Round 7 of Season 31 of the PSGL F1 PC Championships got underway at Japan's Suzuka Circuit earlier today. The f1 22 esports event has been thrilling so far, with the McLaren pairing at the top of the standings.
Lucas Blakeley's disconnection last week in Mexico meant that Bari Boroumand extended his lead at the top to 16 points. All was still to play for though, so who would come out on top this week? Let's find out!
Big in Japan
Blakeley was the fastest in the early stages of Q1, but the Scot would get a nasty surprise. Lucas was handed a five-place grid penalty for illegal blocking, but the stewards, thankfully, managed to remove this.
It was Thomas Ronhaar who claimed pole position though, the Dutchman setting the fastest time ahead of Blakeley. Boroumand had work to do, as he started seventh.
In the race, Blakeley got off to the perfect start to take the lead into Turn 1. Alvaro Careton and then Tomek Poradzisz also got past Ronhaar, as he dropped to fifth at the end of the opening lap.
Further back, Boroumand dropped to eighth, but his hard tyres could prove to be handy later in the race. Joni Tormala had made a lot of ground in the early stages, but a brief disconnect meant the Finn dropped to 17th on Lap 9 of 27.
Wilson Hughes was the first of the medium runners to come in for their first stops on Lap 10. However, this didn't trigger too many to react but all of the medium runners has stopped by Lap 14.
Blakeley still held the net race leader, but it was Ronhaar who led the field on his hards. Carreton received a blow on Lap 15, as he was handed a three-second time penalty for corner cutting.
Boroumand's day got even worse, as he was jumped by Fredi Rasmussen through the pit-stops. Hughes would get forced wide at Degner, allowing both Sebastian Job and Brendon Leigh through. Further back, Daniele Haddad was in the wall and this brought out the Safety Car.
Another Safety Car meant that Ronhaar was up to P3, with Jarno Opmeer in P5. Blakeley now led on-track, with Carreton in second, but he'd spin under full yellows down to P7.
Rasmussen would also spin out under the Safety Car and the red-faced Red Bull driver would retire from the race before the restart.
Boroumand was making progress in the midfield. The Iranian took advantage of a wide moment for Carreton and a dive-bomb into the hairpin on Marcel Kiefer and got up to P5 on Lap 20.
Ronhaar had the faster tyres but not the patience he needed to make a convincing move. The Dutchman dove down the inside into the chicane but went too deep and hit Blakeley. He dropped to fifth and Blakeley just about held onto the lead.
Ronhaar would fall further down, as Boroumand took advantage and got up to P4. Despite pressure from Poradzisz and Opmeer, Blakeley incredibly won to reduce the gap to five points in the championship.
Blakeley claimed his third win of the season ahead of Opmeer's. Poradzisz's third place completed the podium positions. Kiefer ended up an impressive fourth ahead of Boroumand.
Dani Bereznay was P6 ahead of the recovering Leigh in seventh. Eighth was polesitter Ronhaar, with Carreton a disappointing P9. Simon Weigang's late stop onto softs paid off, with the German claiming the final point in P10.
When's the next round?
Round 8 will take place in a week's time. Italy's Monza Circuit will host next week's events as the fastest track on the calendar could produce some surprises.
After Italy, there are just two rounds remaining in Season 31. The final will be hosted in Sao Paulo for the Brazilian Grand Prix on 7th September.