F1 Esports FINAL: 5 way fight for championship

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After a long break, F1 Esports returns with the final three races of a remarkable season.

After nine races the championship battle is incredibly close, with five drivers still in with a good chance of walking away F1 Esports Champion.

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So when can you watch the action? And who will walk away with the title? Let's take a look!

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Familiar faces & new challengers

Jarno Opmeer and Frede Rasmussen came into this season expected to duel for the title once again, but their head-to-head battle got gatecrashed right from the start.

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Lucas Blakeley claimed victory in the first race of the season and has gone on to claim the top step two more times and now leads the championship. His McLaren Shadow teammate Bari Boroumand got a maiden victory in Spa and is in third.

Meanwhile, rookie sensation Thomas Ronhaar has forced his way into the lead pack, picking up two wins and having a fierce rivalry with Rasmussen all season.

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Just 22 points separate the five title challengers. Three races tension-filled races stand between one of these drivers and ultimate victory, making it one of the most open final events in F1 Esports history.

Blakeley's 11-point lead makes him a favourite to claim the crown, but his pace seemed to disappear last time out. The Scot picked up just 6th, 7th, and 6th in event 3 while reigning champion Jarno Opmeer grabbed a pair of wins.

Suzuka

Wednesday 14 December - Qualifying 2:00pm GMT - Race 5:30pm GMT

The first race of the finale will take place at the drivers' paradise that is Suzuka.

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Last on the F1 Esports calendar in 2020, the difficulty of overtaking here will make qualifying all the more crucial. Rasmussen grabbed the win here in 2020, but a lot has changed since then.

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Tyre freshness, qualifying, and the potential help of a teammate will be crucial to making an impact at Suzuka.

Interlagos

Thursday 15 December - Qualifying 3:30pm GMT - Race 7:30pm GMT

Few tracks inspire such brilliant racing as Interlagos. The Brazilian circuit was home to a thrilling finale last season as Rasmussen won thanks to the superb work of his teammate Marcel Kiefer. Though Blakeley was second as could have won but for Kiefer's defensive work.

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This track will be all about maximising ERS deployment and consistency. With a longer race distance we could even get a two-stop strategy making an appearance here.

Yas Marina

Friday 16 December - Qualifying 3:30pm GMT - Race 7:30pm GMT

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Returning to the F1 Esports calendar is the remodelled Yas Marina circuit.

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With little historical performance to go off players will be grinding setup, qualifying, and race strategy. As any career mode player knows, Abu Dhabi is usually a two-stop race but could a well-paced one-stop be the best route?

With its long straights and newly opened-up hairpins the racing here could be absolutely fierce.

Prediction

Ok, so who do we think will walk away with the top prize after the dust settles? Well we haven't mentioned the Teams Championship because McLaren Shadow basically have a lock on it.

They are 101 points clear at the top and both their drivers are in the championship hunt. That should mean they wrap up the Teams Championship, and the lion's share of the $750,000 prize, after Suzuka.

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However, having two drivers fighting for the title means neither will be willing to help the other.

Marcel Kiefer has already shown a willingness to do everything he can to help Rasmussen, and Opmeer's team is likely to do the same.

The only one unlikely to get any help is Ronhaar, whose teammates at Haas have not been close to the lead pace all season.

And yet I have a sneaking suspicion that Ronhaar could well come away with the title. He's been the most consistent driver all season and feels the most likely to win at least one race in the final event.

Opmeer would likely need to win all three races to retain his title, and while he's definitely capable of that it's unlikely.

Where to watch

You can catch every minute of the action on Formula 1's official YouTube and Twitch channels.

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Qualifying for each race starts at 3:30pm GMT with the race broadcast starting at 7:30pm GMT.