McLaren Shadow’s Lucas Blakeley put on a masterful performance around Interlagos on Thursday evening to score his fourth win of 2022, and with it, put himself within a few points of claiming championship glory.
The Speedy Scot started from pole position at Interlagos, after an intense qualifying session which saw him and nearest title rival Thomas Ronhaar post identical lap times, both setting a 1:06.674. However, a three-place penalty for Ronhaar meant it was an all-Papaya front row.
A perfect launch from Blakeley and team mate Bari Boroumand set the standard for the first half of the race, with nobody risking too much in wet conditions. Halfway through the changeover came, with the leaders swapping their Intermediate tyres for slicks between Laps 16-18.
Luke Smith had his moment in the sun, staying out later than anyone on the Inters to lead a couple of laps. This provided an opportunity for Frede Rasmussen to pull a ‘Zonta’ on him and Boroumand, getting past both at Turn 1.
It was short-lived, as Boroumand re-took the position on Lap 26. They switched one final time on Lap 33, with Rasmussen denying a McLaren Shadow 1-2.
Ronhaar had closed the gap to Blakeley on Wednesday to just five points, but a frustrating evening saw him stuck behind Suzuka winner Nicolas Longuet, and Fabrizio Donoso, unable to get past.
While his competitors fought amongst themselves, Blakeley was in total control out in front, crossing the line three seconds clear of Rasmussen in second. Boroumand made it a McLaren 1-3, with Longuet and Donoso not budging ahead of Ronhaar. Ex-Mercedes-now-Alfa Romeo driver Dani Bereznay claimed seventh, with current Mercedes racers Jarno Opmeer and Jake Benham P8 and P9. Sebastian Job rounded out the points.
Blakeley now sits on a throne of four wins, and 169 points. Rasmussen moves up into second place, with 148, and Ronhaar is one point further back on 147. These three are mathematically the only drivers now capable of scooping the title in Abu Dhabi, but with a 21-point gap to Rasmussen, it’s looking more like a case of when, not if.
Just five points will seal the deal for @LucasBlakeley01 on Friday 💪
Can @G2Frede or @ThomasRonhaar1 do the improbable?#F1Esports #F1 pic.twitter.com/Cw2QMzAzjN
One this is for absolutely certain – we will have a brand-new champion come Friday evening! Join us to find out who it is, with qualifying live from 1530 UTC on Twitch and YouTube, and the race from 1930 UTC!
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