Mercedes duo Brendon Leigh and Daniel Bereznay put up a solid show in the opening night of 2018 F1 ESports Championship with Toro Rosso’s Frederik Rasmussen halting their winning run.
With the exception of Ferrari, all the nine F1 teams fielded their chosen two drivers to open the 2018 season at Gfinity Arena in London with three races scheduled at Albert Park, Shanghai International Circuit and Baku City Circuit.
Leigh did well to start the season with a pole alongside teammate Bereznay in Australia with Williams’ Tino Naukkarainen and Red Bull Racing’s Joni Tormala in row two. It was a strightforward first race with 2017 champion opening 2018 with a win.
He had Berezany in a close second but a penalty dropped him to sixth, thereby promoting Naukkarainen to second after he overtook Tormala in the run-up to the finish line. Graham Carroll made it a good start for Red Bull in fourth.
Renault’s James Doherty was fifth from Berezany as Williams’ Alvaro Carreton also dropped to seventh after a penalty with Sauber’s Salih Saltunc gaining places to eighth from Rasmussen and McLaren’s Bono Huis.
It was Bereznay on pole for the second race in China alongside Rausmussen with Force India’s Fabrizio Donoso Delgado and Marcel Kiefer completing the row two. Having started in sixth, Leigh managed to pass his rivals to make it two in two races.
Bereznay this kept it a Mercedes 1-2 with Force India making it 3-4 as Kiefer claimed his maiden podium from Delgado after penalty to Rausmussen dropped him out of the Top 10. Sauber’s Saltunc did well in fifth.
It was a close fight for sixth as Huis fended off Carroll and Toro Rosso’s Patrick Holzmann in a three-way tussle, as Haas’ Martin Stefanko and Renault’s Sven Zurner rounded the Top 10 positions.
The final race turned out to be a dogfight between the two Mercedes racers along with Rausmussen as the trio went on it until the chequered flag in Azerbaijan as Rausmussen snatched the win from Leigh on the finish line to stop the Mercedes charge.
Leigh took him on the final lap but couple of mistakes allowed Rausmussen to take his first win as Leigh and Bereznay settled for second and third respectively. McLaren’s Enzo Bonito was fourth with Holzman in fifth.
Huis continued his fine run to finish sixth from Sauber’s Allert Vanderwal and Doherty. In a last lap dash, Delgado took ninth from Zurner. After three races, Leigh leads with 68 points to Bereznay’s 41 and Rausmussen’s 27 with seven more races to go in F1 ESports season.