The F1 Esports Series Pro Championship presented by Aramco returned with a bang, as the first evening of 2021’s racing action produced two instant classics in Bahrain and China.

Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Esports Team’s Lucas Blakeley secured an emotional first win after a tense fight in the desert of Sakhir, while defending champion Jarno Opmeer played a blinding strategy to overcome the odds in Shanghai.

Here’s what went down as F1 Esports returned in style.

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Blakeley’s Bahrain breakthrough

Lucas Blakeley has enjoyed podium success in the F1 Esports Series before, but that elusive win has always lingered just out of reach. That all changed on Wednesday though, when the Scot took an emotional first win under the lights in Bahrain.

Polesitter Nicolas Longuet was out-dragged by Blakeley at the start, and the latter led into Turn 1, a lead he would protect for most of the race. However the cat-and-mouse battle reached critical point on Lap 17, as Longuet seized the lead.

2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship Event 1: Round 2 Highlights, China

For two laps he sat behind the Frenchman, before re-taking the lead on Lap 19. Alvaro Carreton in third muscled in on the action on the final lap and almost stole second place, but despite some minor contact, Blakeley held on to lead Longuet and Carreton over the line.

Reigning champion Opmeer was next, followed by new Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports team mate Dani Moreno. Bari Boroumand put in a fine performance to finish sixth on his McLaren Shadow debut, ahead of Red Bull Racing Esports duo Frede Rasmussen and Marcel Kiefer.

Opmeer rolls the dice

Jarno Opmeer needed a minor miracle to salvage something from race 2 in China, having qualified a dismal P14. The Dutch master did not disappoint though. With a wet start, the entire field began on wet tyres bar Opmeer, who opted for the intermediates – a move that proved genius on Lap 5 when the majority of the field pitted.

As those around him switched compounds, Opmeer ate into their advantages, and by the time the leaders pitted, he was already clear. From P18 on Lap 1 to leading the race by half-distance.

The conditions continued to improve however, and it was Alpine’s Fabrizio Donoso who was next to roll the dice, pitting for slick tyres on Lap 16. Opmeer followed suit on Lap 17 and arrived at Turn 1 to see Donoso fly past into the lead once more. But later in the lap, a small error from Donoso allowed Opmeer an opportunity too good to resist, and he powered through to take the lead on the back straight.

From then on it was a comfortable win, ahead of Donoso, Kiefer, Blakeley, and Boroumand, who had slipped backwards from pole. Brendon Leigh got on the scoreboard for FDA Esports in sixth, ahead of Aston Martin’s Daniele Haddad in seventh. Dani Moreno came home eighth, while Williams Esports’ Michael Romanidis and Alfa Romeo new blood Filip Prensajder completed the points scorers.

2021 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship Event 1: Round 1 Highlights, Bahrain

What happens now?

An epic night of racing is in the history books, but we’re not done yet! Event 1 concludes on Thursday, October 14, with the qualifying show from 1530 BST, and the race show at 1930, where we’ll be visiting the epic Red Bull Ring in Austria. Join us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or with our broadcast partners around the globe.



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