Jarno Opmeer, reigning F1 Esports champion, is very close to retaining his title for the 2021 season of the exciting eSports series. With one race to go, the Dutchman has a 21-point lead over his closest rival.
Red Bull’s Frede Rasmussen, who holds second place, will do his best to stop Opmeer’s run. For a big comeback, he would need to win, and the leader must finish at least ninth. Mercedes, Opmeer’s team already won the collective trophy, bringing the silver medal to Brackley for the first time since 2018.
The Action at Imola
The addition of Imola, Italy, to the 2021 F1 season, and indeed to the F1 2021 game, was greeted with universal praise. The tradition-rich circuit offers a tight layout with only one real racing line, so overtaking must be timed to perfection.
Earlier in the day, Josh Idowu took a surprise pole position for McLaren Shadow in only his fourth race this year. He, and 2019 champion David Tonizza, took the front row, with the pair starting on soft tires, unlike those around them.
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They held positions early on, but Tonizza took the lead on lap 6, only to be passed three laps later on lap 9.
When pit stops occurred on lap 10, things got tough. The fight saw Idowu in the lead, with Brendon Leigh reaching the advantage at pit stops.
After a slow start, the championship leader found himself in heavy traffic and started to overtake, on lap 13. Two laps later, Opmeer passed championship rival Lucas Blakeley, moments after the Scotsman made contact with the rear of Tonizza.
Tonizza then passed teammate Leigh on lap 19, who held second place for much of the race. But when Opmeer also tried to pass, Leigh put him on the grass, for which he received a caution. Opmeer got it on the next lap to take third place, and it looked like that would be the end.
However, Tonizza dove into turn 2 and stole the lead from Idowu in spectacular fashion on the final lap. When he rejoined the track, Idowu hit another car and spun, throwing away what he had gained in the first gear.
Tonizza came home for his first win since 2020, ahead of Opmeer and Rasmussen, who made incredible but quiet progress from their lowly P15 qualifying spot. Rounding out the points were Joni Tormala, Leigh, Michael Romanidis, Dani Moreno, Patrik Sipos, Simon Weigang and the unfortunate Blakeley.
Written by I Jhonattan González