Mercedes launches eSports squad, signs 2017 F1 champion Leigh

Mercedes has announced inaugural Formula 1 eSports champion Brendon Leigh as a driver for its brand-new virtual racing team

Mercedes launches eSports squad, signs 2017 F1 champion Leigh

Leigh, who defeated Fabrizio Donoso Delgado and Sven Zurner in a controversial final last year, will defend his drivers' championship with Mercedes.

"The pressure is somewhat enormous to defend this championship," Leigh told Autosport earlier this year.

"I'm going to walk into the finals with the biggest target on my back that I've ever had in my life. The intensity has risen tenfold."

The 19-year-old will compete alongside 2017 McLaren World's Fastest Gamer finalist Harry Jacks, multiple-Polish sim racing champion Patryk Krutyi and Dani Bereznay, who was selected by the team in July's Pro Draft.

The team will be based at Brackley alongside its real-life F1 team.

It will use a "purpose-built eSports training centre, which will provide the team's gamers with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to develop their skills," according to Mercedes a statement.

The eSports team will be based in the same building as Mercedes' 'F1 Driver in Loop Simulator'.

"The eSports programme will benefit from transferable elements pertinent to optimising car set-up and honing racecraft," the statement continued.

"The programme also focuses on human performance and will give the eSports team members access to the on-site Performance Centre covering the core areas of nutrition, physical conditioning and wellbeing that support the gamers in reaching their full potential."

The quartet will start competing in October in the next stage of the F1 2018 eSports series.

F1 eSports 2018 line-up so far

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Brendon Leigh, Harry Jacks, Patryk Krutyi, Daniel Bereznay

Red Bull Racing eSports
Joni Tormala, Graham Carroll

Renault Sport Team Vitality
Sven Zurner, Kimmy Larsson, James Doherty

Haas F1
Martin Stefanko, Michal Smidl Hype Energy

eForce India
Fabrizio Donoso Delgado, Mads Sorensen, Marcel Kiefer

McLaren Shadow
Olli Pahkala

Toro Rosso
Cem Bolukbasi, Patrick Holzmann Sauber Salih Saltunc, Allert van der Wal, Sonuc Saltunc

Williams eSports
Tino Naukkarinen

shares
comments
First impressions of 'hugely ambitious' Dakar 18 game

Previous article

First impressions of 'hugely ambitious' Dakar 18 game

Next article

FE Vegas eRace and eRace of Champions winners in McLaren eSports team

FE Vegas eRace and eRace of Champions winners in McLaren eSports team
Load comments

About this article

Series Esports
Author Josh Suttill
Analysis: How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest race Plus

Analysis: How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest race

An unlikely partnership between LMP1 privateer Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's successful sim racing team yielded victory in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Here's how it triumphed in the biggest sim race ever staged

Esports
Jun 15, 2020
How poor driving standards ruined IndyCar's golden opportunity Plus

How poor driving standards ruined IndyCar's golden opportunity

The chaotic end to the virtual Indy 175 might be dismissed as "just a game," but the insulting actions of two IndyCar stars may have serious real-life consequences

Esports
May 3, 2020
Why Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Plus

Why Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit

The introduction of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi to Formula 1's Virtual GP last weekend meant it was a step above the franchise's debut two weeks ago. But a dominant performance from Esports newcomer Leclerc stole the show

Esports
Apr 6, 2020
How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed Plus

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

'Natural talent' is one of the biggest misnomers going in motorsport, and that is being proven by the way real life racers aren't immediately getting on the pace with the sim racing experts in virtual contests. To change that, they are having to apply the same tools required to be quick in real life

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Plus

Why F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable

F1 Esports' inaugural Virtual Grand Prix last weekend provided brilliant entertainment to those tuning in to watch a mix of F1 drivers and celebrities battle on track, but was a missed opportunity for marketing its own Esports stars. A change of approach is needed if it is to successfully fill the void until the resumption of proper racing

Esports
Mar 24, 2020
The latest Red Bull exile to return in Esports Plus

The latest Red Bull exile to return in Esports

Since he was ejected from the programme at the end of 2006, the latest Red Bull junior driver brought back into the fold to race in Formula 1 - in a virtual sense for the inaugural Virtual GP - has had quite the career journey. From ADAC GT Masters and Porsche Supercup to Le Mans and the DTM, here's how a works pro got to relive a long-forgotten dream

Esports
Mar 24, 2020
Mercedes can be toppled in F1's other title race Plus

Mercedes can be toppled in F1's other title race

Mercedes has not only set new standards in Formula 1, but it's also created a benchmark in Esports. Now its rivals have scrambled to catch up, there's a chance the Brendon Leigh-fronted Mercedes can be stopped

Esports
Sep 10, 2019
Why World's Fastest Gamer is returning to real-world racing Plus

Why World's Fastest Gamer is returning to real-world racing

World's Fastest Gamer is a spiritual successor to the famous GT Academy. After a successful first year, it's returning to the Nissan programme's roots by targeting the real world of racing

Esports
Jul 31, 2019