Desert Duelling in the First Ever Formula 1® Esports Series Grand Final

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December 1, 2017

The dust has settled on the inaugural F1Esports Series in Abu Dhabi and we have our first F1Esports Champion. The entire weekend was an amazing blur, and we’re not quite sure how much we remember, but firstly we’d like to thank all of you who took part – all the finalists, semi-finalists, whether you entered in to an event earlier this year, or took part in our league qualifiers – thank you for taking part! We’ve always known that you’re an incredibly talented bunch of racers, but watching you race in every stage of the series has blown us away.

It was lovely to see how well-received F1Esports was in the Abu Dhabi paddock, with the likes of Ross Brawn, Mark Cavendish and Gordon Ramsey all having a go on the rigs. That’s not to mention the likes of Pirelli and Sauber, who couldn’t resist battling it out to the chequered flag! See how many of these you recognise….


From 63,827 down to 20, each of our finalists had raced hard to earn their place in the Grand Final, but there could only be one winner.


Three races separated our finalists from becoming the first ever F1 Esports Champion: one on the Friday, with the final two – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Yas Marina Circuit – broadcast live on the Saturday. It was Brendon Leigh who took pole around the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, and went on to take the win, putting the Brit ahead after the first race. This meant the standings looked like this after race one…


The second qualifying session saw Cem Bolukbasi snatch pole position in Spa, and with points leader Brendon Leigh lining up in 15th on the grid, the scene was set.


It was Cem Bolukbasi who took the chequered flag in Belgium, watched by his new boss, Fernando Alonso, which left only one race left: Abu Dhabi. Fabrizio Donoso sensationally grabbed pole position ahead of Brendon Leigh. It all came down to this race, and it did not disappoint. If you missed the championship-deciding last race (watch out for that final lap action!), you can check it out here:

What. An. Overtake. That last lap was absolutely incredible!

Massive congratulations to all of those on the F1Esports podium – 3rd place Sven Zurner, 2nd place Fabrizio Donoso and huge congratulations to the inaugural F1Esports Champion, Brendon Leigh.  The top three even got a podium ceremony on the real F1 podium!

We couldn’t let this go by without chatting to Game Director Paul Jeal: “seeing our drivers put on such a amazing spectacle in the paddock at Yas Marina was an incredible experience. There was a point during the final where I turned around to see Fernando Alonso and his entourage completely transfixed to the race along with a large number of F1 personnel in the paddock. It was quite surreal and shows the real potential of the F1 Esports Series.

“I think that everyone who has watched the final would agree that the quality of the racing on show was superb and the broadcast that went along with it matched that.

“Huge congratulations to all of the finalists who made it out to Abu Dhabi. I am sure that they enjoyed the experience of being behind the scenes of Formula 1 with some fairly exclusive access. Having the championship decided on the final lap of the final race was the perfect end to a great series, and a special well done to Brendon Leigh who is a worthy champion.

“The inaugural F1 Esports Series was a great success, and we are already talking through some exciting plans for the future, so stay tuned…”

We’ve put together our favourite pictures from the Grand Final, take a look at them below:

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And you can see how the whole weekend played out with our Moment here:

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About Jenny

Social Media Manager for the F1 games. Loves F1 and PC gaming far too much to be healthy.

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