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10 Dec 2020

F1 Esports 2020 Final: Who will walk away with the title?

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Latest news - Interview with Marcel Kiefer

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F1 Esports 2020 Grand Finale

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Jarno Opmeer

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Frederik Rasmussen

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Marcel Kiefer

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Not just three cars on track

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Team fight?

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How to watch

It has been a dramatic F1 Esports season, and with three races left it is still all to play for.

Jarno Opmeer has been the dominant force of 2020, but the Red Bull drivers Frederik Rasmussen and Marcel Kiefer have been hunting him down.

Who will walk away from the finale as champion?

Latest news - Interview with Marcel Kiefer

Red Bull's Marcel Kiefer sat down with our sister site RacingGames.GG to discuss his thoughts on the season so far and the upcoming title battle.

You can read the whole interview here.

F1 Esports 2020 Grand Finale

This year's finale lacks some of the pizzazz thanks to everyone racing from home rather than at the Gfinity Arena in London, but the on-track action has been more fierce than ever before.

The finale takes place on 16-17 December. The drivers will take on the Mexican, Japanese, and Brazilian GP tracks to decide both the Drivers' and Teams' Championships.

The $750,000 prize fund will be split depending on the Teams' Championship, but the glory of the Drivers' title is pushing Opmeer, Rasmussen, and Kiefer. Let's take a look at their scrap.

Jarno Opmeer

Race wins: 3

Podiums: 7

Points: 153

Opmeer moved from Renault to Alfa Romeo for the 2020 season and was instantly the man to beat. Chatting with 2019 champion David Tonizza before the season started, he singled out Opmeer as the biggest threat to his title, and he wasn't wrong.

The Bahrain GP in F1 Esports 2020
PICTURE PERFECT: It was a 1-2 for Alfa to start the season

Opmeer took a commanding lead in the championship thanks to two wins and a P3 in the first event.

Since then he has been reeled in by the pack a little, but that initial cushion and some consistent podium finishes has served him well.

Still, his lead is far from secure at the top of the standings.

Frederik Rasmussen

Race wins: 2

Podiums: 4

Points: 134

The 2019 runner-up is Opmeer's closest rival. Rasmussen had a torrid first event, with a 6th and two 5th place finishes, but soon found his form.

An imperious racer, Rasmussen's raw pace has always had him at the front of the pack. He claimed commanding wins at Zandvoort and Spa, and has been the consummate team player too, helping Red Bull lead the way in the Teams Championship.

19 points can be wiped away in an instant, and a trio of wins would confirm Rasmussen as champion, however that is a remarkably tall order.

Marcel Kiefer

Race wins: 1

Podiums: 6

Points: 121

Rasmussen's new teammate has actually been the more consistent of the pair in 2020. Kiefer, who moved over from Toro Rosso last year, has been a constant figure at the top of the standings, but has had some misfortune with penalties that has cost him more than a few points.

Red Bull's 1-2 finish in Austria this year
POETRY IN MOTION: Red Bull have deployed expert team tactics this season

His 32-point gap to Opmeer does seem massive, but it would only take a win at the first race in Suzuka to rapidly narrow the deficit.

Kiefer has been much closer in terms of absolute pace this year than many would have thought, and racing from home has seemed to really suit him.

As if to prove his title-challenge, Kiefer also took a dominant win at Brazil in the Pro Exhibition Series earlier this year. While that was contested on F1 2019, the track clearly suits him.

Not just three cars on track

However, it's not just these three on the circuit. 2020 race winners David Tonizza and Nicolas Longuet (who is still mathematically alive in the championship despite a 65-point gap) are more than capable of taking points off the title rivals.

The same goes for double-champion Brendon Leigh and Dani Bereznay in the sister Alfa Romeo.

The 2020 field has been the most competitive grid in F1 Esports history, so the trio of title contenders are far from guaranteed an easy run to the front.

Team fight?

Red Bull's drivers have been working together all season. Protecting each other, not battling, and generally working as a remarkably cohesive unit.

That teamwork has given them a 32-point lead over Alfa Romeo. However, with the Drivers' title up for grabs could it all change in the final event?

F1 Esports 2020 team standings
TITANIC STRUGGLE: There have been two dominant teams all year

With the money coming down to team standings, the Red Bull management will be keen to continue their current balance, but drivers are always hard to manage when individual honours are on the line.

Alfa's dynamic is a little more clear. While no longer in the title hunt, Bereznay can act as a rear-gunner and overall menace to Red Bull. He could be deployed on aggressive undercut strategies or alternate ones to cause headaches for the Bulls.

It will be an interesting strategic battle across the three races.

How to watch

The F1 Esports finale will air at 7:30pm GMT on 16 & 17 December.

Japan and Mexico will be on the 16th, with the final race at Brazil taking place on the 17th.

The racing will be streamed live on Formula 1's official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch channels.

A qualifying show will be streamed on F1's Twitch channel on both days at 3:30pm GMT.

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