Racing Point eSports: Technical issues did not help the cause

The BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team enjoyed a points-scoring start to the 2020 F1 Pro Esports Series, with the team also regularly underlining its one-lap pace.

The highlight of Event One came in the finale at China, with Lucas Blakeley scoring a P6 finish after working his way up the grid from P11.

The field was split on strategy, with some opting for a shorter stint on Softs before a move onto the Mediums, and others favouring a longer stint on the Mediums before a switch to the Softs.

Lucas opted for the former and climbed three places on the first two laps as he charged up the order, gaining a further two places when the Ferrari drivers hit issues.

Lucas made his one and only pitstop and briefly threatened for P5 before settling into P6. Daniele endured a difficult race in China after lap one contact damaged his front wing and forced him into a second stop, while a post-race penalty left him down in P16.

But the Italian performed strongly at the challenging Hanoi circuit in Vietnam. He starred in qualifying with a late Q2 effort that squeezed him into Q3 before qualifying P7.

A long opening stint helped him climb all the way into P3, before a challenging second stint left him P10 at the flag – but not without some excellent wheel-to-wheel battling along the way.

While both drivers suffered from technical issues in the pitstops at both Bahrain and Vietnam, costing the team several places as a result, Lucas was also able to score a point in Bahrain after a daring late move lifted him into P10.

Daniele’s race was further hampered by post-race penalties that left him in P17.

The team scored points with one driver in all three races, but the team will be pushing hard to fight higher up the grid for next month’s Event Two.

Lucas Blakeley: “To have such an unlucky qualifying gave me huge motivation for the race in China. We’d made it to P1 in Q2 and then dropped to P11 at the end, which just shows how close it is out there. It was disappointing but I’m really happy with the result in the race.

“We extracted everything from the car to get to P6 and score good points. It helped make up for the disappointment in Bahrain and Vietnam yesterday. We’ve demonstrated decent qualifying pace across the event, but we’ve been let down by a bit of bad luck here and there.

“The main thing is we ended Event One on a real positive and had some good fights out there. It’s a platform to build on and we’re going to keep working hard and aim for more in the next event.”

Daniele Haddad: “I think with a bit more luck, we could’ve had a strong opening event with good points. China was a difficult event for me, and the first lap contact prevented us from recovering in the race. The highlight for me was our qualifying pace. I started P7 in Vietnam and Lucas was P6 in Bahrain.

“Sadly, we both had some technical issues in the pitstops, which costs us, but it can happen to anyone. We definitely targeted top-five finishes, but we’ve seen in this event just how strong the competition is. The new qualifying format is not easy, the whole field can be decided by just a tenth or two.

“We might be wanting more right now, but I believe there’s plenty of promising signs for the future events and we’ll go away and do our homework to come back stronger next time.”

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