Red Bull Racing Esports land 2019 F1 Pro Series team title in London finale
© Red Bull Racing
After a dramatic evening at the Gfinity Arena in London, UK, Red Bull Racing took home the F1 Esports 2019 Pro Series team trophy and with it, a share of the $500,000 prize.
Although they were the pack leaders in both the Formula One esports world and in its real-world counterpart, Mercedes could not hold on to the top spot on December 4, as Red Bull came through to take the top spot and win the F1 Esports 2019 Pro Series team trophy and with it a share of the half-million dollar prize (more than double last year’s prize pool).
Ferrari’s David Tonizza won the Pro Series individually after starting the evening with a 26-point lead, but Red Bull’s 19-year-old star Frederik Rasmussen pushed proceedings to the limit after first taking the win on the Suzuka course then going on to come out on top again, winning the second race at the Circuit of the Americas.
There was high drama as Rasmussen was initially intending to yield his place in the final race to team-mate Nicolas Longuet, as the team trophy looked all but secure, but team principal Christian Horner came through with the call to get Rasmussen back in the hot seat.
It all came down to an anti-clockwise race around Brazil’s São Paulo course, Interlagos, which resulted in the Iceman of esports, Rasmussen, finishing 10th after a seventh place starting grip spot. This was still no mean feat, given the lack of practice and heightened difficulty, thanks to rain and even though the aggressive driving on display wasn’t quite enough for the single race, the team trophy belonged to Red Bull.
Fellow racer Joni Tormala (23, Finland) and the newest addition to the team who had been selected from the 2019 Pro Draft, Longuet, were both as delighted as Rasmussen and after a tough campaign the commanding lead of Red Bull’s 246 points over Ferrari’s 184 in second and Alfa Romeo’s 176 in third was an incredible achievement.
“This was a team win,” Tormala told Red Bull Racing. “Everyone could jump in and get the points we needed, so definitely a team effort. I’d been hoping and waiting for that moment when we lifted the trophy for the past six months and now it feels great. It couldn’t be better.”
Longuet was equally delighted, especially after claiming a team trophy in his very first year. “It feels amazing to be champion in my first year,” he explained. “There’s not much more I could ask for. It is an enormous amount of work for the whole team.” Longuet continued: “There’s so much happening behind the scenes – just six or seven hours a day doing set-up work, specialising on strategy and just getting the most out of the car you can.”
There’s not much rest to be had, however, as the Pro Draft for 2020 won’t be far away from the athlete’s minds. Can Red Bull push harder and take the team trophy and the individual gold? Time will tell, but if the Iceman of sim racing is anything to go by, there’s as good a chance as any.