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  • #271084
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 2: Malaysia
    Qualifying: 9th – Race: 15th
    I only qualified 9th, 1.8s off Alonso’s pole time. I took the lead by driving through the pack at turn 1 and passing Alonso on the inside of turn 2, but one lap later I lost the lead to my team mate. My tyres dropped off well earlier than planned and I lost positions and had to anticipate my stop to lap 5. 6 laps on the hard tyres brought me to 8th place before I pitted once more for the option rubber and ended the race 15th, between the two Williams who I was much faster of in the last laps. Alonso won ahead of Hamilton and Hulkenberg.

    Race 3: China
    Qualifying: 13th – Race: 16th
    I went for a setup which sacrificed a bit of performance for better handling, at least that’s what I thought in practice when the times couldn’t be easily compared as I had set them on degrading tyres. In Q1 I improved though, only to be knocked out of Q3 as I couldn’t go any faster on the softs. Alonso qualified 2nd and I was 13th. After a brilliant start I stormed through to 3rd place behind Alonso and Hamilton. First Webber, then Vettel and finally Rosberg led the charge against me while I almost kept Lewis’ pace and Fernando vanished in front. On lap 4 Nico got past as I started suffering from premature degradation, and I had to pit on lap 5 just after being passed by both Red Bulls. I was 7th when, three laps later, Vettel concluded the round of pit stops and became the only driver to lose a position to me. I started driving more smoothly to save my tyres but with three laps to go I could see with my eyes and with my telemetry that I wasn’t going to make it, so I pitted for a last set of softs. I was 18th, 7s adrift of Bottas who closed a train of six cars. I caught them at the last corner and passed two of them, but 16th was well below my standards.

    #268835
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Season 2 – Scuderia Ferrari #1 (Difficulty 4/5)

    Race 1: Australia
    Qualifying: 6th – Race: 2nd
    I was 7th in practice as I focussed on race simulation, and set my fastest time on lap 9 of 10. In Q1 I left the pits with ten minutes left and set the 16th fastest time only, but I improved in every sector on my second lap and rose to 7th, with the fastest sector 1 time of all. I was 9th at the end of the session with Alonso in 2nd. In Q2 again I left the pits with 10 minutes to go and went 10th fastest, then improved to 5th, 6 tenths slower than Alonso who ended the session on top. In Q3 I planned two runs, and to set two laps in the first and one in the second. I improved by only 2 tenths on my second lap and was 8th, and with two minutes remaining I left for my final try on a new set of super softs, which put me in 6th place, 6 tenths behind polesitter Vettel who beat Alonso in the final seconds.
    I planned my strategy to two stops with the prime compound, the medium tyres, in the second stint. I jumped up to 2nd place after Alonso blocked me at turn 1, and Vettel pitted from the lead on lap 3 so I found myself leading for a lap, when Hamilton and I pitted. I came out back in 2nd place, now with the Brit behind me and with Vettel pushing harder on the option compound. He pitted on lap 8 and I led again until my second stop, planned for lap 12. I decided to pit one lap early hoping Vettel had been caught in traffic and thinking that I was better off defending on track rather than postponing the stop and continuing on worn tyres. This proved the right choice as Hamilton and Raikkonen behind me pitted on that lap too and, having swapped places, continued pursuing me in the final four laps. Grosjean led for one lap but he had been behind me enough for me to get back in front without having to push, and I set my personal best laps reducing Vettel’s lead by 2 seconds, though it remained of 10s when he took the chequered flag, having scored a hat-trick. Raikkonen was 3rd, the two Mercedes preceded Grosjean and Perez beat Alonso.

    #268834
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    Fixy
    Participant

    Season Summary
    Wins: 6 – Poles: 1 – Doubles: 1 – Grand Slams: 0

      Australia – 13th + 4th
      Malaysia – 6th + 1st
      China – 12th + 10th
      Bahrain – 10th + 6th
      Spain – 5th + 12th
      Monaco – 7th + 1st
      Canada – 10th + 1st
      Great Britain – 18th + 9th
      Germany – 18th + 10th
      Hungary – 12th + 7th
      Belgium – 17th + 5th
      Italy – 1st + 1st
      Singapore – 10th + 2nd
      South Korea – 11th + 3rd
      Japan – 3rd + 1st
      India – 11th + 2nd
      Abu Dhabi – 6th +1st
      United States – 14th + 3rd
      Brazil – 10th + 3rd
    #268250
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Hi @ldawson, I’m glad you also like GP2! I have a blog inspired by F1F itself on the Series, and you have given me a great idea, but for now all I can provide you with is a more traditional calendar: http://gp2fanatic.wordpress.com/information/seasons/2014-season

    #266636
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 19: Brazil
    Qualifying: 11th – Race: 3rd
    I can’t explain the reason why after being 6th in practice I was only 11th in qualifying, but nonetheless I started 10th thanks to a penalty. Alonso was on pole but got overtaken by Vettel, and I jumped into third place behind the two. I kept between 3 and 4 seconds behind the pair for five laps, until my tyres started dropping off towards the end of my stint. I also lost a second in the pits on lap 8 as there was traffic but took my podium position back when I overtook Perez as he came out of the pit lane on the following lap. I then set my personal fastest times, though I still was at least half-a-second slower than the leading two. I extended my gap on the drivers behind me until Hamilton took fourth, four seconds behind. He quickly cut that gap to nothing but I was fast through the DRS zones and defended well, but because I was increasingly slow because of my tyres’ wear the drivers behind him caught up, though nothing happened in terms of position changes. I was about to lap a Marussia, and finished third fifteen seconds after Vettel had been classified second behind Alonso. Fernando would have needed to win with Vettel not scoring to take second place in the title on the same amount of points, so he remained third in the championship.

    #266526
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 18: United States
    Qualifying: 14th – Race: 3rd
    I decided to use a setup for wet conditions which were forecast for the whole weekend, but that proved a bad choice when Q1 and Q2 were dry, so I qualified only 14th. The race started with some rain and everyone was on intermediates, while I already eyed a different strategy: the race was set to end in dry conditions. I jumped up into 3rd place behind Rosberg and Alonso, and while my team mate took the lead I was already 12s behind after three laps, with a train of cars busy trying to pass me without success. I pitted, as planned, on lap 7, but put on option tyres. I immediately skidded out of the pit lane and lost two positions, but lapped decently and lost a further place to Grosjean as he waited an extra lap to serve his stop. I then started putting some distance between me and Button, and when I became the fastest man on track I started gaining back on the three drivers ahead of me, namely Hulkenberg, Webber and Grosjean. I set the fastest lap and overtook the three within a pair of laps, with the leading couple now 30s in front. Had they stopped now for slicks, I could have challenged for the win; instead, because of their lead, they finished the race on intermediates and I cut the gap down to 22s, and further improved the fastest lap on the final tour of the circuit. I finished behind Alonso and Rosberg and due to Vettel’s retirement I have mathematically taken the Drivers’ World Championship, and Ferrari have also taken the Constructors’ World Championship.

    #266134
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    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 17: Abu Dhabi
    Qualifying: 6th – Race: 1st
    After twelve laps in practice I was 6th, a second slower than Vettel and Alonso and 2 tenths slower than Rosberg in P4, but even with a setup I was more comfortable with I was slightly slower. I was much slower than the fastest drivers but not so down the order, and I got safely into Q3. I was 8th with my first lap, but improved by 8 tenths with my second attempt and finished 6th, 8 tenths behind polesitter Vettel who beat Alonso and Rosberg. With a good start I was up to 4th at turn 1 and passed Rosberg at turn 2, Alonso at turn 5 and Vettel at the hairpin. I had to keep my team mate and the Red Bull and Mercedes pairs behind me until my pit stop, but as my tyres were too worn out I had to pit one lap early, on the 5th lap. This proved crucial because, despite my times improving, I was still slower than my rivals, but they encountered traffic in the pit lane which I avoided so I took the lead back on lap 7. I now had a marginal gap on Vettel and my rivals were a little further apart, but that rapidly vanished as my medium tyres also degraded quickly. I was dramatically slow in the final two laps but due to the track’s configuration I kept the lead in the twisty final section and won, ahead of Rosberg and Hamilton while Alonso dropped down to 9th.

    #265398
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    Fixy
    Participant

    My avatar for the British GP is Massa’s special helmet marking his 200th GP. I might have to update it as I haven’t yet found a decent image to copy it from.

    #265375
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Here is a better picture confirming Massa is using a design inspired by the first he used when he entered F1.

    #265362
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Massa is celebrating his 200th Grand Prix with a special helmet: on top his original livery from 2002 with the number 200. I think he might have the rest of the helmet changed accordingly though I have seen no pictures yet.

    #264910
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    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 16: India
    Qualifying: 11th – Race: 2nd
    I qualified 11th once more, but I was lucky not to be further down the grid, as I would have needed a full 5 tenths to get into Q3. Alonso, Rosberg and Vettel claimed the first three spots. I had a good start and dived to the inside of turn 1, overtaking several drivers, and passing Hamilton at turn 3 to take second place behind Alonso. Like in Korea, I soon realised there was no point in trying to catch him as I was too slow; instead I looked after my tyres which were already looking like they would not last long enough. Behind me, I caught glimpse of Vettel running wide at turn 4 and losing many positions, and Rosberg did the same at turn 5 but lost no places. I wanted to pit on lap 6 as I had a little gap behind me thanks to the battles my rivals were having between them, but that gap was deleted by the time I reached the pits and I decided to wait. That was a good decision because Hamilton, who stayed out one lap longer than me, leapfrogged me in the pits and I would’ve lost many more positions by stopping early. I was resigned to another 3rd place like in Korea, as Alonso and Hamilton were in that same order ahead of me. Then, I had a brief presentiment and, on lap 11, Hamilton retired from second place for causes unknown. Webber behind me was replaced by Grosjean, then surprisingly Vettel became my closest threat, but I kept my foot down and did my job, while he over-drove the car and spun at turn 1, eventually finishing 7th. Rosberg ran wide at the same spot and lost the podium position which eventually became Perez’s, with Bottas 4th and Hulkenberg 5th. Alonso and I finally scored a one-two and I now lead the Drivers’ Championship, while our positive situation means we could actually mathematically take the teams’ title already in Yas Marina. The great result also persuaded Ferrari to offer me a contract extension for the upcoming season, which I have accepted.

    #264867
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    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 15: Japan
    Qualifying: 3rd – Race: 1st

    I was 11th in Q1, 6th in Q2 with a single run per session. In a wet Q3 I was only 10th, but with a second lap I went 2.6s faster and finished 3rd, relegating Alonso to 6th and Rosberg, who had a ten-position grid penalty, to 9th; Hamilton took pole from Vettel. I overtook both by taking the inner line through the first corners, and on lap 2, while I was keeping the group packed up, Alonso hit Vettel, who retired, but continued. The Safety Car came in and I could manage my tyres in the following two laps, though I lost out on the lead to Webber due to a mistake. I stayed in the Red Bull’s tow and used all my KERS on the straight to pass him on lap 6; at the end of the lap, when I pitted, my medium tyres had already reached their maximum wear, so I feared I would run out of rubber before the end of the race. I had Webber on my tail coming out of the pits but took back the lead once everyone had stopped, especially Ricciardo, whom I struggled to pass but who eventually helped me gain a few tenths by keeping my rival behind. I then set three purple laps, only to have my first two beaten by the time Button and Webber, respectively, completed theirs; my third was a 1:36.8 and was to remain the race’s fastest lap. Webber then, fluctuating between 1.2 and 2 seconds behind me, had a sudden drop in performance and fell to 7th, while Button now was 4s behind me. I had to control my driving in the final two laps, as I had to lift in medium-fast corners and handle the over-steering out of the hairpin, but my lead was large enough for me to win the race safely and cut my championship disadvantage to four points, while Ferrari now also lead the Constructors’ Championship.

    #264690
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 14: South Korea
    Qualifying: 11th – Race: 3rd
    Once more I was out of Q3 by a mere tenth and lined-up 11th; I had also risked being eliminated from Q2 as I finished 16th with only a tenth’s advantage on Gutierrez. Alonso started from pole and kept the lead at the start of the race, while I moved to P6 through turns 1 and 2. I used all my KERS to slipstream past Webber and Raikkonen on the back straight, and overtook Vettel and Rosberg, who ran wide and dropped to last, at turn 3. I passed Hamilton at turn 4 and settled behind the already-vanishing Alonso. I soon realised I had no hopes to catch him and set my engine on fuel-save mode for the last two laps of my stint. I pitted on lap 5 and came out 9th, while Hamilton wisely stayed out one more lap and jumped ahead of me. I was now facing opposition from Perez and Webber, but I easily fended off even on the straights when they had the advantage of DRS. I set my personal best lap on lap 10 with a 1:43.4 but Alonso’s fastest lap of the race was a 1:41.2. Alonso scored a Grand Slam and his first win of the season as I made it two Ferraris on the podium. Vettel was ninth and Rosberg 12th, which has made my championship situation better and we are now tied in second place with Red Bull, just six points behind the leaders.

    #263184
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    Fixy
    Participant

    There’s no room for Vergne: Ricciardo has convinced everyone at Red Bull, unless he leaves Vergne won’t be promoted (even if Vettel moved I doubt they’d make Ricciardo lead driver with Vergne as team mate). Staying at Toro Rosso for a fourth year must be against Red Bull’s plans, as they need to have room to put a young driver in. Unless Sainz doesn’t really prove his talent this year and needs another season in junior categories, Vergne’s seat will be sacrificed: they already have Ricciardo, who seems better than the Frenchman, they’ll want to try and see if their other juniors are stronger than him.
    And unfortunately so, because Vergne has been unfortunate (just like last year), though this time he’s been even more impressive and fully deserves his seat.

    #263183
    Avatar of Fixy
    Fixy
    Participant

    Race 13: Singapore
    Qualifying: 11th – Race: 2nd
    In Q1 I was 5th, 4 tenths off Alonso’s P1 pace and 2 tenths off Rosberg’s P3 pace. By only 0.028s I was knocked out of Q3 as I couldn’t find grip with my super soft tyres. I started tenth thanks to a ten-grid position penalty handed to Vettel, but the front row was occupied by Alonso and Rosberg.
    It was raining at the start but the track seemed wet and everyone apart from me started on super soft tyres. My decision to use intermediate tyres proved the right one when all the drivers pitted on lap 1: at that point I was second behind Alonso but pulled away from everyone else. I led Rosberg by thirty seconds though he was a couple of seconds quicker than me per lap at the least, and though I wanted to wait to see what others did I had to pit on lap 8 as I had lost all traction on the used tyres. Rosberg, and Webber in third place, pitted on lap 9 for the same switch of tyres. I was 10s ahead of Rosberg with 6 laps to go, 7.5s ahead with 5 left and 4.5s ahead with 4 laps remaining. The rain increased and on lap 13 I was over ten seconds slower than on my previous lap, meaning that if I continued and Rosberg pitted the German would have made up all of his disadvantage in the final two laps anyhow; as soon as I saw in my mirrors the Mercedes heading towards the pit lane, I dived in and put wet tyres on. I held Rosberg behind me for the rest of the race, until I made the most costly mistake at the final corner when, taking too much kerb, I had to lift off for a second and Rosberg went on the outside to win by 0.030s.

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