Ferrari’s Tonizza wins F1 Esports, Red Bull seals teams’ crown
Ferrari’s David Tonizza clinched the F1 Esports 2019 drivers’ title in a tense finale, while Red Bull sealed the teams’ championship, scooping its share of the $500,000 prize.
Ferrari and Tonizza were debutants to the series this year, but they managed to win the opening two races to build an early championship advantage.
Heading into the final three-race event in London, Tonizza led Red Bull’s Frederik Rasmussen by 26 points. Rasmussen dominated the opening two races at Suzuka and COTA to take a four-point lead in the championship and set up a title-deciding finale in Brazil.
In order to maximise Red Bull’s chances of securing the teams’ title, prior to the event, Rasmussen was electing to skip the finale and instead let the team’s third driver Nicolas Longuet drive in his place. However, after the teams’ title was secured at COTA and the drivers’ title lead now with Rasmussen, Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner rang the team to instruct Rasmussen to race in the finale.
Tonizza took pole position for the finale while Rasmussen could only manage P7 after not practising for the track prior to the event.
Tonizza eventually lost in a close battle for the win with Alfa Romeo’s Daniel Bereznay, but second place was more than enough to take the title with Rasmussen falling to the back of the top 10 in the race.
“It’s a huge relief,” Tonizza told Motorsport.com after winning the title. “I put in a lot of effort. I had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve done a lot of mistakes, but I will come back stronger in the next season. I want to improve myself as a driver, also as a person with Ferrari.”
With his teammates not scoring any points all season, Ferrari took second in the championship.
As a result of Bereznay’s third win of 2019, Alfa was able to jump Renault for P3 in the standings. Williams completed the top five, level on points with McLaren. A final race podium for Spanish teenager Alvaro Carreton proved to be the difference.
Defending champions Mercedes finished down in eighth place and without a win. Its two-time drivers’ champion Brendon Leigh ended the season in fifth place behind Renault’s ex-Formula Renault Eurocup driver Jarno Opmeer and his former team-mate Bereznay.
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