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F1 Esports: 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.

2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship

Driver Lucas Blakeley concluded the season with a podium at Interlagos to also take third in the Drivers' Championship.

Race 10: Imola

Lucas qualified in fourth place for the opening race of Event Four and was joined inside the top 10 by team-mate Shanaka Clay who lined up in eighth.

Lining up on the Medium tyre, Lucas maintained position at the start of the race and overtook Mercedes' Dani Moreno on lap three using DRS to move into the podium places.

Shanaka, meanwhile, slipped to ninth on the opening lap and after progressing to seventh, pitted on lap eight for the Soft compound tyre.

Lucas followed his team-mate into the pit lane one lap later to also fit the Softs and rejoined in 12th before ascending to fourth as various strategies unfolded.

Chasing Ferrari's David Tonizza, Lucas attempted to overtake the Italian on lap 15 only to make light contact and damage his front wing.

As a result, he struggled for pace and despite facing a loss of performance, took 10th at the chequered flag.

Ahead, Shanaka performed a successful undercut strategy to move into sixth before making contact with McLaren's Bari Boroumand on lap 18 of 22. After pitting for repairs, the Briton finished 17th.

Race 11: Mexico City

Lucas secured seventh on the grid for the penultimate race of 2021 while Daniele Haddad qualified in 12th after narrowly missing out on Q3.

Both started on the Medium tyre and while Lucas held position over the opening lap, Daniele slipped to 15th in a difficult first tour.

With the margins fine, a DRS train quickly formed at the head of the field and after chasing Josh Idowu, Lucas overtook the McLaren driver for sixth on lap eight.

He opted to extend his opening stint to ascend to third in the pit phase and boxed for the Soft compound tyre at the end of lap 12 as Daniele also pitted on lap 13.

The Scot rejoined in 15th and by overtaking Tonizza, Marcel Kiefer and Nicholas Longuet in the run to the flag, finished in sixth.

A late spin halted Daniele's run to the top 10, taking 15th.

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Race 12: Interlagos

In qualifying for the season finale, Lucas placed third on the grid while Daniele lined up in ninth with the duo both starting on the Medium tyre.

Lucas held position on lap one but slipped to fourth on lap four when Soft tyre-starter Alvaro Carreton overtook using DRS into Turn One.

After slipping to 10th on the first lap, Daniele opened the pit phase by boxing for Soft tyres on lap six while Lucas also pitted for the faster compound on lap eight to rejoin in 14th.

Emerging in a net third, he performed a daring double overtake on lap 17 of 25, passing both Longuet and Kiefer into Turn One to take the lead.

A snap of oversteer pushed Lucas into the clutches of Frederik Rasmussen on the penultimate lap, with the Red Bull driver overtaking using DRS to secure first.

Unable to close in on the run to the flag due to excessive tyre wear, Lucas finished in second to claim third in the Drivers' Championship.

Daniele, meanwhile, narrowly missed out on the top 10 after getting tipped into a spin at the mid-way point, recovering to finish 12th.

Amassing 171 points in the Constructors' Standings, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team took third overall, ending the 2021 season with two wins and six podium finishes.

Lucas Blakeley, Driver, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team:

"We can be extremely proud of our performance this season. Taking third in the Constructors' Championship is a great achievement and for me personally, I'm very happy to finish inside the top three in the Drivers' Standings.

"With two wins, six podiums, one pole position and 12 Q3 appearances in 12 races, I'm pretty speechless. If someone told me that this is what we would achieve in the run-up to the season, it would have been very hard to believe.

"We nearly won the season finale but unfortunately, I just wasn't in a position to defend with the state of my tyres but nevertheless, it's been a fantastic year. A lot of effort went on behind the scenes and it's very satisfying to have that hard work rewarded.

"Congratulations to Jarno [Opmeer] and Mercedes on winning both the Drivers' and Constructors' titles."

Daniele Haddad, Driver, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team:

"From where we were in 2020, this season has been a major improvement in terms of performance and we learned from the past to deliver good results consistently throughout the year.

"Taking third in the Constructors' Championship is a big achievement that we can be proud of and I want to wish a special congratulations to Lucas for fighting for the title right until the end.

"On a personal note, there are plenty of positives to take from this year, especially our improved performance in qualifying. This season we have built strong foundations and I hope that we can carry this momentum into 2022."

Shanaka Clay, Driver, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team:

"Finishing third in the Constructors' Championship is a great result for the team. We had a strong start in Event One and we maintained that level of performance throughout the year.

"As a team, we're always working together through the highs and lows and by taking the positives and working on our weaknesses, we ensure that we’re always operating at our best.

"I was very proud to race at Imola and it showed that I have the pace to mix it with the top guys. This season has been a good recovery from 2020 and it's good to be going up which is the right way to go."

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