Williams Esports announce second F1 esports driver

Williams Esports announce second F1 esports driver

Former Alfa Romeo esports racer Sali Saltunç joined Williams Formula One Esports Team.

Photo credit: Sali Saltunç Twitter

Williams Esports has confirmed experienced esports racer Salih Saltunç as a new driver, as they announced on Twitter this Tuesday. The esports division of the British Formula One team has several rosters in different esports racing series under contract, one being a squad for the Formula One Esports Pro Series.

The British driver Saltunç joins the virtual Formula One line-up and swaps from Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Racing who he raced for in the previous season.

Williams is currently changing their entire F1 roster. There are three virtual drivers’ seats available in the team. In the previous season, Finnish esports racer Tino Naukkarinen and the Briton Isaac Price were representing Williams. The trio was completed by 19-year-old Álvaro Carretón from Spain who joined the organisation already back in 2018.

But Naukkarinen and Price are no longer part of the team, as recently revealed on Twitter by the drivers. Apart from newest addition Saltunç, the only other confirmed driver for the upcoming season is Carretón who keeps his place at Williams. The third slot is currently still open.

Saltunç is excited about his new role, as he shared on Twitter: “So happy and proud to reveal that I’ve joined Williams Esports for the upcoming season in the F1 Esports Pro Series. It’s beyond a privilege to race for a historic team that is Williams Racing, and I’m excited to get started with them.”

Racing lies in the family

The Briton has been competing in the F1’s highest esports league since its establishment in 2017. He celebrated his best F1 Esports Series result in the 2018 season when he came fourth in the overall standings and won the race at Hockenheim during the season. In 2019, he once again managed to finish in the top ten, this time in 10th place. However, he was nearly overtaken by former William’s driver Tino Naukkarinen and only a single point separated the two esports racers in the final standings.

Saltunç has been competing in the F1 games since the age of 11, and he has not been alone on his journey. His brother Sonuc Saltunç participates in esports racing as well. Both were picked in the F1 Esports Series Pro Draft by the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Esports Team in 2018. Sonuc Saltunç was released ahead of the 2019 Pro Draft.

It seems like the brothers inherited the need for speed from their father. In an interview with Sportsgazette, Salih Saltunç revealed that their father “directed us the right way, both in education and racing. Everything I know from F1, everything I know from karting has all come from him.” It will be interesting to see whether his brother will join him on track again in official races, either as teammate or competitor.