Brazil has produced so many classic races and we're so glad to see the 2022 F1 Esports season heading here today. Suzuka, Japan hosted Round 10 of 12 yesterday and this was a crucial race for the championship.
Lucas Blakeley, Thomas Ronhaar, Frede Rasmussen and Bari Boroumand are the quartet still in with a chance of their first F1 esports title. Here are all the highlights from Round 11 of the 2022 season!
F1 Esports 2022 Brazil
All of the championship contenders were in top form in qualifying. Blakeley claimed pole ahead of Ronhaar, with Bouroumand making it a McLaren 1-2.
Dramatically, Ronhaar would be handed a three-place penalty for blocking Rasmussen and start fifth. Rasmussen lines up P4, behind the impressive Fabrizio Donozo in P3.
In the race, the heavens opened for an intermediate start but with the forecast saying it would dry out before the chequered flag. Blakeley got off to the perfect start as the top five maintained their positions.
The drivers were biding their time in the first ten laps of 36, as the track continued to dry and they were holding out for slicks.
At the end of Lap 13, Brendon Leigh, Shanaka Clay and Piotr Stachulet all went for dry tyres. It was still too early though, as Rasmussen passed Donozo into P3.
On Lap 14, Ronhaar became the first of the front-runners to pit and was followed in by a bunch of midfield runners. Blakeley, Rasmussen and others would pit the following lap and the Medium was the tyre of choice.
Ronhaar's earlier stop paid off, as he too passed Donozo into Turn 6 and up to a net P4. Boroumand was forced to stay out another lap, but this didn't cost him any positions.
Boroumand's colder tyres saw him fall into the clutches of Rasmussen, but the Great Dane wasn't close enough to challenge the man from Iran. Luke Smith kept his Alpine out on the track on Inters and would play a role in this battle.
Ronhaar overtook Smith, but crucially before the pit straight and DRS detection. Both Smith and Rasmussen overtook Ronhaar, frustrating the Dutchman. Rasmussen's rise continued, taking Boroumand for P2 soon after.
Bouroumand's better pace eventually told, powering past Rasmussen on Lap 26. Ronhaar was going the other way, as he was struggling to keep a hold of P5 ahead of Nicolas Longuet.
Contact was made between the pair, with Ronhaar defending very firmly. Nothing could stop the Frenchman the following tour though, with an excellent, late, diving move on the Dutch driver.
Rasmuseen wisely saved his battery and powered by Boroumand at the start of Lap 33, yet another switch in this battle. Further back, Ronhaar was challenging Donozo, but couldn't pass the Ferrari.
Longuet and Donozo had a real scrap for P4, but the former held on for fourth. At the front, Blakeley claimed his fourth win of the season in relative comfort.
Rasmussen held on for second ahead of Boroumand. Longuet got another good result after his win yesterday with P4, ahead of Donozo. Ronhaar will be kicking himself with a below par P6.
Bereznay ended up P7, with Opmeer unable to make up much ground in P8. Jake Benham had a quieter race in P9, with Seb Job finishing with the final point again in P10.
In the standings, Blakeley now has one hand on the trophy, with a 21-point lead over Rasmussen. Ronhaar is one point further back, with Bouroumand out of the title fight.
When's the next round?
There's just one round remaining in the 2022 season! Round 12 will take place tomorrow 16th December in Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina, the traditional season-ender for Formula 1 hosts the final round of the campaign.
Qualifying will be live from 3:30pm on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook as well as Sky Sports F1 in the UK. The race will be live from 7:30pm later in the day on these same channels.