Meet the Rookie: McLaren F1 Esports Driver Josh Idowu

Meet the Rookie: McLaren F1 Esports Driver Josh Idowu

F1 2021

McLaren Shadow have one of the best lineups in F1 Esports right now, and that’s in no small part thanks to their rookie, Josh Idowu.Photo credit: Codemasters / EA

A week before the start of the F1 Esports Pro Series 2021 on 13 October, we sat down with McLaren Shadow rookie Josh Idowu to get to know one of the hottest new prospects in F1 Esports a little better. In the 2021 F1 Esports PC Challenger Series, Josh was narrowly beaten to the title by Williams Esports F1 rookie Alessio Di Capua, but the pair were head and shoulders above the rest of the field. In the 2021 Pro Exhibition, Josh scored highly, and as such he was selected by McLaren Shadow in the draft.

For those who have been watching the F1 racing scene for a long time, you may remember Josh as ‘Surprize’, a young hotshot on the Xbox side of things and the only driver who could come close to stopping the indomitable Salih Saltunç. Nowadays, he finds himself challenging the likes of Jarno Opmeer, both in league racing and, now, in the F1 Esports Pro Championship.

In order to get to know Josh better, and to allow you all to get to know him as well, we asked him a few questions about F1 Esports and about himself in general. Please note that this interview was conducted before the start of the Pro Championship season.

OverTake: Where are you from?

I’m from the south of Wales, in the UK.

OverTake: Who are you most looking forward to racing with in the Pro Championship?

I think it would be Simon Weigang. I’ve been racing with him since 2016 and we’ve been good friends since 2018. We used to speak about both of us racing together in the Pro Series all the way back then, and now it’s going to happen. Definitely him.

OverTake: If you had to pick one driver, other than yourself or your teammates, to win the Pro Championship this year, who would you want to win?

It would be Simon, just because we’ve been good friends. It would be so cool to see him win it. As I said, we’ve spoken about F1 Esports a lot.

OverTake: Are there any Pro Championship drivers that you think people will be surprised by? If so, who?

One name that comes to mind is Lucas Blakeley. Last season he didn’t have a good season at all, but he’s been practicing a lot more on this game. He’s been getting into league racing, and he’s looked very strong. So he could jump from midfield or maybe even backmarker in 2020 to a frontrunner in 2021. I think that would be a big surprise.

OverTake: If you could change one thing about F1 2021, what would it be?

I think I would like to add ghosting in the pit lane. Well, there actually is ghosting in the pit lane in the esports build of the game, to make it as fair as possible. But as a competitive player, someone who does online racing, I’d love to see ghosting in the pit lane added. At least for it to be an option for competitive leagues to use it, so there would be no unnecessarily getting held in the pit lane.

OverTake: Who was/is your favourite real world F1 driver and why?

My favourite driver is Lewis Hamilton, it always has been since I started watching. I don’t know, just unbelievable speed, and I guess he’s British so that’s another thing as well.

OverTake: What is your favourite track in F1 2021?

You know, I would say Bahrain, and that’s always been my go-to track, but after practicing hundreds of hours for F1 Esports at Bahrain, all the failed laps I’ve done, I don’t think it is anymore. But if I had to pick one, it would be Bahrain.

OverTake: Who has been your biggest supporter?

I guess my Mum, for allowing me to do it alongside school and even now, I just started university and I’m still able to do this. She has to believe in me to allow me to do that and not just focus on my studies.

OverTake: Other racing games or other games in general that you play?

I actually do not play other racing games. Many other drivers, especially a lot of other F1 Esports drivers, came from iRacing with different racing backgrounds. I’ve always just played the Codemasters F1 games. The only other game I actually play would be Rocket League.

OverTake: Do you have any interesting hobbies outside of gaming?

Yeah I would say basketball is the only other sport I play. I stopped playing football early. So my only hobby or sport I would play nowadays is basketball.

OverTake: A fun fact about yourself that people might not know about you?

My Dad is Nigerian, so I’m half Nigerian. I guess not many people would know that.

OverTake: If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go?

One place? Maybe somewhere in Asia. Maybe Japan? I haven’t really thought a lot about where I would go. Maybe Japan, because I feel like I would never actually go there but if I had the chance to, I would.

OverTake: Any parting messages for our readers?

Yeah, just support McLaren Shadow in the F1 Esports series!

Which other F1 Esports drivers would you like to get to know better? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

My name is Jacob and I have been writing for OverTake since November of 2020. I come from the UK, but I'm now living in Berlin. I love to watch, write about and sometimes shout about all forms of racing.