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F1 Sim Racing World Championship – Round 1

Hinwil, 4 December 2023 – Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK Esports enjoyed a brilliant start to its 2023/24 F1 Sim Racing World Championship campaign, with Thomas Ronhaar driving to victory in the virtual sandy sceneries of the Bahrain International Circuit.

Held in Jönköping, Sweden, during the DreamHack Winter 2023, one of the largest, best-known esports competitions, Round 1 saw Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK Esports drivers, Thomas Ronhaar and Brendon Leigh, lining up on the grid for the race, with Matthijs van Erven sitting on the bench. In the first F1 Sim Racing LAN event held since the end of 2019, Thomas kicked off activities by clinching a brilliant pole position, which he then successfully converted into a win, while Brendon struggled more with issues on his racing simulator, only taking the fourteenth spot on the grid and making up a couple of places during the race, ultimately finishing 12th.

These results place Thomas at the top of the Drivers’ Standings, with Alfa Romeo F1 KICK Esports also leading the Constructors’ Standings, level on points with Ferrari and Mercedes.

Thomas Ronhaar
Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK Esports C43
Qualifying: 1st
Race: 1st

“It has been an incredible race – and what a way to kick off our 2023/24 campaign! After having claimed pole position, I was able to enjoy a great start and to apply a strong strategy throughout the race, which allowed me to cross the finish line first. I am proud of all the work that has been done for over nine months behind the scenes, and of the incredible atmosphere in our team, from the drivers to the managers and the engineers. We showed our pace from the very beginning, testament to our intention to be fighting at the front of the grid. Of course, I am personally happy of my performance during Round 1, and to have proved myself in this great LAN event. I am already looking forward for more.”

Brendon Leigh
Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK Esports C43
Qualifying: 14th
Race: 12th

“First of all, congratulations to Thomas for the results achieved. Personally, I am proud of the work done in preparation to the event, and of the family spirit that grew among us. Unfortunately, a couple of factors outside of our control caused performance-hammering issues with the racing simulator, and thus didn’t allow me to extract the most out of it. Of course, this is frustrating, but we kept a positive mindset working towards the maximum possible result – I feel we achieved that. Now, going forward into Round 2, we will address these limitations with the target of putting ourselves back into the championship hunt.”

About Sauber Group of Companies:

The Sauber Group of Companies is composed of two operational entities: Sauber Motorsport AG, which operates and manages its Formula OneTM team; and Sauber Technologies AG, which focuses on third-party business in the areas of advanced engineering, prototype development and additive manufacturing, in addition to full and model-scale testing in the factory’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel and ground-breaking innovation in the field of aerodynamics. The companies collaborate closely and share know-how to apply the expertise of more than 550 dedicated individuals at the headquarter in Hinwil, Switzerland, to all internal and external projects.

The Sauber Group puts sustainability at the heart of its mission; its business, operating under the ISO 14001 environmental management standard, has been carbon neutral since 2011 and the company has achieved the Three-Star level in the FIA Environmental Accreditation Framework.

Since its founding in 1970, the innovative Swiss company has been setting standards in the design, development and construction of race cars for various championship series, such as Formula One, DTM, and WEC. Following its own Formula One debut in 1993, Sauber Motorsport AG has established one of the few traditional and privately held teams in the sport. A member of the exclusive club of teams which competed in more than 500 F1 races, it celebrated 30 years in the sport in 2022 and continues to go from strength to strength on and off the track.