What a great way to end the season – not just in terms of victory, but also a real strategic race in which any one of four drivers could have won, and I’m very surprised it was me given that I’m normally useless at Brazil.
In typical fashion, I left practice far too late and never fully discovered how long the tyres lasted, only using the game’s basic tyre info as a base for my strategy. I also had trouble setting up the gears; the dilemma with seventh gear being too short in qualifying but still too long on heavy fuel in the race was tricky to get around. I believe that cost me a realistic shot at pole.
As usual, I fluffed up the start. I get way too cautious with cars around me and give people way too much room, and as a result I dropped from third to sixth. At that point Kevin was miles ahead and Alfred was showing some serious pace with fastest laps. My race looked over from that point.
But then you all pitted early – surprising given that my options had barely worn, and the game reckoned they could go for 20 laps. It soon became clear that I would hit the cliff at 20 laps, not just lose a bit of grip. I consequently pitted on lap 17.
Perhaps the stop came a lap too late, as Kevin made a great deal of ground on me and was much further ahead than before when I emerged from the pit lane. Given the timing of his first stop, I was expecting him to do a one-stop like me, but then he pitted with everyone else a second time and I was in the lead, again on primes that were far from worn.
Kevin had been battling with Mark throughout most of the race, but their tussle got even more instense after their final stops. They were both cutting into my lead, but because they were often side-by-side, I was able to hang on and win by three seconds. I would have been destroyed had Kevin or Mark been on their own.
The season’s been a great one. I took a break after Bahrain simply because the game was irritating me, but I soon longed to rejoin the fun on Mondays, and that win in horrendous conditions in Germany was a fantastic way to return. The only bad thing? Assists. Not that I mind people using them, but I was previously ran a league that banned them, and since joining here I can’t race with them off now lol.
Well done Herbie on another dominating season, but I’ll be back next time. ;) I wouldn’t rule out Mark and Kevin on making a title bid in the next season either, what was a two-horse battle in most early races soon became three and four – they really improved a lot.