The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team confirms driver line-up for 2022/23
On the eve of the 2022 F1 Esports Pro Series, reigning Pro Series Constructors’ Champions, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports, announce their driver line-up for the competition, featuring two-time Driver World Champion, Jarno Opmeer. The 22-year-old Dutchman will be defending his crown and looking to become the first-ever driver to win three consecutive Pro Series world titles.
Jarno will be joined again by the Spaniard Dani Moreno, F1 Esports ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2020, who scored his first win in the Pro Series at Zandvoort in 2021 on the way to finishing P4 in the drivers’ rankings and contributing valuable points to the team championship victory. Jake Benham will complete the trio, gaining his first taste of the Pro Series after excelling in the 2022 Pro Exhibition feeder series.
Fresh from the Team’s latest victory at the V10R League Grand Final in Abu Dhabi in July, Jarno Opmeer commented: “I can’t wait to get started in this year’s Pro Series, alongside Dani and Jake, and we’ll be out to defend our titles against some very strong opposition. Preparations for the tournament are well underway and we are practising very hard for when the lights go out around Bahrain on 14th September”.
The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team will be competing across a number of other formats and series over the coming months, assembling a strong squad which includes Bono Huis, a key pillar of the team since 2020.Bono has won a total of five Formula Sim Racing titles, as well as becoming the Formula E 2017 Vegas eRace Champion, Formula Pro 2021 Champion and, most recently, steered the Team to victory in the 2022 V10 R-League, alongside Jarno.
“We are excited to be challenging on so many different fronts and the standard across sim racing has never been higher, which is a great motivation for everyone in the team”, said Bono Huis. We’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for the upcoming series and the new faces in our team are bringing their own experiences to make us even stronger.”
James Baldwin, winner of the 2019 ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ competition is one of those new faces, an exciting driver equally at home racing in the virtual or real world. James is a British GT race winner in the real world and former British GT Esports Champion and Le Mans Esports World Champion in the virtual.
On joining the Team, James Baldwin commented, “I feel very privileged to be part of this team, the infrastructure and support we have to perform is incredible and I’ll be giving it my all to bring more titles back to Brackley. There’s a great mix of skills and experience across different formats in the real and virtual racing worlds amongst the team’s drivers and together, it’s a very strong group.”
Completing the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports driver line-up is Graham Carroll, a former Scottish Karting and Formula Ford 1600 Champion before switching to Esports, becoming iRacing Pro series Champion in 2015. Graham joins from Red Bull Racing Esports where he competed in the V10 R League, as well as achieving a top-three finish in the Porsche GB iRacing championship in each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Oliver MacFarlane, Head of Esports, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, said: “I couldn’t be happier with the driver line-up we’ve assembled to fight for championships across multiple fronts over the coming months and years. Our roster brings together youthful exuberance, championship-winning know-how, as well as a deep commitment to high-performance and operational excellence. Esports is experiencing phenomenal growth in engagement and our six drivers, supported by a world-class team of engineers, will keep us challenging for titles throughout this exciting era of sim racing.”