Formula 1

Lucas Blakeley on the brink of claiming F1 Esports championship

Lucas Blakeley of McLaren Shadow put on a masterful performance around Interlagos on Thursday evening, scoring his fourth win of 2022 and putting himself within a few points of championship glory.
After an intense qualifying session in which he and nearest title rival Thomas Ronhaar set identical lap times of 1:06.674, the speedy Scot started from pole position. However, Ronhaar’s three-place penalty meant that the front row was all-Papaya.
Blakeley and teammate Bari Boroumand set the tone for the first half of the race, with no one taking any risks in the wet conditions. Halfway through the changeover came, with the leaders swapping their intermediate tyres for slicks between Laps 16-18.
Luke Smith had his moment in the spotlight, staying out later than anyone else on the inters to lead a few laps. This gave Frede Rasmussen the opportunity to pull a ‘Zonta’ on him and Boroumand, passing both at Turn 1.
But it was short-lived, as Boroumand reclaimed the lead on Lap 26. Rasmussen denied a McLaren Shadow 1-2 on Lap 33, switching once more.
On Wednesday, Ronhaar had closed the gap to Blakeley to just five points, but a frustrating evening saw him trapped behind Suzuka winner Nicolas Longuet and Fabrizio Donoso, unable to pass.
While his competitors fought amongst themselves, Blakeley was in complete command at the front, crossing the line three seconds ahead of Rasmussen in second place. Boroumand completed a McLaren 1-3, with Longuet and Donoso remaining in front of Ronhaar.
Ex-Mercedes-now-Alfa Romeo driver Dani Bereznay finished seventh, with current Mercedes racers Jarno Opmeer and Jake Benham finishing eighth and ninth, respectively. Sebastian Job completed the scoring.
Blakeley now has four victories and 169 points. Rasmussen moves into second place with 148 points, while Ronhaar is one point back on 147. These three are the only drivers mathematically capable of winning the title in Abu Dhabi, but with a 21-point lead over Rasmussen, it’s looking more like a case of when, not if.
One thing is certain: we will have a brand-new champion by Friday evening. Join us to find out who it is, starting with qualifying at 1530 UTC on Twitch and YouTube, followed by the race at 1930 UTC. For more information, visit the official F1 Esports website.