F1 explained! FAQ for New Players of F1 2011 and know little about the real F1

#1jackacidPosted 9/22/2011 2:53:37 PMmessage detail
I bought this game last year after glowing reviews having known NOTHING about Formula 1. What happened next was becoming obsessed with the game, as well as the sport.

So hopefully this will help those not familair with it in general and help them decide if this is a the game for them.

Overview: This is a sim racer based on the actual sport of Formula 1 (strictly in terms of licensing, this like an equivalent of a European Nascar game.) You do NOT need to know anything about the actual sport to enjoy it. That was very true for me anyway.

Quick FYI on the gist of real Formula One: F1 cars are NOT built equal. They are held to specific (VERY specific) parameters and standards. But teams are able to make their (for example) chassis a certain way, design wings and body elements differently, so long as it all complies with FIA standards.

Given this, there is a performance divide between upper tier teams vs. lower teams and it's mostly based on how much money the teams have or invest. Lower teams are usually the first to bring in new drivers because they are cheap contracts and the drivers are anxious to join F1. If the drivers excel, they are usually eventually signed to higher paid contracts with better teams.

In real life, the current Tiers can be generally viewed as follows (subjective):

Tier 1: Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari
Tier 2: Mercedes, Renault
Tier 3: Williams, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso
Tier 4: HRT, Virgin, Lotus

12 teams, 24 drivers (2 drivers for each team).

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Q: What makes F1 2011 different from your general run-of-the-mill racers?

A: Basically, everything. It is a sim racer and quite challenging, even at lower difficulties. Do not be dissuaded...with practice and patience, lower difficulties are too easy and you'll find yourself removing assists or upping AI to provide a challenge.

The key differences are the formats and regulations in terms of the practice, qualifying and race formats, as well as the finicky rules of F1.

You'll need to master attending a lot more than just keeping the car on the track -- fuel use, tire wear, when to pit, what tires to use given the conditions, DRS and KERS use, etc. All these things are being managed while on the track. Some things are determined in the garage (paddock) before the race.

Also, you are working against the elements. A wet race can have a very different outcome than a dry one. And the weather can change MID-SESSION, so don't count on the starting weather being the same at the end.

Lastly, very technical details come into play in F1 2011, namely things like Tire Temperature, Track Temperature, etc. Cold tires = slower car. Cold track = slower car. Likewise, the track itself literally gets faster the more than cars are on it and this even carries over from Practice to Race Day.

If you love speed and you love all these types of details, this game is likely for you.

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Q: What team do I start with?

A: I suggest Williams or Force India, as they will start you off with KERS (more on this later), something missing from the Tier 4 teams (but can be earned later via R & D.)
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#2jackacid(Topic Creator)Posted 9/22/2011 2:53:58 PMmessage detail
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#3jackacid(Topic Creator)Posted 9/22/2011 2:55:24 PMmessage detail
Q: What is up with the Tire options? Prime? Option? Wet? Help!

A: Tire management is the backbone of strategy in Formula One. It can make or break a race, though this tends to be more true for longer than 20% races. The most obvious time to worry about them is in wet or changing weather condition.s

Of course, this is where the most nitpicky of FIA rules come into play. FRET NOT, casual racer: generally speaking, your engineers will manage all of this for you. But it's good to understand the differences because there may be times where the engineer is not correct (especially true in changing weather conditions.)

First, a quick summary of each type:

- Prime tires: Harder tires. They are usually used in Practice and are the "grunt" tire. They are the slowest dry tire, but last much longer than Options.
- Option tires: These are softer tires and provide faster lap times (approx. 2 seconds/lap), better grip, but get burned up a lot faster.
- Intermediate tires: These are recommended when the track is somewhat wet or damp. They are faster than Wets, but do not last as long. If you are on Intermediates and the track dries too much, they will deteriorate quickly.
- Wet tires: Should only be used in heavy rain. Slower with a ton of grip in slick conditions. But like Intermediates, if the track is too dry for them (including light rain), they will burn up quick.

Rules about Tires:

There different rules based on what session you're in. They are as follows:

Practice/Qualifying >>

- You can use any tires you want during Practice or Qualifying. However, you only have so many sets of tires per weekend, so be careful not to go through them all or you might be short on Race Day. This rarely comes into play for races shorter than 50%, because you'll almost never burn up all your sets in 20% races or less. You can see how many you have of each type through the Tires menu in the Paddock.

Generally, you'll only use Prime tires for Practice, but will want to use Options for qualifying.

Race Day >>

1. Unless it's a wet race (ie, start on wet tires), all drivers MUST use both the Prime AND Options throughout the race.

2. If you qualify in the top 10, you will start the race on the VERY SAME tires you qualified on. This does not mean just the same TYPE of tire, it means THE VERY SAME tires. So if your Option tires are at 86% after qualifying, you start the race on those same 86% worn tires. This COULD have an impact on when you need to pit. I often use 2 different sets of Options when qualifying. Why? Because I am usually fastest at the end of the session and by then, my first sets of Options are pretty used and I don't want to start the race on too-degraded of tire.

3. If you qualify out of the Top 10, you can start with any tire you choose (including fresh sets.) However, you still must change them once per race. So if you start on Options, you'll need to use one set of Primes, and vice versa. There can sometimes be an advantage to start on Primes and pit later in the race for Options. But remember, if you start in the top 10, you will forced to start with the tires you got your best time on.
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#4jackacid(Topic Creator)Posted 9/22/2011 2:55:43 PMmessage detail
Q: How do I change my car setup?

A: Two ways >>

1. Via the Engineer, you can use a "Quick Setup", which is based on conditions and what you're comfortable with. Note the colum headers "Wet" and "Dry" above each change. This helps you determine the best setups based on conditions.

2. You can tweak your setup in detail via the Monitor in the Paddock. This requires understanding of what every changes makes and the game does tell you what each setting modifies. However, for the non-gearheads (like myself), I rely on web resources like Codemaster's forums or RaceDepartment.com to view people's posted setups. There are few available now, but in the coming weeks, they will be ample to find.

NOTES: You can go back to the Garage at ANY TIME during Practice or Qualifying to change your set up. Be advised, this is real time. There is a session time reduction factored into how long it takes you to get back to the garage. In other words, if there are 11 minutes remaining in a session, there may be only 9 or 10 minutes remaining when you get back to the Garage. This is important if you're considering going back to the garage near the end of a session, especially Qualifying. Don't forfeit your chance at another hot lap because you're not monitoring the session time remaining.

Of course, you can also manually drive back to the Paddock.

IMPORTANT: Another fun FIA rule states that a Team cannot modify the car setup after Qualifying. The intent is that the car remains exactly as it was at the time of qualifying. The only time this can be an issue is if (for example) you run a Wet setup for Qualifying, but then come Race Day, it's dry as bones. Now you're stuck with a Wet setup for a Dry race. Not good.

WORKAROUND: After qualifying, return to the Paddock. When you go back to the Race, you will have a chance to modify your setup.

Generally, this is not an issue unless you're contending with the elements.

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Q: How do I upgrade my car?

A: Throughout the season, during Practices, you'll see an extra option under the Engineer for an "R&D Objective", which is basically beating a provided lap time. These are very easy to beat and you should NEVER pass on this opportunity. If you complete objective, you will be given an upgrade within a couple races. The engineer will mention it when you load the Practice.

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Q: Hey wait, why does my Teammate get it first?

A: Oh yes, teammates. By default, you start as the #2 driver, which means your teammate is given priority. If you out-perform your teammate consistently, you will be given priority. This includes qualifying times, podiums (finishing 1-3), wins etc. You will get team status emails from your engineer as the season goes on. You can also check the tallies from the Paddock (far right menu when sitting in the car).

Once you become the #1 driver, you can control the R&D path of the team (found in the monitor in the paddock). You can be balanced, aggressive, etc.

Upgrades do NOT carry into the next season.
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Fanboys are weak. Just shut up and play.
#5jackacid(Topic Creator)Posted 9/22/2011 2:56:32 PMmessage detail
Q: How do I get a new/better team?

A: All teams require a minimum Reputation to sign with them. This is disclosed at the time interest comes your way. Higher teams = higher needed rep and vice versa for lower teams.

But besides that, how you perform on the track and how you handle press questions can greatly determine this. The better you do, the more interest you will generate (this can be found in the "Contract Offers" tab on the laptop.)

Also, if you trash talk your team, it can generally create interest from other teams, sensing your disgust. Be careful: Trash talking your team and ALSO failing objectives can leave you with no better offer and a dropped contract at seasons end, leaving you to sign with a lowly team (Lotus, HRT or Virgin.)

Best advice: Only rip the team in the press if you're performing well.

All of this is subjective to a point. If you are performing well and reputation is high enough, you can still get a contract offer even if you have been nice to your team in the press. Trash talking usually just expedites the interest.

Last point: Teams can REMOVE their offer if they sit too long; likewise, if you decline an offer, they MAY come back with a higher one later. I usually take a new offer near the end of the season (last race or two).
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Q: How does the Rival system work?

DISCLOSURE: I am ASSUMING it is the same as 2010, I am not far enough yet to confirm.

A: Nearing the midpoint of the season, the press will ask you who your Rival is, which is usually a choice of the top 3 drivers at the time asked. One you decide who is your rival, you will be compared to that driver for the rest of the season.

If you BEAT your rival in the season standings (i.e., as soon as you mathematically eliminate him from finishing the season higher than you), voila, your Rival's team will offer you a 1 year contract to take his seat. Reputation is not required.

The only downside to this is that even if you perform well, the team WILL drop you at the end of the season. This is somewhat of a silly system, but it's a nice option if you want to race for your dream team for a year before your Rep would normally allow. It's possible to get a legit offer from the same team the following year, assuming your Rep is high enough.

Generally, I don't bother with these contracts....I'd rather go to a team that I know I have a chance at re-signing with.
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Q: What about Fuel Mix? What about the rest of the in-race options?

A1: You can change your fuel mix mid race by hitting the D-pad:

1. Rich Mix: This makes you faster, but burn through fuel faster. Good to use near the end of a race when running out of fuel is not likely.
2. Standard Mix: This is the default fuel mix and will ensure that you get through the race without pitting for fuel (which is only allowed if you run out -- teams are expected to finish the race on one tank.)
3. Degraded Mix: This should only be used when you're queued behind a safety car. It ensures you will not run out of fuel after the race resumes.

A2: You can also tell your pit crew what tires you want at your next pit stop, also by hitting the D-pad.

This usually only applies in changing weather conditions. Your engineer may recommend Intermediates when by your estimation, Wets would do the job better (and potentially save you a second pit stop if you're racing 50% or higher.) Or maybe you want to go Intermediates when they suggest Wet.

A3: There are likely more things you can change via the D-pad, but I am not far enough along to speak to anymore changes yet.
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Fanboys are weak. Just shut up and play.
#6liam_000Posted 9/22/2011 3:12:44 PMmessage detail
good job, sticky requested
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#7jackacid(Topic Creator)Posted 9/22/2011 3:31:53 PMmessage detail
liam_000 posted...
good job, sticky requested

Thanks mate, I may add more Questions if they come to me....this is really to help sort out the basics. Navigating the Tires, format, rules, etc. can be a challenge to someone unfamiliar with the sport.
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#8VarandilPosted 9/22/2011 3:38:04 PMmessage detail
Sticky requested.

Your tiers are about right, though if you wanted to be as precise as possible you'd probably need to add a tier or 2.
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#9jackacid(Topic Creator)Posted 9/22/2011 3:46:40 PMmessage detail
Varandil posted...
Sticky requested.

Your tiers are about right, though if you wanted to be as precise as possible you'd probably need to add a tier or 2.


Yeah that was pretty subjective and broad breakdown....but a lot of newcomers think the cars are equal and don't understand the drastic differences in their performance, especially Year One.

What would your Tiers look like?
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Fanboys are weak. Just shut up and play.
#10abcdefghi2Posted 9/22/2011 3:49:29 PMmessage detail
Several things, all DRS related.

1 - Do you hold Y to activate it, or just press the button?
2 - In real F1, any car can use DRS as long as 1 second behind any car at the detection points. This means the leader can use it, and any car can use it to pass backmarkers.
3 - does #2 apply on the game, or did they miss that one?
4 - Also, how does it work after the safety car? in real F1, it reactivates 2 laps after a restart

As for the rest of the topic, great work, sticky requested

Regarding your latest posts to varandil about tiers. I would put:
1 - RBR, McLaren, Ferrari
2 - Mercedes, Renault
3 - Sauber, STR, Force India
4 - Williams
5 - Lotus
6 - HRT, Virgin
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