F1 Esports Challengers… Round 1 Round up
The Challengers is well under way! Just ahead of the Christmas holidays, our cohort of hopefuls took to the track for the first time as they vie for the chance to be selected by one of the official F1 Esports teams in 2021.
Three groups of 16 (one per console) all battled it out around the Hanoi Street Circuit and Shanghai International Circuit in the first two rounds of the championship, all of which was streamed live on Twitch and Huya.
Sixteen players qualified on each platform, PS4, Xbox and PC, by taking part in the ‘F1® Esports’ specific events in F1® 2020. Each platform has its own 10-race Challengers championship, racing in equal cars, and the top six will earn a place in the next stage. That means 18 very talented virtual F1® 2020 drivers will be heading from the Challengers.
Thijmen Schütte took pole position in Hanoi, and blasted off the line well in the race to take pole position. Javier Pérez was hot on his heels, but could not best the Dutchman, and so Schutte took victory after an intense race-long battle
For the second race in China, the qualifying format was a one-shot session, with the drivers getting just a single lap in Shanghai to decide the grid. This time, Germany’s Niklas Clasani took the top spot. However he was outgunned at the start by Guillaume Da Rugna. He took the lead into Turn 1, and never looked back, executing a flawless victory.
XBOX ONE RACES
F1 Esports veteran Kedon Lutt notched pole in Hanoi with a time of 1;32.075, but couldn’t hold on to the lead as the lights went out. Sam McCabe and Jonas Rutten instead sprang forth and put on a duel for the ages. Rutten ran away with the win – however Lutt got a second wind and managed to power back to second place.
Miko Hautajoki grabbed pole in China, just ahead of Lutt, and the two were almost inseperable throughout the race. Lutt had the last laugh though, and put the moves on his rival late in the race to take victory, and a commanding lead in the Xbox series.
F1 Esports mainstay Josh Idowu threw down an impressive gauntlet, putting himself on pole in Hanoi. However, he was not to be victorious, with 2020 Pro Draft contender Alessio di Capua snatching the win from P4 on the starting grid.
Qualifying in China saw perhaps the most incredible, with Nicolas Mateo taking pole by just 0.001s! He was overpowered on the third lap by 2017 F1 Esports third-place man Sven Zurner though, and the smiley German took the win ahead of Mateo, and Ruben Vallejo.
The second event gets going next month, with January 26-28 seeing our cohort in action at Zandvoort in the Netherlands and Red Bull Ring in Austria. All races will be streaming live on Twitch and Huya from 19:00 GMT, so set your reminders! Until then…