First of all, I'm no expert and was having difficulty keeping up with the AI even in professional. Then I discovered that race strategy plays a big part of the race and now I'm consistently finishing in top 5 in Williams at Legends difficulty and winning some too thanks in large part to race strategy. You may be able to apply some of this to shorter race but this guide is intended for 100% race with long weekend. If you're still on 50% or less professional difficulty... I encourage you to move on to 100% legends as it really isn't that much more difficult but much more engaging. Practice. 1. If you're still learning the track, do it in proving grounds. Running a lot of laps in practice wears your engine too. Do the R&D if available of course. 2. In 100% race, fuel load plays big part so run few laps with full fuel load and prime tires to see how the car feels. I usually optimize my setup for half fuel load, fuel mix 2, and prime tires during practice. Qualifying. 1. Keep track of the tires you're using. These tires carry on to your race. 2. By default, you will qualify with about 6 laps of fuel load. You don't need it and you shouldn't run more than 1 flying lap anyway to save tires. Dial it down to 3 laps. 3. In Q1, you should be able to get into top 18 with no problem with fuel mix 1 and prime tires. If not, increase fuel mix but save your option tires. 4. In Q2, they will fit you with options by default. Change it to brand new prime and if you're having difficulty getting into top 10, try with fuel mix 3 before resorting to options. 5. Unlike Q1 and Q2, getting as high position as possible is important in Q3. Option tires and fuel mix 3. Fuel load to 3 laps as well. 6. In tires menu, make note of how long options and prime tires last. This is important for forming race strategy and you can't check this once you move onto race. 7. This may not be realistic so use at your own discretion but jumping back to the pits instead of driving back will save your tires as well. Race. 1. When you're sitting in the pits before the race, go into tires menu and check the race strategy. It will always default to lowest possible number of pit stops. Melbourne for example will default to: Start: Option Lap 14: Prime Lap 36: Prime Lap 58: Finish Because you should be about 2 seconds per lap faster with options, adding one more pit stop and changing tires to options will be faster overall. If one pit stop costs you 20 seconds on track, you'll get it back in 10 laps. And because you will run less laps on worn tires, it just makes sense to change. So change it and adjust lap number accordingly. Start: Option Lap 12: Prime Lap 32: Option Lap 45: Option Lap 58: Finish And it's actually a lot more fun catching up to cars with fresher tires than being passed on track with worn tires. 2. In some races like Monaco, it's setup with 3 stops by default. Remember that you can't have more than 3 set of option tires so don't make the mistake of setting race strategy with 4 options. 3. Run with fuel mix 2 for the most part and save mix 3 for later part of the race because you never know how the race will pan out. Ignore your engineer when it comes to fuel mix. 4. Don't rev too high. You don't get much more speed and you will only waste fuel. It's better to upshift early (green light) and downshift a tad later to save fuel and use the fuel you saved for fuel mix 3 later. 5. Don't try to slip stream off slower AI traffic. By design, they're programmed to move aside when you're directly behind so if you keep trying to stay behind them trying to slip stream, they will shake wildly. Stay on different line than they are and they will remain steady.