JARNO OPMEER: “We have nothing to lose”

JARNO OPMEER: “We have nothing to lose”

December 8, 2022

P5 // 2 wins // 110 points // Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports

F1 is quite fond of going Double-Dutch. Two Dutch Grands Prix the last two years. Two titles for Dutchman Max Verstappen. Two Dutchies on the grid in 2023 with the arrival of Nyck de Vries. Two points for him in his debut race. Even F1 Esports has a pair of pedallers from the Netherlands. But one man who can make the number three synonymous with the country is Jarno Opmeer…

Unlikely though it may seem, Opmeer is a little on the back foot going into the Grand Final. A third title is still within reach, but he has ground to make up.

“We are the ones hunting everyone” he said ahead of the Grand Final.

“I don’t feel any pressure because I’ve already won two titles. But if I do get the third, I’ll be the first one to do it. I just want to win! I’m going into it with full push, I’m not going to leave any stone unturned. I’m feeling confident, and faster than I have all year.”

A confident and fast Jarno Opmeer should be enough to give anyone the shivers. After a strong P2 finish in the first race of the year, he had a middling run of six races, including two no-scores. The first race of Event 3 was a nightmare, dropping out of Q1 in Monza and then failing to ascend. But he followed it up with two wins, providing the ultimate lows and highs.

“I think Mexico is the turnaround for us this year – it’s my highlight of the season. I’m usually strong there, but Monza is usually a strong track for me as well, so nothing was certain.

“In Monza, I just had a really tough day in general. I struggled a bit with the game, I had some bad news in the morning, so just a tough one. But it made me turn round for the days after. I knew I could fight for the win in Mexico, so that was amazing”


From an outside perspective, the final lap of the race at COTA was epic. Four drivers, all fighting for the win, on the final lap of the race. Action doesn’t really get any better for a neutral… so what was it like for the man that won it?

“Going into the last lap, I had a lot of battery left, but so did Thomas and Bari. I went a little bit the wrong way on the wet setup [due to qualifying]. I felt a little bit hopeless in P3, because you get stuck in a DRS train. I saw Thomas going down the inside and Bari swiped him a little bit – that was the exact invitation I needed going into that corner.”

“I wasn’t sure I was going to make the switchback, because I was so far back on the entry, but they both ran so wide, and I just set up the exit perfectly. I gave them both plenty of space to re-join onto the track, I got hit a few times, and I almost got spun around. But I managed to keep it pointing in the right direction and keep it P1!”


“After Monza I was 56 points behind Lucas. Now, I’m just 22 behind, so I gained 34 points on the leaders in two races. 22 is more than doable.”

The CEO of the Pogmeer Academy knows the numbers are smiling at him. A 22-point deficit, spread over three races, is not a gap, not a chasm. But when those races fall on tracks you’re not historically strong at, it can present challenges.

“Historically speaking, they’re not great for me. I don’t even think I’ve got a podium  at Japan or Brazil… but if we want to fight for the championship we need to win, or be close to winning all three races.

“I’ve done better at some tracks this year that I’ve done badly at in the past – Silverstone is a great example, so I don’t think history really means anything. It also shows that we’re still in this and we’ve got nothing to lose!”


Going into the last event chasing the lead is a new scenario for Opmeer. He had a 19-point gap to Frede Rasmussen in 2020, and a precarious five-point buffer over Lucas Blakeley last year. In 2022, he’s chasing down both of them, plus Bari Boroumand and Thomas Ronhaar.

“Going into the last event as points leader – but not that far ahead – it adds pressure. Every single action you make could lose you the championship. [Lucas] struggled a bit in the last event, he wasn’t at the level he’s usually at. As I say, it’s so close that any little action can throw your championship away.”

“It’s always nice to have the points advantage, but I much prefer hunting people down than being the one with the target on my back, like last year! Going into the last race was not easy, but I’m happy in the position I am right now.”

Of course, Opmeer is no longer the only Dutchman on the grid, with F1 Esports Series Pro Exhibition champion Thomas Ronhaar shaking up the status quo.

“I think it would be amazing if [Thomas] manages to win, because it will mean three Dutch F1 Esports champions in a row. If anyone else besides me wins, I hope he can. But I’ve had pretty clean battles with everyone in the top five, I’m not feeling any big rivalry with anyone.”

Whether he claims the ultimate prize or finishes elsewhere in the top five, Opmeer has more than cemented his legacy as one of F1 Esports’ true greats. Tune in from Wednesday, December 14 to see who comes out on top!

Join us on Friday when we speak to our next title contender for 2022; Frede Rasmussen.

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