Jomppalainen has clinched the IRL F1 Drivers Championship at the Mexican GP with victory over title rival vlHercules. Jomppalainen pulled off a mesmerizing drive to defy the odds in an incredible race of strategy that put the two title contenders in a head to head battle. The Finnish driver completed a stunning debut season at Invictus where at one point most thought his Red Bull rival had the pace and momentum to topple the Finn at the final race, but there was a final twist in the story as over 30 YouTube viewers watched the season long championship leader pull off a strategy masterclass.
Heading into the race, 3 points separated the two stand out drivers in the top tier at IRL, and with another stunning pole position for vlHercules, it seemed the German driver would be unstoppable with the momentum that saw him win the previous three races. And as the lights went out it was the Haas of white-fountain who jumped the Red Bull driver into turn one, but the German soon managed to dispatch the Haas, and with Jomppalainen down in 5th, it seemed a formality. But a mid race safety car shuffled up the pack, and with Hercules pitting for the hards, but Jomppalainen the mediums, a fascinating race unfolded with Jomppalainen passing Hercules on the main straight for the lead. As the race progressed, Hercules picked up two crucial time penalties which gave the Finn an easy run to the flag and the title.
“Yeah, I’m really happy with that, and it was my preferred strategy from the start pretty much, regardless of the safety car, when the safety car came out it played into my hands, and from there on I knew I had a good chance of winning”
The season started out well with back to back wins in Hungary and Germany for the Finn, and with the others scratching their heads how to catch the Racing Point, vlHercules joined the league from round 3 in the Red Bull and immidiately set a marker with victory in Silverstone and further wins in USA & Bahrain. But just when the community was questioning Jomppalainen’s form, a win in Azerbaijan and a crucial head to head win over Hercules in Monza really put Jomppalainen back in the driving seat. A stunning run of three back to back wins in Singapore, Austria & Brazil reeled Herciules back into the fight, and heading into Mexico it seemed the momentum was with the German. But in an incredible final twist, Jomppalainen fought back when it mattered and gave us all what we really wanted in a head to head fight with Hercules to claim the title.
Which race stood out for the F1 champion this season?
“This one, or Italy I think”
A man of few words, but he seemed to save the best for last.
Hercules will no doubt look back and think that absences in Russia & Azerbaijan may have cost him the title, as well as a late start to the league, but one thing for sure with both drivers signed up to Season 10 in IRL F1, we can expect more of the same come lights out in Round one in a few weeks time.
Hercules left us with one aim for next season:
I will try to be a bit faster next season
Congratulations from everyone at Invictus Racing League to Jomppalainen on a stunning debut season and we look forward to more next season