FOUR WAY FIGHT! F1 Esports Grand Final Preview
December 3, 2019
In the first two years of F1 Esports, one man has dominated. But reigning champion Brendon Leigh will relinquish his title on Wednesday night. We will crown a brand new champion for the first time in two years, and it’sÂ wideÂ open…
From the very first event, it was clear this would be a very different season 2018. While Mercedes won all but three races last year, they’ve not even touched the top step of the podium this time round. Here’s a look at the road we’ve travelled, and who’s in contention!
LAST TIME OUT
“One of the strongest performances in the history of F1 Esports”. That’s how commentator Jack Nicholls described Jarno Opmeer’s win in Germany. After a solid start to his season, it was lucky race number seven for the Renault Vitality star. His move on points leader David Tonizza for the lead was inspired, and a move his Renault stablemate Daniel Ricciardo would have been proud of.
In race eight, Dani Bereznay finally put his first win on the board after enduring the lion’s share of bad luck in the early races. After collisions, bad luck, and technical gremlins ruled him out of potential wins, he conquered the fearsome Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to take P1. In what he described as a strategic move, he waited until the last lap to pass Rasmussen for victory around the circuit in which he is lauded as one of the very best in the world.
He then continued his purple streak, seizing pole in Monza. The Hungarian maintained the lead at the start, but found himself in unfamiliar territory, from a new face. Red Bull’s Pro Draft pick, Nicolas Longuet not only qualified well in P4, but had the guile to move into the top three in the race. In fact, he led the race on his debut, before he was ultimately overpowered by Bereznay. However, with team mate Rasmussen not scoring, he rescued 18 valuable points for Red Bull in the teams’ championship.
It’s a four-way fight. FOUR. WAY. FIGHT! David Tonizza has a tally of 146 points, and he’s got a healthy gap of 26 points over his next challenger. He began the year with two wins on the bounce. Though there may have been issues for rivals in those events, nobody can deny that Tonzilla has been the class of the field in 2019. He added a third win of the season in a closely-fought duel in Austria, but he needs to watch his back for the man he led over the line…
Frede Rasmussen will be giving it his all. After winning the race in Baku, he marked himself as a frontrunner once again. He’ll still be stinging after losing the win in Canada, where he was one of several drivers who had an altercation with the white line in the pit lane, earning a penalty. After a non-score in the last round in Monza, his tally of 120 points might’ve been more under different circumstances. The Dane though, will be giving it his all after missing out in 2018. His one win compared to Tonizza’s three may seem insignificant, but his consistency and experience have kept him in the hunt.
One new challenger, one experienced hand. Tonizza and Rasmussen are two sides of a coin in F1 Esports. So add to the mix ex Renault Academy racer Opmeer, and you’ve got a varied set of title favourites. There’s no getting away from the fact that the Dutchman’s tally of 103 points puts him somewhat on the backfoot in this fight. He’s a fair way back from Tonizza – but his five podiums so far have given him a fighting chance.
The final member of the fab four in contention is of course Bereznay. Things could’ve been so different – his six points from the first event after leading in Bahrain and China must sting. But he steadily built momentum in event two to return to the podium. And in the last round, he took two consecutive wins to keep himself in the loop. His tally of 93 puts him more than two race victories behind Tonizza at the front, but expect Alfa’s alpha to fight to the very last corner.
Four drivers, from four different teams. It stands to reason that their respective outfits are all also in the hunt. Red Bull Racing Esports (181), Ferrari Driver Academy (146), Renault Vitality (145) and Alfa Romeo Esports (127) are all realistically in the chase.
It’s Red Bull’s to lose of course, and there are a possible 132 on the board. It’s a best possible score of 44 points for a team in any one race. The closest any team has come to that is Renault, who snagged 40 in Canada. So with all this in mind, expect things to change wildly throughout the final event…
Who do you think will take the titles? Join in with pre-event build-up ahead of the event on social media using #F1Esports! And of course don’t miss the GRAND FINAL live from 7PM GMT on Wednesday December 4. We’re cooking on YouTube, Facebook, F1Esports.com, Twitch, and with select broadcast partners too. See you there!
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