Mercedes drivers sweep controversial second F1 Esports event

Brendon Leigh won the opening two races of the second Formula 1 Esports Pro Series event, while his Mercedes team-mate Daniel Bereznay won the third and final race

Mercedes drivers sweep controversial second F1 Esports event

Leigh came into the event with a healthy points lead having won two of the opening three races of the season and took a controversial victory in the first race of the day at Paul Ricard.

Polesitter Leigh was locked in a tense wheel-to-wheel fight with Frederik Rasmussen in the second half of the race and foced Rasmussen off the track at the Turn 11 hairpin on the penultimate lap.

Rasmussen rejoined the track but behind his Toro Rosso team-mate Patrik Holzmann.

A post-race five-second penalty initially dropped race winner Leigh to sixth overall, however, Mercedes successfully appealed the decision and Leigh's win was reinstated, with Holzmann and Rasmussen completing the podium.

Rasmussen was left fuming with the decision, having felt he was illegally forced off the track by the defending champion Leigh.

"It should have been a penalty for sure," said Rasmussen. "I'm not a fan of dirty driving."

The controversy continued in the second race at Silverstone with the duo locking horns once again for the lead of the race on the penultimate lap.

Rasmussen undercut Leigh for the lead during the pitstop phase but as Leigh overtook his title rival on the inside of Stowe the duo made contact.

On this occasion, Rasmussen accepted post-race that he turned into the corner too earlier.

Sauber's Salih Saltunc pipped the Force India duo of Marcel Kiefer and Fabrizio Donoso Delgado over the line to take the final place on the podium but earned a three-second penalty for corner cutting, which promoted Kiefer to third.

Delgado briefly led after passing Leigh into Stowe on lap three, but a penalty for speeding in the pitlane dropped him outside the top 10 post-race.

Leigh's team-mate Bereznay took his maiden F1 Esports win in the final race at Spa from pole position.

Rasmussen overtook Bereznay on the opening lap at the end of the Kemmel straight, but the Hungarian driver took the race lead back in the same fashion just two laps later thenraced off into the distance to win the race by 5.368 seconds.

Red Bull had a difficult opening couple of races of the event, but Joni Tormala returned the team to the podium with a second-place finish.

Delgado's misfortune continued with a three-second penalty for corner cutting, demoting him from third to seventh place.

That meant Rasmussen stole the final place on the rostrum by passing Leigh on the exit of the final corner on the last lap, as Saltunc took fourth from Leigh with exactly the same race time.

A clean sweep of victories allows Mercedes and Leigh to extend their advantage in both championships, with the final four races of the season set to begin on November 16.

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Author Josh Suttill
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