The full driver lineup and schedule for the 2021 edition of the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship is now available following the Preview Show earlier this week.
Now in its fifth season, the official F1 Esports is — if you’re good enough — one of the more lucrative events in esports. As with 2020, the total prize fund stands at $750,000, spread across the 12-race season.
The format of the series will be very familiar to any fans of regular F1. Although the races are only 35% distance (which is far more than the recent Belgian Grand Prix managed), the points and tire requirements are identical.
That means everyone needs to use at least two difference tire compounds in the race — unless it’s declared wet — and points run from 25 for a win down to one for 10th, along with a point for the fastest lap if the driver who achieves it is within the top ten.
This year’s event will again be run remotely, with all participants using the same control equipment provided by F1 Esports. There’ll be 12 races in total spread across four, two-day events and the schedule is as follows:
- Race 1 – October 13 – Sakhir Circuit, Bahrain
- Race 2 – October 14 – Shanghai International Circuit, China
- Race 3 – October 14 – Red Bull Ring, Austria
- Race 4 – October 27 – Silverstone, United Kingdom
- Race 5 – October 28 – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Italy
- Race 6 – October 28 – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
- Race 7 – November 24 – Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
- Race 8 – November 25 – Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands
- Race 9 – November 25 – Circuit of the Americas, USA
- Race 10 – December 15 – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Italy
- Race 11 – December 16 – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico
- Race 12 – December 16 – Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Brazil
The calendar introduces three of the real 2021 season’s new circuits, although the esports racers did run at Zandvoort last season while the real event ended up being shelved. It’s the other way round at Portimao and Imola, which both staged a real event in 2020 but hadn’t made it to the game yet. These two rounds will provide a new challenge for the teams.
Each team will have three drivers on its roster, this year being permitted to sign anyone with a “Pro Rank”. That includes all 30 of last year’s racers and the 30 who qualified for the Pro Exhibition back in March. However they only need to select two for each round and can shuffle the squad between the rounds, even within the same event.
All four of the series champions will race again in 2021, with 2017-2018 winner Brendon Leigh joining 2019 winner David Tonizza at Ferrari, and 2020 champion Jarno Opmeer replacing Leigh at Mercedes. However there’s plenty of drivers with race victories and manufacturer championships in their trophy cabinets racing this season.
Only Aston Martin has an unchanged squad, with all three of its drivers returning from 2020. Given that the trio is Lucas Blakeley, Shanaka Clay, and Daniel Haddad — all capable of at least a podium — that’s no surprise. AlphaTauri has an interesting lineup too, with Red Bull Esports racer Sebastian Job making a switch from iRacing Porsche championships to F1.
The full squads are as follows:
- Filip Presnajder
- Simon Weigang
- Thijmen Schutte (Qualifier)
- Joni Tormala
- Dario Iemmulo (Qualifier)
- Sebastian Job (Qualifier)
- Fabrizio Donoso
- Nicolas Longuet
- Patrik Sipos (Qualifier)
- Lucas Blakeley
- Shanaka Clay
- Daniele Haddad
- Brendon Leigh
- David Tonizza
- Domenico Lovece (Qualifier)
- Cedric Thome
- Matthijs van Erven (Qualifier)
- Samuel Libeert (Qualifier)
- Bono Huis
- Dani Moreno
- Jarno Opmeer
- Dani Bereznay
- Bari Broumand
- Josh Idowu (Qualifier)
- Marcel Kiefer
- Frede Rasmussen
- Liam Parnell (Qualifier)
- Alvaro Carreton
- Michael Romanidis
- Alessio di Capua (Qualifier)
All 12 rounds, and the qualifier events, will be broadcast across F1’s social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
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