Haas F1 Esports Team will headline two Czechs to represent their Esports team for the 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series and have set their goal on winning the first ever constructors’ title.
The second season of the F1 Esports Series begins on the 10th October with the inclusion of teams for the first time. Nine official F1 teams enter the series to do battle on Codemaster Studios‘ F1 2018 Game for a prize money pool of $200,000. The first live event will take place at the GFinity Arena in London, where it’ll host the first three races.
Over 66,000 players entered the series through qualification events on F1 2017, which narrowed it down to 40 gamers who entered the Pro Draft. Haas selected two drivers for the series, both from the Czech Republic and racing in the Virtual GP series.
Martin Štefanko and Michal Šmídl were selected in the first two rounds of the Pro Draft and will represent the American team for the season. Both competed for the championship in last year’s Virtual GP series, where Štefanko won at the title at the final race at Suzuka.
Štefanko thinks the team are prepared for the Pro Series ahead and has set the eyes of clinching the first constructors’ championship.
“Overall, I think we’ve prepared pretty well. We’ve spent a lot of time doing qualifying and race simulations, and working on general pace, consistency and strategy,” said Štefanko.
“We’re working together on the setup, the strategy, ERS management, sharing all tips and tricks. We don’t have expectations in terms of how we will work together in the events, but if, for example, one of us will be stuck behind the other, we’ll either let him go or not fight each other too hard, because our main concentration is the constructors’ championship and we want to get as many points as a team.
“We want to see how everything works, where we are in terms of pace and performance, and then we’ll go from there.”
Šmídl currently leads this year’s Virtual GP championship by winning eleven out of eleven races and has a 130 point lead to his Haas team-mate Štefanko with one race to spare.
The pair have been practicing together, trading setup and advice in preparation for the series, with Šmídl hoping to use the first event as a learning curve and pounce in the final two events.
“I have been busy with other competitions in recent days, but I still feel I’m prepared for this event,” Šmídl commented.
“We are practicing together and sharing every tip, info and, obviously, the setup of the car. Martin is little bit faster than me because I am struggling with the tire management.
“I will take it as a lesson this time around and come back stronger for the remaining two events.”