Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team announces 2021 esports driver line-up
- Jarno Opmeer, Dani Moreno and Bono Huis to compete for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team in 2021.
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The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team is pleased to announce its new virtual driver line-up for 2021. Jarno Opmeer, reigning F1 Esports Pro Series Drivers’ Champion, and Dani Moreno, ‘Rookie of the Year’ in the same series, will join the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team to compete alongside Bono Huis, who has been racing for the team in several esports competitions since 2020.
20-year old Jarno Opmeer raced in the real world before he switched to the virtual arena. He won the Dutch Karting championship three times and competed in Formula 4 and Formula Renault 2.0 before making his debut in F1 Esports in 2019. The following season turned out to be Jarno’s most successful in F1 Esports yet as he claimed eight podiums, four wins and ultimately the F1 Esports Pro Series Drivers’ Championship in 2020.
“I can't wait to start working with the Mercedes Team,” said Jarno. “Behind the scenes, we have already started working on our preparations for the Virtual Grands Prix and the Formula E race series. This is an extremely ambitious and talented team and I’m going to try to get the maximum out of Esports this year.”
Dani Moreno first entered the F1 Esports Series in 2020 and was voted ‘Rookie of the Year’ in an impressive debut season. The 20-year old Spaniard scored his first points in his first race and secured 70 points over the course of the season, while continuously demonstrating top-level talent.
“To join one of the best teams in the world alongside some of the best drivers in the world is truly amazing,” said Dani. “I feel incredibly proud to join this team and I will work as hard as possible to get the best results, both for the team and for myself. I’ll have Jarno and Bono on my side which means I’ll have to work harder than ever and hopefully I can learn from them to become a better driver.”
26-year old Dutchman Bono Huis will race in his second season for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team. Bono established his talent in his first competitive outing with the team when he won the Sim Masters Champion title, competing in The Race All-Star Series 2 in June 2020. He also raced for the three-pointed star in the F1 Esports Pro Series in 2020 finishing P12 in the standings.
“I'm very happy to continue with the Team,” said Bono. “When I joined the team last year, we immediately got off to a good start with a number of promising results across a few series. Unfortunately, we didn't reach our targets for the F1 Esports Series, so we are looking to improve on that this year. Having Jarno and Dani joining us is extremely exciting and should help us to grow across all platforms, so I'm very much looking forward to what seems to be a busy year!"
“We have a very strong new driver line-up with Jarno, Dani and Bono and it underlines our ambitions in the world of esports – we are here to compete at the front, in multiple disciplines and categories,” said James Vowles, Motorsport Strategy Director of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. “Jarno won the 2020 F1 Esports Series and performed admirably across the season. He has also shown that he is strong across different platforms. Dani had an impressive rookie season last year with a podium at Silverstone. He went on to finish in the Top 10 at the backend of the season, improving race on race. Bono played an important role in our 2020 F1 esports campaign and has shown great performances on other platforms as well, particularly on rFactor and during the Formula E Race at Home Challenge last year. We’re very happy with this new driver line-up and it will help us take the next step in the development of our esports programme.”
Increasing the competition in Esports Racing Environment
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team launched its esports programme in 2018 when the team first participated in the F1 Esports Series. The newly founded team took the inaugural win in the Constructors’ Championship of the series but had a more challenging 2019 esports season. The Team started 2020 amid strong competition and finished P4 in the Constructors’ standings. Over the past months, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team has significantly upgraded its esports training centre and partnered with leading brands to build a bespoke virtual racing environment. The team has introduced AMD graphics cards, Sim-Lab racing cockpits, SteelSeries peripherals, Overclockers PC hardware, and Simucube direct-drive wheelbases across its facility. The team’s 2021 kit is provided by New Era. These solutions have helped to create a highly consistent, low-latency virtual racing environment that closely replicates the real-world motorsports.
About the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team is the esports team of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team. Based on the premises of the F1 team’s chassis technology centre in Brackley, UK, a purpose-built esports training centre provides the virtual racers with state-of-the-art equipment and support to help them develop their skills, train and compete. The esports training centre is integrated into the F1 simulator environment, where F1 drivers work hand in hand with engineers to use the learnings from the virtual world to improve the F1 car in the real world.