14-year old Otis Lawrence has been dominant in WOR’s top Xbox F1 22 tier. He has also just been picked up by Veloce and may very well be the next star of F1 Esports.
Image credit: Veloce
When it comes to F1 Esports prospects, there are always plenty of upcoming players who show that they are very quick and capable, even long before they’re eligible to compete in the Pro Championship. The likes of AlphaTauri’s Josh Idowu and Alfa Romeo’s Tomek Poradzisz were both scouted very early on.
It’s time to peak into our crystal ball and predict who we believe to be the next upcoming star in the F1 Esports scene. Someone we believe teams should keep a close eye on is Otis Lawrence – otherwise known as FRA_ELITE45 – who is dominant in World Online Racing’s top Xbox tier.
A Path of Prestige
When it comes to WOR’s top Xbox tier, Lawrence is following in the footsteps of many high profile names. Past WOR Xbox tier 1 champions include Mercedes F1 Esports driver Jake Benham, Xbox F1 Esports Challengers dominant champion Tom Manley and current Haas driver Thomas Ronhaar, who is starring in the Pro Championship.
Just under half way through the season, Lawrence is already 50 points ahead with five wins out of seven, and he has now just joined Veloce Esports as an academy driver. Outside of league racing, Otis is also a British Indoor Karting Champion. He won the Welsh local finals last year.
With all that in mind, we reached out to Lawrence for an interview. We were keen to learn about him having shot to stardom so suddenly.
OverTake: What has been your background in racing?
I used to go and race at my local karting track, it was called Skidz. Ever since then, I’ve just loved driving, so I took up sim racing and played the F1 games. Also won the Welsh national title in the British Indoor Karting Championships.
OverTake: When did you start competing in online league racing?
I joined the FRA Racing team in January and did my first competitive race in February for them. Now I’ve become a part of Veloce, getting to where I am now where I can just push on for the chance of getting into F1 Esports.
OverTake: What have been your top achievements in your time competing?
I haven’t been in long enough in the esports scene to have loads of achievements. I won the TTR Online Championships top tier, that’s probably my biggest achievement so far.
Now I’m trying to win the WOR top tier Xbox championship, that will be my biggest achievement for sure, and so far it’s going good. Of course, another big achievement of mine is signing to Veloce, I keep saying it and people are probably like “STOP SAYING VELOCE”.
OverTake: You burst onto the scene since F1 22’s release. What do you think has contributed to you appearing so suddenly?
I hate to sound like I’m being cocky, but sometimes in WOR I would be gapping people by 10 seconds over a race, the top tier on Xbox. Maybe the teams saw that and thought that I was pretty good, which is why people are talking about me.
F1 22 seems to suit me a lot as well, my driving style. The running order has shaken up since the last game, some have taken to the new cars better than others.
OverTake: Having recently being signed by Veloce, what does your role involve and how does it benefit you?
I’m an academy driver, I can’t say which of the F1 teams I’m working with but I’m helping them develop setups, trialling them out and feeding information back to them so their drivers can apply it.
I work closely with the esports drivers and learn from them, it will definitely prepare me better for a shot at F1 Esports than if I wasn’t affiliated with Veloce.
OverTake: Since you’re two years away from eligibility to compete in F1 Esports, what’s your plan over that time?
I’ll just continue getting as good as I can, keep practicing and get some good results in leagues. Unfortunately, I probably won’t compete in Challengers since my birthday is in April, I won’t be old enough to be eligible.
If I’m trying to qualify for F1 Esports for 2024 when I’m 16, it’ll probably mean doing the Time Trial method to get into the Pro Exhibition.
To follow Lawrence’s WOR campaign, the Xbox tier 1 races take place on Monday evenings at 8pm European time. All races will be streamed to World Online Racing’s YouTube channel.
To find any and all of the next batch of F1 Esports superstars, look no further than the top tiers of many league racing communities.
Who are some potential F1 Esports future stars? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!