The first ever F1 eSports Pro Draft commenced with the nine official F1 teams selecting their picks for the 2018 F1 eSports Series.
In its second season, Formula 1 teams join the eSports series as they aim to win both drivers’ and teams’ eSports championship, with over 66,000 entries have been made to take part in this year’s series.
Williams eSports surprised everyone with the first pick of the 2018 F1 eSports Pro Draft with the signing of Tino Naukkarinen.
The British team enjoyed a comfortable position to decide which of the 40 racers available will join their roster for the 2018 F1 eSports series, which they spent on the 18-year old.
Last year’s runner up, Fabiano Donoso Delgado, had the honour of joining HYPE Energy EForce India as their sole pick of the draft, despite having a challenging assessment day at Silverstone in the build up to the draft. The Chillian will join the Force India squad with the already signed Mads Sørensen and Marcel Kiefer
Cem Boluksmek was predicted by many to be the first overall pick, having won a race in the final of last year’s series, and impressing everyone in the draft assessments.
The Turkish racer, with over 10 years of experience of motor racing and has close relations with Fernando Alonso, sat intensely for his name to be called up as the picks went on. Toro Rosso eSports Team saw the opportunity to welcome him in to the Red Bull family with Pierre Gasly handing him in the Italian team’s shirt. Germany’s Patrick Holzmann, who finished fourth in last year’s series joined him as the 11th overall pick.
Red Bull Racing eSports had the honour of selecting the ninth and tenth in the draft with the signing of Joni Tormala and Graham Carroll, with Max Verstappen welcoming them into the team. Joni pushed himself up the draft order with an impressive first day at the combine, coming out on top in the sim racing challenges. Carroll is a former champion in racing, having won the 2008 British National Formula Ford series before switching to eSports.
McLaren Shadow selected with eighth pick in the first round Olli Pahkala from Finland, who impressed during the assessment days and commonly known for his open and funny character, which quickly made him a fan favourite for the series. Pahkala was McLaren only pick in the draft.
Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports created one of the emotional moments of the draft, hiring the Saltunc brothers of Salih and Sonuc. Salih was selected by Sauber in the first round, whilst his brother waited until the final pick of the draft to be called upon to join his brother, now team-mate for the series. The Swiss team, partnered with Veloce eSports, also selected last year’s finalist Allert Van Der Wal in the second round.
Renault Sport Team Vitality chose third place in last year’s series Sven Zurner, who missed the opening day of the assessments at Silverstone to complete his final exams for his apprenticeship, with the fifth pick in the first round. Kimmy Larrson, who was the best in the reaction test in the assessments, was picked in the second round with James Doherty joining the team with the penultimate pick. Both Larsson and Doherty are popular within the F1 online community for their participation with the Apex Online Racing league.
Haas F1 eSports Team went for all Czech line-up with Martin Stefanko and Michal Smidl joining their team, whilst Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport selected Hungarian Daniel Bereznay as their solo pick in the draft.
With the drivers selected, the series will now wait until October for the championship to commence and decide the 2018 F1 eSports champions.
|F1 eSports Team||First Round Pick||Second Round Pick||Third Round Pick|
|Williams eSports||Tino Naukkarinen|
|HYPE Energy Eforce India||Fabiano Donoso Delgado|
|Haas F1 eSports Team||Martin Stefanko||Michal Smidl|
|Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||Daniel Bereznay|
|Renault Sport Team Vitality||Sven Zurner||Kimmy Larsson||James Doherty|
|Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports||Salih Saltunc||Allert Van Der Wal||Sonuc Saltunc|
|Toro Rosso eSports Team||Cem Bolukbasi||Patrick Holzmann|
|McLaren Shadow||Olli Pahkala|
|Red Bull Racing eSports||Joni Tormala||Graham Carroll|