Jarno Opmeer crowned F1 Esports champion in thrilling finale

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There has been one name at the front of every fans mind this season, and that is the 2020 champion Jarno Opmeer.

While Lucas Blakeley took his shot and strong rookies like Bari Boroumand entered the grid, in the end it all came down to Opmeer vs Frede Rasmussen at Interlagos once again.

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But once again, it was Jarno who came out on top and was crowned F1 Esports champion for 2021.

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Road to glory

Opmeer started ahead of Rasmussen by some way. While pole was taken by Nicolas Longuet, Opmeer started a strong P4 ahead of Rasmussen back in P10.

Frede's dislike of Interlagos has been well-documented and it once again cost him in qualifying.

While Longuet checked out at the front on soft tyres, the rest of the leaders were on mediums outside of Alvaro Carreton who was able to use his tyre advantage and Jarno's tactical driving to make a move early on in the race.

interlagos first corner
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LONGUET LEADS: Pole-sitter Longuet went aggressive with his tyre choice and raced off into the lead

Frede was able to make his way up to P9 on the first lap but then got stuck in the DRS train. His race would come down to tyre strategy and a big slice of luck. But unlike his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen it wouldn't come.

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Longuet boxed at the end of lap 8 to get rid of his softs, but so did Marcel Kiefer and Blakeley behind him. Kiefer was trying to keep track position to Jarno Opmeer in the hope of being able to play a part in the championship fight.

Jarno pitted after lap 9, and it was Rasmussen who would stay out and go long on the mediums just to try and do something different.

Tyre gambles

With all the undercuts Opmeer lost a few spots on track, with Daniele Haddad and Sebastian Job working their way up the field.

Rasmussen decided to go super-long, which would leave him needing to make a huge amount of overtakes.

frede tyre gamble
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FRONTRUNNERS: Longuet's early lead disappeared as Kiefer attacked

Simon Weigang, who followed Rasmussen's long first stop slowed the train up, giving Rasmussen and others the chance to gain an advantage despite their older tyres.

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It was chaotic up front as Kiefer took the lead and tried to drive as slow as possible, but after his pitstop Rasmussen was P13. Kiefer did his best Checo Perez impression with a slow and awkward pace to try and allow Frede the opportunity to get through the field as fast as possible.

At the start of lap 13 both Blakeley and Longuet were finally able to get past Kiefer, but Longuet picked up a 5-second penalty whiled Rasmussen made move after move and got his way up to P6 and was on the gearbox of Opmeer.

Marcel Kiefer ended up right in front of Opmeer and blocked as much as he could to let Frede through to P4.

Man possessed

Blakeley had disappeared down the road but Rasmussen was a on fire. He was immediately up to P3 and just 2.5 seconds behind Blakeley.

Rasmussen's inexorable charge was incredible, but the tactics to allow Rasmussen to pick up places put Opmeer into P5 which was enough regardless of what Frede did, especially thanks to Longuet's penalty.

Frede chopped into Blakeley's lead corner after corner but it wasn't as quickly as he needed, and Opmeer was just too far up the field.

On the penultimate lap Rasmussen pulled alongside Blakeley down the back straight and passed the Aston Martin for the lead. It just wasn't enough. Marcel Kiefer couldn't find a way past Opmeer, and he eventually tumbled out of the points as Rasmussen crossed the line in P1.

Opmeer would finish the race in P4 though, enough to be crowned F1 Esports 2021 champion!

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champion
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