F1 Esports: Opmeer crowned champion in wild final race
A thriller in Interlagos saw a new champion crowned and the Teams’ title settled.
The 2020 F1 Esports Pro Series has been the most competitive in history, and the most entertaining.
The fight at the front went right to the wire, but in the end it was Jarno Opmeer that came out on top after a thrilling race in Interlagos.
After a win each in Japan and Mexico, Alfa Romeo’s Jarno Opmeer and Red Bull’s Frede Rasmussen went into the final race of the season as the only two drivers that could claim the crown.
Both were on the pace early in qualifying, but as others found some sensational laps the two faltered in Q3.
Opmeer and his 16-point lead started in P7 while Rasmussen was in P9.
It left Rasmussen with a mountain to climb, and he simply couldn’t recover.
Rasmussen got ahead of Opmeer off the line, but a penalty for speeding into the pitlane put him on the backfoot, and Rasmussen couldn’t then work his way through the field.
In the end Opmeer crossed the line ahead of Rasmussen to secure his Drivers’ Championship.
“I’m super happy […] It’s what I’ve been working for for a very long time.” said Opmeer live on the show.
Out front it was Renault’s Nicolas Longuet who took a commanding pole with a 1:05.713. He led off the line and even undercut his closest rival Marcel Kiefer to retain the lead after the pitstops.
Kiefer was patient with his ERS and overtaking moves, leaving it until the penultimate lap before the two went wheel-to-wheel in a thrilling battle.
Kiefer swooped through in the penultimate lap with a daring move through that started in T4 and ended at T7.
Longuet wasn’t to be denied another win though, and fought back on the last lap with a brave and forceful move that went from T1 all the way through to T5.
Red Bull retain Teams’ Championship
While Opmeer started with a healthy lead in the Drivers’ Championship, it was Red Bull that had a big advantage in the Teams’ Championship, where the $750,000 prize fund gets allocated.
Kiefer’s second-place was enough to seal the top spot, which they also took in 2019.
Alfa Romeo were confirmed in second place, while Renault and Longuet took third.