I’d say the first race went quite smoothly. @electrolite‘s amazing internet seemed to hold up so well that I could almost battle @JamieFranklinF1 for the lead! And it seems as though @alfie retired rather than disconnected, so that’s another positive (though, in the future, try not to give up mid-race! Always best to pick up points if you can, I’ve found…). Great battle between @slr and @olliekart, by the way. Very clean and fair with some daring overtakes!
As for my race, I’m very pleased. I hadn’t had the chance to experiment with doing an actual in-game race that lasts for more than 5 laps, so I wasn’t sure how the fuel loads and tyre strategies would work out. To pick up a podium and learn a one-stopper is possible was quite a pleasing result.
Qualifying was going to be where I struggled. Or so I thought. I could only go off previous seasons! But yeah, I’ve only had one pole before and that was in a wet Suzuka when Magnificent Geoffrey was absent in season 1. Now my super-quick team mate misses a race and look at what happens! My first laps were experimental, and I put in a (what I thought was) slow but clean-ish lap but felt I could improve. I came back to put new tyres on for one last run so I could beat the time and start on fresher tyres, and despite putting in what felt like a much quicker lap, I couldn’t beat my “reconnaissance” lap! Unbelievably, no-one else could. Something felt wrong about the whole situation, really. The only downside was I started on old tyres.
Made my typical bad start (still haven’t learnt you need to have the car screaming on the limiter when the lights go out…) which may have been compounded by lag, although I’m not sure about that. Took a cautious entry into turn 1, ran a bit wide, but rejoined in second. From there I tried to learn where I was fast enough to pass Jamie on the circuit and felt I could go quicker. But after I tried a move with DRS into turn 3, he was suddenly much quicker! Either that or all my mistakes were letting him catch back up. Eventually, under braking for turn 9, lag punted me into the gravel where I lost a few seconds and the lead, but I assume there wasn’t even contact from Jamie’s perspective.
I spent the rest of the first stint trying to catch him before I clipped the bollard on the entry to the turn 11/12 chicane at high speed. Instead of fighting it, I decided to lift completely and coast through the run-off, but F1 2012 apparently has some anti-cheating system where the car is slowed down when you go off track. The rears locked up (I wasn’t even doing anything!) and the car spun onto the grass, so I lost what was apparently 9 seconds instead of 1 or 2.
From there I tried to keep it clean and finish on the podium, preferably without losing a place to Electrolite who appeared quicker at one stage, presumably before his tyres went off. There was no way I was catching Jamie, and for the third year in a row, I finished second in my “home” (home as in this set of pixels represents a part of the world not far from where I live) race.
Here’s my video of the race, anyway. You can hear my cat come inside, scratch his scratching post, jingle his bell a little bit, then decide to jump on top of the arm-chair I was sitting in to have a sleep. So on a hot summer’s night when I was already hot, I was effectively wearing a pre-heated scarf for most of the race… :-D