Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 Esports battles to the points in season opener
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 Esports brought home points in the first week of action for the 2021 F1 Esports Series, with Filip Prešnajder and Simon Weigang adding their names to the scoreboard after the first three races of the new season.
With races taking place in Bahrain, China and Austria, the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team approached the event confident in its ability to put up a fight, albeit with the knowledge that this year’s field is the most competitive in the history of the F1 Esports Series.
Weigang and Thijmen Schütte, the chosen line-up for the opening race, qualified in P18 and P16 respectively after some small mistakes in the tight session hampered their progress to Q2. Starting on mediums, they made good progress before an early stop to go for soft tyres and a chance to push on an aggressive strategy. Weigang climbed up to P10, but late pressure from his rivals saw him slip down to 12th. An incident with a Haas caused minor damage to Schütte, who had to pit and crossed the line in P18.
There was more pace to be found in the second event in Shanghai, with Weigang only missing out on Q3 by 0.005s and Prešnajder, on his debut for the team, only settling for 18th after a mistake on his best run. The Slovak was to find redemption in the race, delivering a near-perfect performance over the 20 laps of the race and executing his strategy well. Prešnajder was able to overtake Haas’s Sebastian Job on the last lap to claim P10 and, with it, the final point of the race, opening his and the team’s tally for the season. Weigang, who had been in P9 after a good start, was the unfortunate victim of a race incident when he collided with a car facing the wrong way: after pitting for repairs, he could only finish 19th.
As Thursday came, more qualifying woes hit Prešnajder, who saw his best laps invalidated and could not escape Q1. Weigang, on the other hand, fulfilled his potential and secured P7 on the grid. He would then maintain this position in the race, despite pressure from Brendon Leigh’s Ferrari, bringing six points to the team. Prešnajder delivered a Driver of the Day performance to climb from P20 to P14 – no points but a confidence boost going into the remainder of the season.
The seven points collected place Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 Esports in eighth place in the championship. On the 27th and 28th October, the drivers will return to action with races in Silverstone, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps. In the meantime be sure to follow @sauberesports on socials to keep up to date with what the guys do in between races to prepare, as well as some exclusive behind the scenes videos.