2019 F1 Esports Pro Series Driver Roster Announced

by Aaron Gillard

All ten official Formula 1 Esports teams have announced their rosters for the upcoming 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series.

This year’s competition is set to begin on September 11th, where the first live show at the GFinity Arena in London will start the season. Four live shows will take place to decide this year’s champion and which team will take home a slice of the $500,000 prize pool that is at stake.

The 2019 series will see new drivers and a new team enter the competition, with Scuderia Ferrari entering the Esports series for the first time, entering under as Ferrari Drivers’ Academy. Ahead of the 2019 season, all ten teams forged their rosters with the Pro Draft, which saw ten gamers be picked by the teams to represent them for this year’s series.

In total, 30 gamers will get behind the virtual wheel and aim to become the champion within the F1 Esports Series. Brendon Leigh, who won the last year and the inaugural season the year before, is gunning to hold onto his title and become a three-time champion.

Leigh will remain at Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports for this year, who are the current team champions and will hope to make it back-to-back titles. Daniel Bereznay finished second overall, behind Leigh in the drivers’ table, has left and has allowed Australian rookie Daniel Shields to take the reigns as Leigh’s team-mate. Polish gamer Patryk Krutyj was the team’s reserve driver last year but will step up to take the third roster spot for the current champions.

Bereznay has reunited with Veloce Esports, the team who supports the Hungarian throughout his career. Veloce assist runnings with the Alfa Romeo Racing Esports Team, and have a star-studded roster consisting of Bereznay and race winner Salih Saltunc. In the Pro Draft, they selected Kimmy Larsson – who raced with Renault Sport Team Vitality last year but was ultimately dropped by the team. The Swede has been given a second chance in the series by Veloce and Alfa Romeo.

Ferrari in their first season in the series has opted to field an all-Italian line-up, consisting of the overall pick in David Tonizza. He will be joined by Amos Laurito and Gianfranco Giglioli, who were picked up by Ferrari after the Pro Draft. In their first season of any Esports competition, Ferrari will be hoping to fight at the front, just like their real-life counterparts.

Toro Rosso Esports finishes second overall in the team’s standings last year and ahead of the 2019 season, decided to keep two of their three drivers. Cem Bolukbasi and Patrik Holzmann will race for the team for a second season, with rookie Manuel Biancolilla joining them.

Their main team, Red Bull Esports will be ones to watch with Frederik Rasmussen earning a promotion from the Toro Rosso team, after ending last year’s championship third overall. The Dane will join Joni Tormala and Nicolas Longuet, who was selected by the team in the Pro Draft. The team will be aiming to improve on their sixth-place finish from the 2018 season.

HYPE Energy eForce India transition into SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports for the upcoming season. Marcel Kiefer ended last year fifth overall and will remain at the team, partnering alongside two rookie team-mates in Daniele Haddid and Lucas Blakeley.

McLaren Shadow holds onto Enzo Bonito and Bono Huis for season three but adds Dutch gamer and last year’s Alfa Romeo third-string driver Allert Van Der Wal. Haas F1 Esports retain Martin Stefanko, with fellow Czech and VirtualGP rival Michal Smidl leaving the series. This has allowed Floris Wijers, who lost out in last year’s Pro Draft, grab a seat this time around with the American team selecting him. German Jan Fehler joins the team as their first driver.

Williams Esports keep last year’s first overall pick Tino Naukkarinen on for year two, with Alvero Carreton staying onboard as his team-mate. The team adds Isaac Price, who initially joined Williams’ Esports team last year, but couldn’t enter the series in 2018, being near the end of the season. Price was selected by Williams in the Pro Draft with the fourth overall pick.

Renault finished last overall in the team’s standings and will aim to improve in 2019. The team will have an all-rookie driver line up. Simon Weigang joins the team through the Pro Draft, partnering alongside Cedric Thome and Jarno Opmeer, a former MP Motorsport racing driver and member in the Renault Drivers’ Academy.

The series will run with Codemasters Studios’ F1 2019 Game and the live shows can be watchable through Facebook, Twitch and TV channels within specific countries. Sky Sports F1 will broadcast the Esports Series within the UK.

2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series Driver Line-Up

TeamsDriver 1Driver 2Driver 3
Mercedes AMG Petronas EsportsBrendon LeighDaniel ShieldsPatryk Krutyi
Toro Rosso EsportsCem BulokbasiPatrik HolzmannManuel Biancolilla
Alfa Romeo Racing EsportsDaniel BereznaySalih SaltuncKimmy Larsson
McLaren ShadowBono HuisEnzo BonitoAllert Van Der Wal
SportPesa Racing Point F1 EsportsMarcel KieferDaniele HaddadLucas Blakeley
Red Bull EsportsFrederik RasmussenJoni TormalaNicolas Longuet
Williams EsportsTino NaukkarinenAlvaro CarretonIsaac Price
Haas F1 EsportsMartin StefankoFloris WijersJan Fehler
Renault Sport Team VitalityJarno OpmeerCedric ThomeSimon Weigang
Ferrari Drivers AcademyDavid TonizzaAmos LauritoGianfranco Giglioli

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