Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team seals place in the V10-R League Finale

Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team seals place in the V10-R League Finale

19.05.2021: Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team will compete in the final of the V10-R League on May 24, having overcome fellow Formula One outfits McLaren and Williams in knockout matches along the way.

Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team will compete in the final of the V10-R League on May 24, having overcome fellow Formula One outfits McLaren and Williams in knockout matches along the way.



The Esports team launched earlier this year and made its virtual racing debut in the V10-R League back in April, building on the foundations of Team Silverstone, which had competed in the V10-R League’s inaugural 2020 season.



Lucas Blakeley, Daniele Haddad and Shanaka Clay continued with the team into the new era and were able to string together a consistent front-running campaign, honing their craft following a first foray outside of the F1 Esports Pro Series in 2020.



The unique 2021 V10-R League format pitches 10 teams into two groups of five, with four head-to-head matches deciding the league table and who would move onto the playoffs.



Individual matches are separated into four races across two circuits, voted for by each team, and each venue would host a Team and Relay race.



The Team Race pitched three-against-three as the two teams battled for the best overall result, while the Relay event was a one-versus-one format in which each driver completed a stint before handing over to a team-mate in a battle to get to the finish line first.



With a maximum of four points available in each match, every race mattered. After defeating Romain Grosjean’s R8G Esports Team (4-0) and Yas Heat (3-1), as well as scoring points in matches against Red Bull and Team Redline, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team finished second in Group A in the regular season.



That ensured a quarter-final with last year’s finalists, Williams, which ended in a 4-0 victory for Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team after a dominant showing that included a 1-2-3 qualifying lock-out at both Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone.



A combination of teamwork – featuring Daniele and Shanaka supporting Lucas’s bid to break clear of the pack on multiple occasions – and strategy, including the correct decision to go for the alternative Medium tyre strategy in the Silverstone Team Race, meant a 4-0 victory gave the team momentum going into a semi-final match-up with McLaren.



Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team was closely matched against McLaren across both Spa and the Yas Marina Circuit.



After narrow defeats in the Relay and Team races at the Yas Marina Circuit, the team hit back strongly at team favourite Spa. Needing to take back-to-back wins and outscore McLaren in the Team Race for overall victory, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team rose to the occasion.



Victory in the Relay Race following penalties for McLaren due to pitlane infringements ensured the team went into the all-deciding Team Race still in contention.



A challenging start to the race put McLaren in the driving seat, but drama at Les Combes enabled Lucas, Daniele and Shanaka to take a 1-2-3 finish for both the match victory and a place in the final.




Lucas Blakeley, Driver, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team, said
: “It’s taken a lot of work for us to reach this stage. The quality of the opposition in the V10-R League is so high, and, amazingly, we’re going to be racing in the final.


The semi-final was the absolute highlight of the campaign so far, beating one of the best teams in the competition in such a dramatic way. It was incredibly emotional, and I can’t wait for the final.”




Daniele Haddad, Driver, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team, said:
“It’s been a very good season for us, and it shows how far we’ve come this year. Last season, the V10-R League was very new to us, as was the Assetto Corsa platform.


We were able to spend a lot of time in the off-season getting more familiar with it, and we arrived more prepared this year. Lucas, Shanaka and I have been racing at a higher level, very closely, throughout this year, and it’s made the difference.”




Shanaka Clay, Driver, Aston Martin Cognizant Esports Team, said:
“It’s an incredible feeling to make it to the final. To get there after beating a team as strong as McLaren, who topped their group earlier in the season, makes it all the more special.


It was such a rollercoaster of a semi-final. We went from the depths of despair to earning our place in the final across the four races. It was the reward for our persistence and determination in a critical part of the season. We’ll give it one last push in the final and aim for the title.”
 


Matt Bishop, AMR GP Ltd
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/aston-martin-cognizant-esports-team-v10-r-league-final---223668.html

19.05.2021 / MaP

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