McLaren Shadow announces new F1 Esports Series team

McLaren Shadow F1 Esports Team announced its new line-up for 2018 and a partnership with Team Redline. The new team will compete in the upcoming F1 Esports Series set to start in October.

Olli Pahkala, F1 driver at McLaren Shadow

Back in July, McLaren Shadow introduced Olli Pahkala as the first member of the F1 squad. The Finnish driver was selected in the first round of the Pro Draft that took place at the Gfinity Arena in West London, Enzo Bonito and Bono Huis complete the three-man squad. Bonito and Huis are well-known in the sim-racing scene with several World Championships under their belts.

Team Redline will be supporting McLaren Shadow with the management and coaching of the F1 team. Over 18 years, Team Redline has accumulated hundreds of major titles like the iRacing World Championship. The organisation also represents a diverse group of real and virtual drivers, including Pahkala, Bonito, and Huis. 

The McLaren Shadow Project started in 2017, on the official website it’s defined as “a virtual racing programme that shadows our real-world equivalent”. At the moment, the team announced Logitech, HTC Vive, Sparco Gaming and Alienware as sponsors for the esports initiatives, including the new F1 squad. 

According to McLaren’s website: “We entered esports in 2017 to explore the performance opportunities that exist at the intersection of gaming and real-world racing. Because, unlike any other sport, the transference of skills between virtual and real racing are both direct and profound.”

In April, McLaren and eight other Formula 1 teams joined the F1 Esports Series for its second competitive season. After a series of open qualifiers, 40 drivers made it to the Pro Draft. Finally, the nine teams had the opportunity to pick one or two drivers based on each team’s needs.

The F1 Esports Series returns in early October, more details are yet to be revealed.

Esports Insider says: After an exciting inaugural season, the F1 Esports Series welcomes the Formula 1 teams. At the Pro Draft , the nine teams picked the drivers to represent them in the upcoming season. Drivers now get to experience the Formula 1 like the professionals with a coaching staff, advisors and sponsors.