Sunday, October 3, 2010

F1-Geeks Play Formula 1 2010

The release of Formula One 2010 by Codemasters brings much anticipated goodness.  These were the guys that made Dirt, and while Rally racing isn't my sport of choice, that game looked great and seemed to perform realistically.  What will the latest F1 game add to our little home on the interwebs?  Read on..

Yes it does look this good.  (All images used totally without permission
from IGN via Voodoo Extreme. Visit them so they may take pity on me.)
The game is awesome.  Available for Xbox 360, PS3, and the PC.  While , not without it's flaws, it gives us a great excuse to buy a force feedback wheel.  We're thinking that this combination of gaming and F1 should provide some otherwise unobtainable insight into each course as well as some entertaining content. For your sake, let's hope we're right.  

As Suzuka is up next in the real calendar, I thought it made the most sense to really learn the game on this track.  I set up a long race weekend as I am totally new to the game and Suzuka was never one of my go-to tracks with previous games.   I'd need all three practice sessions to be ready for qualifying.

I thought I'd try and note how each qualifying session went.  Feel free to rip it to shreds in the comments.

As I sit in the pits with 5:09 left in the first qualifying session I am pretty happy with 2nd place.   Of course the big hitters just went out and took it easy and although it took me three laps to put together a good time, I couldn't improve on the last two and what's worse, is my concentration fell off as did my times.  Three minutes left, need to visualize....

OK, so the second session goes by way too quickly.  It's surprising.  I threw the first lap away in turn 7 of all places (and 9 and 11).  Stupid.  So I figured I could use the practice and didn't worry too much about it.  Lap two was lost at turn 8.  Damn that turn 8.  Let me tell you, 8 and 9 took me out nearly every time.  That is a tricksy set of corners.  More on that in our track analysis
So I registered a time and was about to turn in a decent lap and when my race engineer tells me the session is half over.  As I look up at timing and scoring I brake a moment later than I should.   At the hairpin, that means gravel.   Lap 3 was the best and I couldn't improve on it.  I placed 9th at that time and it held at 10.  Lucky...   Although my wife was quick to point out that I bumped Schumacher.  (Love that woman)

Full stress full time.  Tried  to leave early and was held by my engineer for a clear pit exit.  I got to watch no less than 5 cars go by before I get to come out right on Liuzzi's ass.   Great....   We'll it's the outlap so I can get around him and get a clear track when I start the flyer. I outbreak him into the 130R (turn 15) and fly by.  (Actually that's not entirely true as I never lifted so this was either going to be spectacular or a disaster.)   I was so happy with that move that I blew by 16 and 17 and almost spun.  Still ahead of Liuzzi I lose it into 8 and he's in front for most of the session.   I decide I'm going to just practice the track and come in for tires at about 4 minutes so I can get a good hot lap in.   Unfortunately the racer in me forgot all about that plan and I found myself  side by side with Liuzzi through 4, 5 and 6, and it was "on" (as they say) with me finally passing at Dunlop.    In the excitement, I look up and there's three and a half minutes left.  Not enough time for me to slow in the pits, do an outlap, and then nail a good one.

Screw it, I'm going to have to do this on worn primes (good thing I don't have tire wear effects on).    On the entrance to Dunlop, I drift a bit too wide as I missed the apex and with two wheels on the grass I keep the car going straight and ease it back onto the track.   My right rear hits the curbing that came up and spins me straight into the barrier.   I recover and cross the Start/Finish line with seconds to spare.   Time expires on my way to turn 1 and I'm in full concentration mode.    Hit turn 8 perfectly, and somehow remembered to brake for 9.  The hairpin was smooth and suddenly I'm through spoon with 1:11 on my clock.  Working hard the whole time, manage the Casio Triangle and am just hoping to be in front of Petrov.   I cross the line at 1:37.697 in SECOND!  Just thirty-one-thousandths behind Mark freaking Webber.     Man I love this game.

I fully expect to finish dead last in the race.  I'll post that after it happens.  Right now, I'm going upstairs for some celebratory Mountain Dew and will race tomorrow.

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