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  • #244684
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    How about reducing the number of crew at each race? In particular I’d like to see the allowed number of crew members involved in a pitstop reduced quite substantially. Something closer to Indycar/GP2 would be ideal, maybe 8 people per stop.

    This would reduce costs with a smaller team at each race (unfair on a few mechanics perhaps), as well as making stops safer by increasing the time taken (giving more time for mistakes to be realised). I would also argue it would improve the racing – I’ve found the novelty of 2 second pitstops has worn off now. You could even introduce 2-tyre stops a la GP2.

    I’ve got another one that might be controversial – reduce the length of races from 300km to 250km. Or, even better, introduce variable lengths – so the “classics” like Monaco, Spa, Monza etc stay the same (or could even be lengthened – the Spa 500?) but your Koreas and Bahrains could be shortened to 250km. This would mean races typically lasting 75-100 minutes. Overall less mileage = less wear and tear on hardware. I realise this might be sacrilege for the purests ;) but I’ve found myself wishing for shorter races at several painful points this season!

    #243925
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    SPLITSCREEN dear god FOM what century is this? Give us splitscreen then you can show us all the replays and pointless pitstops you like.

    #243959
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Sad post @John-H, but it reflects my thoughts on this era of F1. Admittedly I’ve only been watching the sport since the end of the 2007 season, but since then I’ve immersed myself in F1 from a variety of periods. I’m not ready to give up on it, but 2013 is most definitely the season I’ve enjoyed the least by some margin.

    Alongside the points you’ve mentioned, one of the biggest problems for me is how “easy” the cars look to drive. By that I don’t mean I’d be able to climb in and start pounding out decent laps(!!!) but watching on TV you just can’t really tell when a driver is pushing hard. Mistakes are incredibly rare. We know that there are drivers out there who are not in the sport on talent alone, yet there’s no way you’d be able to tell the difference between a Vettel and a Chilton (sorry Max) if they were in identically liveried cars and overalls. The cars really do look like they’re on rails. It takes a the drama and awe out of watching a driver like Vettel drive a flawless race, when in reality you’ve got 21 other flawless races (traffic and a fundamentally slower car being the only difference).

    I’m sure tyre saving has something to do with this, but I also suspect that all the teams know the current formula so well that they’ve more or less settled on the optimum solution for making the cars as easy to drive as possible. I’m hoping that next year will bring the challenge back to driving F1 cars.

    This contributes to F1 becoming an exercise in risk management. The fallible driver is less of a factor, so the teams can more easily calculate their optimum race and instruct their drivers to drive within that optimum plan.

    Since 2007 I’ve also started getting into all sorts of other motorsport, and I have to say I am currently enjoying most other series more than F1. Indycar, GP2, NASCAR, WEC, F3, the BTCC finale the other week – they lack the on and off track clinical feel of F1, the drivers are there to push hard and race rather than driving within pre-calculated lap times.

    Personally, I’d get rid of DRS as well as the fragile tyres. But I’d also love to see more changes like more engine power and less aero downforce (Eau Rouge and 130R should be a challenge again, I’d make them the benchmark for not being taken flat). Changing the layouts to create a better slipstream effect. Reducing the number of crew allowed for a pitstop. I’d even be tempted to introduce points for pole position and fastest lap. And there must MUST be something done about costs, and soon.

    #242500
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Race 2 | Malaysia | Expert difficulty

    I was in Malaysia just a couple of weeks ago – as some of you might know the Sepang Circuit is right next to Kuala Lumpor’s budget airline terminal, so I drove past it a couple of times and it’s great to get a nice little reminder of being amongst the palm trees again :)

    Practice and qualifying:

    The practice starts and it’s drizzling lightly, although it should clear up later on. The rest of the weekend is forecast to be dry.

    I haven’t driven in the wet in 2013 yet, so I head straight out on a pair of inters to put in some laps. It’s very light rain, and it doesn’t feel quite as difficult as wet driving in 2011 or 2012. I stay out putting in laps as the rain stops after around 20 minutes, hoping to keep going as the track dries but my tyres were dead before a dry line really started to appear.

    With only around 20 minutes to practice on slicks, I head straight out to see if I can improve my set up. After a run each on primes and options I’m pleased to see I’m around a second quicker than Bianchi.

    I’m able to take the same pace into qualifying, and after a pretty uneventful Q1 I qualify in 19th around 3 tenths quicker than Bianchi and the Caterhams on the last row of the grid. Hamilton picks up his second pole position of the season.

    Race:

    I chose to go for the suggested 3 stop strategy this time out, and start on the option tyre. I’m feeling confident on the grid, and manage to get a much better start than last time out. One of the Caterhams still manages to pull ahead into the first corner. There’s very little contact between everyone through the first two corners, but it’s very crowded and several cars go wide.

    I pick up a few places during the first lap, and emerge onto the back straight in 15th. No one pits for a damaged front wing, which I’m pretty amazed about, and Pic is ahead of me. I’m able to reel Pic in over a few laps and when DRS is finally enabled I can breeze past into turn 1.

    My pace is good throughout the rest of the race, although it makes for a bit of a quiet drive as I’m consistantly between 0.2 and 0.8 seconds faster than Bianchi (who is in turn faster than the two Caterhams). Still I enjoy the race, it’s satisfying keeping up a consistent pace and not letting those blue flags cost me too much time. My nemesis from the last race, Bottas, emerges from a pit stop a few seconds in front of me during my last stint and I’m a bit surprised that I’m able to keep pace and even catch up with him. It soon becomes apparent that he has a problem though, as after I get past he slows enough that the other three backmarkers get past before he eventually retires.

    Bottas’ retirement means I finish 18th, meeting my objective again. Webber picks up the win. On to China!

    #242485
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Race 1 | Australia | Expert difficulty

    After taking part in the second day of the Young Driver Test, I’ve signed for Marussia – didn’t really feel right jumping straight into a top seat! A quick bit of testing at Jerez (naturally) and we’re off to Australia for the first race of the season.

    Practice and qualifying:

    I spend the practice session getting used the new handling and relearning how everything works. There’s so much going on with these games – so much more than most other racing games with the constant frantic button pressing for DRS, KERS and brake bias adjustments, all the while trying to tell which corner you’re missing that half a second or doing the mental math for potential tyre strategies. Love it, great to be back in F1!!!

    In practice I’m initially about 5 seconds off the pace of Bianchi and getting a bit worried that I’ve been ambitious with the difficulty level. A lot of work on my set up and 15 practice laps later I’m just half a second behind Jules – I push slightly too hard on my final and bounce across the first chicane into the barriers, ending my session slightly prematurely and in P22.

    I head straight out in qualifying on the option tyres, the first lap is a bit scruffy and then the other cars start pouring out of the pits. Lap 2 is better, and lap 3 is going even better until the yellow flags come out as I’m full throttle between turn 11 and 12 – Rosberg is in the gravel and I have to take drastic evasive action as he rejoins the track right in front of me (very dangerously I might add!). I also run out of fuel and my fourth flying lap and had to creep back to the pits wasting tons of time.

    I’m still in 22nd, but not far behind the two Caterhams. My second run on fresh tyres is again disrupted by traffic – it’s really tough trying to put in a decent flying lap when you’re so much slower than the frontrunners. On my 3rd lap Sutil tries to overtake into turn 15, the idiot gets past but turns in on me pushing me off and spinning himself into the barriers. I’m still 22nd.

    Back in the pits I notice that my combined best sector time is better than Bianchi’s time, so I head back out for one last flying lap with renewed confidence. The lap is good, I avoid the traffic and manage to pop it into 20th place in front of the two Caterhams. Still a few tenths off Jules, but I’m very happy!

    Webber gets knocked out in Q3, starting in 18th. Hamilton is on pole, ahead of Massa and Vettel. Sutil picks up a penalty (I hope for his dumb move on me) which puts him to the back of the grid, meaning I start my first race in 19th.

    Race:

    It’s forecast to be dry and sunny, and I’m looking forward to the race. As far as I can tell everyone starts on the option, and I decide to go for the prime instead. The suggested strategy is three stops, but I know I can do 11 laps on the prime and probably 7 on the option so I’m switching to a two stop (despite being told I’ll burn out my tyres, but I know I won’t be on the lead lap at the end).

    The start doesn’t go well, I’m going to need to work on those – every car behind me flies past before turn 1, perhaps a blessing as I can avoid the carnage ahead. At least two front wings burst into carbon fibre, but everyone is through the first turns. I’m still in last place heading down to turn 3, but a Williams without its front wing goes to deep and I’m past him. A Caterham bogs down out of turn 4 and I’m up another place.

    I chuck it up the outside of Vergne into 6, and make it out ahead of him in one piece. Gutierrez is fighting the other Caterham and I follow them closely through the rest of the lap until Gutierrez peels into the pit with a damaged front wing. I’m keeping up with Pic well, but can’t find a way past – he’s on the faster option tyre.

    The option-runners start pitting on lap 5, and I rapidly make up places even reaching P13 at one point. The frontrunners on fresh rubber make light work of me and for the most part I don’t bother fighting them off. At some point Webber retires, concluding his traditionally awful home race weekend.

    By lap 10 my tyres are rapidly falling away but I manage to hold out until my planned stop on lap 11. I fit the options and barrel back onto the track, into 21st place but just behind Van Der Garde. He’s on the prime and I’m able to gradually catch him over two laps, passing him via DRS into turn 1.

    Lap 16 and I find myself behind Bianchi emerging from the pits on options. He’s on cold tyres and I have to try and take advantage. I’m able to get alongside into turn 3 on the inside, but he gets the better line through 4 and I have to back out of it through the fast turn 5. I’m able to more or less keep with him through the rest of the lap, but his better pace and my degrading tyres mean I start dropping back.

    More pitstops and I make up another place, there’s debris all over the track so there’s been a coming-together at some point. Gutierrez is back in front of me, but my engineer tells me to ignore him as he has a drive through and, sure enough, he peels into the pits the next lap.

    I’m 6 laps into my option stint but the tyres still feel great so I press on as I remember how bad my primes were, target +1 for me. I suddenly notice I’m -1 on fuel so I switch the mix down to lean – it’s cool how even a neutral strategy requires some fuel management now :)

    I pit with 11 laps to go and emerge in 18th place – ahead of two Caterhams and Gutierrez. I’m in fuel and tyre saving mode for the moment, and the blue flags are starting to be shown as the front runners lap me. 9 laps to go (8 now that I’ve been lapped) and I pick up another place as Bottas pits, he emerges around 3 seconds behind me.

    I’m still saving fuel, but helpfully my engineer tells me Bottas is probably saving fuel too. He’s gaining on me by almost a second a lap and is soon right on my tail.

    There’s no way I’m letting him past though, 17th would be a great result for my first race. 7 laps of bumper to bumper racing ensue, but he doesn’t seem to have the straight-line speed to get past me. My tyres don’t feel too great, but his might be worse as he drops back noticeably on our penultimate lap.

    I finish a lap down from the winner, Hamilton, but I’m in an excellent 17th place. Bianchi picks up an even better 15th place, Vergne losing his front wing in the dying laps and dropping back. A positive first race for the team, a really enjoyable race and I’m looking forward to Malaysia!

    #242480
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Love your backstory @JamieFranklinF1 – and sounds like an interested finish at Sepang :S

    I’m really enjoying this edition after completing my first career race (and having a bit of a play with the other modes), there’s so many little minor improvements and tweaks that add up to an all round bit step up over 2012, which admittedly I didn’t really get on with and abandoned after half a season.

    I’ll be writing up my Australia report later today – love keeping my F1 journalist fantasy alive alongside the F1 driver fantasy :D

    #224423
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Here’s a handy set of detailed blueprints: http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints-depot/cars/ferrari/ferrari-312t2-f1.gif

    You can pause the video just as the mystery car is entering the tunnel and compare the layout of the rear suspension, exhaust and rain light to the linked diagram. Exactly the same, pretty much :)

    #224402
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    @jeff1s Alain Prost is going to be one of the featured drivers in the classic content. I think it’s also likely that Michael Schumacher is going to be in – I’m sure Steve Hood mentioned that he was aiming to get him in to make up for him not being on the grid anymore.

    They still have a lot more names to confirm, so Hakkinen is a possibility. Fangio is a no as it’s only 80s/90s.

    #238276
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Thanks for the info Tom, that’s really interesting :)

    #238273
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Very cool @Tom_ec1 !!!

    I see you’ve played Codemasters’ F1 series, can you tell us how the handling compares?

    They made a big departure in the handling model for 2012, I’d be curious to know if it is closer to reality or not. I’ve heard so many complaints about it but I doubt many people have been even close to driving an f1 car!

    #210678
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    @geemac i had the exact same problem – I was regularly beating my teammate at Marussia and then got an offer to join Force India, joined them and now I’m struggling to even beat the backmarkers.

    I was racing on legendary, but even putting the difficulty down to professional doesn’t seem to help.

    Seriously considering restarting my career – annoyed to say the least.

    #214852
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    @mat-k it feels great to me, and I haven’t got any complaints at all but to be honest it’s the only one I’ve ever owned so I can’t draw any comparisons. The force feedback can be really strong if you dial it up. I’d prefer the pedals to have a bit more weight perhaps but apart from that it works great for me.

    The construction feels pretty sturdy too, maybe even a little on the clunky side. Let’s just say I don’t mind letting my six year old having a go, even with his questionable and rather destructive driving style.

    #214847
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    I invested in a second hand Official MS Wheel from eBay for about £75 about 6 months ago.

    It’s by far the most expensive item I’ve bought off of eBay, but I have to say it’s one of my best purchases ever! It’s worked pretty perfectly since I got it and most games seem to work out of the box with too much faffing around (accept with F1 2012, of course).

    Not sure if I got lucky or what though…

    #210653
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    @ShaneB457 what’s it like post-patch? Is there any noticeable differences in the gameplay?

    I’m taking a F1 break until the Xbox patch is released, I don’t really want to install halfway through a race weekend. Breaking out Forza 4 for a bit – reminding me how lame and boring AI often are, although the handling feel on a wheel is awesome.

    #210649
    Avatar of graham228221
    graham228221
    Participant

    Season 1 (Marussia)
    Race 6 – Canada

    (50% race, legendary AI, auto gears, all other assists off)

    Man, when this game works like it should it can be awesome!

    The weather forecast is dry in Practice and Qualifying, then 80+% chance of rain for the race.

    I spend practice learning the track, and then put in some laps on a wet setup. This is easily one of my favourite tracks, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see how consistant I can be here.

    I head into qualifying feeling confident, and head out to put in a few laps on primes to get in the groove. For some reason I can’t get the turn 8/9 chicane quite right, whereas it wasn’t such a problem in practice. I keep whacking the inside kurb, which sends me spinning across the grass. I can take it very cautiously, but it feels like I’m loosing a ton of time.

    Back out onto a set of options, and I set a good first sector but, again, I clatter the kurb at turn 8 and just about save it from the barriers. I’ve got enough fuel for another flying lap, but this time I try to give turn 8/9 plenty of respect and make it through unscathed. Unfortunately my time is well done on my rivals.

    I’ve had a great run in qualifying, so I’m sure I should be further up than this. I decide to take a gamble and take out a bit of front wing, as I’m wondering if I’m losing time on the straights.

    I doesn’t help. I do one last 3 lap run on a fresh set of options but I can’t improve enough to get out of last. The traffic is pretty bad by the end of the session, which probably doesn’t help, but ultimately I don’t have the pace.

    So I go into the race starting P24 with a lap of 1:19.537, but I’d managed a lap in the 1:18.8s during practice.

    It’s not raining yet, but the sky is a dark grey and it looks like it can’t be long before the heavens open! Before heading to the grid I put a bit more front wing back and fit the option tyres – it doesn’t look like it will be long until the rain starts, so I decide to go for the faster tyre and hope for the best.

    The rest of the grid starts on options too. The five lights go out and it’s on. I make an ok start, but can’t make up any more places into the first turn.

    Out of the first chicane my teammate and a HRT goes wide, and I nip past. I take a Caterham in turn 6/7, take next chicane cautiously as usual and then chase Petrov and de la Rosa up towards the hairpin. De la Rosa goes slightly wide and I’m able to take him easily, and then get much better traction than Petrov and I’m ahead of him way before the final chicane.

    So I’m in 19th at the end of lap 1. For the next 10 or so laps I have a great defensive battle against both the Caterhams. The three of us have much better pace than Glock and the HRTs and they fall back.

    The Caterhams are swapping places and attacking me almost every lap, usually getting alongside or even ahead towards the hairpin but generally I can outbrake them and seem to get better traction each time to pull ahead before the DRS zone, where they then storm back at me.

    On lap 2 I get the inevitable rain call “Light rain in 15 minutes”. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to pit on lap 9 and the rain will arrive after that. I make the decision to try and wring out enough laps to not pit before the rain starts.

    Despite playing it safe on tyres, I’m able to keep up with the Caterhams throughout the stint. Petrov finally manages to get past in the DRS zone on lap 10, then pits just afterward. Heikki pits the next lap, leaving me running by myself.

    The very next lap, lap number 12, it starts spitting with rain. For a few laps, things aren’t too bad. I notice that the Caterhams are catching me by a second or two each lap on their new option tyres, so I pit a lap earlier for inters on Lap 15. I come out behind the Caterhams, but they pit the very next lap and I’m back out into 19th.

    I’m 10 seconds ahead of the Caterhams on lap 16, but by lap 20 they have caught up and are right on my tail. The leaders are also lapping us by this point. As usual, the blue flags cause chaos, particularly in the worsening rain. On lap 21 I pit for wets, but most of the rest of the field stay out for another lap and I lose more time. After everyone has pitted, I’m in 21st – just behind the Caterhams but a good 30s ahead of de le Rosa.

    The rain continues to get worse, and it gets more and more treacherous. Me and the Caterhams are battling, but for some reason I can’t dial my engine mix up to rich – not sure if it’s a bug or an actual programmed mechanical fault (but I guess F1 teams must have this sort of problem all the time). The Caterhams pull away, although I keep them more or less in sight, particularly when they are battling.

    Things are particularly bad when we’re getting lapped, after several near misses on lap 27 someone inevitably makes a mistake as they try to get past – Senna seems to go a touch wide, spins and slams into the wall at turn 7, losing a wheel and grinding to a halt.

    “Safety car, safety car!”

    I slow right down, while I get my bearings and dial my engine mix down (which does work), and get a telling off from the game for going to slow – it even goes so far as to make me a ghost for a few seconds :( I speed back up to racing speed to catch up with the safety car train.

    The in game Safety Car in the game really would be better if it allowed you a bit more freedom. You’re basically limited to 100kmph, and it seems very limited in terms of moving around the track. Still, it’s a cool little feature to mix things up.

    It stops raining after a couple of laps behind the safety car, and it’s tempting to take a gamble and come in for inters but I decide to play it safe and stay out.

    The field is totally mixed up, so on lap 31 when the calls come that the safety car will be coming in it’s time to start planning how to play the restart. The Caterhams are a few cars ahead, and I don’t want to lose ground but I’m very aware that I have cars that will be lapping me right behind.

    The safety car goes straight on into the pits at the final chicane, and the rest of us get back up to racing speed.

    The first corner is absolute chaos. The faster cars seem to be very aggressive, and barge past – then the first corner feels like an ice rink. I spin out onto the grass, as do another two cars and one more goes well wide into the gravel.

    Most of the rest of the field heads past, but I manage to get back on track only losing one place to de la Rosa.

    I manage to catch back up to the HRT thanks to the blue flags, I’m now able to dial my engine back up so the problem earlier had obviously been fixed and I can get past Pedro on the long back straight.

    Alonso has joined Senna on the list of retirements, so I’m running 19th for the rest of the race.

    It’s pretty quiet, just a case of keeping it on the road in the drying conditions. I manage to lap my teammate, which feels pretty good – Timo actually manages to get disqualified at some point.

    I finish 19th for the second time this season. It was an enjoyable race, entertaining throughout!

    Up at the front, Hamilton picked up another win to stretch his championship win, and he is on the podium by Vettel and Kimi. Vergne picks up an unexpected 4th place.

    On to Valencia, and the forecast is for a dry weekend :)

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