The Virtual GP Series kept us entertained during the long shutdown before the Formula 1 World Championship finally got underway and virtual racing will soon be back. The best sim racers in the world will fight it out in the F1 Esports Pro Series 2020 for the World Championship crown. This fourth edition has already seen record numbers: over 237,000 players from around the world tried to qualify on the Codemasters F1 2019 platform, to get to the Pro Draft. The event saw the ten teams choose at least one driver to add to their current driver line-up for the Pro Series 2020. As in 2019, we have chosen Italy’s Manuel Biancolilla, who joins his Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports colleagues, existing driver Patrik Holzmann (Germany) and new arrival Joni Törmälä from Finland, who last year helped Red Bull Racing Esports get the constructors’ title. That’s our roster of three drivers with which we will tackle the 12 Grands Prix on the programme. Because of the current global pandemic, the F1 Esports Pro Series will be run remotely on the brand new Codemasters F1 2020 videogame, with drivers taking part in the races from home or from their respective teams’ factories, to ensure everyone’s safety. The Pro Series runs from October to December: four rounds of three races each, over a brand new format of 35% of the real race distance.
“I am excited to get started on the F1 Esports 2020 season! The line-up of Joni, Manuel and myself should be capable of getting some good results. Everyone has and will be working hard to achieve the success we want. It’s going to be a different experience to the previous years due to the worldwide situation that makes us race from home, so it’s going to be interesting to see how that shakes up the field. I am also involved, with Red Bull Racing Esports, in the top road series on iRacing as well during the year. Driving two different series at the highest level will bring some challenges but I hope I can put all the race experience I have acquired throughout the season to deliver my very best in F1 Esports.”
”I’m really excited to start the 2020 season with the Scuderia AlphaTauri Esports Team, alongside Patrik and Manuel. I think we have a strong team and should be able to score a good number of points throughout the season. My three year experience with Red Bull Racing Esports has been great and ultimately we are all part of the same big family, but as a professional I’m always aiming for the best results possible in any team I’m driving for. I hope my long term experience in sim racing will help the team to climb-up the leaderboard. During this quite long off-season I’ve been keeping myself in shape by doing GT Pro Series in rFactor 2, and will also take part, for Red Bull Racing Esports, in the V10R league in Assetto Corsa, and of course putting in a lot of hours in the F1 2020 game.”
“I’m really pleased to once again have the honour of being part of this family. Last year already, in the F1 Esports Pro Series I got to know Patrik and Joni and it was a pleasure working with two experienced drivers. In 2020, I hope I can get better results than in 2019. I’ve already got a better feeling with the Codemasters F1 2020 video game and experience gained last year will definitely be useful. As for my general Sim Racing involvement this year, I’ve taken part in a lot more events. Among my best results was second place in the GTE category in the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours, in which Pierre Gasly was also racing in the LMP category. I also took part in some Pro exhibitions as part of the F1 Virtual GP Series which entertained the fans during the months when there were no real Formula 1 races.”