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Varying grip-level in race?

Discussion in 'Presto GP' started by Anthony Ishak, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Q: 8Th, (correcting Jim post).

    R: 7TH.

    I was on Reik setup, 70L fuel meds 1st stint 55 L meds second stint, 55 L and softs 3rd stint.

    It was a strange race again , for the last 4 seasons or so I was noticing something weird happening from time to time with the server on the race day, the game acts strangely, the car feels different and the grip level reduces so I lose more time per lap compared to the time I normally do during the practice stints prior to each race.

    now you might think that this is normal when a person is nervous and stressed with traffic etc during the real race that makes one go a bit slower than the usual race pace but in my case I have been studying this phenomenon for the last 4-5 seasons or so digging for an answer , and now I am 100% convinced that something is not correct and the server behaves strangely from time to time and changes the grip level of the track .

    As a guidance , I have been taking the qualy time that I can comfortably do for a particular track and then adding to it a 1.6 to 2.0 seconds depending on the track to work out where my race lap time should be .

    At Abou Dhabi this year my PB was 136.1x and my comfortable qualy lap was between 136.4 to 136.8 ( which I achieved in this race) and almost every single practice stint I have done prior to the race my lap times were between 138.0 to 138.5 , for softs and meds , which falls within the normal 2 seconds of my qualy time . I was happy with the race setup, fuel and tires; I saved the setup and was ready for race.

    As soon the race started and after we completed the first lap I could immediately feel that something was not correct with the grip level, the car was understeering, the track felt soapy and the game felt like if I was out of sync with the rest on track, it was impossible to drive the car the way I have set it up and I was lapping 3 to 4 seconds slower than my qualy time and my best lap was 139.5 which was done at the 1st stint which is 1 sec slower than my practice stint lap time, and the strange part was when I put on the softs at the 3rd stint but instead of lapping faster I was lapping even slower than the 1st stint ! I could not even go below the 139.5 with the lesser fuel I was carrying at that time and I was lapping in the 140xx.. I was in a clear air for the most of the race, so that was a big worry for me.

    What I have noticed for the last 4-5 seasons is:
    When the server was acting normal, my best lap time was always and exactly 1.8 to 2.2 sec of my qualy time .
    When the server was not acting normal , my best lap time was always and exactly 3 to 4 sec of my qualy time.
    So there is an exact pattern in both situations, but what it is exactly it is?

    It is very frustrating when this happens, there is no fun driving such a weirdo car. I have been experiencing this in many races now, it happened this year at Hungary and now at Abou Dhabbi, my guessing is this happens when we rotate the server during the practice start but I still can’t find a clear reason for it. I have mentioned it to Nico before but it was hard to track it so I thought to posted it here maybe another person in the league is experiencing the same or can give an answer to that ?

    Sorry for writing this long post.:sleep:
    Grats Reik , Sean and Tim
    Thanks Nico:thumbsup: .

    • Like Like x 6
  2. Jim Hawley

    Jim Hawley
    PrestoGP Veteran


    Your right, I was indeed Q 7th not 8th as in my report

    I felt the track had slightly less grip in the race compared to my practice stints and was around .75 slower on average throughout the race, but it might have just been me not driving as well:rolleyes: or maybe it was all in my mind

    It's not something I'm overly concerned about, if there is a difference in fact it adds a bit more realisim I think? in real life no track is ever the same from one day to the next so if we have to cope with varying grip levels then so be it

    • Like Like x 9
  3. I noticed that too, qualy felt really slippy, i mentioned it in the game chat... Practice servers were on at the same time, btw.. The track should've not cause problems but i did only superficial inspection, didn't check LODs thou (LOD = Level Of Detail, a term that has two functions, the one we are talking now is the LOD out value, after you are that distance away from the object, it isn't included in the scene, can vary from 0m to 10km..).. If they are incorrect, for ex set to same value, which often happens in batch-script edits, it will cause issues in the client end but server should not be affected by this, it doesn't load any visuals.

    There can be some grip level randomization in the game but if there is, it's not noticeable.. It of course may be that the random is treated, maybe uses some sort of median, bell curve, so extreme values would be then rare. Hasn't shown itself with offline tests so i highly doubt that.

    The server had synchronisation problems with us, when we did practice starts, i noticed syncros as high as -450ms so lag was present. My game was choppy, it was awful in the first join, second join didn't help but once others did the same, the situation somewhat improved. In the race it varied, long stretches of smooth and then alone, no one was even close, choppy again. That choppiness may cause grip problems, two systems are doing a tug-of-war on which location is the correct one for your ca, possibly?

    Steam had a client update coming, i had to do it between my exit/rejoin..
    • Like Like x 7
  4. Hope it is ok that I moved the posts here :)

    Jim, reading your post I get the impression you assume that if there is varying grip, it is the same for all, and thus does not matter much. If the assumption is correct I agree.

    A possible culprit could be the track temperature. In qualify I have noticed that the track temperature starts at 20,0 and slowly climbs to perhaps 22,0 at the end of the session. Looking at my telemetry from the race it sais the track temperature was 25,4 at the end of the race. I assume it starts, like the qualify, on 20,0, but this should be easy to verify.

    When practicing for the race I managed to stay in the 1:38's for the first 8-10 laps (1:38,2xx and upwards) and then I usually had a 1:40,xxx on the last lap (14). Looking at my telemetry from the race again, the only lap I did in the 1:38's was lap 16.

    So my theory, in short; the first stint is the only one with identical grip as the stint server, but there is usually traffic and a lot going on, so for most it is not easy to go "hot-lapping". Starting stint 2 the track temperature is higher than at any time in stint 1 (and practice servers) and still going up.

    One way to strengthen (or weaken) my theory is if others can check their lap times and find out when they had the best raw pace. If the tendency is that most have their best lap in the first half of the race, it strengthens my theory, and vise versa.
    • Like Like x 5
  5. David Turnbull

    David Turnbull
    PrestoGP Veteran

    me and sean discussed this a couple of time since the race, it seemed like the 3rd stint was way less grip than the first 2, my explanation is track temps, obviously at the start of the race the track temp is low, by the 3rd stint it was at its highest point which would make the tyres grip and wear window alot smaller/shorter, thats how i see it anyhoo, to be honest ive not noticed any other problems and as jim alludes to its the same for everyone so lets treat it as a occupational hazard.
    • Like Like x 7
  6. Can the "Conditions" value in the weather file affect the track temperature?
    Over 60 it's cloudy, and over 70 it's raining, but I don't really know what happens when you change it when you are under 60. Maybe it alters the "sunlight" that raises the track temperature?
    • Like Like x 6
  7. Hmm, perhaps this goes some way to explaining the extra fuel I had at the end of the race.
    I don't really notice this, most likely because I don't watch my lap times. I would probably attribute it to using a weather file; pure speculation. :)
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Don't know if the cloudcover has any effect on track or ambient temperatures.. Ambient temperature is included in every step on the weather file sequence. i'm now a bit shamed that i didn't check ambient/track temps at all during the event.. Maybe Dan has modified them too, that was my idea between seasons to use varying temperatures during dry races...

    Cloudcover is directly related to humidity value or condition and it affects how fast track dries out and when it reaches 70 it starts to rain. Ambient temp -> track temp <- humidity (cloud cover..) relation is easy to test, make custom weather file, use a fixed value on temperatures and make condition value ramp from 0 to 69 and back to 0 in a course of an hour. Map Time Acceleration to some key and watch it in fast forward..
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Weather text file was used. The Ambient temperature is always 20, but the track temperature seem to vary out of Daniel's direct control (always, not only this race), as it is not set in the weather file. Here is a small piece of the Abu D. weather file:
    • Like Like x 4

  10. I copied this post from Season 5 race 4 Suzuka post race, as you can see i had the same issue in the past where i mentioned that i had an issue with the temperature that affected the grip level. Something could be related to the weather file, but why it is mainly me who is noticing/affected by this issue?

    • Like Like x 1
  11. I wont be complaining about the varying grip level from one day to the next if everyone on track is experiencing the same but when it is couple of people who only experience the lack of grip then it is something to worry about , and i have to say that i fully trust my driving and i can feel if something is wrong with the grip level or not, i mean who does not feel that something is wrong when the race starts and the person takes all the turns and kurbs exactly as he has been practicing but somehow he is lapping 1 to 1.5 seconds slower than all the practice stints that he has done prior to the race day? that is not normal , and why it is not happneing in every race? it is something that i have been experincing in few races in the past .
    Here are some of the complaines i posted in my race reports in the past about the same issue that affected the grip level.

    sorry for all these posts :)

    Season 6 race 9 barcelona


    Season 8 race 3 nurbergring


    Season 9 race 1 Hungary

    • Like Like x 2
  12. That is very very strange.. I can't think of anything that could cause this.. Hmm, maybe the game switches from server weather file to internal weather file. Could you attach your current weather.txt here, it's in My Docs\SimBin\Race 07\UserData\LOG. It's a far fetch, doubt that the game works that way but it's worth to check.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. The weather file is attached, thanks Kennett.

    I know guys it is not an easy task to solve such an issue and i do not want to waste your time as we have more important things to do so what i am going to do is i will keep an eye on the track temperature in the remaining races and whenever i feel something is wrong i will print screen the telemetry after the race and post it here mybe this way we can find something.

    Time to prep for Watkins :thumbsup:

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
  14. Reik Major

    Reik Major
    Premium Member

    I like to step in here with my observations about weather files to get a feedback if I'm right or wrong and maybe help a little bit.

    some thoughts and observations:

    Even though Daniel strictly sets the Ambient temp to 20°C, it climbs up for me from 20°C in the begining of the race to ~ 24 - 26°C in the end of the race. So I asume the track temp slightly increases by just driving on the track with many cars. Right?

    I checked Anthonys current weather.txt. For "Race1" the track temp is consistantly set to 32,05°C and the ambient temp raises from ~25°C to ~32°C (at minute 61). So if Kennett is right and Anthonys game fell back to its own random file at Abu Dhabi, he should have had track temps from 32 - 38°C and ambient temps from 25 - 32°C. Could you check that Anthony?

    As I see in Nicos quotation of Daniels weather file, it looks like Daniel doesn't strictly define the track temp to be 20°C like the ambient temp but looking into Anthonys ingame file it looks like it's possible to define the track temp itself.

    So to find out if people have different track temps, we could ask Daniel to strictly set it to 20°C too (like the ambient temp). So in theory everyone should always have track and ambient temp at 20°C and those who had different values would notice it much easier. Maybe that first step helps to find out more about the problem.

    Then we could see if the varying grip problem still exists, even though everyone has track and ambient at 20°C.

    In addition or as an alternative try to my above suggestion I could make a weather.txt for Anthony using constant 35°C for ambient and track temp. If he drops it into MyDocs\SimBin\Race 07\UserData\LOG and makes it write protected the game uses it in offline mode when choosing changeable weather. If Kennetts theory is right and the game falls back to this file in an online session, it could be proved by Anthony seeing exactly those 35°C for track and ambient in his telemetry, right?

    But if Anthonys game realy falls back to its own random weather file from time to time I wonder if he sometimes should have had completly different weather then the rest. For example we have rain and he has sun?
    • Like Like x 2
  15. 1 & 3: The weather file defines the starting temperature of the track and it changes according to ambient and humidity.. This makes me think that clients must do those calculation or server streams different parameters where track temperature is included. Doubt that it's the latter, our clients handles all the physics calculation and i believe that includes weather.

    4: True for ambient, not true for track, AFAIK.

    5: The game should not be able to make drastic changes, the curves are always smooth.. It would be useful to see how fast that change happens.. If the servers weather sequence is for ex in 2 minute intervals it can go from 0 to 100% in two minutes but afaik, it much closer than that.. I've tested full squarewave changes (0 100 0 100) with different intervals and 2 minutes seemed to be too short for that change to happen completely. This needs confirming.
    • Like Like x 3
  16. Reik Major

    Reik Major
    Premium Member

    Thanks for the infos Kennett. From reading the files I just thought it would be possible to define the track temp also for each interval (each minute or so), so it would be a consistant number.

    btw I use this handy tool to create me some nice weather if I like to make an offline test. As far as I remember it defines the intervals in one minute steps.

    Finally I'm still clueless about the grip level problem. I think I didn't ever experience it. Even when the problem was noticed by many drivers on the servers where a few tracks cycled through I didn't have that problem. But honestly I hadn't been on that server much in the past.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. 3: You can state what the conditions will be like at the beginning of the session: ambient temp, condition, track temp and track wetness. However it will start do deviate from these values set as the time passes. I've used an initiall wetness on some occations to get wet track but no rain at the start of a session, but I've not tried the initall track temp, so I don't know if it works.
    I could set the track temp to 20 degrees at the start of the session if you want to try it.
    • Like Like x 4