F1 Esports: 2021 in review
Making its competitive debut in 2021, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team enjoyed a hugely successful year of competition, fighting for titles on multiple fronts.
Third place in both the Drivers' and Constructors' Standings of the F1 Esports Pro Championship, preceded by making the final of the V10 R-League, is a record to be proud of.
From the joy of race victory to the heartache of narrowly missing out on several titles, it's been a rollercoaster season. Here are the top five moments from our maiden Esports campaign.
Starting off strong in the V10-R League
Marking Lucas Blakeley, Daniele Haddad and Shanaka Clay's first races with Aston Martin, the 2021 V10 R-League brought the start of an exciting new era.
Together, the trio fought for success over the course of seven events, battling against fellow F1 Esports rivals McLaren, Red Bull and Williams.
The V10 R-League format required all three drivers to compete at the highest level against seasoned Esports outfits, with Lucas, Daniele and Shanaka all playing their part.
Securing a run of form that few teams were able to match, the team entered the final following a triumphant playoff performance to face BMW.
A narrow 2-1 defeat marked the end of the campaign but, as the highest-placed Formula One outfit, the tone for 2021 had been set.
V10-R League ends in dramatic finale
Lucas Blakeley, Daniele Haddad and Shanaka Clay go head to head with BMW in a title fight that went down to the wire at the Yas Marina Circuit.
A decorated debut
In the first event of the 2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship, Lucas displayed his class by securing silverware in the team's series debut.
After taking an impressive second place in qualifying, the Scot battled hard at the Bahrain International Circuit from the off.
Leading in the early stages courtesy of a strong start, Lucas slipped to second when Nicholas Longuet made a move using DRS on lap 17 of 20.
But Lucas remained within striking distance of the Alpine driver, re-passing his rival on the final lap to take both his and Aston Martin's first F1 Esports victory.
Lucas makes history for Aston Martin
Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team secured victory in its competitive debut in the F1 Esports Pro Championship when Lucas Blakeley triumphed in the opening race of the 2021 season.
The team's successful start to the 2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship continued in Event Two where, once again, it was Lucas battling at the front of the pack.
The Scot played a starring role at Silverstone and, in a duel with Frederik Rasmussen and Dani Moreno, was in contention for a place on the podium.
By extending his opening stint, Lucas took advantage of the battles around him to seal third place on home turf before heading to Monza.
With a second third-place-finish in as many races, he sealed back-to-back podiums to add momentum to his title effort.
Meanwhile, a double-points finish for the team, courtesy of Daniele, truly launched our Constructors' Championship bid.
Podiums at Silverstone and Monza
Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team's Lucas Blakeley picked up back-to-back podiums across the Silverstone and Monza races to keep the team firmly in F1 Esports Pro Championship title contention at the mid-season point.
Perfection in Portimão
In the Pro Championship's first visit to Portimão, Lucas put on a clinical displayed to convert pole position into a dominant victory.
Making a strong start, the Scot perfected his strategy and remained untouchable throughout the race to take his second win of the season.
With only one event remaining in 2021, Lucas had well and truly launched his Drivers' Championship challenge.
Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team's Lucas Blakeley secured his second victory in the 2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship at Portimão to remain in title contention with one event remaining.
The grand finale
In the final event of the 2021 season, Lucas, Daniele and Shanaka banded together once more as the team competed for both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championship titles.
Imola, Mexico City and Interlagos proved to be fierce grounds of competition, but with a podium in the finale, the team would eventually secure third in both title fights.
Underpinned by teamwork, this result marks a strong foundation for future seasons, with preparations for 2022 already in progress. Bring it on.
Team takes third in Constructors' Championship
Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team secured third in the Constructors' Standings in the finale of the 2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship.
All in. All welcome. All celebrated. Sign up to open up a world of I / AM benefits and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.