Formula 1 has announced the 40 online racers who have
qualified for the next stage in the 2018 season of its F1
Esports Series – the Pro Draft. On Monday, July 9th at the Gfinity Arena in
London, representatives from the nine Formula 1 teams competing in the F1
Esports Series will use the Pro Draft to select the drivers they want to join
their own dedicated esports teams and compete as a professional in the latter
part of the competition, which will be played on F1 2018.
Over the course of four
online qualifying rounds, 66,000 players battled it out on the track to
secure a place in the Pro Draft – completing 1.1 million laps in total. Formula
1 also revealed that a total of 111 territories were represented in this initial
part of the competition, which saw players competing on F1 2017 across Xbox
One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms with Great Britain leading the way with 23%
of players followed by the United States of America with 16% of players and
Germany with 13%.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Hype
Energy eForce India F1 Esports Team, Williams Esports, Renault Sport Team
Vitality, Haas F1 Esports Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso Esports Team and Sauber F1
Team will all be offering positions in their driver line ups as part of the
series. Every team must select at least one of its drivers from the Pro Draft,
Formula 1 says.
“Last year’s series was a great success and based on the
level of those who have qualified for this year’s Pro Draft, the 2018 season is
shaping up to be even more exciting,” said Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth and
F1 Esports at Formula 1. “The drivers will now battle it out for what is a
truly incredible opportunity. With the F1 teams involved we have been able to
combine the power of Esports with the magic of Formula 1, establishing an
authentic series that builds on what we have on the grid. We can’t wait to
watch the action unfold.”
The F1 Esports Pro Draft will see the players travel from 15
countries – including the UK, Chile, Germany and Finland, amongst others – to the
historic Silverstone circuit in the build up to the 2018 Rolex British Grand
Prix. Here, they will undergo a series of tests, assessments and interviews
with the team scouts at a driver boot camp to demonstrate why they should be
selected. The drivers will then attend the British Grand Prix, before heading
to London for the Pro Draft – which will be streamed online on Facebook and
will also be shown live on television.
Once drivers have been selected, they will represent their
real-world teams in the latter half of the competition this season as they race
in the three live events that will determine the 2018 F1 Esports Series Teams’
and Drivers’ World Champions – with a prize pool of $200,000 allocated to the
teams based on their positions in the team standings.
“The online tournament has seen a record number of
competitors and the competition has been incredibly competitive,” said Mark
Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity – the esports organizer who works
with Codemasters and Formula 1 on the F1 Esports Series. “We now look forward
to welcoming the top players and their potential Teams to the Gfinity Esports
Arena for the Pro Draft as we enter the second phase of our activation.”
Of the 40 players confirmed for the Pro Draft, 36 came
through the Open Qualification phase which saw competitions battle it out in
four online hot-lap events on F1 2017 followed by four sets of races on Xbox
One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The fastest nine players on each of the three
platforms have all qualified, whilst two more players qualified through the ‘Online
They will be joined by Fabrizio Donoso Delgado and Sven
Zürner, who both qualified through last year’s competition finishing in 2nd and
3rd place, respectively. The full list of drivers who have qualified for the Pro
Draft can be found above.
“We have been
incredibly impressed with the speed and race craft that we have seen from our
players during online qualification,” said Paul Jeal, Formula 1 Franchise
Director at Codemasters. “We have 40 outstanding racers ready for the Pro
Draft, with a near equal split on returning finalists and semi-finalists from
last year’s competition, and new drivers who are ready to experience the thrill
of the live events for the first time.”
“For our gamers to have the opportunity to join a real
Formula 1 team is an incredible opportunity and we cannot wait to see them
perform on the biggest stage on F1 2018,” he added.
Formula 1 operates the F1 Esports Series in partnership with
F1 game developer Codemasters and esports organizer Gfinity.
Following a draw earlier
this week at F1 HQ in London, it was revealed that the Williams
Esports team would be the first to choose a driver in the 2018 F1 Esports
Pro Draft. Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO, and Sean Bratches, Managing Director of
Commercial Operations at Formula One Management Ltd. conducted the draw and
finalized the positions.
As a reminder, the draft itself will take place on the
evening of Monday, July 9th, following the British Grand Prix weekend at
“Fans around the world have really engaged with the F1
Esports Series,” said Chase Carey. “I think some of the racing has been
fabulous and we’re very excited to take the Series into Year Two.”
“We’re very encouraged by the fact that F1 teams are
participating in the Series this year,” said Sean Bratches. “We’re looking
forward to a great year.”
The order for the first round of driver picks from the Pro
Draft will be reversed in the second round, meaning the team with the ninth and
final pick gets to choose first in the second wave of selections. Williams
Esports will have that first pick of all the drivers thanks to their name being
You can find the complete order of which teams will choose
their drivers first in the Pro Draft below:
Don’t forget to tune in to the F1 Esports Pro Draft livestream
on the official F1 Esports website,
on Facebook or Sky Sports F1 HD on Live TV at 7pm BST (11am PDT, 2pm EDT) on
Monday, July 9th.
For more information on the 2018 F1 Esports Series, be sure
to check out the official
rulebook, as well as our previous
coverage of the event featuring an overall rundown on this year’s season.
Looking ahead, the F1 Esports Series will switch over
to F1 2018 later this year with the official live race events. F1 2018
launches on August 24th. 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC – and
you can learn more about the next official entry in the Formula 1 racing game
gameplay to compliment it.
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.