2019 has been a terrific year for Formula 1 in nearly every sphere.
From the rise of Charles Leclerc and the wheel-to-wheel battles of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton around the world to the roaring success of Codemasters’ F1 2019 game and now in the competitive environment of esports.NOW WATCH BELOW: The perfect setup for specific tracks!
The 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series, which took place across four live events at the Gfinity Arena in London, was a thriller.
Record audience for F1 esports
Watching all of the drama unfold was a record audience, in more ways than one.
An online audience of 5.8 million watched the third season of F1 esports, a massive 76% increase on 2018, while 169 million social media impressions ensured that even Max Verstappen couldn’t miss the excitement.
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Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said:
“The growth of esports in Formula 1 continues to accelerate and it is a key part of our strategy to reach a new and younger fan base for the pinnacle of motorsport.
“Not only has 2019 been our most ambitious esports season to date by way of our tournament and events, but it was also the first season we had all 10 official F1 teams participating, with Ferrari entering the world of esports for the first time in their history.”
Other records were broken in F1 esports this year.
A massive 109,000 players attempted to qualify, putting in 1.4 million laps across various events to try and make it to the Pro Draft. This was a 65% increase in participation.
There was an enormous $500,000 prize fund for 2019, which was more than double last years amount.
It was also the first year with all 10 F1 teams lining up as Ferrari joined the fray and managed to unseat Mercedes, something they have failed to do with Sebastian Vettel.
F1 Series sees new winner
Italian David Tonizza took home the Drivers Championship in the scarlet of Ferrari while Red Bull’s trio of Frederik Rasmussen, Joni Tormala, and Nicolas Longuet all pushed Tonizza hard and claimed the Team Championship.
Two-time champion Brendon Leigh finished some way off the pace this year in fifth place, highlighting just how competitive and unpredictable this season really was.
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2020 is sure to hold many more thrills as the highly competitive field tries to earn a seat and take the crown away from Tonizza.