We spoke with Haas rookie and F1 Esports’ latest Flying Dutchman Thomas Ronhaar about his start to the F1 Esports Pro Championship Season.
So far, the 2022 F1 Esports Pro Championship has produced two different race winners over three races. Both of those victors, Lucas Blakeley and Frede Rasmussen, won races last year. Other drivers to have graced the podium so far in 2022 include Jarno Opmeer, Bari Boroumand and Marcel Kiefer.
All of these individuals are established, top-level talents in the world of F1 Esports and have been for quite some time. However, there is one other driver who has reached the podium. A driver who, after a breakout year with F1 2021 in the world of league racing, has only just embarked on his rookie season in the Pro Championship: Thomas Ronhaar.
Thomas Ronhaar: F1 Esports Interview
As a result of his electric start to the season, Thomas is currently the highest-placed Dutchman in the driver’s standings in third overall. Thomas’s compatriot and mentor, F1 Esports legend and reigning champion Jarno Opmeer, sits two points behind the Haas rookie. We spoke to Thomas about the season so far, his time at Haas, and his thoughts about his competitors.
OverTake: You’ve had a very positive start to the F1 Esports Pro Championship. Were you expecting to start the season as strongly as you have?
Obviously before the event started we tried to work as hard as we can to get the best result possible. Going into the season it was new to me, so it was definitely a fresh start. But we helped each other as much as we could, we didn’t expect to be this far up this early but its looking promising.
OverTake: How have you found life at Haas so far?
It’s amazing. The atmosphere [is amazing] and my team mates especially are very good people. It’s an amazing team to work with. Especially for the future it’s looking very promising.
OverTake: Who do you think, other than yourself, will claim the F1 Esports title this year?
It’s quite an obvious answer, I think it’s definitely going to be Lucas [Blakeley], if nothing goes wrong. His pace this game is absolutely amazing. His mindset, especially, is very strong. But also Frede [Rasmussen] could be up there. He has been second three times in a row – he has been very unlucky. Maybe if he gets some luck he can end up somewhere at the top.
But, anything can happen in esports. Maybe someone outside the top ten can end up top two, so we will have to wait and see.
OverTake: Was there an F1 Esports driver that you considered to be an inspiration when you started your journey?
Jarno, definitely. When I started in league racing for the very first time, he was the guy I looked for. He also helped me a little bit to gain a tenth here and there. He helped me out and grow as a person as well.
OverTake: Who is the most underrated driver in F1 Esports?
I think, personally, Sebastian Job. He has been very off the radar, he’s been there or thereabouts. I think he has a lot of potential this year to maybe end up top three. I think his pace this year has grown a lot better than the last few years, so I think he is definitely the underdog for the season.
OverTake: What would you most want to change about the F1 games?
Personally, I don’t have anything bad. Let me have a good think about it. I would say maybe even making races longer than 50% for esports, to get it even more realistic. 35% as they used last season was way too short.
I think what they’ve done so far to put it to 50%, half distance from real life, is a very good step. But I think maybe they can up it a little bit more to do something different. Maybe with 10% or 15% longer races it would be even more exciting, not just for us but also for the fans watching.
OverTake: What has been your biggest surprise of your career?
Definitely my first pole position. To have my first pole position in my second round is absolutely amazing. The feeling when I crossed the line to see my name pop up in purple – I’ve never felt something like this in my life. It definitely got to me, emotions went absolutely everywhere. I was over the moon. And even to see my teammate in p4 it was just absolutely amazing.
OverTake: Do you have any messages you would like to send to your fans?
As many people say: talent without work means nothing. You really have to work hard for it. But if you set yourself the right goals, the right mindset – you want to be an esports driver? You can do it. You need the right structure and the right people behind you, but if you keep on pushing and keep on going, you’ll eventually end up in the right spot.
If you want to hear more from Dutch Haas drivers, check out our ‘Meet the Rookie’ interview with Matthijs van Erven from 2021.
Which F1 Esports drivers would you most like to hear from? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!