F1 2018

F1 Esports Drivers to Compete in 2018 Pro Series Revealed

Article By 
Alan Walsh
July 12, 2018
F1 2018

F1 Esports Drivers to Compete in 2018 Pro Series Revealed

Article By 
Alan Walsh
July 12, 2018

At the inaugural F1 Esports Series Pro Draft in London, England on Monday, July 9th, the drivers competing in this year’s F1 Esports Pro Series were selected by representatives from the nine Formula 1 teams participating in the event. These included Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.

Ahead of the live Pro Draft event on Monday, the 40 qualified drivers were put through their paces during a three-day assessment at the historic Silverstone circuit in Britain. This included a series of challenges and interviews that tested their fitness, stamina, reaction times, and even real-world driving. F1 says they the drivers achieved “impressive scores across the board.” Following this, a total of 16 drivers from nine countries were selected by teams to move forward to the Pro Series Championship.

Formula 1 also revealed that the two-hour broadcasted event reached over 850,000 people via live-streaming platforms. However, figures for the televised broadcast on Sky Sports F1 were not disclosed. Below, you can find the drivers selected by each of the official Formula 1 teams participating in the F1 Esports Series – which F1 says are still pending confirmation of final contracts:

  • ‍Tino Naukkarinen – Finland – Williams Esports
  • Fabrizio Donoso Delgado – Chile – Hype Energy eForce India F1 Esports Team
  • Martin Stefanko – Czech Republic – Haas F1 Esports Team
  • Daniel Bereznay – Hungary – Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
  • Sven Zurner – Germany – Renault Sport Team Vitality
  • Salih Saltunc – United Kingdom – Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports Team
  • Cem Bolukbasi – Turkey – Toro Rosso Esports Team
  • Olli Pahkala – Finland – McLaren Shadow
  • Joni Tormala – Finland – Red Bull Racing esports Team
  • Graham Carroll – United Kingdom – Red Bull Racing esports Team
  • Patrick Holzmann – Germany – Toro Rosso Esports Team
  • Allert van der Wal – Netherlands – Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports Team
  • Kimmy Larsson – Sweden – Renault Sport Team Vitality
  • Michal Smidl – Czech Republic – Haas F1 Esports Team
  • James Doherty – United Kingdom – Renault Sport Team Vitality
  • Sonuc Saltunc – United Kingdom – Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports Team

Renault Sport Team Vitality and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Esports Team partnered with Veloce Esports selected all their drivers for the upcoming Pro Series competition from the Pro Draft. Meanwhile, all the remaining teams selected at least one of the top-performing drivers to join their official teams following the assessments and interviews that took place in Silverstone last week ahead of the 2018 Rolex British Grand Prix.

F1 Chairman and CEO, Chase Carey and Managing Director of Commercial Operations, Sean Bratches were also in attendance to watch the drama unfold at the Pro Draft – which was hosted live from the Gfinity Arena in London.

“Taking part in the F1 Esports Series has been a phenomenal experience so far,” said Cem Bolukbasi, 20, selected for the Toro Rosso Esports team. “The past week was mentally and physically challenging but being picked by an official F1 team and being part of the Red Bull Family is an incredible feeling. The next stage is sure to be amazing and we’re already getting prepared. In fact, motivation levels couldn’t be higher.”
“I’ve recently got back into gaming and I know some of these guys and know how talented they are,” said Max Verstappen of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. “It’s very exciting and you can see lots of sports embracing Esports – so it’s great that F1 are doing it as well.”

With the drivers having secured their places from the Pro Draft, the next step of the 2018 F1 Esports season is the Pro Series. Competitors will race in three live events that will determine the 2018 F1 Esports Series Teams and Drivers World Champions – with a prize fund of $200,000 allocated to the teams based on their positions in the team standings.


If you missed the action from the Gfinity Arena on Monday, July 9th, you can check out the full on-demand broadcast of the 2018 F1 Esports Series Pro Draft on Facebook. The F1 Esports Series is operated in partnership with Formula 1 game developer Codemasters and esports organizer Gfinity.

Whilst the F1 Esports Series has been played on F1 2017 so far, the remaining Pro Series events of the 2018 season will be played on F1 2018 – the next official entry into the highly-established and acclaimed Formula 1 racing game series from Codemasters. It’ll be available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on August 24th, 2018, and it’ll take advantage of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro consoles to deliver 4K Ultra HD visual enhancements.

Alan Walsh

Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.