The nine Formula 1 teams headed to the Gfinity Arena in London after the British Grand Prix to select racers for their respective ESports teams that will compete for the drivers' and teams' titles in the second half of 2018 – all except Ferrari.
Joining in the selections were also Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. As per the chosen order set last month through a draw, Williams got the first chance to pick the ESports driver.
They went for Finn Tino Naukkarine who joins the already signed pair of Gary Mitchell and Michael Thmoas Coyne. Force India went next as the opted for the 2017 runners-up Fabrizio Donoso Delgado from Chile.
Like the Williams eSports' team, the Hype Energy eForce India’s also had already signed Mads Krog Sorensen and Marcel Kiefer early on before the Pro Draft – Sorensen finished 15th in 2017.
Haas then chose the Czech pair Martin Stefanko and Michal Smidl – the latter was chosen in Round 2 of the draft. Mercedes then picked up Hungarian Daniel Bereznay as Renault Team Vitality went for three drivers like the Sauber Esports team.
Renault picked German Sven Zurner, Swede Kimmy Larson and Brit James Doherty – Zurner had finished third in last year’s competition. Meanwhile, Sauber went for siblings Brit Salih Saltunc along with Sonuc Saltunc alongwith Dutch Allert van der Wal.
Sonuc finished 12th in 2017, with Salih ending up last and Wal was seventh. Gasly announced Toro Rosso's names with 2017's fifth placed Cem Bolukbasi from Turkey their first choice and fourth placed Patrik Holzmann their second.
The McLaren Shadow chose Finn Olli Pahkala, who finished third in Formula E Vegas ePrix. Lastly, Verstappen revealed the Red Bull names of Finn Joni Tormala and Brit Graham Carroll. The drivers will now prepare to fight for the respective titles in the second half of 2018.
About the Author
Darshan Chokhani is a FIA Accredited journalist covering both Indian and International championships, including Formula 1, MotoGP, Formula E, World Endurance Championship and more. Although specialising in motor racing, but follows Cricket, Tennis, WWE and events involving Indian athletes.