Opmeer fought off Red Bull’s Frede Rasmussen, who pushed him all the way, in this week’s Grand Final to retain his crown, whilst Lucas Blakeley, who also went into the final three races in contention for the title, was unable to capitalise on his brilliant form this season for Aston Martin and fell just short.
Former World Champion David Tonizza took the win in Wednesday’s first race as the Pro Championship visited Imola for the first time in a hugely dramatic encounter, as Opmeer and Rasmussen took home crucial points in second and third respectively, with the Red Bull driver putting in an amazing performance after qualifying in P15. McLaren rookie Josh Idowu looked set to take his maiden win after starting on pole, before a last lap spin took him out of contention, while Blakeley saw his title chances slip after dropping several places across two laps towards the end after picking up damage, only securing a solitary point.
Opmeer went on to secure his fourth win of the season later in the day in Mexico City, following a tactical masterclass going into the finals laps of the race. The Dutchman, who started in third place behind Rasmussen and Bari Boroumand respectively, jumped into the lead after a three-way battle down the long first straight, with a sweeping move down the inside into the first corner. The trio continued to jostle for positions throughout the race before Opmeer, who was leading on the penultimate lap purposely let his Red Bull rival past as they went into the final corner to cross the line for the last lap, meaning he could then take back P1 going down the long pit straight. He continued to lead from the front and put the title within touching distance, while Rasmussen, who crossed the line in P2, dropped to third after a time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. A fifth-placed finish for Dani Moreno meant Mercedes secured the Teams’ title for the first time since 2018, when they also won both titles.
This meant Opmeer headed into Thursday’s season finale 21 points clear, and whilst Rasmussen stormed to victory at Interlagos, the Mercedes’ man drove to a comfortable fourth placed finish and secure his second title in as many years. Red Bull’s Rasmussen gave it everything he had, and after starting from tenth he went longer on his medium tyres than all the frontrunners, and built up a commanding lead, but was made to work for his win after coming out of the pits in P15, but the fresh tyres were no match for those in his way. Blakeley ended the season on a high finishing in P2, and there was a well-deserved maiden podium finish for AlphaTauri’s Sebastian Job after an impressive debut season which has earnt him Rookie of the Year.
For all race results and standings, visit: www.f1esports.com
Drivers are continuing to race remotely from their homes or team facilities, as they did in the 2020 season, but the hugely popular competition continues to broadcast from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London. Following the same Event format as recent campaigns, teams battle it out on the official F1 2021 video game, developed by Codemasters, with the live shows are streamed online via official channels of Formula 1 on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on television via select international broadcast partners.
F1 Esports events have achieved over 40 million views across TV and digital, in the last 18 months, and this popularity led to a record number of people attempting to be a part of this year’s Pro Exhibition, with almost half a million taking part in qualification. If you would like to find out more information on how to take part in the F1 Esports Series and for more information on the Pro Championship presented by Aramco, visit www.f1esports.com.
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