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Assetto Corsa: McLaren P1 Review

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Chris, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Chris

    Administrator Staff Premium

    McLaren P1 Review.jpg
    I'd like to start off with a confession if I may: I was a fool - A fool to have been duped into the allure of the ever-powerful, ever-accelerating and seemingly endless rev-range of the Ferrari LaFerrari.

    On paper, the figures speak for themselves, the LaFerrari should in theory be the quicker of the two. It's got 60 more horsepower and weighs nearly 200 kilograms less than the hypercar from Woking, and the McLaren is slower from both 0-100 kph and 0-200 kph. This is an alarming advantage that the LaFerrari appears to have, so I scoffed when people even dared to raise the question of which one would be quicker. It was a no-brainer, right?

    Certainly, in a straight line the Ferrari will beat the McLaren. But the majority of race tracks on this planet aren't as simple as a straight line, in fact some of them even have corners that lead you back to the timing point, hence the term "lap time". It's in these squiggly pieces of tarmac where the McLaren hits back at the Ferrari, and in a big way too. When you think about corners, you cannot go past the track that has around 150 of them, the Nurburgring-Nordschleife: the greatest test of both man and machine, and widely considered to be the most dangerous racetrack in the world.

    But before I get onto the 'Ring, I'd like to give my take on the styling of the car. It certainly appears to be a reversal of my thoughts on the LaFerrari, where I liked the front-end but the rear-end appeared rather ungainly. With the naked eye, it's quite clear that the McLaren has been sculpted from the data retrieved in a wind-tunnel. Personally, I do not like the look of the front end. It looks as if it's been stung by a bee and has become deeply swollen. The front air intake also gives the car a sort of sadistic grin, as if to foreshadow the insane speeds this thing can reach. The rear-end however, is an absolute masterpiece with those rear taillights that hug the contours of the bodywork, the massive exhaust pipe in the middle, the rear floor diffuser which produces a mammoth amount of downforce, and then finally the active aerodynamic rear-wing that moves up and down and changes pitch to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency and downforce production. There are many instances of science being beautiful, and this is definitely one of them.

    McLaren P1 Review 2.jpg
    "There are many instances of science being beautiful, and this is definitely one of them."

    Hurtling around the Nurburgring-Nordschleife in a fast car is one thing, but doing so in the McLaren P1 is something so incredibly special that it needs to be savoured. There's an aura about it when you're driving the P1 at quarter-speed because you know that you're barely scratching the surface of a 903 bhp hypercar, and because you know that it has so much more to give, yet it's incredibly civilised to simply sit in sixth gear at 200 kph. What's stopping you from savouring the moment is that the car is almost egging you on to go faster, brake later, get on the power earlier and take those death defying corners faster than you could possibly imagine any other road car being capable of doing so.

    As I stated earlier, the McLaren is far better at cornering than the Ferrari, and from the drivers seat it feels that the McLaren is far more track-ready than its Italian competitor. The suspension feels stiffer, there's less body roll, it's more stable under braking and it has a more controlled power delivery. The net result of all this means that at most tracks, the McLaren is more than a second per lap faster than the LaFerrari. One second might not sound like much, but at these speeds, it's a huge amount of time to bleed. At a track like Monza however, the LaFerrari is generally quicker because straight line speed is what matters most there, but at the Nordschleife where there is virtually non-stop corners for the best part of eight minutes, the P1 is around about 10 to 15 seconds per lap faster than the LaFerrari. If there's one gripe I have with the way the P1 handles, it's the high speed understeer. Whether that's because of the amount of rear downforce that the rear-wing and the floor diffuser creates, I'm not sure, but I often found myself playing the waiting game for the front-end to re-engage and bite into the tarmac. This is not the case in the Ferrari which has far more responsive steering and front-end grip, even if it feels less stable than the McLaren as an overall package.

    McLaren P1 Review 3.jpg

    The noise the P1 makes in Assetto Corsa is astonishingly life-like. The moaning growl of its' huge V8 engine combined with the hissing turbos creates an incredibly immersive and visceral feeling when driving it, and it's eerily similar to its real life counterpart. Huge credit to Kunos on this one as their sound department have done a stellar job with the P1. The same cannot be said of the LaFerrari as it sounds virtually nothing like it's screaming V12 real life counterpart.

    The McLaren P1 has vastly exceeded my expectations in terms of performance, and I'm very interested to see which is fastest in the real world, that is if McLaren and Ferrari can get over themselves and actually agree to do it. I also don't want to rule out the Porsche 918, which I feel I have unfairly dismissed in the past as the sort of 'third-wheel' in this competition. I will reserve judgement on it because as the McLaren has clearly shown, those big glamorous numbers of horsepower and torque, are not everything.

    5 out of 5 stars.
    An absolutely astonishing car, so much so, that it could easily be a candidate for the greatest car ever made.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
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  2. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen
    I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.

    I agree. McLaren IS more fun.

    Also, why does the P1 actually sounds real but the LaFerrari doesn't?
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  3. Brownninja97


    The P1 came out after people completely lost their minds regarding sounds.
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  4. Ado Pusina

    Ado Pusina

    I also favour P1 vs LaFerrari...it feels quicker around the corners, and the laptimes show it.
  5. Torcano


    Maybe I prefer the P1 to the ferrari 'The Ferrari' because I got to see one in person and the way it looked just changed my perspective on that car entirely. No game or picture can do that car's looks any form of justice because the road presence that car has with its extremely aggressive look is just menacing to say the least. Maybe that will change if I ever get to see a LaF in person but for now call me loose in the head but I love the rough and brawler-esque looks of the P1 to the clean and suited up Italian mafia boss look of the LaF. Love the sound of the P1 ingame as well, with all the hissing and bangs and pops going on in the background it just somehow makes the car feel that much more "alive" for the lack of a better word. I adore the P1 just for the fact that McLaren took a step back from their usual sterilized and clinical approach to car making and shoved as much drama as they could to create a beast of a machine. And just the fact that Ferrari are so snobbishly over-protective of their car's performance is annoying to say the least.

    And the DRS button is a sure fire death trap... I keep forgetting to use it and when I do I just end up wetting myself looking at the rate at which the damned thing just starts to rack up those numbers on the speedo. The Ferrari is undoubtedly the hoon of the two though, you can drift it with far more ease than the P1. :p
  6. Mike85


    P1 simply the best!!! nice review!! :)
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  7. Dave Fox

    Dave Fox
    I get there...eventually.

    Enjoyed the read, thanks :thumbsup:
    I really love this car too...

    I feel like i got a bit more from this DLC than others because the P1 was really all I was waiting for......The Nord track wasn't something I was excited about because i thought it was 'just another track', I had never drove it in any sim and didn't really know what all the fuss was about.....then I put the P1 on it.... :ninja: :confused: :poop: .... :thumbsup:

    needless to say, I havn't drove on anything but the Nord since the dream-pack release.
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  8. Blkout


    I've never liked the way the Ferrari TheFerrari feels in this game since it was released, the P1 though just feels outstanding.
  9. JoelGL


    Considering this is the US-spec, and not even the Euro-spec.
  10. Grand Tourist

    Grand Tourist
    Enjoying the beautiful world of Assetto Corsa

    I read somewhere that the P1 in AC is in race mode, and the LaFerrari in sports mode. As I use a 360 pad, I find the Ferrari more enjoyable and driveable. The P1 looks so nervous sometimes, maybe it's just me and the fact I have been making skins all the time for last months in stead of racing. Anyway, it's hard to keep up with the P1 in a LaFerrari.
    And yes, Ferrari are always so arrogant they tell the people who buy their million dollar cars when and how to drive it, absolutely pathetic and for that alone I would buy the P1 in stead.
  11. Chris

    Administrator Staff Premium

    I've wondered about this myself. If you see onboard footage of the LaFerrari in real life, it's no where near as bouncy and floaty as the one in Assetto Corsa. It looks as if the game version is setup in comfort mode.
    The real LaFerrari in race mode seems far more rigid and well balanced.

    I think it'll be very very close in real life. We've just got to hope that the McLaren and Ferrari can actually agree to do it.
  12. Alex Franchini

    Alex Franchini

    Great writeup. The P1 is so much fun! I like the LaFerrari too, but I think it lacks the grace of the McLaren.
  13. betterstranger


    P1 is great but I'd get LaFerrari... More exciting by far, there's always something going on in Italian car. And RACE (TC4) setting makes LaF a lot less wild and more composed.
    But still... I was so much surprised by P1... I thought it would be boring and soulless like Mp4-12c... but it's not. It's really a great machine and you can instantly feel, that both P1 and LaF are bigger and angried bros of Mp4-12c and 458. And in case of P1 a lot more playfull.
    2 all-time greats. One focused more on being super-fast track car, 2nd on being everywhere pure fun and excitement. Even on your hometown roads... Brilliant additions to AC's cars selection.
  14. X|schn|K

    Boobs or Bums?

    Very good review. I consider McLaren P1 - the greatest car of all times.
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  15. Greg Latty

    Greg Latty

    The P1 is definitely one of my all time favorite simulated cars. Nice review..
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  16. Glaurung


    On which facts do you base those statements?
    Looking at RSR Live Timing reports, both cars are close, very close.
    There are some tracks where P1 is faster, and other tracks where LF is faster.
    The difference is always in the order of some tenths, and what stated before:
    the P1 is around about 10 to 15 seconds per lap faster than the LaFerrari
    is not more than pure fantasy.
    Both cars IMHO are two piece of art, alongside Porsche 918, I'll never venture to say one is better than other, because in real life I'll never be able to discover their strengths and weaks, and so far no one else did it.
    Definitely, IMHO, the spasmodic quest for the greatest car ever made is something frivolous and childish.
  17. Radu Oros

    Radu Oros

    The LaFerrari changed a bit with the v1.1.5 update. How does it compare now to the Mclaren P1?
  18. Michael Stead

    Michael Stead

    They just changed the sounds and fixed some typos

    - New LaFerrari sound set
    - Corrected typos on LaFerrari tyres and adjustments on vehicle balance

    So the ferrari should be the same but I wonder if

    - McLaren P1 now has an active aero brake rear wing as per McLaren latest software update

    has affected the mclaren though.
  19. Ernest Aubert

    Ernest Aubert

    I don't have much standing here, really; I don't compete, I just like the pure experience of high-performance driving. But I'll offer my perceptions of the P1 compared to the LaFerrari. The two most noticeable differences to me, driving both cars with their default setups, and with no traction or stability control, but with full ABS, are that in the LF, 1) I have to brake earlier, and B) I have to be more careful accelerating out of a turn to keep the rear end from stepping out. My lap times are very close. I think I slightly prefer the P1; I just feel more in tune with its handling.
  20. Pawel Ziolkowski

    Pawel Ziolkowski

    Considering LaF is quite a bit down on downforce and its heavier, it's a miracle it can keep up with P1 laptimes on most tracks. People might not "like" the LaF handling but it is the best (fastest) way to drive and utilizes all 4 tyres better than P1 handling :p.

    Using data from the wings app in AC which should be at least in ballpark of real figures, LaF has ~40% less downforce difference at 100km/h diminishing slowly as speed increases, 35% less at 200km/h (which is whole 200kg!).
    Idk why it is like that, it might be due to putting visual form above performance thing for Ferrari or that McLaren just did an astonishing job on its car, but if we could put just a touch bigger wings on LaF it would have more similar handling to P1 and smoke it right out :p...

    Frankly this comparison buissness was fun 20-30 years ago when car companies were still trying things out. Right now they could make a road going car that would be faster than F1 cars on track but that would be very costly, look silly and be completely impractical... it's down to details, form factor and prestige now, while track performance means a lot less... at least for potential buyers.
    Silliness aside, i like LaF handling more although it does feel it was not designed to be ran on the slightly cut racing slicks in perfectly rubbered track conditions like we are driving in AC :p

    edit: hmm just noticed this but
    In game it's the LaF that is heavier (by 30kilos) ... going by the wiki LaF curb weight is 118 lighter ... heh idk personally i would actually believe Kunos values as they probably get them with the rest of the data directly from manufacturer, unlike most of the internet knowleage that copy-paste itself into confusion.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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