The second round of the Esports Series Pro Championship 2022, with races at Spielberg, Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort, proved to be frustrating for the Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports Team. All three of its drivers - Brendon Leigh, David Tonizza and Fabrizio Donoso - were on duty, taking part in two races each, but between them they only picked up ten points. Leigh got the best result to date for the team, a sixth place at Zandvoort. Qualifying went better than in round 1, but in the races, the Ferrari sim drivers were unable to convert that into points. They are now seventh in the team standings.
Spielberg. The first race of the week took place in the Austrian setting of the Spielberg circuit. Brendon made it to Q3 and qualified eighth, while David went out in Q2 and had to settle for 14th on the grid. It was wet at the start and Leigh got away well, but Tonizza dropped to the back of the pack. When the track began to dry, David was one of the first to come in for Hard compound slicks, while Brendon opted for Mediums, with a risk that they might not get to the end. Leigh was in the leading group for a long time, seventh behind Jarno Opmeer, but towards the end, his tyres began to degrade and he was passed by Bari Borumand, Dani Moreno, Marcel Kiefer and Simon Weigang, eventually finishing 11th. Tonizza was down in 16th in a race won by Thomas Ronhaar in the Haas.
Spa-Francorchamps. The second race had a Belgian backdrop and once again, one of the two Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports drivers made it to Q3. David qualified ninth, while Fabrizio got no further than Q2 and started from 12th. Both F1-75s started on the Hard tyre, running in the midfield. Tonizza was one of the first to pit, while Donoso stayed out longer, getting as high as third, before pitting and rejoining 17th, two places behind his team-mate. With the first run of pit stops completed, Tonizza and Donoso found themselves ninth and 12th. David finished in that position while Fabrizio passed Marcel Kiefer to finish just outside the points in 11th. The race was won by Bari Boroumand (McLaren Shadow).
Zandvoort. Third race of this round and a third Q3 performance from one of the team’s drivers. Brendon did well in Holland to secure eighth place on the grid, while Fabrizio just missed the cut for the final shoot-out and started 11th. The race started on a wet track, although it was hardly raining any more. Half the field, including Leigh and Donoso opted for Intermediate tyres and in the early stages they were struggling to stay on track, so that the F1-75s dropped down to 13th and 16th. As the track gradually dried out, Brendon and Fabrizio’s tyre choice began to pay off and they managed to pick off some of those on full wets, with the Englishman getting up to tenth before pitting for Medium slicks. Leigh then caught the leading group and pulled off a great pass on Dani Moreno before gaining a few other places to finish sixth, the best result for the team so far. Fabrizio came home in 14th spot. The race was won by Lucas Blakeley (McLaren Shadow).
Looking at this event as a whole, I feel I can say we have made a step forward as a team. There was an improvement in qualifying, but in the race we picked up fewer points than we deserved, given how well we had prepared. We will come back stronger in the next round.
Sim Driver #72
I think in this second round, we have made progress in several areas, especially qualifying. Of course it’s not enough and we have to work hard, but I’m sure we have found the right way to move forward as a team and that the results will come.
Sim Driver #95
The results were not good enough, but I can see definite signs of progress since Round 1. We still need to work hard to qualify better, because even if the races are now twice as long, this aspect is still very important. I’m sure we will be more competitive in Round 3.
Sim Driver #8
This second round of the Pro Championship was disappointing for us. We had hoped for a bigger points haul from Spielberg, Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort and yet, we go home with lots of work to do, aware that in a championship run at such a high level, we need to work even harder for the coming rounds. Brendon demonstrated his abilities in the last of the three races, but overall the team result has not matched our expectations. Before the next round we will sit down with the drivers and engineers to come up with a plan that will see us make the most out of what we have.
Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari Velas Esports Team