AN IRVINE esports star says he is looking forward to seeing his family after an “intense few months” competing in the Formula 1 Esports Pro Exhibition Series.

Lucas Blakeley, 18, is one of just 20 drivers worldwide who have been entertaining fans during lockdown with virtual F1 races to make up for the lack of on-track action due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former Greenwood Academy pupil, who drives for the BWT Racing Point F1 Esports team, scored his third consecutive podium at the most recent and final virtual race in Canada after finishing second, as he did the race before.

The 18-year-old who is based in England also scored his maiden victory in the series on the iconic streets of Monaco last month and over the course of the seven races during lockdown he has scored the most points out of all the drivers.

Lucas said: “Without my family I would not be anywhere remotely near where I am at the moment. I owe a lot to them and it means the world to me to see the good results coming in and when I phone my family they are all super happy and it makes me happy to see them happy.

“It is a very nice feeling and I am glad I am able to pay them back in this way because it means a lot to them because they have been by my side from the beginning.”

He added: “Hopefully I will be able to see my family soon because I have not seen them in a few months but it has all been worth it in the end because I have been working hard and it has paid off with the results we have achieved.”

The F1 Esports Pro Exhibition Series has now concluded ahead of F1 making its long-awaited on-track return next month with Lucas’ idol Lewis Hamilton aiming to match Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world championship titles this season.

Lucas’ focus now turns to the F1 Esports Pro Series which takes place later this year.

He said: “Recent races have proved to myself that I can do it. It is just a matter of continuing the hard work for the Pro Series.

“However, I will be taking a bit of a breather because it has been an intense couple of months so I am starting to enjoy myself a bit more.”