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F1 Games

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A place to discuss Codemasters’ F1 games, Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, rFactor, iRacing and everything else to do with virtual motorsport.

How’s your F1 2012 career going?

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This topic contains 170 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Nick Nick 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #210609
    Avatar of ShaneB457
    ShaneB457
    Participant

    Race 2 – Malaysia – Season 3 – Williams

    Quali – 10th
    My pace was good in quali and I got into Q3. However Q3 was wet and I just could not string a good lap together. I had to settle for tenth. Hamilton took pole with Alonso and Vettel behind. Maldonado qualified in tenth.

    Race – 7th
    My race strategy was to start on options and pit on lap 12 for primes. Once again I made a bad start but using up some kers and braking late into turn 1 meant that I could get up to 6th. Coming up to turn 3 Schumacher passed me on the inside. I tried to go around him on the next fast left hander but I couldnt. 2 laps later Vettel passed me using DRS and I was down to 8th. I was managing the gaps well to Hulkenburg behind me. So I pitted as planned on lap 12 and came out in 12th behind Vergne. 2 laps later people ahead of me pitted and I was back up to 8th. Button lost his front wing trying to pass Glock so I inherited 7th. This is where I finished as my last stint was quite boring. Raikonnen was catching me at a fast rate near the end but I just held him off. Hamilton won like he did in Australia with Alonso and Webber on the podium. Maldonado finished in 14th.

    #210610
    Avatar of ShaneB457
    ShaneB457
    Participant

    Sorry it should be Malaysia not Australia. The Edit function is not working for some reason. I am creating a wiki for my career so you guys should check it out – http://shaneb457s-f1-2012-career.wikia.com/wiki/ShaneB457%27s_F1_2012_Career._Wiki#Race_Reports

    You can see the standings there.

    #210611
    Avatar of raymondu999
    raymondu999
    Participant

    So I finally dipped into the game for real. I aced the driver test – getting gold on all tests, and that meant I could choose from 6 teams at the start.

    Mind you after testing all the cars, I felt most comfortable (although I was slow) with the Caterham, and I picked that – valuing my preferred balance over pace. I’m a very competitive animal – I don’t like being outqualified!

    I checked my tyre degradation first in practice. I was running one super long stint on the primes with a full fuel load to see how I fared with degradation, to then decide my strategy. I did one full-fuel stint on primes until they fell off, and one full-fuel stint on the options until they fell off.

    I looked at the numbers, and to me, it looked as if I was well well ahead of Heikki or the other “new” runners – I also felt I was well below any of the “regular” teams – enough for me to not be a threat to them in normal conditions.

    Having determined that I should go for a 3-stopper with 3 option stints, or 2-stopper with 2 prime stints, I decided that to open up myself to strategy options I should leave myself at least 2 prime tyres and 3 option tyres – to save the tyres all for the race.

    I set out in Q1 and did one lap on the primes. I only had 3 laps of fuel, and I didn’t bother turning the fuel mix up – to save that slight bit of life on the engine.

    My lap wasn’t too bad. I ran a bit wide on the exit of T1, but I had enough downforce at that speed to not start a slide. I braked very late for T3 – a bit too late. I turned my wheel and blipped the throttle to save myself, and in a spectacular slide the rear pivoted into position for a good entry into 4.

    I was slightly too early on the power out of the last corner and had to back off slightly, but I backed off the power lightly just long enough for the front to tuck in better, and stamped hard on the power for the line.

    Indeed I was far off P18 – but I was 0.8s up on Heikki. Job done in qualifying – though I feel that the qualifying objective of P16 was unreasonable. As the race objective of P13 is too.

    I haven’t raced it yet, and I’m undecided on which is quicker – 2 or 3 stops. I may just decide on the fly.

    #210612
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    I feel that the qualifying objective of P16 was unreasonable. As the race objective of P13 is too.

    I’m yet to play the game, but I’m lead to believe that objectives are set based on your difficulty setting. After four years with the licence, Codemasters would be well aware of the gap in performance between Caterham, Marussia and HRT compared to everyone else, so I very much doubt they would go about setting unrealistic objectives on purpose, unless they’re dictated by the difficulty setting.

    #210613
    Avatar of raymondu999
    raymondu999
    Participant

    @prisoner-monkeys I haven’t tried any other difficulty setting other than Legend AI. Caterham, race 1, objective of p16 in quail and p13 in race? Huh!?

    #210614
    Avatar of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    @raymondu999 – You’re playing the Legend difficulty setting. I imagine that the objectives are also intended to be equally difficult. If you chose a lower difficulty setting, the objectives would be manageable for that difficulty.

    Also, 13th in the race should not be that hard. Caterham picked up 13th in Monaco (Kovalainen) and Valencia (Petrov). And Kovalainen qualified 16th in Bahrain.

    #210615
    Avatar of raymondu999
    raymondu999
    Participant

    @prisoner-monkeys I’m not sure it works out that easily – I’d think that you’d have equal objectives in any case, but getting TO those objectives would be harder – it’s harder to get P18 in Legend than getting P18 on beginner.

    It gets further complicated when your opponents have perfect reliability, and if it’s a track where overtaking is easier than Valencia/Monaco.

    #210616
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Onto Round 3 in China. Still 50% races, Legendary AI and all assists off except manual gears.

    Firstly, reading a lot on the Codemasters forums that the weather system is bugged. Quite astonishing that they could release a feature and name it on the back of the box whilst it not work properly!

    So I’m dreading the weekend really, as both practice and race have more than 75% chance of rain, and qualifying also looks like it might have a shower.

    Practice is indeed wet, and I head straight out on a set of full wets and do a few stints to work out a decent set up. I was terrible in the wet in F1 2011, but I actually feel a lot better this year. Might be because I’m using a wheel now rather than a pad, it certainly allows finer throttle control.

    Towards the end of the session the rain fades away, and is see one of the infamous weather bugs in action. The full wet tyres suddenly, without warning, become undriveable. Like driving on ice, and it’s only just possible to creep back to the pits. I’m crossing my fingers this doesn’t happen during the race.

    I like how my race engineer tries to lighten the mood by pretending to type on an invisible iPad and, sometimes, disappearing completely! He really is a laugh a minute.

    I head back out for a quick run to see how my wet set up drives in the dry, and finish well down the field.

    Q3 fortunately is dry, and I head straight out on a set of options. I string some good laps together, although I’ve gone for a full wet set up and I’m compromised on speed so can’t get any higher than 21st ahead of the HRTs and my teammate. I cringe as the engine hits the rev limiter about halfway down the main straight, it sounds terrible! Cars feels nice and stable though, but man the Shanghai circuit is soooooo bland.

    Onto the race, and it starts in the dry. Admittedly I restart a couple of times as it seems close to impossible to get through the first two corners without a penalty for the lightest of touches (didn’t fancy being almost a lap down with the weather due to chance any minute). Third time lucky, although I take it too easy and end up losing a place and going into the third/fourth corners in 22nd.

    The first lap is less chaotic than my previous races, with less chances to make up places, but I still manage to get up to 19th into the third lap. I hold it there for a few laps, but I’d started on the primes (hoping to hold off on my first pitstop until the rain starts) and my option-clad rivals begin streaming past. I’m down to last on lap 6!

    But then I start clawing back time, presumably as my rivals start to lose their tyres. On lap 7, I finally get the call from my engineer: “Rain in 15 minutes”. 15 minutes! I could gain a pitstop here if I look after my tyres and can get that far.

    Around lap 10-12 the others start pitting for new tyres. The rain is now 10 minutes, or around 5 laps, away. I get ahead of my teammate Timo and de la Rosa, and just a few seconds behind the Caterhams. I’m also back on the lead lap again. Interestingly, the others cars choose a mixture of primes and options, the latter obviously being the better choice with rain imminent.

    Narain also started on primes (third race in a row) so also didn’t pit and seems to be pretty far up the road.

    I lose out to the Caterhams as my types start to fall away, but they’re still faring pretty well as the rain begins to fall on lap 16/17. Initially it’s only light and towards the main straight, but after three laps it is raining over the whole circuit and seems to be getting heavier. My tyres are pretty shot by then, so as soon as the two cars behind me start taking chunks of time out of me I pit for inters. I’m in the pits on lap 19, 9 laps to go.

    I’m back in last place as the rain really begins to fall, and while initially slow it seems like an ok decision. Lap 20 and I find a group of the front runners trying to slowly negotiate the slippery last turn and a spun out Red Bull. Everyone pits and I overtake my two arch rivals Timo and Pedro. Lap 22 and it is bucketing down, I’m still in 22nd and pit after almost sliding off the course. Glock and DLR pit a lap later (along with almost everyone else) and emerge right on top of me.

    6 laps left in the driving rain and I gotta say it is some of best racing I’ve ever experienced in any F1 game. The car itself is difficult to drive, but the balance is really about right in the wet. Push to hard and it will try get away, but even then it’s usually saveable, but the quickest way is obviously to take it easy and be as smooth as possible. It’s a fine balance, made much more difficult because I’m desperately defending my coveted 22nd place!

    Initially I’m ahead, with DLR just behind and Timo further back. We’re separated by maybe 5 seconds. Pedro goes on the attack and we trade places and go wheel to wheel for a half lap, allowing Timo to catch up and join the fray.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, a steady stream of faster cars are now passing through and we’re constantly getting blue flags waved. I actually totally forget about letting them by for a few corners and get a penalty, but luckily I have a flashback in hand to rectify my mistake (cheating, I know!).

    I lose track of how many times the three of us trade places, but it is really competitive – so easy to go slightly too far slide off the track, and satisfyingly my competitors seems to be having a hard time too and they run wide a few times. Love how Pedro catches me napping on the main straight and follows a Sauber past me! We’re three wide several times and it’s close right up to the final lap, when finally I’m able to pull ahead and pull out a second over Timo for the finish.

    Despite missing my race target of 20th, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable race. I notice Narain finished in front of the Caterhams so the prime-first strategy was obviously a good one, too bad I didn’t have the pace to make it work.

    Bahrain next, and I’m sure the locals can’t wait for the weekend – rain forecast for practice and qualifying! Fortunately the race should be dry and sunny, and I much prefer the Bahrain circuit to the dull Shanghai track so I’m looking forward to it.

    #210617
    Avatar of Bradley Downton
    Bradley Downton
    Participant

    Australia
    Qualifying
    Realised I had to start again because my setup defaulted when I turned the Playstation off between Quali and the Race. So qualified again, this time 18th. Should have made Q2 but my fuel ran out halfway round the final corner, costing me 4-5 tenths, and I was 2 tenths off of Rosberg, ARGH!

    Race
    Got a great start, up to 8th. It all kicked off at turn 3, Raikkonen spun from fifth and everyone piled up. Vettel lost his front wing, as did Pastor, and I got away into 6th behind Perez. The order was a right mess now, Vergne was up to 7th! I kept my position until lap 3, where I went wide at turn 3, and fell to about 14th. Spent most of the rest of the race scrapping with Grosjean, Schumacher and Vettel, holding up Button and Ricciardo, and finishing nearly a lap clear of Glock, but only 40 secs behind Vettel in 18th. So, not too bad, at least I didn’t lose any spots from Qualifying. Heikki got disqualified and Alonso retired from the lead, Lewis won from Sergio. Results and Stats up soon!

    #210618
    Avatar of JamieFranklinF1
    JamieFranklinF1
    Participant

    Malaysia Quali
    Qualifying wasn’t quite as I’d hoped. I was hoping that Q2 was possible, but the car just wasn’t quick enough. I even burned an extra set of options to try and beat Di Resta into 17th, but it wasn’t going to happen, so I finished in 18th, 4 tenths off of the Force India.
    Oddly enough, Webber got a +20 place grid drop, and so starts last, which should be interesting come the race.

    The Grid:
    1. Alonso (Capitalising on his win in Melbourne)
    2. Schumacher
    3. Hamilton
    4. Vettel
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Grosjean (Lotus have a decent chance it seems)
    7. Button
    8. Rosberg (Not able to match his team mate’s pace)
    9. Perez
    10. Kobayashi
    11. Di Resta (Not a bad finish, considering I almost made him drop out in Q1)
    12. Maldonado
    13. Hulkenberg
    14. Senna
    15. Ricciardo
    16. Massa (Clearly no better virtually as he is in reality)
    17. Vergne
    18. Franklin (Me)
    19. Kovaleinen
    20. Glock
    21. Pic
    22. Karthikeyan
    23. DLR
    24. Webber

    #210619
    Avatar of JamieFranklinF1
    JamieFranklinF1
    Participant

    Malaysia Race
    Race report coming shortly…

    Result:
    1. Schumacher (Drove a great, clean race to take Mercedes’ first win!)
    2. Kobayashi (Did a Perez and came from the midfield to take a second!)
    3. Alonso (Keeping his title hopes high)
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Di Resta (Came from nowhere, and behind me to take a great 5th)
    6. Hamilton
    7. Button (Not sure where he went wrong, was leading most the race)
    8. Perez
    9. Grosjean
    10. Rosberg
    11. Vergne
    12. Massa (A disappointment to Ferrari’s hopes)
    13. Maldonado
    14. Senna
    15. Webber (Another terrible weekend for the Red Bull driver)
    16. Hulkenberg (Couldn’t match his team mate at all)
    17. Ricciardo
    18. Franklin (Very quiet race)
    19. Pic
    20 De La Rosa
    21. Kovaleinen (Received a +40 second penalty)
    22. Karthikeyan
    23. Vettel (His second DNF, terrible weekend for Red Bull altogether)
    24. Glock

    Driver’s Championship
    1. Alonso – 40 Pts (Similar to this season)
    2. Schumacher – 25 Pts (Who would have thought it?)
    3. Kobayashi – 24 Pts (Another surprise!)
    4. Button – 21 Pts
    5. Grosjean – 20 Pts
    6. Hamilton – 20 Pts
    7. Raikkonen – 20 Pts
    8. Rosberg – 11 Pts
    9. Di Resta – 10 Pts
    10. Massa – 4 Pts
    11. Perez – 4 Pts
    12. Maldonado – 2 Pts
    13. Webber – 1 Pts (Only 1 point!?)
    14. Vergne – 0 Pts
    15. Senna – 0 Pts
    16. Ricciardo – 0 Pts
    17. Hulkenberg – 0 Pts
    18. Franklin – 0 Pts
    19. Pic – 0 Pts
    20. Karthikeyan – 0 Pts
    21. De La Rosa – 0 Pts
    22. Kovaleinen – 0 Pts
    23. Glock – 0 Pts
    24. Vettel – 0 Pts (The reigning World Champion in last after 2 races!)

    Constructor’s Championship
    1. Ferrari – 44
    2. McLaren – 41
    3. Lotus – 40
    4. Mercedes – 36
    5. Sauber 28
    6. Force India – 10
    7. Williams – 2
    8. Red Bull – 1 (The World Championship winning team lagging down just above Toro Rosso and the ‘new’ teams)
    9. Toro Rosso – 0
    10. Caterham – 0
    11. Marussia – 0
    12. HRT – 0

    #210620
    Avatar of ShaneB457
    ShaneB457
    Participant

    Race 3 – China – Season 3 – Williams

    Quali: 10th
    With 100% rain forcasted for the race, I compromised my setup so that it would be good in the wet conditions. Getting into Q3 was tough, as expected. A last gasp effort from me in Q2 put me into 6th. I decided to not set a time in Q3 as I had no option tyres left. Maldonado qualified in 13th While Vettel took pole by less than a tenth from Alonso and then Button.

    Race – 15th

    Prepare to read possibly the worst race report ever with rain in full swing. Having never expierienced the dynamic weather before I was quite in the unknown through this race. Everyone started on inters, including me. When the lights were going on I could see that the track ahead was dry although I knew it would be damp somewhere. I made a better start than Schumacher in front of me and jumped him, along with a few others into turn 1. Coming up to turn 4 is where the track was damp and I was up to 6th by the time I got to the long straight. Then every single driver pitted for options but I decided to stay out as my race engineer said that there would be heavy rain in 5 minutes. Stupidly, I stayed out untill lap 5 on the inters while the guys behind were lapping much faster on the dry tyres. I slipped down to 5th by the time I eventually pitted. When I came out, I was way down in 16th, 4 seconds behind Perez. By lap 8 it started pouring down in the last sector so I took a gamble and pitted for full wets. When I came out of the pits, I soon realised that it wasnt wet enough as it was only a passing shower. So I crawled back to the pits and put on inters. When I came out believe it or not, it was now too wet and I had zero grip. The AI somehow have predicted this and they are all on full wets. Came back into the pits for another set of wets and rejoined last. I managed to get to the end of the race on those tyres and I passed all the backmarker teams to eventually finish 15th, helped by Schumacher and Grosjean’s retirements. My teammate lapped me on the last lap and he finished 12th. Button won with Alonso and Raikonnen also on the podium. I am dissapointed by my lack of pace in the wet as I was lapping a second down on Maldonado through most of the race. Next race is Bahrain which is a track I last drove on in Formula one championship edition, so I’m sure it will be fun and of course there should be no rain.

    #210621
    Avatar of JamieFranklinF1
    JamieFranklinF1
    Participant

    Malaysia Race Report (As promised – it wouldn’t let me edit)
    I got a strong start off of the line, even though I was on primes (with everyone else on options) and despite being cautious into turn 1, I was up to 10th, thanks to the other drivers around me battling too hard with each other. Perez was ahead of me, and Rosberg behind.
    My pace wasn’t actually too bad, though I seemed to lose a lot in sector 3, because with the heavy fuel load, I couldn’t negotiate a couple of the corners as well as I had done in quali. However, Rosberg and Di Resta, the two who were immediately behind seemed to have balance issues, and couldn’t quite be as aggressive as they wanted.
    By the time the DRS was active, I was struggling a lot more to keep people behind. Rosberg overtook immediately on the start/finish straight, but his balance issues effected him into turn 1, and on multiple occasions I was able to outbreak him and duck back under, or take the outside root, meaning that the top 9 were slowly edging away, whilst I became a Trulli train.

    I have a memory lapse for the time after that, until people began pitting, which ended up with Hamilton and Vettel close behind me instead. I was going to be pitting soon, but I was trying to eke out the tyre life, just to give me more strategic options later in the race. This could have worked, if Vettel hadn’t decided to be overly-aggressive and tried to overtake me into turn 11, spinning us both and almost taking my front wing clean off.
    It was the lap I was meant to be pitting anyway, but I hadn’t wanted to. Nevertheless, I pitted, having lost a good number of places, and came out in 18th place.
    Unfortunately, for me, this is where I stayed for the rest of the race. Again, like in Melbourne, it was just very quiet and I didn’t have the pace to catch those ahead, and was well ahead of anyone behind. Limbo.
    The only thing that happened after that was getting a drive-through penalty in the final ten laps for blocking Hamilton. I hadn’t intended to, but I took the drive-through nevertheless. Though, my team decided that I needed a pit stop before taking the penalty, meaning that I had to run through the pits twice in the final ten laps. I finished about 40 seconds behind Ricciardo. In hindsight, without the penalty, I may have gotten 17th…

    #210622
    Avatar of JamieFranklinF1
    JamieFranklinF1
    Participant

    Season 1 – Race 3 – China – Caterham

    Qualifying:
    Practice had been good for me, and I was confident as ever going into Qualifying, though after Malaysia, I didn’t have my hopes up too high. My setup was good and on the option tyres, I had good grip.
    I set out, putting in a half-decent time, before going yet quicker, something like a mid 1:38, I think. I came back into the pits and waited. To my surprise, with just a few minutes remaining Ricciardo and Senna were in the drop-zone, a couple of tenths off my time, and I was sitting pretty in 17th! I went out for one final run, but didn’t improve my time. Thankfully though, neither did Senna or Ricciardo, so I was into Q2!
    Q2 was much the same, and I was going to go out on my used options, because I didn’t expect to improve my time much. Though, again to my surprise, I was half a second quicker than my Q1 time, and lost about 3 tenths in S2. I went out for another run, but this time I lost time in S1, but still improved by a tenth.
    At the end of Q2, I was ahead of Vergne in 16th place! Absolutely fantastic qualifying!

    Grid order:
    1. Alonso (Definitely looks like the man to beat this year)
    2. Rosberg (Merc have a solid car it seems)
    3. Kobayashi
    4. Perez (Sauber seem to have a great car on their hands!)
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Grosjean
    7. Schumacher
    8. Button (Poor weekend for McLaren)
    9. Maldonado
    10. Webber
    11. Hamilton (Dropped out in Q2 – disappointing for the team)
    12. Massa
    13. Hulkenberg
    14. Vettel (2 races, 2 DNFs and now 14th in quali…)
    15. Di Resta
    16. Franklin (First time in Q2!)
    17. Vergne
    18. Ricciardo
    19. Senna (Couldn’t match team mate’s pace)
    20. Glock
    21. Pic
    22. De La Rosa
    23. Kovaleinen (Should be in front of Marussia and HRT…)
    24. Karthikeyan

    #210623
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Bitten by the weather bug Shane :( For me dry-damp-wet transitions are ok, but wet to dry conditions are almost impossible to get right. Fingers crossed for a patch soon.

    Bahrain

    Qualifying target – 21st
    Race target – 19th

    Practice is forecast to be mostly wet, with quali even wetter and, thank god, a dry race.

    The practice session begins with blazing sunshine, so I head straight out to get as much dry running as possible.

    For some reason finding a decent set up takes ages, and I’m still struggling with the braking into turn 10 by the time the clouds start rolling in and for some reason my 7th gear just isn’t long enough for the start/finish straight with DRS open.

    As the rain just begins to fall I get turn 10 totally wrong and I have to limp back to the pits without a front wing. By the time I get back out the track is pretty drenched. There’s still 30 minutes left, so I spend the rest of the time testing how far I can push with my dry set up in the rain. I finish in last place, over 10 seconds adrift.

    Qualifying, as expected starts off in heavy rain. I’m not too worried about where I qualify here, as the conditions will be so different in the race. I’m set up for dry conditions, with the only compromise being less sensitive brakes.

    I try to runs, and manage somehow to get myself into 22nd ahead of the two HRTs. I wonder if the rest of the field is going for a dry set up too?

    By the end of Q3 the rain has stopped and the sun is beating down onto the track, so I head out with 5 minutes left on inters hoping that it will dry up in time. I notice a few others try the same too. Unfortunately, the desert sun doesn’t evaporate the water quickly enough and I spin and slide around the track for a few laps without improving my laptime.

    So onto the race, and I’m starting 21st as it seems Vergne has received a penalty at some point. I choose to start on options.

    Get a decent start, staying ahead of the HRTs although Vergne is alongside me before turn 1, presumably via the aid of KERS. Seeing a gap in the pack, I dive straight down the middle. I bump a Force India very gently on the gearbox, but we’re both ok and I emerge from turn 3 in 15th place! I overtake another two cars into turn 4, into 13th, and take one of the Saubers into turns 6 and 7 to take 12th. I enjoy making an awesome move on Ricciardo into Turn 10, sliding just down the inside pretty much sideways – it’s probably as much luck as anything, but it feels great and looks pretty amazing! At the end of the lap I’m in 11th.

    For the first couple of laps I seem to keeping up a good pace, easily keeping the rest of the pack behind, being led by Schumacher and Hulkenburg who trade places a few times. Finally Schumacher gets close enough for DRS on lap 5 and he streaks past followed by Hulkenburg. Ricciardo gets his revenge at the last corner, meaning I’ve lost 3 places in one lap and I’m now down to 14th. Another lap, and another two cars overtake, and I’m going into lap 7 in 16th.

    I’ve now got the Caterhams behind me, with Vergne and Senna behind them. I’m surprised at my pace though, I’m maintaining the gap to Petrov behind and occasionally pulling out a few tenths on him. I decide to make my stop on lap 11, although my tyres could probably last a bit longer, with Petrov around 3 seconds behind.

    I turn the engine up for a few laps, as my rivals make their pitstops. To my delight, my early stop seems to be a strategic masterstroke as my nearest rival, Petrov, is now 9 seconds behind! Vergne appears to have got ahead of me during the stops, but I’m not really worried as I wouldn’t have been able to match him for pace. Senna started on primes, and is ahead of me now having not stopped yet.

    My pace is still strong on the primes and I’m easily able to match Petrov, both of us runnning in the 1’42s and occasionally dipping into 1’41s. It’s just a case of consistancy for the forseeable future and I can finish 19th.

    Things are going well, although as usual the leaders lapping us backmarkers is causing the usual trouble. The gap to Petrov fluctuates between 4 and 10 seconds, and once the top 10 have passed through it is around 5 seconds between me and Petrov, and I notice Heikki is very close behind.

    I’ve driven 23 laps now of the Bahrain circuit, I’ve completed practice and qualifying in the same sitting and it’s 10.30 in the evening at the end of long week at work – I have to admit, I’m exhausted!

    Maldonado overtakes under blue flags, and I get DRS down the start/finish straight along with a good tow behind him. My mind wanders just slightly, and I miss the braking for turn 1.

    Not just braking a bit too late, not even a lot too late – I just don’t even brake at all, not until I’m almost off the track itself!

    Disaster – luckily there’s acres of run off there, but I lose a ton of time, maybe 15 seconds.

    I see my 23 laps of hard work fall apart, as the two Caterhams, my teammate Glock and Pedro de la Rosa drive past as I struggle back onto the track. There’s still 4 laps left, and I push to try to get back at de la Rosa, who is initially only 2 seconds ahead, but I just keep making mistakes – maybe it’s frustration, or tiredness, or my tyres starting to fall away, or a bit of all of the above, but I just can’t make any in roads.

    Karthikeyan is 20 seconds behind, so the last few laps are quiet and pretty disheartening really. I start to catch up into lap 26, and I’m just 2 seconds behind DLR again.. But my hopes are dashed as Hamilton laps me again and my race finishes at the end of lap 27 in a dissappointing 23rd.

    My girlfriend has joined me in the front room by now, and her simple ‘what’s up?’ as I cross the finish line elicits a long, drawn out sigh. I don’t have the energy to explain how one stupid mistake cost me a good result and wasted a couple of hours or so of hard work and concentration.

    Oh, the ecstasy and the agony of Formula 1!

    Still, lots of positives to take back into Europe. I’m down to last place now in the standings, but I’m confident I’ve got the pace to get a decent result in Catalunya.

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