F1 Sim Racing 2023 World Championship Event 3 recap

The final five-round event of the 2023 F1 Sim Racing World Championship was held in Jönköping, Sweden from May 7 – 9.

Both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships came down to the final races, and the competition was fierce.

Round 8 – Mexico City

Coming into the eighth round at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, the former leader of the championship Thomas Ronhaar needed major points to keep his campaign alive.

Ferrari driver Bari Broumand started the 36-lap race from pole position, from championship leader Frederik Rasmussen of Red Bull, Ferrari’s Nicolas Longuet, then Kick Sauber’s Ronhaar in the fourth position.


The track is known for its incredibly long main straight, which Ronhaar used to his advantage by gaining a slipstream. He managed to overtake the front three and gained the lead with a sensational move around the outside into the first corner.

Broumand retook the lead from Ronhaar on lap four, but the two decided to work together for the majority of the first stint by swapping the lead on the main straight. Rasmussen followed the leaders closely in third, as did McLaren driver Lucas Blakeley.

The top five soft tire runners pitted for mediums on lap 14, and the hard runners eventually pitted for mediums.

Mercedes driver Daniel Bereznay missed his braking point and slammed into the back of Blakeley on lap 30, which caused the McLaren driver to retire.

One lap later, Ronhaar was no longer willing to work with Broumand, who wanted to be in second position on the final lap to take advantage of the slipstream on the main straight.

The plan didn’t work for Broumand, who was unable to get past Ronhaar into the first corner. He tried elsewhere in the lap, but Ronhaar kept a cool head and took the win.

F1 Esports event 3, Kick driver Thomas Ronhaar (left) interviewing after win.
F1 Esports event 3, Kick driver Thomas Ronhaar (left) interviewing after win.

The top five were Ronhaar, Broumand, Rasmussen, Alfie Butcher of Haas, and Rubén Pedreño of Alpine. Ronhaar reignited his Drivers’ Championship campaign, Rasmussen extended his lead to 45 points, and Ferrari moved up to second in the Constructors’ Championship.

Round 9 – São Paulo

Not only did Ronhaar keep his title hopes alive in Mexico, he put his Kick Sauber in pole position for the next round at Interlagos in São Paulo, Brazil.

It was a split strategy for the 36-lap race. The top nine drivers started on soft tires, while the other 11 opted for hard tires. That was until a lobby restart was declared, and Mercedes driver Jarno Opmeer took the opportunity to switch to mediums.

Ronhaar maintained the lead into the first corner ahead of Rasmussen, then Blakeley overtook Aston Martin driver Simon Weigang for third position.

Rasmussen took the lead into the Senna ‘S’, but it became clear that Ronhaar and Rasmussen would swap the lead several times during the first stint.

Rasmussen pitted on lap 14 and Ronhaar pitted one lap later. Meanwhile, two-time champion Opmeer extended his medium tires as though they were hards, which allowed him to make places at the start and stay on the hard strategy.

Ronhaar rejoined behind Rasmussen and Blakely after pitstops, who were swapping the lead at the front. Opmeer stopped for soft tires on lap 20, which allowed him to cut through the field and made for an exciting race.

Blakeley and Ronhaar got past Rasmussen, which caused him to lose time and eventually he dropped back to sixth after Opmeer came through. Opmeer was on a tear, pulling off multiple double overtakes to try to make his strategy work and get to the front.

The end of this race was chaotic, with the lead changing constantly, but when it was all said and done Ronhaar clinched the win. Alvarro Carreton of Williams managed second position, then Butcher, Longuet, and Opmeer.

Once again Ronhaar bounced back from his rough end to the second event and closed the cap in the Drivers’ Championship. Rasmussen’s advantage was cut to 18 points. Red Bull also lost ground in the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari.


Round 10 – Las Vegas

This was the first time that F1 Sim Racing competed at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit, so many drivers expected chaos and carnage for 25 laps under the lights.

Longuet and Ronhaar made up the front row, followed by Broumand and Haas driver Ulas Ozyildirim on the second row of the grid, then Opmeer and Rasmussen.

The top five were on softs and held their position through the start phase. Blakeley past Rasmussen into the first corner, which demoted him to seventh position.

Ronhaar took the lead from Longuet on lap three, then Broumand took the lead on lap seven. The three would trade the lead many times throughout the race by overtaking on the back straight.

After the soft runners at the front pitted around lap nine, Ozyildirim claimed the effective lead of the race for Haas.

Ozyildirim led for some time, then Broumand, then Ronhaar, but as time went on, it became clear that the slipstream on the back straight was too powerful. It was more advantageous to be in second or third.

The Ferraris set up Ronhaar to lead on lap 24 while Opmeer made his way to fourth position.

On the final lap, Broumand went for the move on Ronhaar and Longuet followed his teammate through for a Ferrari 1-2 finish. Opmeer joined the fight at the right time to get on the podium and left Ronhaar in fourth position.

F1 Esports event 3, Bari Broumand (back) and Ferrari teammate Nicolas Longuet (front) celebrate 1-2 finish.
F1 Esports event 3, Bari Broumand (back) and Ferrari teammate Nicolas Longuet (front) celebrate 1-2 finish.

The Ferrari team was ecstatic because it meant they took the lead in the Constructors’ Championship from Red Bull, and the Scuderia had an advantage of seven points. The top five were Broumand, Longuet, Opmeer, Ronhaar, and Ozyildirim.

Rasmussen finished in sixth position, so the gap to Ronhaar behind in the Drivers’ Championship stayed at 18 points. Broumand also put himself back into the conversation for the Drivers’ Championship.

Round 11 – Lusail

For the penultimate race of the season at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar, Broumand qualified on pole position for the 29-lap night race.

Ronhaar challenged Broumand into the first sector, both on medium tires, and the two were wheel-to-wheel until the Ferrari had the edge. Then, Tom Manley of Alpha Tauri attacked Ronhaar for the second position with his grippier soft tires.

Manley past Broumand on lap two, but the Ferrari regained the lead when its medium tires warmed up.

Broumand, Manley, and Ronhaar pitted for hard tires on lap 10, which promoted Red Bull’s Josh Idowu to the lead.

Three laps later, Manley tagged the back of Broumand at the end of the first sector, which almost collected Ronhaar. Manley retired.

Longuet undercut his rivals to be at the front with teammate Broumand, and the two controlled the race from there. On lap 28, Ronhaar tried desperately to get past Longuet who defended for his teammate.

Ronhaar decided not to risk the podium finish, as that would hurt his Driver’s Championship fight against Rasmussen. Ferrari pulled off another 1-2 finish, their second of the day. The top five were Broumand, Longuet, Ronhaar, Weigang, and Rasmussen.

While it wasn’t definite after this race, the back-to-back 1-2 finishes meant that Ferrari clinched the Constructors’ Championship ahead of Kick Sauber and Red Bull.

F1 Esports event 3, Ferrari Esports team hold up their Constructors' Championship trophy.
F1 Esports event 3, Ferrari Esports team hold up their Constructors' Championship trophy.

The Drivers’ Championship came down to the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi. Rasmussen was still ahead of Ronhaar by 13 points, and Broumand was still a possible contender.

Round 12 – Yas Marina

Ahead of the final race of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit, Ronhaar gave himself the best chance to take the Drivers’ Championship away from Rasmussen by qualifying on pole position. However, if Rasmussen finished on the podium, then the title would be his.

Rasmussen was slightly out of position in seventh position. Ronhaar kept his lead at the start and the others helped position. There was a lot to play for all the way down the grid, so everyone drove mindfully at the front.

The top four started the race on soft tires, then three hard runners, and mixed strategies at the back.

On lap 8, Rasmussen past Bereznay for sixth position, one closer to the title. The top four were saving tires and batteries. Broumand passed Ronhaar for the lead, and it seemed that they were going to work together to build a gap to Blakeley and Rasmussen behind.

Broumand pitted for medium tires on lap 12, but Ronhaar stayed out one lap longer. Ronhaar rejoined behind Blakeley, Opmeer, and Carreton.

Rasmussen makes his way up to fourth position where he managed to remain for the rest of the race.

The last five laps of this Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were insane. Butcher decided that he didn’t care about any championship and wanted his second win in F1 Sim Racing. The Haas driver got to the front with some impressive driving.


Ronhaar became desperate at the end and made some forceful passes to try to win in the hopes that Rasmussen would finish lower than fourth. The top five were Butcher, Ronhaar, Bereznay, Rasmussen, and Longuet.

In the end, Frederik Rasmussen clinched the Drivers’ Championship ahead of Ronhaar and Broumand.

F1 Esports event 3, Red Bull driver Frederik Rasmussen holds up the Drivers' Championship trophy.
F1 Esports event 3, Red Bull driver Frederik Rasmussen holds up the Drivers' Championship trophy.


Race results were subject to post race time penalties.

Story originally appeared on Racer