took his first win in the opener and a consistent but strong pair of hands that helped his team win the championship. Four of the drivers competing in F1 Esports this year, all of whom were part of a press conference in the run-up to the next event of the Pro Championship. Read their thoughts prior to the second event on 27-28 October.
Sebastian Job: Still adapting to F1
No surprise to anyone that the majority of Scuderia Alphatauri Esports Team driver Sebastian Job’s questions were mainly about how it has been adapting from iRacing (on which he won the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup) to the Codemasters F1 games. Job explained that he’s had to unlearn a lot of habits from iRacing since F1 2021‘s handling model is very different from top level simulators.
The braking has been quite the big change. I used to have quite heavy braking, now I have gone a bit softer, being more aggressive initially and then focus on trailbraking to get the car to rotate. I could watch a lap on iRacing and instantly tell you what was being done wrong but if I watched an F1 game hotlap, I can’t do it.
Job also remarked that having Frede Rasmussen as a teammate has been immensely helpful since not only has he been consistently one of the top drivers across all seasons of the Pro Championship, but also having won championships on iRacing and rFactor 2.
1 year ago yesterday since I won the Porsche Esports Supercup.— Sebastian Job (@G2Sebi) October 11, 2021
Now in a couple of days I take on a new challenge with my first season of F1Esports. Never worked so hard for a competition before so very excited to get underway! https://t.co/btktYNKBf4 pic.twitter.com/naZr463FBG
Looking to the rest of the season, Job believes he has the pace to score points and hopes to be in F1 Esports for the forseeable future. He even remarked that his overall aim is to be champion on both iRacing in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup as well as F1 Esports. A great aim which will be amazing if he can indeed achieve it.
Idowu: “I have to accept that I am the rookie”
Next up is McLaren Shadow’s young gun, Josh Idowu, who is part of the mighty trio driving the papaya cars. We asked how Idowu is feeling having such an experienced and capable set of teammates in both Bari Boroumand and Daniel Bereznay, Idowu replied:
Every single driver wants to do all twelve races to prove themselves. In the first event I did the one race but it is fair, the way we organise things. Dani has the experience and Bari has ridiculous pace, we always try to be as fair as possible. I have to accept that I am the rookie, this is my first ever season, and we are looking to challenge for the constructors. It’s important we do have the two best drivers racing everytime.
Qualified P7 on my debut in F1 Esports was happy with that considering the insane pressure. Race didn’t go as planned finished P12, gg on the race wins @LucasBlakeley01 @jarno_opmeer 👏 pic.twitter.com/tQcyJMP0Fy— Josh Idowu (@JoshIdowu_) October 13, 2021
Idowu did say he would be competing in the Silverstone race whereas it will be the usual pairing of Boroumand and Bereznay for the Monza and Spa races.
Blakeley: On stepping up the game in 2021 and league racing
Perhaps one of the most in demand drivers right now, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team’s Lucas Blakeley has raised his stock immensely by winning the first race of the 2021 Pro Championship after the team finished dead last in 2020.
Blakeley was picked up by the team when it was known as Racing Point in 2019 through the Pro Draft, and got one race to impress which was enough to see him become a full time driver. Same can’t be said for many other drivers who after being drafted, didn’t get a chance like the highly-rated Dominik Hofmann for Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Esports in 2020.
When asked about the Pro Draft system which has not been heavily utilised by teams, the Scot replied:
We have seen as the years went on that it got less used, there’s a lot of outsourcing going on when searching for the talent now, there’s definitely still ways for new drivers to prove themselves. When you’re not racing in F1 Esports, you can find yourself still competing against the best drivers in leagues, I would say that’s the best way now to prove yourself and show what you’ve got.
A moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life 🤩— Lucas Blakeley (@LucasBlakeley01) October 13, 2021
F1 ESPORTS RACE WINNER 🏆
📸 @F1 pic.twitter.com/845Vx5qBmf
On the note of his upturn in performance of both himself and the entire team, Blakeley remarked that every aspect that plays a part has seen a step up. All the smaller details, not doing too much dissimilar to what they were doing last year, it has all played a part in taking the team from the back to the front.
Kiefer: “Don’t think any team could prepare enough for all three tracks”
Last but not least, we get to Red Bull’s Marcel Kiefer. Formerly of BWT Racing Point Esports Team, Kiefer transitioned to the Red Bull camp for 2020 and was a crucial part of their team wrapping up their second constructor’s title. After we asked about what made the difference, Kiefer told us that Red Bull were able to accomodate him and he felt like he could ask for support more than what he had been provided before.
Kiefer has been in the series in 2018, so we asked how he felt about the way the championship is structured starting later on in the year and with a vast amount of races per event. He provided a great perspective of the dedication and subsequent fatigue a driver goes through and how he wishes the organisers would change it up slightly.
Most drivers would agree ever since 2018 that multiple races for one event is just too much. Especially this time, I don’t think any team could prepare enough for all three tracks and all situations. I think everyone feels a bit underprepared, even though we practice probably more than any other event, at least it felt like it due to the time pressure. It would be great if F1 and the organisers would maybe change it in some way so we have maybe more races but a bit more spread out, like one race per day would make it a bit more relaxed, bit more healthy for the competition, make it even closer, more enjoyable and engaging for the fans.
Things we love to see! 😍— Red Bull Racing Esports (@redbullracingES) October 15, 2021
This unbelievable start in wet conditions from @marcelkiefer_ in event 1 of the @F1 Esports Series Pro Championship is something else!
Full. Send is presented by @tezos. #F12021 #F1Esports #FullSend pic.twitter.com/Rk6Xkbqj4f
You can watch all four of these drivers competing in the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship races at the homes for the British, Italian and Belgian Grand Prix venues from 8.30 PM CEST on both 27 and 28 October. Follow the action from F1’s official YouTube, Twitch and Facebook.
Who do you think will win the F1 Esports races at Silverstone, Monza and Spa? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!