For the past six years, there has been only one name that matters in Formula 1: Mercedes-AMG Petronas. The team climbed at the top of the standings in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, and is once again leading the pack, at an immense distance from runner-up Red-Bull Racing.
There is no doubt only a miracle or some catastrophe will remove them from the top, with just a handful of races remaining in the calendar. Knowing this, the team is now embarking on another adventure, one that would probably provide them with the thrills they lack in Formula 1.
Over the past few years, Mercedes increased its involvement in eSports – it dropped its sponsorship of the German national football team to focus on eSports about two years ago, and only recently announced it had become exclusive automotive partner for all global League of Legends events.
But League of Legends is not a racing game, so not exactly AMG’s cup of tea. The F1 Esports Pro Series, however, is.
Promoted by Formula 1 itself, the game came to be in 2017, and in 2018 official Formula 1 teams joined in. No surprise there, Mercedes won that season. And it plans to do it again, with the new driver team it announced this week.
Brendon Leigh and Bono Huis will be tasked with driving the virtual Mercedes racers to the win. Leigh is the one that secured the win for the team in 2018, while Huis is already 5-time winner of the Formula Sim Racing Championship. Both will be advised by Esteban Gutiérrez Simulator & Development driver for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team. The real-life team, that is.
For the new season of the series, which start on October 14 and ends in December, the rules call for four two-day live events. Each will feature three rounds with races at 35 percent race distance according to the organizers.