Dear RD members; This is something I have been working on for fun and to put something back in. It includes the intro and chapter list. Only Chapters 1 and 2 have been published so far. Feel free to have a read: F1 2010 The Guide Draft Introduction Going Faster is More Fun!A word on the purpose of this guide. The idea is to help you get faster, get to know the game better, get more out of it and have more fun and satisfaction. This guide was written to be used as an advanced resource additional to the standard user guide from Codemasters. It consequently does not deal with all items nor does it repeat items that are considered to be dealt with adequately in that guide. It is written for the driver who wants a central resource to help them get beyond the basics, improve their knowledge and insight and improve their performance and satisfaction in-game. This means gaining insights into the real world technique of racing, race- craft, strategy and car setups. It also deals with the specific in-game environment. It does deal with all race formats but its main focus is on the Career, GP and multiplayer environment. It is separated into: Chapters Technique of Racing: How to actually drive a racing car fast and get good lap times. Race Strategy/Tactics: Qualifying, Tyre strategy, Overtaking. Online Play: What to expect and how to get involved, The rules of racing, Setups/Engineering and testing: How to get the car right for the circuit and conditions. Managing in-game: Game modes, Setting Difficulty levels, Assists and car performance. General resources guide: Where to look for stuff you might find useful. Significant content, information and advice has been drawn from the Race Department website and the F1 2010 forums. So thank you to all RD members who have put up posts to share their experiences and to help others. Also much knowledge and entertainment has been drawn from Steve Stoops fantastic video series- “Lets play career mode on expert” and his multiplayer race edits. Steve has also kindly written a section linking chapters 1 and 2. Another main resource has been Alain Prosts’ book “Competition Driving”. Andrew Bortz helped by proof reading and chapter 1. F1 The Guide Draft Chapter 1 Technique of racing Part 1 Cornering “The maximum speed you will attain on a straight depends on your exit speed from the previous bend. This can be explained in simple figures: Exiting a corner at 125mph rather than 120mph gives you a 5mph advantage down the following straight. Supposing that the speed advantage remains constant after half a mile the difference will be .6sec or around 35 yards” ”. Alain Prost. At the core of generating speed and good lap times is cornering technique. The crucial factor is corner exit speed. We will deal with the corner in three parts. 1)Braking, 2) Apex 3) Exit. Summary: Using all of the road that’s available, braking at the right point, steering to apex, accelerating cleanly for maximum possible corner exit speed. Goal: To generate the maximum possible corner exit speed. Braking. You need to have established in mind a definitive braking point for every corner on the track for average conditions. Part of the practice session is to find and refine this point. There will usually be a physical marker of some type on the track that can be a reference point. It won’t always a braking distance board. It may be an overhead banner, a tree, a camera. You need to brake at the chosen spot and as wide (outside) as physically possible on the track to commence turn in. Your braking phase is complete when you are able to turn the car effectively (turn in point) to the apex. If you end up running a little wide of apex you braked a bit late, if you apexed a bit early you braked a little early. Adjustments: Your maximum possible corner speed and braking distances required to decelerate to that speed will vary due to changing vehicle weight and grip levels. Adjustments: will then be made for fuel load, tyre type and condition and track condition. For example on your opening laps on primes and full fuel one may need to brake 15-25 metres earlier than your marker. In quali on low fuel or in the final stint on low fuel, fresh options and a rubbered- in track one might brake 10-15 metres after your marker. So a little mental arithmetic goes on after you have established a fairly precise point to adjust adding a few metres each for: “Green track”, Primes , high fuel load, cold or worn tyres, wet track and deducting a few for a rubbered-in track, options, low fuel, fresh tyres. In this way the perfect braking point will migrate metre by metre lap by lap as such factors change. “The front tyres steer the car far more efficiently if they are turning” David Coulthard. You really need to ensure that your braking is over when you start to turn in to the apex. The transition from braking to turn-in is managed best with a smooth transition from brake to feathered throttle. The car will understeer more on no throttle than with slight throttle. Your particular setup will influence the cars readiness to turn in on a trailing brake. In essence the goal is to achieve a balanced car that will be receptive to steering input. Still braking hard and the car will understeer, too much throttle too soon and the car will oversteer. In Game note: You can get away with turn in while under brakes that would not be possible in real world physics. Apex. You can’t get this part right without getting the braking right. You need to hit the apex with a car that is balanced and ready to accept the earliest and maximum possible throttle. The best way to achieve this part is to look to the apex as you are finishing your braking and preparing to turn in. This action alone will help manage a good transition from braking to turn in as you will see where the apex is in relation to your trajectory and when its becoming “hit-able”. In looking to the apex you will instinctively manage the release of brake and application of throttle. IE if you are turning in very well then you can afford more or earlier throttle (and more speed which will push you a little wider. If you are struggling to reach the apex (wide) then you are forced to delay the timing or extent of throttle application. NB setup is critical to turn- in. The better you have managed the braking and turn in phase the earlier and harder you can input throttle. This is where the axiom of “slow in fast out” comes from. The late braking manoeuvre only has the potential to influence your speed from that point to that very same corner!# Corner exit speed will influence your speed from that corner until the next corner! Quite a bit more influence really. #The exception is overtaking where the need for track position superceeds the need for speed on that one lap. On choosing your line and apex: When having to compromise between the perfect apex for one corner or another in sequence of bends the golden rule is “priority to the faster element”. More is to be lost or gained through the faster section. This applies to a sequence of turns leading to a fast straight, the goal must be to optimise the exit onto the straight and work back from there making necessary compromises in the slower parts to achieve this. As a rule of thumb when practising your line for any particular corner, start with a late apex and gradually move it back a few feet at a time until you find your exit speed is compromised adjust from there. INSERT DIAGRAM FOR THIS. In Game Notes In game remember that some rumble strips are deadly (eg Marina Bay) and some look worse than they are (eg turn 7 and 8 Catalunya). On more user friendly rumble strips much time is to be gained by hitting the apex with your outside wheels IE whole car inside the apex except outside wheels. “To operate at maximum efficiency, a driver should try to use all the space that’s available to him: the full width of the road- but also the rumble strip. So you have to make the circuit as wide as possible and sometimes a little wider”. Alain Prost. Exit. The simplest and least cerebral part where you benefit from your good work in braking and apex phase. At this point you want to get the power down as fast as possible without breaking traction. The car will accelerate faster with minimum steering lock so once past apex allow the car to drift as wide as possible under throttle. If you leave track remaining outside you unused, it means you could have carried more speed in corner or applied throttle earlier or harder or used less steering input on exit. All of these actions will net more speed. Exiting slow corners one must be mindful of avoiding wheelspin. This is because of the extra acceleration available in lower gears and the reduction in aero downforce at lower speeds. So in faster corners you can apply throttle more aggressively.The co-efficient of adhesion is higher than that of friction so wheelspin costs time. When dealing with throttle application a good mental image is that of a piece of string tied to the bottom of the steering wheel and your big toe. As you wind off lock your big toe is freed to apply more throttle. Insert picture.............. Part 2 Overtaking “Catching is one thing-Passing another” Murray Walker Once you have developed pace through good cornering technique/setup etc you will find yourself with opportunities to pass other drivers. Different tracks produce varying opportunities to pass. Monaco for example is notoriously difficult to pass. The overtake can happen when your competitor is pressured into a mistake allowing a clean drive-by but most times it will happen either in the braking zone or exiting a corner. If you have superior pace and are driving smoothly you may just get a better exit speed and pass on a straight. Some battles for position are over before they really begin due to either one cars far greater pace or the others mistake. This section will deal with the more evenly matched battle. Applying pressure: Your very presence and the noise of your engine and gearbox will make your competitor acutely aware that they are under pressure. Keep your rhythm and your smooth, fast racing line and hence maximum speed. This will inherently increase proximity and pressure. They will be aware that you have the pace to harass them and all but the best will tighten up a bit. You didn’t get on their gearbox by accident! Avoid moves that will cause you to “prop” or brake hard where not desired. Under brakes, the classic pressure move is to the move up the outside forcing the competitor to take the less optimum inside line AND brake late. This may compromise their corner exit speed and give you the edge. A professional will know that most likely you can’t drive around the outside of them but it’s often worth a try to force the error. The dummy pass: Dive out to the inside late in the braking zone as if you were able to pass. It’s hard to tell from in front whether the attempt is real or not and he may be tempted to brake late. If not intending to pass get back in quickly to the racing line before the turn in point. Setting up for the pass: The smaller the performance gap between the competitors the more you have to prepare your move. You will have a period of time (sometimes several laps) to observe where the competitor is less comfortable than you are. It may be due to setup, tyre choice and or condition (strategy) or driving style/skill. Try to establish where in the lap this is. Alain Prost on disguising your hand: “The more composed your rival seems to be at a given point, the better it is to make him believe that he’s not really going that quickly and that you are looking to pass. On the other hand if there is a spot where you really are quicker its best not to give the game away. Delay playing your ace in order to take him by surprise.” Alain Prost. Part 3 Defending. A few rules of thumb. Most of the time it’s wise to: Be aware of but don’t start watching the competitor more than the track and your brake markers. Make your competitor drive around you. It’s much harder to get a pass around the outside. Don’t compromise your exit speed entirely with a defensive line. The slower the corner track position vs line increases in importance. The faster the corner line vs track position increases in importance. A further word on braking. It again is critical that you have in mind a clear sight picture of your braking marker and the corresponding adjustment for that phase in the race. Many drivers will lose a place when, in battling for position they brake in a very different spot. Just because you are in a duel for position the laws of physics and the tried and tested braking points you have established do not change. One race driver coach puts it this way. There are three braking points: 1) One that you can depend on lap after lap for smooth consistent laps. 2) One that you will use on a low fuel qualifying lap, 3)One you will use on an aggressive overtaking move to gain track position and happily sort out the exit to the corner once you are in front. If you find yourself in a braking duel and you arrive at #3 then you should brake. Don’t wait for the other guy to brake. You can give him a wave as he disappears into the scenery. IE he won’t make the corner. If the competitor brakes after your final point, you will more often than not re- pass him/her during or just after the corner. If not sideways, off track or worse they will be so busy trying to slow their car and get it back on line to negotiate the next part of the track they will lose speed. What can you then do? This is where the over and under comes in. When defending in a medium to high speed corner: The high percentage move is to stay very wide and brake well, yet again focussing on your corner exit speed. By letting the other car pass you at a higher speed but on a less optimum inside line their exit is inherently compromised. In many cases you will simply drive past accelerating on the racing line them as they drift wide under brakes past the apex. There will be times they pull it off but only a minority. When defending in a low speed corner: Track position becomes more critical than momentum and hence line and overcooking it is a mistake that is more easily overcome. If someone puts their car in front of you it is easier for them to get it back under control and defend. Position your car somewhat more to the middle of the track but where you can still get a decent line to the apex. Ensure that you hit the apex. in a series of corners your tactic (a or b above) will be dictated by the exit speed of the corner. High exit speed use a) above, Slow exit speed exit speed use b) above. Part 4: Steve Stoops thoughts on linking technique to race tactics. Firstly : When it comes to adaptation, it's not just related to fuel levels and tyre degradation. We're not pro drivers, we'll have lapses of concentration, miss our braking points slightly, apply throttle too early, turn in too late, even when not in an on track battle. The key in race situations is consistency. It's of little use to have blistering one lap pace setting pole after pole but never transforming those in wins. Too often I see very fast drivers make too many mistakes come race time. They may be a few tenths per lap faster but I'll still end up in front of them in the end as they then lose 5 seconds due to one big mistake in a lap. IMO this is because they are so fixed on setting fastest lap after fastest lap, fixed on the optimal line, the optimal braking point that they can't deal with variations. You won't always have the exact same line on every lap. The key is to live with your mistakes and mitigate them so there is minimal time loss. A race is as much about endurance as it is about one lap pace. I usually drive a little below the limit (say at 90%) during most of the race, only to push 100% (what I like to call: “Hanging my balls out of the cockpit”) on occasions where taking the risk of making a mistake is warranted .IE in and out-laps, tight battles on track, edging out a gap or closing someone down. Don't just race like a madman every lap, pace yourself, know when to push and you will finish higher. 2. Related to point one: Gears. Learning a track and finding the optimal cornering speed to me is as much about knowing which gear I'm in, and hearing how high the revs are as I'm going for the apex. With time you'll instinctively feel when you're going too fast into a particular corner, and have time to correct it before it is too late. EG, I know I should be in 3rd gear, medium revs going into this corner, however I'm coming in too hot as I hear that though I'm in my usual 3rd gear the revs are too high as I approach. A quick downshift to 2nd gear and/or perhaps a little added braking 'pump' will still let you make that corner and lose minimal time, as opposed to going with the flow, running wide on corner exit and losing much more time and/or risk losing a position in race situations. This is obviously also linked to point 1: adapting constantly, accepting you won't always have the ideal line no matter how hard you try and practice. Living with unavoidable small mistakes, minimizing their cost to you when they do occur (and also making sure they occur less frequently as explained in point 1 with regards to pacing yourself) is another key skill in my opinion.