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F1 Esports drivers announced as the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series kicks off

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F1-Esports-Pro-Draft-2019---Gfinity-Arena---0074---Joe-Brady.jpg

Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, is accelerating towards the start of the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Pro Series. Following a hard-fought selection process, the world’s most skilled esports drivers representing the 10 official F1 Esports teams have been announced.

The gamers that will make up each team’s driver roster* and compete in the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Pro Series are:

F1 TeamDriver NameNationality
Alfa Romeo Racing F1 EsportsDaniel BereznayHungary
Alfa Romeo Racing F1 EsportsKimmy LarssonSweden
Alfa Romeo Racing F1 EsportsSalih SaltunçUnited Kingdom
Ferrari Driver AcademyDavid TonizzaItaly
Ferrari Driver AcademyAmos LauritoItaly
Ferrari Driver AcademyGianfranco GiglioliItaly
Haas F1 Team EsportsFloris WijersNetherlands
Haas F1 Team EsportsJan FehlerGermany
Haas F1 Team EsportsMartin ŠtefankoCzech Republic
McLaren ShadowEnzo BonitoItaly
McLaren ShadowBono HuisNetherlands
McLaren ShadowAllert van der WalNetherlands
Mercedes-AMG Petronas EsportsBrendon LeighUnited Kingdom
Mercedes-AMG Petronas EsportsPatryk KrutyjPoland
Mercedes-AMG Petronas EsportsDaniel ShieldsAustralia
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports TeamDaniele HaddadItaly
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports TeamMarcel KieferGermany
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports TeamLucas BlakelyUnited Kingdom
Red Bull Racing EsportsFrederik RasmussenDenmark
Red Bull Racing EsportsJoni TörmäläFinland
Red Bull Racing EsportsNicolas LonguetFrance
Renault Sport Team VitalityJarno OpmeerNetherlands
Renault Sport Team VitalityCedric ThoméGermany
Renault Sport Team VitalitySimon WeigangGermany
Scuderia Toro Rosso EsportsPatrik HolzmannGermany
Scuderia Toro Rosso EsportsCem BölükbaşıTurkey
Scuderia Toro Rosso EsportsManuel BiancolillaItaly
Williams EsportsÁlvaro CarretónSpain
Williams EsportsTino NaukkarinenFinland
Williams EsportsIsaac PriceUnited Kingdom

*pending confirmation of speed eligibility test

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The Series will welcome back some of the most respected online racers within the industry. The line-up includes the yet-to-be-defeated, two-time F1 Esports Series champion Brendon Leigh, as well as sim racing star Enzo Bonito who outpaced professional racing drivers earlier in the year driving a real-life racing car at the 2019 Race of Champions. They will join some new faces such as Ferrari Driver Academy’s first-ever esports draft pick, David Tonizza, and Racing Point’s Lucas Blakeley from the UK. They will now battle it out for the title of this year’s F1 Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions on F1 2019, the official F1 videogame developed by Codemasters.

With Ferrari Driver Academy making their debut in esports and in the Pro Series, this year is set to feature even more adrenaline-fuelled action with a full grid represented in the virtual championship. Now taking place over a series of four live shows at London’s Gfinity Esports Arena, they will go head to head for a highly coveted $500,000 prize fund – more than double that of last year – on September 11th, October 2nd, November 6th and culminating in the Grand Final on December 4th.

Bringing the excitement and exhilaration of Formula 1 to a new generation of fans across the globe, all four live events will be streamed online between 19:00 – 21:00 (BST) on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, as well as broadcast on global television by broadcast partners such as Sky UK, Ziggo (Netherlands), MTV (Finland) and Fox Australia, among others.

In addition, Formula 1 has officially signed a deal with Huya, one of China’s largest live streaming platforms, to broadcast the Pro Series content live in China, marking an expansion of the Series’ reach and presence in one of the world’s leading esports nations. Last month, in partnership with Juss Intellisports, Formula 1 also launched the F1 Esports Series China Championship to identify F1’s first ever Chinese esports qualifiers to enter the 2020 Pro Draft.

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The Pro Series is the exciting climax of the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Series, which saw a record-breaking 109,000 gamers from across the globe compete in this year’s qualification stages. Ten of the most talented gamers were selected at the Pro Draft in July to drive alongside established racers and join one of the ten official F1 Esports teams.

The 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series will also follow the FIA Formula 1 World Championship rule change, to award the driver of the race fastest lap a point, and DHL will once again reward the driver who collects the most fastest laps with a special prize.

With significant increase in interest of the F1 New Balance Esports Series, and for those who missed out this year, qualifying rounds for the 2020 Series have launched early for the very first time. Now officially open and running until the end of the calendar year, anyone with a copy of F1 2019, the official F1 videogame developed by Codemasters can take part. The qualifications are open globally and there are three qualifying rounds left. For more information, please visit www.f1esports.com.

Julian Tan, Head of Growth & Esports at Formula 1 said:
“We are looking forward to kicking off the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series now that the drivers for the ten official F1 teams have been set. Brendon Leigh will be focused on making it a hat trick of titles but he will need to fend off the challenge of some incredible racing talents like Frederik Rasmussen, Daniel Bereznay, Enzo Bonito and Floris Wijers to name just a few who will be hungry for the crown and look to bring the team championship trophy home for their respective F1 teams. With a $500,000 prize fund at stake, it is all to play for. We can’t wait to see how the virtual championship plays out over the next four live shows and which of the ten official F1 teams will emerge victorious.”

Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters, said:
“The F1 Esports Series continues to go from strength to strength with participation and viewing numbers growing each season. With all 10 teams now represented, Season Three promises to be the most competitive to date. The teams are ready. The players are ready. It’s now time for the live shows and we can’t wait to see if a new champion will emerge.”

Garry Cook, Executive Chairman at Gfinity plc, said:
“The talking is nearly over. Now it is time for the fast paced, thrills and spills action that has become the trademark for the F1 New Balance Esports Series to begin. Highly skilled athletes, committed teams, an amazing game and a passion for competition means this year is undoubtedly going to be the best ever. A sign of the success of the Series is that sports rights holders across the globe are looking at what the broader F1 team has created and the excitement it is generating with fans and are asking the question ‘how do we do the same for our sport?”.

For more information on the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series visit www.f1esports.com.

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