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05 May 2021 ------

Red Bull still with work to do after thrilling draw with YAS Heat

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Red Bull and Yas Heat tie after a controversial and incident packed Group A Round 4 clash!

With Aston Martin and Team Redline racing off at the top of the Group A table, both Red Bull Racing Esports and Yas Heat are battling it out for the final playoff spot.

Yas Heat has been much improved from Season 1 and has held their ground against whoever they've faced, including Redline. Red Bull meanwhile, will be hoping for better, but a victory against Aston Martin in Round 3 will inspire confidence.

Here are all the highlights of YAS Heat v Red Bull!

Mugello Mash-up

Red Bull Racing Esports: Nestor Garcia, Graham Carroll, Joni Tormala

YAS Heat: Manuel Biancolilla, Cedric Thome, Simon Weigang

Our first destination in this tie was Mugello, starting with four laps for the relay race. Red Bull's Joni Tormala started on pole with Manuel Biancolilla in second.

Tormala maintained his lead into Turn 1 and the pair powered around the circuit's high-speed bends.

Both drivers pitted at the end of Lap 1, but Biancolilla got his braking point all wrong and was way too fast into the pit-lane. A five-second pit-lane speeding penalty was handed Yas Heat's way and the Emirati team had a mountain to climb.

Unsurprisingly, it proved too much for both Cedric Thome and Simon Weigang, as Red Bull drew first blood in this contest.

The Heat is on

YAS Heat dominated qualifying to line-up 1-2-3 for the five laps of the team race at Mugello. However, it was Tormala who led into Turn 1 thanks to an unbelievable getaway from the Red Bull man.

Biancolilla squeezed Tormala on the exit of Turn 1 and Tormala fell to P3, as Biancolilla led Thome. Things went from bad to worse for Red Bull though, as Weigang overtook Garcia at the back for P5.

Heat held their positions to the line to level the contest 1-1.

Thrilling relay race is incredibly close

For the second half of this contest, we head over to UK for the sensational Silverstone Circuit. Biancolilla started on pole for Heat and held his lead through the first corners of the track.

Tormala was looking fast though, getting close through Brooklands and Copse but not able to make a move. At the end of the lap, Biancolilla pitted for the first driver change, as Tormala stayed out at used Red Bull's joker lap.

Tormala's fast laps didn't pay dividends though, as Garcia re-joined the circuit in second place. Thome was rapid as well and kept Garcia at arm's length. It was all down to Graham Carroll and Weigang on the final lap.

Carroll jumped Weigang in the final driver changes, as Heat took too long. The gap was over a second and Carroll powered round to win for Red Bull. Despite Heat's protests, Red Bull retook the lead 2-1.

Stewards decision decides team race

Biancolilla started on pole for the team race, with Tormala alongside him on the front row. The Italian held his lead and Weigang challenged for P2, getting past Tormala when the Finn ran over the grass.

Biancolilla let Weigang through for the lead, as Carroll challenged Biancolilla for P2 at the end of Lap 1.

The pressure from Caroll almost told on Lap 3, as the Brit got a run on Biancolilla going through Brooklands but the Red Bull man couldn't make the overtake stick. Carroll wouldn't halt his efforts though, as on the final lap, he got past.

Carroll made a diving move into Village and passed Biancolilla, opening the door for Tormala to also overtake. Tormala and Biancolilla made contact, spinning the Heat man out.

Red Bull was now in the position to tie the team race, but would the stewards be wanting a word?

Tormala was cleared for the final lap crash, but it was Garcia who landed in hot water. In the first corner, the Spaniard drove into the back of Thome, spinning the German out and earning the Red Bull driver a time penalty.

That meant that the contest was drawn 2-2 overall. Yas Heat end their group stage campaign in third position on 7 points, 1 behind Aston Martin, but crucially, 2 ahead of Red Bull.

Not knowing the stewards' decision yet, Graham Carroll spoke to Rachel Stringer about the incidents in the second team race:

"Joni ran wide and I got onto the back of Manu[el Biancolilla]. I go around the outside of him and he opens his steering wheel up and just drives me off the circuit. If I got past into P2, I'd catch the leader and it's a totally different race at that point, but they knew that."

That was Yas Heat's final match of the group stage, so they will remain on 7 points. Red Bull will be in action in round 5, as they face R8G Esports in the hunt for 3 points to send them through to the playoffs.

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