Red Bull Racing Esports start the 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series strong, leaving the first round with a podium finish.
Joni Tormala and Graham Carroll wore the Red Bull colours in the first season where teams entered F1’s official Esports Series.
After three races at Australia, China and Azerbaijan on Codemasters‘ F1 2018 game, both drivers left the GFinity Arena in London lying sixth and seventh in the championship, with Carroll ahead of Tormala.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports driver and reigning champion Brendon Leigh took victory around Albert Park and Shanghai whilst Red Bull’s sister team, Toro Rosso Esports Team captured victory on the line with Frederik Rasmussen passing Leigh on the final lap.
Australia saw both Tormala and Carroll secure Red Bull’s best result of the series so far with Tormala capturing a podium with third place, after a penalty to Daniel Bereznay helped promote the Finnish driver. Carroll followed behind in fourth.
Carroll picked up the team’s only points in China with eighth place whilst his Finnish team-mate crossed the line in twelfth. Azerbaijan could see Tormala pick up one point whilst Carroll rounded off the first round in twelfth.
The Finn of Tormala left the first round with mixed feelings, saying both himself and his team-mate need to work on improving their qualifying performance.
“I have mixed feelings about my performance on the day but it’s great to get started with the series and the Red Bull Team,” said Tormala.
“The first race was obviously good but things didn’t quite go to plan in the following qualifying sessions and after that it was all about damage limitation. Myself and Graham need to work more on qualifying but sometimes it’s not in your hands and there’s nothing you can do, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back from it next time. Ahead of the next race it’s just about putting in more hours and more laps on the game.
“I think our practice for this event was pretty good, but we can always improve and our aim is obviously to be the best out there.”
Red Bull’s performance in the first round has placed them third overall in the constructors’ championship with 32 points, whilst Toro Rosso lie ahead in second with 57.
With seven rounds of the series to go, Carroll feels good to leave in a position in the championship he can build on for the next round.