With F1 22 now released, top F1 league racing communities are wasting no time getting racing. Some of the top F1 Esports drivers are involved, like 2-time champions Brendon Leigh and Jarno Opmeer.
Image credit: PSGL
Another year, another F1 game and inevitably, more top level league racing competitions. F1 Esports is most likely going to take three months to start the new season if the last few years are any indication, but the drivers from the Pro Championship won’t be depriving us of any racing.
We’ve covered the top PC tier of Premier Sim Gaming Leagues for the past couple of seasons. PSGL is always the place to be when it comes to the top talent from F1 Esports, and their first season on F1 22 is no exception.
Who Is Racing?
In a placement show, all the line-ups for the top PC tier were revealed. Starting with Alpine, 2021 Pro Championship driver Patrik Sipos remains onboard after Nicolas Longuet and Fabrizio Donoso departed. He’s joined by F1 Esports 3rd place finisher Lucas Blakeley, who it seems may have signed for Alpine.
UPDATE 01/07/2022: Blakeley has just signed for Veloce Esports, who operate the McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes teams so it seems Alpine may potentially not be Blakeley’s destination for the Pro Championship in 2022.
Haas are represented by their 2021 driver Matthijs van Erven and Veloce-affiliated Jake Benham. The 16-year old Brit is competing in this weekend’s F1 Esports Pro Exhibition alongside the British Grand Prix after qualifying via the DHL Time Trial competition. Representing Alfa Romeo is their former Pro Championship driver Dani Bereznay. He is lining up alongside new Veloce signing Nicolas Longuet.
The former Alpine driver is expected to be competing for Alfa Romeo this season in F1 Esports, although like Blakeley, nothing has been made official so it could very well not be the case. Speaking of former Aston Martin drivers, Williams have new signing Shanaka Clay racing in PSGL alongside long-time driver Álvaro Carretón.
A Plethora of Talent
Next up is Red Bull and AlphaTauri, and they’re bringing out the big guns. Red Bull have their two Pro Championship drivers Frederik Rasmussen and Marcel Kiefer, both of whom took them to the 2020 constructors championship. In the AlphaTauri sister team, Joni Törmälä is competing and also it’s the F1 game return of 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion Sebastian Job.
At Aston Martin, their new signing Simon Weigang is competing for them in PSGL. Alongside Weigang is John Evans, who has been affiliated with R8G Esports who run Haas’ esports team and is also in the Pro Exhibition this weekend.
UPDATE 30/06/2022: John Evans has just been confirmed as an official F1 Esports driver for Aston Martin.
Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes all are represented by their official esports drivers. First up is Ferrari, two-time F1 Esports champion Brendon Leigh will compete and he’s paired with his 2017 F1 Esports title rival Fabrizio Donoso. The Chilean joined the Scuderia back in May, but he may only get a few races this season in F1 Esports due to having Leigh and 2019 champion David Tonizza as teammates.
At McLaren, Bari Boroumand returns to the league after he and Longuet departed due to issues with stewarding bias. The Iranian is joined at McLaren by academy driver Wilson Hughes who was sixth in F1 Esports Challengers on PC. Finally at Mercedes, no surprise to find Dani Moreno and two-time F1 Esports champion Jarno Opmeer, who has won all PC top tier titles in PSGL.
Who Else Could Compete?
As ever across all leagues, the lineup can change from round to round. Drivers may have other commitments and the seats will need to be filled. To accommodate for such circumstances, there are reserves. There are a lot of big names here too.
These include Pro Championship drivers like McLaren’s Josh Idowu, Williams’ new signing Daniele Haddad and former Alfa Romeo drivers Thijmen Schütte and Filip Prešnajder. There’s also 2022 Pro Exhibition qualifiers like PC Challengers champion and runner-up Tomek Poradzisz and Piotr Stachulec as well as fifth place finisher Samuel Bean.
2021 PS4 Challengers champion Valentin Brüffer is also amongst the reserves, as well as Veloce Academy driver Thomas Ronhaar. Finally, there is Louis Welch who raced in PC Challengers and is highly considered by many within the league racing community to be the leading player who uses a controller.
How to Follow
As ever, all races are broadcast on the PSGL YouTube channel on Wednesdays at 8pm CEST. All races feature full knockout style qualifying and a 50% distance race. Commentary comes in the form of returning duo George Morgan and Jack Cunnane. Schedule is as follows:
R1: Sakhir – 6 July
R2: Circuit of the Americas – 13 July
R3: Red Bull Ring – 20 July
R4: Miami – 27 July
R5: Spa-Francorchamps – 3 August
R6: Mexico City – 10 August
R7: Suzuka – 17 August
R8: Monza – 24 August
R9: Yas Marina – 31 August
R10: Interlagos – 7 September
Also if anyone fancies getting involved in PSGL themselves, sign-ups are open now.
For all players on PlayStation and PC, they can participate across 15 PS tiers and nine other PC tiers. All other tiers start their season in late July, so join the PSGL Discord to sign up and go through the process to end up competing in PSGL this season. Not just on F1 22 but now also a series using Gran Turismo 7.
But for those who want to see the top drivers in F1 Esports compete, Wednesday evenings at 8pm CEST. Can Jarno Opmeer make it four in a row or will the new cars mean a different name will be the one to beat? To tidy you over until then, there’s the PC Invitational which took place 29 June.
Will you be following Premier Sim Gaming Leagues’ top PC tier? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!