For the first time ever, ten teams are involved in the series. Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports, Ferrari Driver Academy, Haas F1 Team Esports, McLaren Shadow, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports, Red Bull Racing Esports, Renault Sport Team Vitality, Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports, SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports Team and Williams Esports have now all selected at least one driver from the Pro Draft pool to join their racing line-up for the Pro Series.
Following an evening of dramatic, adrenaline-fuelled racing, the ten drivers fought off stiff competition to secure their place on a team. A significant achievement given the record breaking 109,000 participants from across the globe that competed in this year’s qualification stages.
On Tuesday, the 41 gamers that had qualified for the F1 Esports Series Pro Draft participated in a series of nail-biting race-offs to identify the most skilled and talented. Through this process the 11 slowest drivers were eliminated and the fastest progressed through to this evening’s live event for the chance to compete for one of the coveted seats on an official F1 Team. The live event was streamed online on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch, and broadcast live on global television by marquee broadcast partners.
The picks are…
- FERRARI DRIVER ACADEMY – DAVID TONIZZA
- RENAULT VITALY ESPORTS – SIMON WEIGANG
- HAAS F1 ESPORTS – FLORIS WIJERS
- WILLIAMS ESPORTS – ISAAC PRICE
- RED BULL RACING ESPORTS – NICOLAS LONGUET
- SPORTPESA RACING POINT ESPORTS TEAM – LUCAS BLAKELEY
- MCLAREN SHADOW – ALLERT VAN DER WAL
- ALFA ROMEO RACING ESPORTS TEAM – KIMMY LARSSON
- TORO ROSSO ESPORTS – MANUEL BIANCOLILLA
- MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS ESPORTS – DANIEL SHIELDS
Daniel Shields, who was drafted by Mercedes, was one of six drivers to qualify for the draft by coming through the DHL 50 Fastest Time Trial. The DHL Time Trial was part of the DHL 50 Fastest campaign and was a last-chance, invitation-only, online time trial for 50 aspiring esports drivers who had missed out on online qualification, with the top 6 getting a place in the draft. Three of the DHL drivers made it through the rigorous testing and heats on Tuesday to go into the draft, which was made up of 30 drivers. Daniel is the first Australasian to ever make it to the draft and will drive for Mercedes in the 2019 F1 Esports Series.
The DHL 50 Fastest campaign has created a pathway for grassroots esports driver to the highest arena of the F1 Esports world and delivered an incredible experience for six F1 Esports fans. Despite not being drafted, the remaining five drivers all had a fantastic experience and were hugely grateful for the opportunity that DHL had given them.
The successful drivers will now join their official teams to prepare for the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Pro Series, which will comprise of twelve races contested over four live events. These will take place on 11 September, 2 October and 6 November and culminate at the Grand Finale on 4 December.
The Pro Series will see drivers compete for a share of an incredible $500,000 prize fund – more than double that of last year’s – on F1 2019, the newly launched official F1 videogame by Codemasters. These races will determine the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions.