Tale of a career Season 5. Expert Mode 75% Distance

Discussion in 'F1 2011 - The Game' started by David O'Reilly, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Tale of a Career Season 5
    David O’Reilly FigjamRACER leaves Williams and joins Mercedes AMG
    Game Mode Expert 75% dist, Cockpit view.
    Authors note: I have written this story to hopefully share the fun of a dramatic culmination to a 5 season career in the game. It’s also to provide some tips and help done in an entertaining format. It is comprised of two main sections per race and two other subsections.
    Part one- The facts: Some specific data and key race information. Also includes some strategy notes about the track eg: Track Data such as preferred (dry) strategy eg O/O/P. AI Pace: AI Strategy, Tyre wear and fuel use. The author has tested the relative pace of Primes vs Options on both high and low fuel for every track. It results in an important little piece of data; the “relative prime penalty”. In some tracks this penalty is bigger on high fuel in others it’s bigger on low fuel. We try to use primes where they penalise us least! For examples in Melbourne the penalty on high fuel is .5 sec and on low fuel 1.0 sec so we use them first. Malaysia is the opposite so we start on options. China punishes prime runners in stint 3. These findings are inherent in the recommended strategy. This type of information may be of interest to readers with a technical bent or those looking for an edge in their f1 2011 career.
    Part two-The narrative: The story of the race. How it unfolded stint by stint. How it felt from the drivers perspective. I will try to be succinct but hey I get into it and I like writing so if it’s not for you stick to part one ok.
    Game observations and tips will also be made from time to time. And finally...
    The Hyperbole or Storyline- This is pure fantasy where the author takes actual in-game events and adds poetic license with interviews, drama or background stories some transposed from real life and others plausible scenarios the game forgot to elaborate on that probably could have happened. This is for readers of drama and fiction. If it’s not for you the same advice applies as above!
    Background and the tail end of season 4:
    4 Seasons with Williams.
    Our driver has helped develop the car from a mid pack finisher to by season 3, a more competitive car. Previous seasons have seen 2-3 wins only on soft AI tracks (Sepang, India) and strong favourite tracks (Monaco).WDC results from about P8 to P5. Rubens has been well outperformed which puts paid to any lofty WCC aims.
    Political problems occur in season 4 when our car seems to have stalled in development and no quicker than season 3. Rubens Barrichello however has a big form improvement and starts out qualifying our driver by significant margins. By race 16 Rubens has out qualified him 13-3. Our driver sees this as a problem and does not fully appreciate that it almost guarantees a Constructor title if he performs well.
    Drives are offered by Lotus Renault and then Mercedes AMG. Our driver faces a quandry: what will the Williams car be like in season 5? Will it improve or has it reached its development potential? The season 4 Williams in our drivers’ hands struggles to make Q3 but Rubens is regularly on the front row!
    There are other issues. Our driver has outraced Rubens but he is 10 points behind Vettel going into race 15 the Japanese Grand Prix and wonders if the Williams can bring the Drivers title at all. There is also the small matter that even if it does succeed then still to be a true legend one needs to win the WDC in more than one team. (game award). Further, if he changes teams then which one will give him a winning car but also great racing. eg: a Red Bull would win almost every race.
    A decision is made after the Japanese Grand Prix where Rubens wins, Vettel P2 and our driver is P3.
    Here follows the press conference after Japan as reported by “The Blown Diffuser
    The following interview by Chief Reporter David O'Brundle takes place at Japan in career season 4 for David O'Reilly. He has raced for all 4 seasons with Williams.
    Interviewer: We are here at Suzuka where earlier today Williams enjoyed a double podium with Rubens Barichello the race winner and Sebastien Vettel spoiling the chance of a Williams 1-2 by coming second.
    The team are in fact leading the Constructors Championship with a slender gap over RedBull. This is due in no small part to a stunning season from a seemingly re invigorated Rubens Barrichello.
    Rubens quailfied on the front row whereas David O'Reilly had to fight from P10 on the grid to reach 3rd.
    We're off to attend the drivers post race interviews. Its well into drivers silly season and usually by Suzuka top drivers have started to lock in some plans. Lets see what we can dig up.
    Firstly Rubens: Congratulations on the win. You took great advantage of your front row in qualifying how was it from your perspective?
    “The team gave me a stunningly quick car this weekend, both in qualifying and race trim.
    Sebastien just edged me out in quali and for the first stint I was able to run with him but not pass. In fact apart from David who was +4 sec after 6 laps we had pulled a gap of about 12 sec on the rest of the field by the first pit stops.
    There was no way to pass Seb on the track so I asked the team to switch strategy and we went Opt/Opt/Prime. Seb ran primes in the second stint and the extra pace of the options meant that when Seb rejoined after the second stint I had track position. I took risks in the outlaps on the primes and it paid off. Seb pushed me hard for the whole of his final stint on the options but the car was quite nice on the primes and I was able to defend.
    Sebastien. Pole and second place in the race. Valuable points in the WDC and you move to just 13 points ahead of David O'Reilly. How was your weekend?
    “It is nice to still be leading the WDC and the car is fast. I was surprised at Rubens pace in both qualifying and the race. But then again he has been very strong in quali all season.
    The team thought that Opt/Pri/Opt was the optimum strategy. We through we had the Williams #1 covered but Rubens made a very good second stint and pulled me within a stop so I returned on options behind him.
    We have 4 races to go and so 100 points available so we must be realistic that its still very close. We have to perform. The RB7 has been stunning in quali and race trim so we have every chance to retain the WDC. “
    Returning to David: You are lying second in the WDC. Today was a great drive from P10 on the grid to a podium. Give us your thoughts.
    Firstly congratulations to Rubens. It was a stunning drive to hold off Sebastien in that final stint and a good strategy from the team to get him track position.
    Interviewer: Rubens has had an edge in qualifying this season what do you put that down to?
    “It’s a mystery to me. Sometimes the car has good pace and others not. Today I could only stay within .5 sec per lap in race trim. Rubens and Sebastien were in a class of their own today and by the end of lap 6 it was clear I was fighting for 3rd place.”
    Interviewer: You are only 13 points from Sebastien in the WDC. Are you happy that the car will let you challenge for what would be your first title?
    “If I'm frank no I am not. I have had to take big risks in the races as the car has rarely had the quali pace to do better than P10. Apart from my very strong tracks I have had to rely on innovative strategy such as no laps in Q3 and very agressive starts to get in a position to reach the podium”
    Interviewer: That sounds like you have some frustrations David. We are led to believe that you started the season with #1 driver status but have recently been demoted to equal status. Your contract is up at the end of the season. We understand that Frank Williams has offered you a drive for next season so where does that leave you with contact negotiations?
    It leaves me in a strange place really. I have led the team in points for 4 seasons, am currenly #2 in the WDC with a real shot at winning the title and we as a team lead the Constructors but I am asked to sign as equal status. I look at Rubens pace and wonder why his car has suddenly been consistently faster all season whereas mine seems to have stalled in development. I have had to fight the car this season to win 4 races out of 15 so far.
    Well we planned to call a press conference in the morning rather than announce such things here but......
    Interviewer: We are informed that Eric Bouillier has made you an offer?
    We did indeed have substantive discussions with Eric and the team. They are in a good place with development and I think they will have a good season next year. However the commercial aspects of the negotiations did not suit both parties.
    In fact Ross Brawn has made me an offer to join Mercedes Benz next season and I have decided to accept. I want to drive the most competitive car available to me and win multiple races and titles. I have seen the plans for next year and believe that I can win consistently.
    I will do my very best to bring the Drivers and Constructors title to Williams this season as a thank you for 4 years of great racing and support.
    Interviewer: Well OK we were not really prepared for this bombshell but it’s out there now. I guess we will wrap this up discuss this further at a later stage.

    Well it’s now Monday morning and we have taken David O’Reilly for a coffee to try to learn more about the shock move to Mercedes Benz.
    Interviewer:So David was it an easy decision?
    It was far from easy. I thought about a lot of things; the prestige of winning the WDC in a car that isn’t the fastest, the fact that Rubens pace has both really lifted the teams WCC chances and at the same time made me push like crazy to beat him.
    I suppose part of it was being flattered to have Ross Brawn himself approach my agent. We had certainly not even thought about Mercedes Benz.
    Interviewer:That part of it is interesting to our readers which teams had you targeted?
    Initially I thought I had done enough to get an offer from a top tier team such as RedBull, Ferrari or McLaren. Ferraris silence I can understand as they always want a #2 that will offer unquestioning support to Fernando. They know that I will not drive as a #2 and if that doesn’t suit them, fair enough. Which brings me to RedBull. In the current specs theirs is the best car. Yet I have beaten both RedBull drivers in a Williams for goodness sake. If they think that they have something special in little Seb I have news for them. He is good at winning when he is in the fastest car and when he is not he struggles.
    Interviewer:Have you endeared yourself to the team with your outspoken views on Dr Helmut Marko?
    OK Good point!
    Well I will simply look forward to taking the RedBulls apart next season in the Mercedes. I respect Mark Webber but as for the rest of them, it’s going to be fun.
    Interviewer:Who else was approached ?
    If I’m totally honest I think that I wanted the approach from RedBull more than I wanted the drive. I look at Vettel and now I think that a drivers’ championship in the current RedBull is a bit like one in the active suspension Williams FW14B of 1992. I would rather drive a quick car but one that when you take a pole you have earned it. I suppose I think of Senna in the Lotus and those stunning poles in a car that was not ideal. So the more I thought about it, the less I wanted that drive.
    Interviewer:But you had a contract offer from Lotus, surely that would have fitted that criteria?
    The offer from Lotus Renault was a bit too early in the season. I was still curious what other offers would materialise. Also while I was at Monza I took the Lotus Renault and the Mercedes Benz and the Williams all for a qualifying session in GP mode. The Lotus Renault was no faster than my current Williams due to its 4 years of upgrades. The Mercedes was around 1 sec per lap faster. I suppose I didn’t want to go backwards or even stay still in car performance terms.
    Interviewer:So what did the deal for you?
    The first part of the decision (to leave Williams) was made for me when the team demoted me to "Equal status" and appeared to be supporting Rubens.
    The second part (to join M/Benz), I just figured that I can win in the Mercedes but that there will still be a challenge. Also I can bring the team its first WDC. They showed faith in my ability. Last but not least I will either get to replace Michael Schumacher or beat him. Both those possibilities are very attractive.
    Interviewer:So which of the current driver line up will you replace?
    Best you ask Ross Brawn that one!
    The season moves to
    Race 16 Korea
    Wet quali and dry race. Our driver is P15 in quali but manages to mug the AI in sector 1 and take P6.
    Race 17 India.
    Status: Enter the race narrowly behind Vettel in WDC. Williams lead WCC.
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategy O/O/P. AI Pace: medium. AI Strategy: 2 stop. Tyre wear medium. Fuel use med-high.
    Practice: Managing about P6 in all sessions. Team mate Rubens is fast again in all sessions. He leads “Team mate Challlenge” qualifying statistic 13-3.
    Q1 Wet –(Inters) P12 on inter setup. Appr +1.0 sec.
    Q2 Wet –(Inters)P9 same
    Q3 Wet –(Inters)-Drying. All AI go out on options from the off. I use inters and switch to my Full Wet setup. It’s 2.5 sec faster. I take provisional pole. But with 5 mins left, a drying line appears and tyre temps are going up. AI now rocking on options and have put me into P4. At 3 mins 30 sec I Pit for options and 1 flying lap. Cross line with 30 sec left and put in clean lap. Faster by 4 sec than the inters. Pole position for only the second time (Monaco is the other).
    Race Narrative: Dry Weather. Vettel pushes very hard on the opening laps and at lap 3 pushes a bad outside position in twisty parts of sector 2. I am less than welcoming. He spins off and rejoins in P14. Awesome! Perez attacks for all of stint 1. Alonso in P3.
    We all pit lap 13 + or – 1 lap. Perez is on same strategy as me O/O/P, Alonso fits primes so he is the danger. I can cover Perez but Alonso will be freed when I pit. We need a gap to Alonso. I push hard in stint 2. Perez runs with me but we make 10 sec on Alonso. Vettel is setting fastest laps but has only made it back to P10.
    Second round of stops. Lap 25, Perez stops before me, my tyres are still good and he is going for primes and will have 2 slow laps so I turn up the engine and push for 2 laps. I pit and rejoin well ahead of Perez initially but behind Alonso. Massa and another car still on primes and yet to pit are on the pit straight. I get greedy on my cold primes and try to hold them off into turn 1. There is contact and I ½ spin they both pass. Now so does Perez! I am P4. 3 will stop so I am now net P2 on the track. Now or never for the win , can I catch Perez. Mix 2 for 1 lap to get the primes warm then mix 3. Gap is 3 sec then 2.5 then 1.8 3 laps later I have him under DRS. During this intense battle the prime runners have pitted. Its lap 31 of 45 I am now P1.
    Alonso attacks on options but Perez hold him off. We maintain position to the chequered flag. Pole and Race win double for only the second time and only the 6th win of the season but now leading the WDC by 5 points with only Abu Dhabi and Brazil to go.
    Race 18 Abu Dhabi
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategy O/O/P. AI Pace: medium. AI Strategy: 2 stop. Tyre wear medium. Fuel use med-high.Dry conditions.
    Quali P10
    Race P9
    Race Narrative:Leading the race after an aggressive opening sector. Vettel has a problem and rejoins P24. Makes his way to P17. This is looking good. We push the options stint too hard and spin at turn 3. Lost front wing. Pit and rejoin P13. Manage to finish P9. Vettel is P10 and out of the points. Lucky save.
    Now lead WDC by 7 points only. It is going down to the wire. If Vettel wins and I am worse than P2 he is World Champion.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Race 19 Brazil -Season Finale

    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategy P/O/O. AI Pace: med AI Strategy: 2 stop. Tyre wear medium. Fuel use high.

    Quali Dry Result-Pole.

    Race Narrative:In an ironic twist my WDC and in-game rival Vettel is P3 and Rubens P5 so they are lined up right behind me.
    Superb race. Weather forecast is 27% wet. It’s pouring as we start. We take a wet setup but move 7th gear to near the dry ratio.
    It’s as though the game wanted to leave the best test for last. Heavy rain then drying. Rain stops but track stays very wet. We are P1 and -30 sec. AI switch to inters. We run wet tyres to lap 21 when temps get high and tyres go off. Webber is catching. Pit for inters. Gap is maintained for this stint. Lap 35 the AI are pitting for options, the drying line is getting better and tyre temps are rising. Lap 38 we pit for options and return in P1 and bring it home for the win

    Final WDC result:
    Our driver 277, Vettel 257, Rubens 204. Its ours by 20 points along with the Constructors.
    The World Constuctors Championship Williams 481, RedBull 441, Ferrari 317. Frank Williams is reportedly speechless.

    3 Ingame awards: WDC on Expert, WDC in career, WCC in career.

    Storyline-Frank Williams PR guys however manage to pen a mildly congratulatory tome that emphasises the hard work that the team has put in and that the strong result from Rubens in qualifying and in the WDC demonstrates the intrinsic pace of the Williams package at this time. Thats PR speak for saying a monkey could have won the WDC in his car. It evokes memories of Mansells comments once Prost replaced him in the active suspension car. Our driver is livid. Frank has his pride but come on! Vettel outpointed Rubens by 53 points and I did by 73 points. Let’s see how his car runs without our driver in it shall we?
    Our driver packs his bags including the WDC trophy and it’s time to farewell Williams. Helpfully we are able to take Ed my race engineer of 4 seasons with me to Mercedes. There are rumours of a Venezuelan pay driver filling my race seat. Let’s see how he gets on.

    Oh and yes please feel free to click like if you are enjoying this little saga and Ill prioritise keeping it up to date which will save you having to buy the hard cover book at Amazon later cheers.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Andrew Ford

    Andrew Ford

  4. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Race 1 Melbourne
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategy P/O/O. AI Pace: high. AI Strategy: 1 stop. Tyre wear medium. Fuel use med-high.
    Targets: Quali. 9 Race. 7
    Practice: Car is understeering on high fuel in both low and high speed corners, we adjust ARBs and find .3 sec improvement.
    Quali: (Dry) I ignore my quali target and prioritise race strategy using primes @ 1.25.188 for P15. Michael is 1:24.9 for P12 on options. Perez is on pole.
    Race Result: Winner Maldonardo. Self P5, Fastest lap 1:26.252. (Fastest AI lap 1:25.288) Michael P9.
    WDC Our Driver 10pts P5 Michael 2 pts P9
    Stats: WCC Mercedes P5
    Team mate challenge
    Out raced David 1-0
    Podiums nil
    Qualifying Michael 1-0
    Fastest Lap David 1-0
    WDC Points David 12- 2
    Race Narrative: P6 by lap 2 after aggressive first sector. Despite primes we hold AI to -6 sec by lap 15 for options stint. Second stint is strong and we are P4 when we pit for second stop at lap 30. Button passes and we hold P5 till the end despite attacks from Kobayashi and fuel management issues. There is a slight game bug as some AI go to lap 24 on their qualifying worn options prior to 1 stopping.
    Storyline. Frank Williams has the first laugh as his new boy and my replacement Maldonardo wins on debut. Ross Brawn shakes my hand and tells me that he is delighted that I exceeded their expectation of P7 in the race. I report that the car is a little understeery on high fuel in both low and high speed corners. I have mixed feelings, the team seem serious about improving the car and are happy with my drive but still it hurts to see the new guy at Williams on the podium in my old car. I really want to beat this guy sooner rather than later. Michael Schumacher pats me on the back but seems distant, preoccupied.
  5. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Race 2 Sepang
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategy O/O/P. AI Pace: Med AI Strategy: 2 stop. Tyre wear medium. Fuel use med-high.
    Targets: Quali. 9 Race. 7
    Practice: R&D Upgrade: Rear bodywork change +5% rear down-force. Our pace: very competitive.
    Quali: (Dry) 1:30.9 for P6. Michael P12. Webber on pole (Maldonardo is P5).
    Race Result:Winner –Self. Fastest lap 1:33.068/primes (Fastest AI lap, 1;31.905/ opt ) Michael P16.
    WDC Our Driver 35pts P2 (Maldonardo leads +2 points) Michael 2 pts P9.
    Stats: WCC Mercedes P5
    Team mate challenge
    Out raced David 2-0
    Podiums nil 1-0
    Qualifying Equal 1-1
    Fastest Lap David 2-0
    WDC Points David 35- 2
    Race Narrative: Great start and P1 by turn 2. (AI are pretty lame at starts here and can be mugged into turn 1-2.) Lap 10 Vettel is on me and options are going away. I pit for options again rejoining in P13. The slightly early stop for fresh options works well and gives me good pace so 3 laps later after all stops I am in P1. Vettel and Button rejoin on primes so I need a gap going into the final stint when they will have options vs my primes. I push hard and have 12 sec gap when I pit at lap 26 for primes. Vettel and Button hunt me down in final stint and gap stabilises at 5 sec but I ½ spin at final turn onto pit straight. They are now on me. Their options are now past their best however and I defend successfully even if only just and hold P1. Gap is 1 sec.
    Storyline. Mercedes delighted with the win. Ross says that this gives the team real confidence in their direction. I am very happy with cars pace. Norbert Haug feels that he can now ask for more budget.
    We thank the wind tunnel team as the updates to the cars’ rear bodywork seemed to make a difference in the demanding med-high speed corners at Sepang. Maldonardo has managed P4 so holds a 2 point advantage in the WDC. He may start to become a problem.
  6. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Race 3 China
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategyO/P/O or P/O/O. Avoid primes in stint 3! AI Pace high.AI Strategy 1 stop O/P: Tyre wear high. Fuel use med-high.
    Targets: Quali 8. Race 6.
    Practice: R&D Front wing end plate update Front Downforce +5%. R&D target bettered by 2 sec. Our pace very competitive.
    Quali: (Dry) time:1:31.740 (+.666) for P7 for Michael P16.Rubens on pole (Maldonardo is P5).
    Race Result: Winner Maldonardo, Self P2 (+4 sec), Fastest lap (self) 1:32.752 Fastest AI lap +2 sec Michael P13.
    WDC Our Driver 53 pts P2 (by 10 pts) Michael 2 pts P16.
    Stats: WCC Mercedes 55 Points for P2. Gap to next team (Williams) 32 points
    Team mate challenge
    Out raced David 3-0
    Podiums David 2-0
    Qualifying David 2-1
    Fastest Lap David 3-0
    WDC Points David 53- 2
    Race Narrative: Mega pressure from Barrichello in opening laps. He gets by on lap 3 with DRS. I up the mix and stay on him for the next lap and get a DRS shot. I get very very close but my 7th gear seems short and I hit the limiter. I will try to out-brake him. I brake at 170 metres and Rubens totally misses his mark and brakes at about 120! and out-brakes himself. As I turn the hairpin Rubens is pulling his car up near the end of the runoff area. That was spectacular and a first for me to see an AI driver seemingly react to pressure! It was a very human mistake at that corner in China. He rejoins in P10 but is not done yet. The RedBulls attack but lack top speed in DRS zone. Maldonardo however has no such problem and gets by. Tyres have started to degrade earlier than planned so I pit for primes 2 laps early at lap 10. It works well and by lap 17 I am -13 sec from P3 Barrichello. Maldonardo however has not stopped! Finally he pits at lap 17and I am now P1 and -6 sec. I however have to stop again. After the high wear in stint 1 I adjust my stop from lap 28 to lap 30.
    Final stint; Most AI do not stop again so I return from my second stop only just in P3 and must defend hard against Heidfeld on my exit from the pits into T1. Rubens is 10 sec or so ahead and Maldonardo has a gap on him. Fortunately the options in China in stint 3 have almost magical grip. After a lap they are flying. I go purple by 2 seconds. In 6 laps I have Rubens in my sights and we enter the never ending T1 almost side by side. In a very credible “fresh options vs worn primes” kind of way I drive under him as he fights his car through the long turn 1. 6 laps left and Maldonardo is 10 sec away. It just may be possible. I reduce the gap to 4 sec but have run out of laps. I turn down the mix for lap 42 to bring it home safe in P2. Gap to P1 is 4.8 sec. Heidfeld is 34 sec adrift of Rubens. Michael is + 1m20 sec in P13.
    The game is making this very interesting. It’s making victories hard to achieve. Much more fun than cruising around in front! However my old team Williams have kept all the performance upgrades we earned together. There was a big gap up the front to allow me to score podiums but partly due to both RedBulls and Both McLarens DNF around lap 15 which usually means tyre failure when they fail to pit from options. It’s common in Turkey too. Maybe Maldonardo was lucky!
    Storyline The car is feeling more balanced now and a couple of times we recovered from significant “moments”. Achieving the teams quali target meant using options in Q3 so that and the absolute rule at China of options in stint 3 locked us into O/P/O. Eds’ suggested strategy was almost spot on. We just moved stop 1 by 1 lap. The Williams were very fast down the long straight. The switch from Cosworth power to Renault power seems to be a good thing. In contrast the RedBulls had a lack of top speed and could be defended against. The Williams boys seem to be the guys to beat. Pastor is out to prove something and Rubens likewise to show he is no cup cake. Bring on Turkey. A favourite track but with so far a career best of P2.

    Ed and I discuss tyre strategy for Turkey in the light of Maldonardos successful 1 stop.
    Ed reckons that the 4 cars that had DNFs attempting to 1 stop was more convincing than the one car (Maldonardo) that succeeded. Official tyre life for Turkey is primes 30 laps and options 20. We reckon that is fantasy and decide to go 2 stop. Turn 8 is a big g-loading with full fuel and we will start on options. Just need to take care on the out laps on primes. We lock in O/O/P and wish the best of luck to those trying the 1 stop.
  7. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Race 4 Turkey
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategyO/O/P. AI Pace High: AI Strategy 1 and 2 stop: Tyre wear high. Fuel use medium.
    Targets: Quali 6 Race 4
    Practice: R&D Rear floor pan redesign for +5% rear down-force. Targets exceeded by 2 sec. P1 and 2 Wet, P3 dry. Our dry pace: Very competitive.
    Quali: Dry P10 no lap time set in Q3.for P10. (P7 In Q3) Michael P15. Button on pole with 1:23.916 (Maldonardo is P2, Rubens P5).
    Race Result: P1, Fastest lap 1:27.582 (primes) Fastest AI lap 1:26.918 Heidfeld (opt) Michael P8.
    WDC Our Driver 78 pts P1 Michael 6 pts P16
    Stats: WCC Mercedes 84 Points for P2. Gap to Williams in P1 = -3
    Team mate challenge
    Out raced David 4-0
    Podiums nil 3-0
    Qualifying David 3-1
    Fastest Lap David 4-0
    WDC Points David 78-6
    Race Narrative: Cunning plan of no laps in Q3 has not worked, despite driving 1 sector and returning to pits the FIA give us tyres from Q2 @ 90%. Condition.
    Strong start and am P3 by the end of sector 3. Button P1 and my nemesis, Maldonardo is P2. We push hard to stay on his gearbox into the final turn I have swung from wider out and and his line is too acute, Maldonardo runs wide onto the pit straight in another very human error comon in multiplayer. No spin though , he rejoins in P6.
    By lap 4 he is back with Rubens (P3-4) in pursuit. I hope they battle for position and hurt each others’ lap time.
    Lap 11 front right tyre is going off and Ed predicts P9 on rejoin. We pit for second set of options. Rejoin is actually in P8.Alonso is the first AI to pit and covers our strategy with same.
    Lap 13 Rubens punctures .We are P5 and chasing down Webber (-4.8sec) who has not pitted..
    Lap 15 Maldonardo punctures. (it was luck then in China!)
    Lap 19 Webber punctures. We pass Button (on his fresh primes) for P1.
    Lap 24 Alonso pits for primes.
    Lap 26 Buttons primes are in better shape than my options and he is attacking me. He appears to be on a 1 stop and still running. We are yet to stop for the second time. He is a problem now. Ed predicts rejoin ahead of Alonso but behind Heidfeld who stopped on lap 13 so appears to be running O/P/O. He will have pace in stint 3.
    We have saved fuel and are fuel status +3.
    Lap 27 pit and rejoin P2 just ahead of Heidfeld. We defend on cold primes but pull a gap as they come in. Button is -15 sec, it’s time to spend some fuel. We use Mix 3 for long straight in sector 3 and pit straight and mix 2 for the rest.
    Lap 31 Primes are on song. We are now doing mid 1m28s Button mid to high 1m29s and the gap is down to 10 sec. Following laps see gap reduced by .7 sec a lap to 4 seconds at lap 39 of 42. One lap we gain 2 sec buts due to Button in traffic rather than his tyres going off. It’s looking like maybe a last lap pass for the win. We keep pushing like mad.
    Lap 39 we pass Button as he pulls off the track with a puncture. We are denied the dramatic finish. The hot pace has left Alonso (in a battle with Heidfeld) +20 sec.
    We turn down the fuel mix and coast home -17 sec. Heidfelds strategy works for him and his options get him past Alonso for P2.

    A great track to drive and what would have been a very competitive race spoiled by the top AI teams all selecting a 1 stop where it most often doesn't work.

    RedBull Mclaren and Williams want to query the official tyre data and call a meeting with Pirelli. Ferrari. Lotus Renault and Mercedes AMG are reported to be happy. Eric Bouillier expresses his delight at the team backing their own judgement on tyre strategy for a big points haul with P2 and P4.
    Ferrari management reportedly happy with their relationship with Pirelli but deny special access to data.
    Force India’s Paul DiResta pleased to have grabbed the final point for his first of the season.
    Ross Brawn sits in on Ed and my debrief to “model best practice” as he put it. I report that the car felt good with the new rear floorpan redesign. Turn 8 on worn tyres is a good a test of aero balance and the car was very predictable and a couple of slight moments there felt more neutral than they would have in say the Wiliams which would have induced more of a throttle oversteer tank slapper the outcome of which is predicted by roulette wheel.
    Michaels pace is a concern. P8 is an improvement but without 6 retirements it would have been P14. We don’t discuss it but the Constructors is looking unlikely unless he gets his act together. None of this dulls managements fervour and Norbert Haug directs Ross that he has intimated to Head Office in Stuttgart that we should now be targetting podiums. Ed reckons as long as it gets us more budget it’s OK.

    We are in WDC lead but should not be lulled into any sense of false security. The top teams have been hit hard by their poor tyre strategy for two races in a row and will be expected to learn from their errors and fight back hard.
  8. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    A small ditty about life imitating art imitating life!
    Lewis Hamilton will be a valuable addition to the Mercedes AMG team.
    Speaking from team headquarters in Brackley Northamptonshire after a session on the teams simulator David O’Reilly has said that Lewis will be welcomed to the team.
    “The cars development has been moving in a very positive direction and it will be good to have a driver of Lewis undoubted talents to showcase it and set the new benchmark for the team”.
    When asked about expectations and #1 or #2 driver status O’Reilly said “It has always been my goal to race against the best drivers in the world in similar equipment, my time with Williams was a good training ground and yielded one WDC. We will know next season where the two drivers relative performance lays”.
  9. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    Race 5 Catalunya
    Track Data: Preferred (dry) strategy P/O/O. AI Pace Med: AI Strategy: O/O/P or O/P/O: Tyre wear -medium, Fuel use: medium

    Targets: Quali 5, Race 3

    Practice: (incl R&D). Our pace Competitive.
    Quali: (Dry) for P10 (primes). Michael P13 (options). Rubens on pole (Maldonardo is P5).

    Race Result: Winner: Self. Fastest lap 1:19.861 Michael DNF.
    WDC Our Driver 103 pts P1 (37 points above Maldonardo) Michael 6 pts P16
    Stats: WCC Mercedes 109 Points for P1. Gap to next team: not recorded
    Team mate challenge
    Out raced David 5-0
    Podiums nil 4-0
    Qualifying David 4-1
    Fastest Lap David 5-0
    WDC Points David 103-6

    Race Narrative:
    Despite primes suffering a bigger penalty on high fuel at this fairly turny track experience has taught that quali- worn options only yield a pace advantage for 7-8 laps then primes are as fast or faster. Decision is made to ignore teams quali target and go for the win with P/O/O tyre strategy.
    It works well our driver passes the 2 RedBulls for P2 on lap 4. Rubens is leading. By lap 8 we have closed on him and get a pass with DRS. Rubens re passes when I run wide at T5 and take some kitty litter. Most AI pit on lap 13. Rubens having pitted from in front of us is now +15 sec. By lap 15 all AI have pitted.
    We pit one lap early at lap 19 as the primes are going off. Rejoin is in P1 but only -1 sec to Vettel and Rubens. Vettel on options passes Rubens on primes. Vettel will run primes last. He pits first around lap 31 and gets his primes up to temp in an undercut attempt.
    We pit at lap 35 on rejoin Vettel has stayed ahead of Rubens and is only +1.2 sec. With us on options this should now be simply a case of driving away. It isn’t Vettel comes back at us on the primes as my options go off and gets to within 5 sec. Result is us P1, P2 Vettel, P3 Webber who with his options in stint 3 closed to within 2.5 sec of Vettel. Maldonardo is P8. The AI have got their tyre strategy under control and stopped going for a 1 stop.