Hey everybody, I'm kind of new to this forum, been a member for awhile but never really posted. I'd been anticipating f12011 since december, i played a lot of f12010. Anyways, getting to the purpose of my post; I just started my career in HRT. In first race managed 17th position, would have been higher because of a nice safety car pit early in the race but got a drive-through penalty for ignoring 3 blue flags(i didnt realize you had to slow down for lapping cars, i was leaving space but button didnt act quick enough and waited to make his move until i had to turn into turn 1...contact and penalty for me). Anyways, in the second race at malaysia i was really coming to grips with my CRAPRT(full disclosure, sxpert difficulty setting but changed TCS to full for my first season, plan on doing a full expert season in S2 and hopefully make a run for the WDC in expert acheivement), partly due to some fine tuning to a setup i received off this forum. Put it on pole in P3 due to some lucky rain, that same lucky rain made me get P8 in Q1. In Q2 heavy rain I managed to put myself in P15...such a satisfying change when the AI actually know how to race, in 2010 rain in qualfying usually meant a pole by atleast 8-9 seconds for me so for the AI to be competitive made me very happy. Anyways going into the race(50% distance btw), its light rain scheduled, everyone is running inters. I go to race strategy to set up my stops; low and behold there is no pit stops scheduled....i check my inters which are said to only last 13 laps, the race is 28....oh no is this a dreaded glitch where the AI will just power down the 28 laps on 1 set of inters while i am forced to make atleast 2 stops and come dreadful 24th? time to do some DNF to get my race target? apprehension runs high as i hit the track. Off the line the AI is slow; after turn 4 i have managed to place myself in p3 without any penalties by ducking and diving through the slow traffic. At one point i almost lost it all when my right rear locked with webbers front left in the run down to turn 4, luckily he backed off knowing he would take me anyways. So now im rolling along, medium mix, braking early trying to not lock my brakes so that if the AI doesnt stop atleast i can save some face by streching a 1stop. I quickly drop back to p8, luckily no DRS active due to rain but my lack of KERS and overall sluggishness compared to where i am in the field means i am doing schumacher-esque car positioning to hold every position i can; this isnt so effective as it only works until there is a car on either side of you and you either forfeit the inside line and let the inside car through, or take the inside line knowing the outside car will use the track space to get alongside you and take a wide entry into the bend; either way im bleeding positions, by lap11 ive fallen to p12. This is where it gets stressful because my tyres are moving from orange to red, i start praying the AI pit. Low and behold i check out the RD, Heidfeld and Maldonaldo have both pit once and are in 23rd and 24th, both on inters. A bit of relief but was it due to damage and contact or did they expect a second rainy stint? Either way, around this time my handy race engineer(i fired my 2010 one, he was crap, this new guy is actually good!) tells me the rain will stop in 5 minutes....AH HA! I understood why the strategy was empty; the game expects you and all the other cars to make decisions based on real-time decisions, which im assuming was to make sure that AI didnt just stick to pre-determined strategies at the start of the race. Anyways, the rain starts to lighten(omg codies sure got weather transitions spot on, you can actually see the sky lightening and feel the track drying once the rain has stopped, its so realistic it reminded me of going down to buckmore park on a off and on rainy day, thats how spot on it is), but the track is still wet and my engineer is telling me my tyres are gone. Its lap 15 and im stuck in a tough spot; do i come in earlier than the pack(im now holding p15 for dear life) and risk using the best life of my tyres on a still-drying track or do i try to brave it out on my inters and hope i dont fall off the cliff in terms of performance? seeing how the rain is still built up on the track i plan for a lap 17 stop, setup for primes. This decision costs me; on lap16 i go wide at turn 14...that braking zone is hard to hit right with no ABSwith worn tyres, i floated across the track narrowly missing the gravel trap thank god...i look on the full map and see the leaders are going into the pit, and i am now down in p17...oh well, still 1 above my target. Interval to D'Ambrosio is +40 seconds so i decide to pit on this lap. Ive been running on lean to reduce wheelspin and notice my fuel is now at +4, and Barichello is only +8 seconds away...on a spur of the moment call in the pitlane i decide to throw on options to see if i can regain a few positions. All goes well coming out the next few laps but barichello is pulling away on primes...go HRT go! sadly i think any advantage i had with options is killed by the williams increased performance, which isnt helped by the fact that i had my wet level of downforce which really hurt my top speed. Seeing as how my gamble had not paid off and i still had 10 laps to go on options designed to go roughly that distance i pulled back on the mix setting and cruised into the sunset, thinking i could just ride out for a decent 17th place and impress my team...i guess i underestimated the penchant for drama in 2011! Like a thief out of the night, Heidfeld makes a appearance having taken 18th place from D'Ambrosio; and now he is only 28 seconds away! All good right? the problem is he is gaining on me at a rate of about 1.5 seconds a lap, and now im having to be cautious as the leaders are coming around to lap me for the 1st time. I'm trying to avoid penalties by making sure they get through safe but on lap 22 he is now right on my ass...i kick back into mix3 and maintain a solid 3 seconds gap, praying i can keep him out of drs...unfortunately, button and alonso show up with heidfeld in tow, and during the move where i let them have the line into turn 5 heidfeld is getting TOO close for comfort. We race hard all the way down to turn 15...bum bum bum... On turn 15 i run a little bit wide; not off the track wide but id say a car width off the racing line. Heidfeld seizes this opportunity and i see him in my left mirror. He wont overtake me, i figure, but i know if i just take the wide line he will get the run down to turn 1 on me with that lotus renault outrunning my crappy cosworth engine and i will definately lose the position; so i pull a trick out of the f12010 playbook and pull onto the racing line as i straighten out, hoping to shut the door and force him to try to tuck around to the inside for the pass. His indicator dissapears; but to my shock and awe he hasnt braked like i hoped he would, but apparently smashed right up the back of me and is now clipping off his front wing on the outside wall; hamilton-esque moment. in 2010 i probably would have gotten away with this, sadly this is 2011 and the stewards decide to hate on my black *** and punish me with a nice little drive through penalty. As I pop out the pits heidfeld is now 5 seconds ahead of me, and good old pastor maldonaldo has crept up to within 3 seconds as well, accompanied by vettel and button, who are jockeying for the win in the final laps. Not wanting a 3rd drive-through in 2 races i kindly leave them the line into turn 4, but low and behold maldonaldo catches me napping; must have used kers and late-braked into the corner because smoke popped out his front right, but he was ahead and there was no coming back. I crossed the line having completed 26 of 28 laps, +2 and in 19th, failing my team objective but beating luizzi who was in 23rd position, but somehow managed to outdo me for fastest lap in both races(yikes). I am so excited about this game, its everything i hoped for. In 2010 all the races were mind-numbing repetition only made difficult by my perfection complex and hatred of flashbacks. I may have spent 4 hours of my life to do 2 races, but damn both races left me sweaty and i actually feel like they had personality and drama, compared to the 24car time trial that was career mode in f12010. So happy, so satisfied, gonna be playing hard until 2012 or until my wheel breaks, thank you codemasters!