Mercedes have confirmed that James Baldwin, Graham Carroll and Jake Benham will be joining their pool of Esports drivers ahead of the new Formula 1 Esports Pro Series.
Mercedes became the first-ever champions in 2017 when Brendon Leigh won the final of the tournament event, and he won another six grand prix in 2018 on his way to his second consecutive title.
Current driver, Jarno Opmeer, has since established himself as one of the most prolific players of the game – or POGS – by winning nine races and two titles with the Silver Arrows. He will be sticking around this campaign.
Bono Huis debuted in 2018 with McLaren scoring a podium finish, and he signed with Mercedes last season, his solid performances earning him another go in 2022.
Dani Moreno also started his F1 Esports career with McLaren, and spent one season with them in 2020, before switching to Mercedes last year.
A race winner in F1 Esports, the Spaniard goes into this season as one to watch as he continues his fine career.
Moreno, Huis and Opmeer will be joined by some new faces this season, all of which have a healthy amount of experience in sim racing.
Baldwin impressed with Racing Point in 2020 having served as Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver in 2019 – the year he won the world’s fastest gamer award.
His exploits earned him a sport in the British GT Championship alongside his F1 Esports venture, and he won on his debut at Oulton Park, adding another three podiums to his tally thereafter.
The Briton contested the 24 hours of Spa earlier this season, but a radiator issue curtailed his team’s race just over 200 laps in.
Carroll was part of the first full season of the Pro Series in 2018 with Red Bull Esports, before he moved on to other sim series.
The Scottish racer is back in the F1 fold this year having been snapped up by Mercedes.
For Benham, this will be his first involvement in the Pro Series, but he has proven himself as a highly capable league racer, achieving two podiums in the first six races of the 13th World Online Racing season.
Huis expressed his excitement at the strength in depth the German side now have at their disposal.
“We are excited to be challenging on so many different fronts and the standard across sim racing has never been higher, which is a great motivation for everyone in the team,” he said in Mercedes’ press release.
“We’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for the upcoming series and the new faces in our team are bringing their own experiences to make us even stronger.”
Baldwin, having already achieved so much in his young career, is keen to get going in 2022 with the Silver Arrows.
“I feel very privileged to be part of this team, the infrastructure and support we have to perform is incredible and I’ll be giving it my all to bring more titles back to Brackley,” he added.
“There’s a great mix of skills and experience across different formats in the real and virtual racing worlds amongst the team’s drivers and together, it’s a very strong group.”
Mercedes have won the Constructors’ Championship in all four seasons of the Pro Series since 2018.