McLaren Shadow have chosen Olli Pahkala and Bono Huis to represent the team for the first round of the 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series.
The second season of the F1 Esports Series will commence with nine official F1 teams entering the championship for the first time. The nine teams will compete against one another in a ten round calendar to win a prize money pool of $200,000.
All teams selected their drivers through the Pro Draft and signings through the break. Sixteen of the forty drivers who qualified for the series were selected by the teams to compete in the Pro Series finals. Some teams opted to selected one driver whilst others like Renault Sport Team Vitality and Alfa Romeo Sauber Esports Team used all their picks for their three driver roster.
McLaren selected Olli Pahkala in the first round of the Pro Draft and signed Formula E Visa Vegas eRace winner Bono Huis and Enzo Bonito for the series. Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports added drivers to their roster including reigning F1 Esports champion Brendon Leigh. Williams Esports and Toro Rosso Esports Team made additional signings to their roster ahead of the series’ launch.
For the Pro Series finals, teams can only use two drivers for the ten races on the calendar, meaning some teams who have over two drivers will have to decide who to select for the upcoming rounds.
For McLaren, the team decided their line up for the first round with a race off between Pahkala, Huis and Bonito over 15 laps. The three drivers were separated by two to three tenths according to head of McLaren Esports, Ben Payne. The outcome saw Pahkala and Huis be selected to represent the Woking based team for the start of the Esports series on the 10th October.
Pahkala and Huis raced against each other in the Formula E Vegas eRace, with Pahkala taking the initial victory. But a post-race penalty was handed to the Finnish gamer after having a software issue with his computer. Huis was promoted to first place as a result.
The first round of the F1 Esports Series will take place at the GFinity Arena in London on the 10th October and will be broadcasted on Facebook and on selected TV Networks.