Red Bull Racing Esports and Toro Rosso Esports have announced their 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series line-up, with 2018 third place overall driver Frederik Rasmussen earning a promotion to Red Bull’s main squad.
For the first time since the formation of the series in 2017, all ten FIA Formula 1 World Championship teams will take part in the F1 Esports Series.
Nine of the the teams entered the series last year with the introduction of a teams’ championship, with Scuderia Ferrari the only team not to enter the series. The Italian giants however, have agreed to enter the Esports scene this year and will form their own team for the series and for future Esports competitions.
With majority of the teams making changes to their line-ups, with some of the drivers who joined their teams last year through the Pro Draft being released, Red Bull and Toro Rosso have announced their driver line-up they’ll use for the 2019 F1 Esports Season. They’ve become the second and third team to announce their drivers, with Renault Sport Team Vitality being the first to make their announcement.
Rasmussen, who was picked up by Toro Rosso last year as a free agent after the Pro Draft, finished third overall behind both Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports drivers Brendon Leigh and the recently released Daniel Berenzay.
The eighteen-year old Dane took one victory in last year’s championship, snatching the win away from Mercedes in the race towards the finish line at Baku. Rasmussen and two-time F1 Esports Champion Leigh forged a rivalry within the Esports competition that saw a controversial incident took place at the final race in Abu Dhabi.
The Dane’s efforts over 2018 has seen him transition from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, partnering alongside Joni Törmälä, who retains his seat after finishing seventh overall in the championship. Scottish driver Graham Carroll has been released from the F1 Esports team, but still remains part of the Red Bull Esports programme.
“I am very happy to being able to represent the Red Bull Racing Esports team this year,” said Rasmussen.
“Last season I was runner up behind Mercedes but we will be training hard with the new F1 2019 game and we look forward to giving our best.”
Finnish gamer Törmälä captured Red Bull Esports’ only podiums in last year’s championship with three appearances, and says he is excited to be teaming up with Rasmussen for the 2019 season.
“Frede has shown great performances last year and I’m very excited about teaming up with one of the biggest sim racing talents in recent years,” commented Törmälä .
“Working together and with the support of the team we hope we can challenge for the world championship.”
As well as Red Bull announcing their F1 Esports line-up, sister team Toro Rosso have announced their driver pairing with Cem Bolukbasi and Patrik Holzmann remaining at the team for a second season.
Turkish driver Bolukbasi recently contested in the GT4 European Series with Bo Motorsport, piloting a BMW M4 GT4 and finishing 24th overall in race two at Paul Ricard.
Both teams will add more names into their squad in this years Pro Draft, taking place on the 16-17th July. All F1 Esports must draft at least one driver into their teams for the 2019 season.
The 2019 F1 Esports Pro Series will commence in September and will run in four lives shows, with the finale taking place in December at the GFinity Arena in London.