Australian Daniel Shields has made history by becoming the first Australian to be drafted to the F1 Esports series.
At this month's 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Draft, Shields was one of 10 lucky gamers to be selected to represent a Formula 1 team for the series’ second season, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport choosing the Australian.
From a starting pool of more than 100,000 aspiring entries, the list was then whittled down to just 41 for the Pro Draft, including Shields who eventually became the first ever Australasian candidate to qualify.
Qualifying through the DHL 50 Fastest competition earlier this year, the 20-year-old posted the world’s fastest PC lap time on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Mercedes W09, earning one of six invitations to the exclusive two-day Pro draft
It was a case of second time lucky for Shields, who came within just one second of qualifying for the Draft in 2018, but his hard work getting back to the top has paid off and Shields will be representing the reigning champions for the 2019 season.
"I'm insanely happy," Shields said post-event.
"It's exactly what everyone here today wanted, all the drivers, so for it to happen - I didn't expect it at all I am just so happy."
While dominating on the world stage via PC, Shields has also been progressing well on Australian soil, with a semi final placing in the inaugural VSR Showdown round at the Shannons Nationals’ visit to Sydney Motorsport Park last year.
The 10 chosen draftees will now head to their respective motor sport homes to begin preparing for the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Pro Series, which comprises of twelve races contested over four live events and a prize pool $500,000 US dollars.
The first round of the series begins on 11 September.
The chosen 10
David Tonizza (Italy) Ferrari Driver Academy
Simon Weigang (Germany) Renault Sport Team Vitality
Floris Wijers (Netherlands) Haas F1 Team Esports
Isaac Price (UK) Williams Esports
Nicolas Longuet (France) Red Bull Racing Esports
Lucas Blakeley (UK) SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports Team
Allert Van Der Wal (Netherlands) McLaren Shadow
Kimmy Larsson (Sweden) Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports
Manuel Biancolilla (Italy) Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports
Daniel Shields (Australia) Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports
Round 1: 11 September
Round 2: 2 October
Round 3: 6 November
Grand Final: 4 December