James Baldwin and Graham Carroll have made a surprise move to Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports, the team announced.
In a surprise announcement, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports has announced the recruitment of two of sim racing’s biggest names: James Baldwin and Graham Carroll.
James Baldwin needs little introduction to sim racing fans as the Brit has been a major player in the genre for several years. From being named “Fastest Player Alive” in 2019 to being the dominant force in Assetto Corsa Competizione, Baldwin is now enjoying a purple spot in his sim career.
Although his early motorsport ambitions faltered due to funding issues, Baldwin made a successful transition into the British GT Championship in 2020, finishing fourth overall alongside teammate Michael O’Brien, claiming a win and two more podiums.
James Baldwin wins the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series race at Spa-Francorchamps
That year he competed in the Spa 24 Hours GT race in a Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3, where his race was interrupted by a radiator problem. He also won the accompanying Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series race at the same venue, but real motorsport opportunities were otherwise few and far between.
The arrival of Graham Carroll is arguably a bigger shock as he has left Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports – one of Mercedes’ biggest rivals.
The Scot, who enjoyed great success in the Formula Ford 1600 category and won the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy in 2015, had previously raced in the iRacing-based Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Most recently, he secured fourth place in Formula E: Accelerate competition using rFactor 2. Its adaptability across multiple sims is certainly an advantage Mercedes is banking on.
Graham Carroll in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, image courtesy of Porsche Motorsport
Mercedes yesterday (September 7) announced its six full-time eSports drivers and subsequently confirmed that Jarno Opmeer, Dani Moreno and Jake Benham would represent the brand in the 2022 F1 Esports Series Pro Championship
Which begs the question, where are the team’s two new signings likely to race alongside the returning Bono Huis in the future?
How do you rate the team’s signings? Let us know in the comments below.