Toro Rosso's Patrik Holzmann lost 15kg for F1 eSports return

Toro Rosso driver Patrik Holzmann has revealed he has lost over 15 kilograms so far in preparation for the second F1 eSports season

Holzmann finished fourth in 2017's inaugural virtual F1 championship and advanced to this year's Pro Draft in the very first week of qualifying.

He impressed Toro Rosso - who later picked him to represent the team - with not only his speed, but his fitness regime ahead of the draft and three-day assessment period at Silverstone.

Holzmann lost 8kg in five weeks and has lost a further 7kg since July's Pro Draft.

"The fitness thing was something I wanted to do for a long time," Holzmann explained to Autosport.

"Just for myself personally, but also at the same time I knew it was going to help in the assessments.

"I knew that was there was some sort of fitness test going on, but also it was to make a better impression to the teams.

"It's definitely better to look fit, and that's why I started and it's still ongoing, 15kg [weight loss] by now.

"To lose my weight, it was mainly just going to the gym every day, or at least five days a week, mainly running and a healthy diet too of course.

"It's still pretty hard, but I'm getting used to it, and I'm feeling much better mentally as well as physically.

"It's going to help me in my sim racing journey, not only in life personally but mentally for the racing, it's healthy."

Holzmann: Rival Tormala is 'like looking in a mirror'

As in real-life F1, the Toro Rosso and Red Bull teams will be working closely together with joint practice sessions and race preparation.

Joni Tormala, who finished 10th in last year's eSports competition, was picked by Red Bull and has always been a close rival and friend of Holzmann's in sim racing.

"We have a special rivalry, because since last year, in all the events that we had to qualify on for the F1 eSports, we were one-two so we had great battles throughout the week," Holzmann explained to Autosport.

"We're so evenly matched, it's amazing to see, I feel like I'm looking in the mirror in a way because he can do the same things I can.

"For example, sometimes I often think 'I'm driving perfectly, he cannot match me, he cannot be better' but then Joni shows up and matches it.

"He's just an amazing driver. Preparing for the F1 eSports together just helps us so much to improve and raise the bar."

Holzmann is joined at Toro Rosso by Fernando Alonso's sim racing protege Cem Bolukbasi and the yet-to-be-confirmed Frederik Rasmussen.

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