F1 Esports 2022 Preview: Can anyone stop Jarno Opmeer?

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The Pro Championship is back, it's time for F1 Esports 2022!

The series returns for its sixth season, with all eyes on Mercedes' Jarno Opmeer.

The Dutch star is trying to become the first three-time F1 Esports champion, but one of the strongest grids ever assembled in sim racing will be out to stop him. There is also a new format to this season too.

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This is EVERYTHING you need to know about F1 Esports 2022.

F1 Esports 2022 schedule

Let's start with when and where you can watch the races!

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The first race is on Wednesday 14 September, with two more races coming in quick succession.

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Round Track Date
1Bahrain14 September
2Imola15 September
3Silverstone16 September
4Red Bull Ring12 October
5Spa-Francorchamps13 October
6Zandvoort14 October
7Monza02 November
8Mexico City03 November
9COTA04 November
10Suzuka14 December
11Interlagos15 December
12Yas Marina16 December

Each race now has its own day because races have been extended to 50% full distance.

This should lead to wider strategy decisions and bigger tyre differences during the race.

Where to watch

You won't miss a minute of the action in F1 Esports this season!

Every qualifying session will be streamed live at 3:30pm BST on Formula 1's official YouTube and Twitch channels.

Race streams start at 7:30pm BST again on F1's YouTube and Twitch, as well as their Facebook page.

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Drivers

Not every team has confirmed its lineup yet.

McLaren is the latest to do so, pairing new signing Lucas Blakeley with the rapid Bari Boroumand to be a true Teams Championship contender.

Jarno Opmeer and Dani Moreno continue with Mercedes as they look to go back-to-back as double champions.

Team Driver 1 Driver 2 Driver 3
MercedesJarno OpmeerDani MorenoJake Benham
Red BullFrede RasmussenMarcel KieferLiam Parnell
Aston MartinManuel BiancolillaSimon WeigangJohn Evans
FerrariDavid TonizzaBrendon LeighFabrizo Donoso
AlpinePatrik SiposFilip PresnajderLuke Smith
McLarenLucas BlakeleyBari BoroumandWilson Hughes
AlphaTauriJoni Tormala Sebastian Job Josh Idowu
WilliamsAlvaro CarretonDaniele HaddadShanaka Clay
Alfa RomeoDani BereznayNicolas LonguetTomek Poradzisz
HaasThomas RonhaarPiotr StachulecMatthjs Van Erven

Title challengers

While no one comes into F1 Esports expecting to win, Jarno Opmeer is certainly the favourite to claim the crown once again.

He's had a successful few months, winning the V10 R-League with his Mercedes team in July and then finishing runner-up in Formula E: Accelerate.

However, he's had a less-than-ideal transition into F1 22, being slightly off-form in PSGL in the run-up to this season. That is unlikely to be a showing of his real pace though.

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As ever his main competitor will be Red Bull's Frede Rasmussen, who must be tired of constantly finishing second in the Drivers' Championship by now.

Frede claimed the Formula E: Accelerate title once again this year, but has consistently had slow starts in F1 Esports that have prevented him from securing the Drivers title. If he can get off to a good start next week and not be at a huge deficit after the first trio of races then he has a great shot of finally securing the title.

Lucas Blakeley has his eyes squarely on the championship. An off-season spent beating Sebastian Vettel at Race of Champions and competing in Sottish Formula Ford has armed him with sharpened skills and a honed competitive spirit.

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Outside of last year's top three, the likes of Bari Boroumand in McLaren and Nicholas Longuet with Alfa Romeo could certainly work their way into the title fight, along with Dani Moreno, Marcel Kiefer, and the Ferrari duo of David Tonizza and Brendon Leigh.

The F1 Esports grid is always super-close, and the new cars of F1 22 are only going to serve to shake things up considerably.