As the real-world Formula 1 season continues apace, the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco will return this week with an enhanced offering.
From Wednesday 14 September a new format of three days per event is set to be used, while there will also be more live shows than ever before – as drivers and teams go wheel to wheel for a huge pot of $750,000.
In 2022, four events will take place, all featuring three days of action – with qualifying and the race for each round taking place on stand-alone days. The new campaign will start on Wednesday at the Sakhir International Circuit, before trips to Imola and Silverstone on Thursday and Friday.
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Additions to this year’s F1 Esports calendar include Suzuka and the Yas Marina Circuit, with the Abu Dhabi venue hosting the season finale – mirroring the F1 Championship.
Each qualifying session will be broadcast live on the official F1 YouTube, Twitch and Huya channels, with the race to be broadcast on the same platforms, plus Facebook. All race day streams will also be carried by select TV broadcasters including Sky Sports F1, Viaplay and ESPN.
As usual, production will come live from London’s Gfinity Arena, but drivers will continue to race from Esports team facilities or factories, or their own homes, and compete on the official website. F1 22 video game, developed by EA and Codemasters.
2022 F1 Esports Calendar
|1||September 14||1||Sakhir, Bahrain|
|September 15||2||Imola, Italy|
|September 16||3||Silverstone, Great Britain|
|2||October 12||4||Red Bull Ring, Austria|
|October 13||5||Thermal baths, Belgium|
|October 14||6||Zandvoort, Netherlands|
|3||November 2||seven||Monza, Italy|
|November 3||8||Mexico City, Mexico|
|November 4||9||Austin, United States|
|4||December 14||ten||Suzuki, Japan|
|December 15||11||Interlagos, Brazil|
|December 16||12||Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi|
Several top driver moves have taken place since last year’s championship, with third-placed Lucas Blakeley replacing Aston Martin with McLaren Shadow, Manuel Biancolilla taking a place at Aston Martin on his return after a year out. absence, and Filip Presnajder leaving Alfa Roméo at Alpine.
Meanwhile, back-to-back defending champion Jarno Opmeer remains with Mercedes, Brendon Leigh remains at Ferrari alongside team-mate Davide Tonizza, while Red Bull have retained all of their drivers, including the effective duo of Marcel Kiefer and Frede Rasmussen.
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In terms of new talent, Alpine have signed Luke Smith – who finished second in the 2022 Pro Exhibition – with Aston Martin bringing in Pro Exhibition semi-finalist Josh Evans and Haas securing the services of the Pro Exhibition champion 2022 Thomas Ronhaar.
A total of nine drivers have been moved onto the grid, while seven new drivers have been spotted at the Pro 2022 exhibition after qualifying via one of the F1 Esports Series qualifying routes, including the counter -the DHL watch.
2022 F1 Esports Grid
|Alfa Romeo ORLEN F1 Esports Team||Nicolas Longuet||French|
|Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports Team||Joni Tormala||Finnish|
|Alpine esports team||Luke Smith||British|
|Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Esports Team||John Evans||British|
|Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports Team||David Tonizza||Italian|
|Haas F1 Team Esports||Thomas Ronhar||Dutch|
|Matthjs van Erven||Dutch|
|McLaren Shadow||Wilson Hughes||British|
|Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team||Jarno Opmeer||Dutch|
|Red Bull Racing Esports||Marcel Kiefer||German|
|Williams Esports||Alvaro Carreton||Spanish|
|Shanaka clay||Sri Lankan|
“We are very excited about the new season of the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship and its growing success, and with so many promising big moves and intriguing driver changes on the grid, we look forward to kicking off the season and making the race.” said Brandon Snow, chief commercial officer of Formula 1.
“As always, we would like to thank our partners Aramco, DHL and Fanatec for their continued support which enables us to bring elite sim racing to a growing number of fans around the world.”
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Paul Jeal, Senior Franchise Director F1 at Codemasters, added: “The new era of F1 has delivered incredible drama, and it is time for the best esports drivers to take their place in a new format for a part of the game. $750,000 pot.
“With up-and-coming talent taking on established pros, this could be the most unpredictable season yet, and we can’t wait for the lights to go down.”
John Clarke, CEO of Gfinity, added: “The F1 Esports Pro Championship continues to go from strength to strength. Last year’s attendance numbers more than doubled, resulting in a record 1.3 million drivers taking part in the battle for a spot on one of F1’s team rosters.
“That number has now been whittled down to the top 30 drivers who are ready to come together and test their skills at twelve iconic Formula 1 circuits. This year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet and we look forward to bringing the race live to the world from the home of F1 Esports, the Gfinity Arena.