Following on from the race in Brazil, we’re at another fast, challenging and dangerous circuit, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola in northern Italy. The race has a lot in common with the one at Interlagos so the same general advice about being cautious applies. Here are some specific tips:
- Know your overtaking points. They exist on nearly every corner, but most opportunities only open up for a moment so you have to be committed.
- Be careful where you try to overtake on the long run from the grid down to the Tosa hairpin. Use slipstreaming to get by on the left into Tamburello or on the right on the long section afterwards. Never overtake on the right into Villeneuve or you’ll get cut up; hold back and go by under braking on the inside.
- There’s nearly always a big pile-up on the first lap at the hairpin. Avoid this by keeping to the left and holding well back.
- The sharp Acqua Minerali chicane is a good place to overtake, but no more than one car at a time. Out of traffic, the key to taking this corner steadily is to keep stable under braking and stay well away from the right-hand kerb as you turn in.
- The Variante Alta chicane is fast at 130mph+ on a good lap, but in a long race take it steadily as it’s an invitation to an accident. Being slow through the middle means you can get the power down early on the exit and maybe slip past a backmarker.
- The slight right under the bridge before the run down to Rivazza is a death trap in the wet. Lift off the throttle as you go through.
- The final fast esse at the Variante Bassa is best taken smoothly with minimal braking and without changing down. If you want to overtake going into the slow final corner you can, but will find the controls won’t respond unless you’re almost on the gearbox of your opponent, and gaining on him too. It’s like the slow infield right-handers at Interlagos in this respect.
Here are my car settings for this circuit. The wing settings are low to allow easier overtaking, but you’d be advised to crank the rear up a couple of notches to make it less tail-happy. Tyre wear is low, so take the D grade and stop twice (perhaps even just once) over a complete race distance.
Settings for the San Marino GP at the Imola circuit
Quick 3 lap race – F1GP @ Imola
It’s the second race of the Championship and we’re at the spectacular Interlagos circuit in São Paulo, Brazil. This will be a lot more exciting and challenging than Phoenix. Here are some driving tips
- Brake late for the first corner a fraction after the 100m board and let the speed wash off as you drift towards the apex. Take it easy in the middle of the esse so you can floor it as you move into the long left-hand section.
- The left-hander at the end of the second straight is similar to the first; brake just after the 100m board, but the corner itself is faster and smoother. Don’t try to overdo it mid-corner, concentrate on getting a fast exit.
- The fast right-hander in the infield is a challenge. Change down a gear, but be ready to really go for it on the exit. It’s possible to overtake on the inside going into this one if you’re confident, but be ready to back off if you mess it up.
- The two slow right-handers in the infield are similar. Take them easy, clinging to the apex, just dabbing at the throttle to keep the revs up. Want to overtake here? Using the keyboard to jink past means taking advantage of a steering quirk; you must be both close to the car ahead and gaining on it for the steering to turn more than it already is on the gentle curve. This means hanging well back, suddenly advancing so quickly you risk a collision.
- Be patient on the final left-hander onto the main straight, concentrating on getting a clean exit. Be patient along the straight too, holding back from overtaking until you’ve passed the final kink alongside the pit entry. Beware the car ahead may be getting a tow as well, and you get double the slipstreaming effect!
This is an exciting but dangerous race. Accidents are likely on the long main straight near the pit entrance if you don’t drive cautiously in traffic and think ahead here. Overtaking on the straights is easy, but you can lose a lot of time in the infield if you don’t learn how to overtake there too.
Here are my suggested car settings. Tyre wear is moderate, go with the D grade, and expect to make two stops at 100% distance.
Settings for the Brazilian GP at the Interlagos circuit
Quick 3 lap race – F1GP @ Interlagos
Take care, and corridas feliz!
I thought it would be a nice bit of nostalgia to revisit the circuits of the original Microprose F1GP and share a few tips and car settings. I’ll illustrate them with some YouTube videos of quick races I recorded a while ago. First of all, the golden rule, the one tip that overrides them all:
- Don’t try to set a fastest lap, but see how many laps you can do without having some sort of drama (brushing a wall or other car, or going on the grass etc.). Concentrate on driving smoothly and eventually the speed will come.
Some more specific driving tips that apply to all circuits:
- Brake a little early and in a straight line. Spot the apex (the sharpest part of the inside of the corner).
- Lift off the brakes and turn towards the apex, again a little early.
- Now you should be dabbing at the throttle to keep the engine revs up, before flooring it as you straighten out.
- Don’t overdo it on the exit – you should feel the car moving back towards the middle of the road rather than staying glued to the outside wall.
The distinguishing feature of Phoenix is the sharp symmetrical 2nd-gear corners. It’s quite easy to overtake going into these. Just be bold, plant yourself in the middle of the road behind your rival, brake earlier but not too early; get off the brakes early instead. This will give you the line into the corner.
Here are my suggested car settings. Tyre wear is high on this circuit, but go with the D grade anyway, though it does mean making three stops at 100% distance.
Settings for the US GP at the Phoenix circuit
Quick 3 lap race – F1GP @ Phoenix
See if you can win from the back of the grid in a 3-lap race. Then scale it up until you’re seeing how many times you can lap the field over a full race distance. Happy racing!