2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

Dramatic victory over McLaren seals V10-R League final place

Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team sealed its place in the V10-R League final after late drama helped the team go from the brink of defeat to victory against Formula One rival McLaren Shadow.

V10-R League

The semi-final was hosted at team favourite Spa-Francorchamps and the Yas Marina Circuit, which was selected by McLaren.

Daniele started the opening race from pole position at the Yas Marina Circuit but lost out to McLaren’s James Baldwin on the run to Turn One. With overtaking at a premium, Daniele made sure to remain on the tail of his rival throughout his lap.

Once Baldwin had completed his joker lap and handed the car over to Isaac Gillissen, Lucas was able to pressure the McLaren driver and create the possibility of an overtake during the pitstops.

A rapid switch from Lucas to Shanaka led the teams to exit the pitlane centimetres apart, but it was McLaren’s Elvin Smith who gave McLaren the 1-0 lead.

In the Team Race, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team battled hard after a setback caused by Gillissen colliding with Lucas on the exit of Turn One, pushing the Scot down into third.

Approaching the end of the first lap, Lucas launched a pinpoint move around Gillissen to go second, but the knock-on effect led to the McLaren driver hitting Daniele and ruining his race.

The collision promoted Shanaka to third, who defended resolutely from Smith, despite McLaren taking a 2-0 lead.

Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team now needed to win both races at Spa, as well as outscore McLaren in the Team Race, to make the final.

Daniele wasted no time at the start of the Relay Race and powered past Baldwin on the Kemmel Straight to take the lead.

He would retain his advantage throughout the lap before handing the V10-powered machine over to team-mate Lucas, who took on the joker lap.

McLaren would soon be hit with a penalty for a pitlane infringement to give Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team's hopes a boost.

A second pitlane penalty for McLaren sealed victory for the team after a thrilling scrap on the final lap, narrowing the scoreline to 2-1 in McLaren’s favour.

A place in the final came down to the Team Race, with Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team starting as the underdogs.

A messy start between the two teams led to contact and a mixed-up order as Baldwin emerged ahead of Lucas, Shanaka and Daniele.

Slipstreaming down the Kemmel Straight allowed Lucas to power past for the lead and Baldwin spun out at the chicane, allowing Shanaka to go second and Daniele to go fourth.

An error from Gillissen while pressuring Shanaka at the exit of the Kemmel Straight helped Daniele climb to third before he switched focus to defending hard from the recovering Baldwin.

Daniele's strong defence ensured an incredible 1-2-3 finish, securing a place in the final on May 24.

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