The first round of the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship did not live up to expectations for the Ferrari Driver Academy Esports Team. The two champion sim drivers, David Tonizza and Brendon Leigh were very well prepared for the three venues on the programme, but the results did not come. The team came away with 24 points, each drivers scoring 12, to lie seventh in the championship. David was fifth in Austria and ninth in Bahrain, while Brendon was sixth in China and eighth in Austria.
Qualifying and rain. Looking at the FDA Esports team’s performance overall, the weak point was mainly qualifying. In Esports, the gaps are always very small and half a tenth can make a big difference, of up to five or six places. Neither David nor Brendon managed to perform at their best in this important phase, sometimes through bad luck, as was the case in Austria when Tonizza appeared to be heading for pole before the rain hit the final sector. Adverse weather in two of the three races further complicated matters. The Chinese and Austrian races were both run in the wet and that meant the use of DRS could not be authorised by the race director, which would have helped overtaking down the straights.
A lot of overtaking. On a positive note, it’s clear that the FDA Esports driver line-up is one of the strongest of all. David and Brendon always made up places in the race, even in China when Tonizza was hit from behind. He dropped down to 19th but fought his way back to 14th. The next three races, to be held on 27 and 28 October, will give the team the opportunity to do better. One of the races is at Monza where David has won for the past two years and Silverstone is Brendon’s home track. They both like Spa-Francorchamps, which will the third race of the second round.
David Tonizza Sim driver
We struggled more than we should have done with our qualifying performance, while in the races Brendon and I were competitive and from my side, I had plenty of confidence in the car and was on top of the situation.
Now we can immediately start to prepare for Round 2, when we are determined to get better results.
Brendon Leigh Sim driver
The first round did not go the way I would have wanted, but I am already turning that disappointment into motivation to do better in Round 2, which is coming up soon.
I will put even more effort in, especially in preparing some specific aspects that penalised us in these three races.
Marco Matassa Team Principal
As a team, we had definitely expected more from this first round. Qualifying performance badly affected David’s and Brendon’s races and we will definitely concentrate our analysis on this area in preparing for the next round. In this sort of championship, the sim driving standard is very high and we have seen that one tenth of a second can cover almost ten drivers. This is all an incentive to do a perfect job in this key phase, because if you don’t start from near the front, you can’t be in the fight for the win.
However, we saw our drivers make up places in all three races and that confirms their undoubted abilities. We will prepare even better for the next round, confident that at Silverstone, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, we can get the results we missed out on this time.