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Podium As F1 Sim Racing Gets Under Way

Strong start to new Esports championship

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix brought the curtain down on this year’s track action, yes? No more racing until Bahrain in March, right? Wrong!

It may have gone slightly under the radar, but F1 Esports returned last weekend. And this time under a new name.

The F1 Sim Racing World Championship has been revamped for this season, and the first round took place at Dreamhack Winter in Jönköping, Sweden.

Our three-driver line up for the series includes two-time champion Jarno Opmeer, multiple race winner Dani Bereznay, and up-and-comer Jake Benham. It was Jarno and Dani racing in round one and it got off to a strong start with both qualifying in the top-10: Jarno lining up P8 and Dani on the front-row in P2.

As the lights went out to start the 29-lap race, Dani held position in second as Jarno gained a place to move up to P7. It was strategy that would prove to be the most important factor though.

Stopping a lap earlier than many of his rivals, Jarno used fresher rubber on the medium tyre to vault up the order and into contention. He then used his impressive pace in that final stint to move up to P2 and claim a podium finish.

Dani was caught in the pack behind but got his elbows out on the last lap to nick P6 on the line. That secured important points for the team and leaves the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team tied for P1 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Victory was claimed by Alfa Romeo’s Thomas Ronhaar with the podium completed by Nicholas Longuet for Scuderia Ferrari.

Jarno said: “It was a great start to the F1 Sim Racing World Championship. I had a difficult qualifying session but we made up for it in the race with a P2 finish. Congratulations to Thomas and I’m looking forward to a great battle this season. Let me cook.”

Dani added: “Our qualifying performance represents the pure pace improvements I’ve made since last year.

“I was very happy to take P2. The race itself did give me a hard lesson that I intend to learn from.

“P6 does give us some good points as a team but I felt that I could have done much better.”