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IIIII LLLLL LLLLL EEEEE GGGGG A A LLLLL
TTTTT IIIII MM MM EEEEE SSSSS
T I M M M E S
T I M M EEEE SSSSS
T I M M E S
T IIIII M M EEEEE SSSSS
GGGGG U U IIIII DDDD EEEEE
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F1 2002: ILLEGAL TIMES GUIDE
Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather
Initial Version Completed: August 16, 2002
FINAL VERSION Completed: September 21, 2002
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Spacing and Length
Assumptions and Conventions
Race Order: 2002 Season
Grand Prix Of Australia: Albert Park
Grand Prix Of Malaysia: Kuala Lampur
Grand Prix Of Brazil: Interlagos
Grand Prix Of San Marino: Imola
Grand Prix Of Spain: Catalunya
Grand Prix Of Austria: A1-Ring
Grand Prix Of Monaco: Monte Carlo (Temporary Street Circuit)
Grand Prix Of Canada: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Grand Prix Of Europe: Nurburgring
Grand Prix Of Great Britain: Silverstone
Grand Prix Of France: Nevers Magny-Cours
Grand Prix Of Germany: Hockenheim
Grand Prix Of Hungary: Hungaroring
Grand Prix Of Belgium: Spa-Francorchamps
Grand Prix Of Italy: Monza
Grand Prix Of The United States: Indianapolis
Grand Prix Of Japan: Suzuka
SPACING AND LENGTH
For optimum readability, this driving guide should be
viewed/printed using a monowidth font, such as Courier.
Check for font setting by making sure the numbers and letters
below line up:
This guide is over 40 pagers long in the Macintosh version of
Microsoft Word 98 using single-spaced Courier 12 font. This
means that it is likely NOT a good idea to print this guide
in its entirety.
Permission is hereby granted for a user to download and/or
print out a copy of this driving guide for personal use.
However, due to the extreme length, printing this driving
guide may not be such a good idea.
This driving guide may only be posted on: FeatherGuides,
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Should anyone wish to translate this game guide into other
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with a copy when complete.
Remember: Plagiarism in ANY form is NOT tolerated!!!!!
F1 2002 is the latest entry in EA Sports' line of F1-based
games for (originally) the PlayStation and (now) the
PlayStation2. F1 Championship Season 2000, the game
immediately preceding F1 2001, marked EA Sports' first foray
of the series to the PS2, but F1CS2K was actually released in
two 'flavors:' PSX and PS2. F1 2001 was thus the first PS2-
only game of the series, and F1 2002 continues EA Sports'
great tradition with its F1 games.
Most likely, if you play F1 2002, then you are at least a
casual fan of F1 racing, and have at least a basic knowledge
of many or all of the F1 courses currently in use. That
knowledge certainly does help when first playing F1 2002, and
vice versa - as any extensive gameplay greatly helps in
determining where the drivers are on each course when races
The core information of this guide is dedicated to pointing
out where to eschew the rules to gain the lowest possible lap
times. This can be key to attaining some of the EA Sports
Cards (received for achieving specific feats or goals during
races in F1 2002) - especially at the Silver Medal and Gold
Medal levels. Note that it is IMPERATIVE to turn off FIA
Please note that much of this information comes from the
driving guide I wrote for F1 Championship Season 2000 and
updated in the guide written for F1 2001, both games also by
EA Sports. Those who have read and/or downloaded the driving
guide for F1CS2K and/or F1 2001 will already have the same
basic information covered in this driving guide. This
driving guide has been modified and expanded to reflect the
many additions in F1 2002, including the minor circuit
alterations included in the game.
Please also note that this guide is written specifically for
the PlayStation2 version of F1 2002. I do not own a PC and
do not have access to a PC on which to play games, nor do I
own any other gaming consoles, so this guide does not address
any of the cross-platform or cross-console differences in the
ASSUMPTIONS AND CONVENTIONS
Most race circuits outside the United States name most
corners and chicanes, and even some straightaways. Where
these names are known, they will be referenced in the Notes
section of each circuit's suggested set-up. These names have
been gathered from course maps available on the courses'
official Web sites, my memory of how F1 races have been
called by American TV sportscasters (Fox Sports Net and
SpeedVision, in 1999 2001, and Speed Channel in 2002), and/or
from the Training Mode of F1 Championship Season 2000
(corner/segment names are listed at the bottom of the
screen). To the extent possible, these names have been
translated into English.
RACE ORDER: 2002 SEASON
F1 2002 presents the courses in the order in which they were
presented for the 2002 Formula 1 season. This driving guide
will follow the same convention.
F1 Race Schedule, 2002 Season:
March 3 Australia Albert Park
March 17 Malaysia Kuala Lampur
March 31 Brazil Interlagos
April 14 San Marino Imola
April 28 Spain Catalunya
May 12 Austria A1-Ring
May 26 Monaco Unnamed (Street Circuit)
June 9 Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
June 23 Europe Nurburgring
July 7 Great Britain Silverstone
July 21 France Nevers Magny-Cours
July 28 Germany Hockenheim
August 18 Hungary Hungaroring
September 1 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps
September 15 Italy Monza
September 29 USA Indianapolis
October 13 Japan Suzuka
Perhaps the best possible tip for lowering lap times is to
use the draft/slipstream of other cars. On the right side of
the race screen, a set of bars will slowly light up as a
driver gets closer and closer behind another car, thus able
to take advantage of the lead car's slipstream (aerodynamic
vacuum) to suddenly jump out and make a pass. When racing in
very wet weather when cars are launching a tall 'rooster
tail' of spray in their wake, the slipstream meter can be
used to approximate the distance to the car in front as well
as the closing speed.
The draft/slipstream can really be of great benefit if used
just before taking an off-course shortcut through grass or
(especially) sand. The extra momentary speed gained from the
draft/slipstream means a faster passage through the speed-
lowering grass or sand, and a faster speed on exit.
GRAND PRIX OF AUSTRALIA: ALBERT PARK
The 2002 F1 racing season begins with a set of 'flyaway'
(non-European) races. This fast, flat, attractive circuit is
built around Melbourne's beautiful Albert Park Lake, using
actual city streets which generally receive little traffic
during the year. There are usually plenty of trees on both
sides of the track, with a nice view of Melbourne's buildings
as you come through Turns 12 and 13. The Albert Park circuit
features many long, gentle, no-braking corners, allowing for
incredible top-end speed all around this completely-flat
circuit. However, these are tempered with several moderate-
and hard-braking corners, as well as many dark shadows
obscuring long stretches of the pavement, especially in wet
Pit Straight: The front straight is fairly long, following a
moderate-braking corner (Turn 16). However, Turn 1 requires
an early braking zone.
Turns 1-2: A moderate-braking right-hand corner followed by a
gentle left-hand turn. Shortcutting appropriately - at about
a 45-degree angle - will bypass Turn 1 and put the car back
on the pavement at the entrance of Turn 2. Turn 2 is really
quite gentle, even when coming off the grass (from the inside
of Turn 1) at full throttle; however, it is very important to
not leave Pit Straight too early, as too much time on the
grass is greatly counterproductive.
Turn 3: This is a hard-braking right-hand semi-blind corner
following a long straightaway; the braking zone begins
earlier than it would otherwise appear, so make use of the
distance-to-corner markers. Again, there is a wide recovery
area here. A little speed can be made coming out of Turn 3,
but the straightaway is virtually non-existent, requiring
moderate braking for Turn 4. This is definitely NOT a place
to pass (safely) unless you have EXCELLENT brakes and little
or no tire wear. Traffic tends to bunch up here for Turns 3
Turn 4: A left-hand corner requiring at least moderate
braking. The inside of Turn 4 is a wide paved zone, and it
is possible to corner here at high speed without too much
problem AND pass several cars staying on the main circuit.
Turn 5: A gentle right-hand corner through the trees which
leads to a nice straightaway. With a flawless racing line,
no braking is necessary here.
Turns 6-7: A semi-hidden moderate-braking right-hand corner,
followed by a very gentle left-hand corner which brings you
alongside the northernmost end of Albert Park Lake.
Shortcutting this 'chicane' by taking to the grass can be
beneficial, but it is very easy to cross the pavement and end
up in the sand on the inside of Turn 7 due to momentum.
Turn 8: This is almost not a turn at all, as it curves
extremely gently along the shoreline, but the course map on
the race's official Web site lists this as a corner.
Turn 9: This corner is a tight right-hand turn which requires
moderate or hard braking. The earliest incarnations of the
series (as well as most late-1990s F1 games on PlayStation)
included a paved shortcut on the inside of Turn 9; this area
is entirely grassed-over in F1 2002, due the principle
remains the same.
Turn 10: This is almost not a turn at all, as it curves
extremely gently to the left and back along the shoreline.
There is absolutely NO room for error on the right side of
the track, as the pavement runs directly up against the
barrier. Once you pass underneath the second pedestrian
bridge and see the grandstands ahead on the right, drift to
the right to set up the best racing line for Turns 11 and 12.
Turns 11 and 12: This extended left-right chicane is tricky.
The inside of Turn 12 is paved (beginning at the apex of Turn
11), so it is possible to power through Turn 11 at full
acceleration and make use of the inside pavement. take care
that momentum does not throw the car out into the red gravel
at the exit of Turn 12.
Straightaway: The pavement runs directly up against the
barrier on the left side of the course here, creating
problems for cars on the left whose engines suddenly expire.
Turn 13: This is a semi-blind right-hand corner requiring
moderate braking if you are alone; traffic tends to bunch up
here. The recovery area again is quite wide, with a long
run-off strip if needed. This leads to a short straightaway
which can be a prime passing zone if acceleration out of Turn
13 is strong.
Turn 14: A light-braking, right-hand corner with a wide
recovery area. Experts should be able to take this corner at
top speed (if not in traffic) with a flawless racing line, or
by dropping the right-side tires onto the grass. This is a
good place to pass on braking upon entering the corner.
Turn 15: This is a J-turn to the left, requiring hard
braking. Making use of the wide grassy area on the inside of
the corner while turning can be tricky (especially if using
Simulation Handling), but can result in passing several cars
Turn 16: But, be careful with the approach and exit angles
for this right-hand turn, as the barrier (and a grandstand)
is just a few feet off the pavement on the left as you exit
the corner. A new addition from previous versions of the
game, the Pit Lane barrier begins at the entry of Turn 16, so
shortcutting is not a possibility, and dropping the right-
side tires off the pavement is also not a good option. This
leads onto the Pit Straight.
Pit Entry: The Pit Lane begins to the right immediately after
Turn 15. It is possible to enter at a fairly high speed, but
there will be a sharp turn to the right very quickly,
requiring moderate or heavy braking. Before entering the
main Pit area, however, is a tight right-left chicane, so be
prepared to truly slam on the brakes, or else the nose of
your car will slam into the Pit Lane barrier.
GRAND PRIX OF MALAYSIA: KUALA LAMPUR
This is the second-newest F1 course currently in use, as its
construction was completed just in time for the end of the
1999 F1 season. Kuala Lampur includes very wide recovery
zones all along the course, on both sides of the pavement,
with very few exceptions. The main grandstands are nestled
'within' the course itself, as the 'back straight' and the
'Pit Straight' flank each side of the main spectator seats,
linked by a tight left-hand hairpin. While the pavement is
rather wide for an F1 circuit, it is actually more difficult
to drive than it appears on television, especially the 'back'
part of the course (behind the main grandstands).
No meaningful shortcuts here to lower lap times :-(
GRAND PRIX OF BRAZIL: INTERLAGOS
Most F1 courses are driven clockwise; built on a steep
hillside, Interlagos is driven counter-clockwise, which I
understand causes 'undue' fatigue to drivers' necks as the
race progresses. The upper part of the course features two
extensive segments of flat-out, full-throttle, top-speed
driving. However, the lower part of the course (where the
most clock time is spent per lap) features tight corners and
several significant elevation changes. However, despite
these two very different sections of the circuit, the car
set-up is not quite as key here as at Indianapolis.
Pit Straight: This is the highest point of the course in
terms of elevation. There is no room to pull off the course
here if there is a problem with a car, as the barriers rub
against the pavement on both sides of the track. This is
also the fastest portion of the course, leading into the most
dangerous set of corners in all of F1 racing. There are
several left-hand fades along the 'Pit Straight.' This
'straightaway' is the longest stretch of flat-out
acceleration of this course. The optimal racing line is hard
to the left, so be careful not to rub the left-side tires
against the barriers, especially when passing the Pit Lane
Entry. The Pit Entrance is also to the left; beware of slow
cars entering Pit Lane.
Turn 1 (S do Senna): Especially since this corner follows an
incredibly long and fast 'Pit Straight,' this is by far the
most dangerous turn on the course, and thus perhaps the most
dangerous corner in all of F1 racing. This is a tight, left-
hand, semi-blind, downhill corner requiring severe braking
long before reaching the turn. Unless you have PERFECT
confidence in your car's braking AND turning ability, this is
definitely NOT a place to pass!!! For those who overrun the
corner, there is a continent-size patch of kitty litter.
Turn 2 (S do Senna): Following immediately after Turn 1, it
is best to coast through this right-hand corner, with strong
acceleration on exit to set up prime passing opportunities in
Curva du Sol or along the following straightaway. Beware the
Pit lane barrier practically rubbing up against the pavement
here on the left. (Historical note: The Pit Lane used to
rejoin the main course at the exit of Turn 2, but FIA and the
drivers deemed that this was too dangerous.)
Turn 3 (Curva du Sol): Immediately following S do Senna, Turn
3 is a gentle left-hand corner which can also be taken at top
speed. Just beyond the exit of Turn 3, the Pit Lane rejoins
the main course on the left. Curva du Sol leads into the
second-longest straightaway of the circuit.
Straightaway: This long straightaway presents a gentle
downhill slope leading to the lower portion of the course.
Keep to the right on exiting Curva du Sol so that cars
rejoining the race from the Pit Lane can blend in without
Turn 4 (Lago): This corner truly begins the lower portion of
the course in terms of elevation. Lago is a semi-hidden
left-hand corner with a slight downward slope. Moderate
braking is necessary here to keep from sliding the car into
the recovery zone, especially if the track is wet. Good
acceleration out of Lago sets up great passing in the next
corner and along the following straightaway. Do not overrun
the course, or you will be slowed severely by the sand and
Turn 5: A gentle left-hand turn, this can be taken at full
throttle. The course begins to slope upward again. However,
do not try to take this corner to sharply on the apex, as the
barrier may not agree with your tactics.
Straightaway: This is effectively the last straightaway
before the Pit Straight at the beginning of the course. The
course here slopes upward, so cars with excellent
acceleration out of Turns 4 and 5 can pass those with poor
Turn 6 (Laranjinha): This is the beginning of a pair of
right-hand corners which effectively form a 'U' shape. The
entry of this corner can be taken at full throttle, but be
ready to touch the brakes at the exit of this corner. Turn 6
is also on the crown of a hill.
Turn 7 (Laranjinha): The final corner of a 'U' shape in the
course, this is a right-hand decreasing-radius corner with a
gentle downward slope.
Turn 8 (Curva do S): After an almost negligible straightaway,
this incredibly tight right-hand corner requires hard
braking. The inside of Turn 8 is grassy and has its own
crest, which makes any shortcutting attempts here extremely
difficult at best.
Turn 9 (Pinheirinho): Immediately upon exiting Turn 8, slam
on the brakes again (or simply coast) for the sharp left-hand
Pinheirinho. This may potentially a good place to pass other
cars. Turn 9 is a long corner, however, so it is important
to hug the apex much longer than usual. Extreme caution must
be taken here if racing in wet conditions, or you will find
yourself sliding into the sand. The exit of Pinheirinho
leads to an upward-sloping straightaway.
Turn 10 (Bica do Pato): The entrance of Turn 10 begins the
final downward slope of the course, making this right-hand
corner even more difficult to navigate. Heavy braking and
excellent hands are required to maneuver the car safely
through this corner, especially in the rain. Good
acceleration is needed exiting Bica do Pato to pass traffic
in the next corner and ensuing straightaway. The kitty
litter is available if you overshoot the corner, but then you
will quickly find yourself rubbing against a barrier.
Turn 11 (Mergulho): This left-hand corner almost immediately
follows Bica do Pato and can be taken almost flat-out to
provide good speed along the next (very short) straightaway.
Good acceleration out of Bica do Pato makes this a good
passing zone if you have a decent racing line, otherwise you
may find yourself off the course on the outside of the
Turn 12 (Juncao): This is a tight left-hand corner requiring
moderate to heavy braking. The final, steep uphill slope
begins here, and the exit of the corner is hidden (even in
chase view). It is extremely easy to run off the outside of
the corner here, but a small patch of grass and another paved
lane provide some run-off relief here. This corner leads to
the incredibly long Pit Straight.
Pit Entry: As you climb the long 'Pit Straight,' the Pit Lane
begins on the left.
Pit Exit: The Pit Lane once emptied onto the exit of Turn 2;
it now rejoins the main course just after the exit of Curva
du Sol. This makes Pit Lane extremely long, which makes it
extremely important to select your pit strategy carefully in
GRAND PRIX OF SAN MARINO: IMOLA
The Imola circuit is challenging but rather fun. Again, this
is a 'counterclockwise' circuit, but, oddly, the Pits and
Paddock are located on the outside of the circuit and not on
the inside. There is extremely little tolerance for
shortcutting the chicanes. Due to the slope of the grass on
the inside of the corner, Turn 6 (Tosa) is essentially a
blind corner unless traffic is present to mark the course for
Pit Straight: This is a long straightaway, which enables high
speeds as the cars cross the Start/Finish Line. Good exit
speed out of the final chicane makes for prime passing and a
good show for the spectators. The Pit Straight fades to the
left at the exit of Pit Lane (which is aligned with the
Start/Finish Line). Once past the Pits, there is a barrier
directly against the right side of the track.
Turns 1 and 2 (Tamburello): This is a left-right chicane.
Turn 1 requires moderate braking, but if you slow enough in
Turn 1, you should be able to drive at full throttle through
Turn 2 and beyond. However, shortcutting Turn 1 is a far
better choice than shortcutting Turn 2; the former requires
running through grass, whereas the latter risks to beach the
car in the wide expanse of kitty litter.
Turn 3 (Tamburello): Immediately following Turn 2, Turn 3 is
a soft left-hand corner which can be taken at full speed.
Strong acceleration out of Turn 1 and through Turn 2 makes
this a good passing zone. Following this corner is a
Turns 4 and 5 (Villeneuve): This is another left-right
chicane, but not as lengthy as the first. Experts can power
through here at full speed by making use of the rumble
strips. However, for those who prefer shortcutting, it is
best to shortcut Turn 4 and NOT Turn 5 for the same reasons
as the initial chicane.
Turn 6 (Tosa): This is a semi-blind left-hand corner which
continues the upward slope of the course. Moderate or even
severe braking is required here, or else your car will be in
the kitty litter and headed toward the spectators. Traffic
is actually a benefit in approaching this corner, as the
course is largely hidden from view given the slope of the
grass on the inside of the corner, but other cars are easy to
Straightaway: The course continues up the hill here. Just
beyond the overhead billboard, the track fades to the right
as it begins its gentle downward slope, but then leads
directly into Piratella.
Turn 7 (Piratella): The course continues downward here, with
the slope increasing. This is a left-hand semi-blind corner.
It is rather easy to slip off the pavement here and into the
kitty litter on the outside of the corner. Any passing here
is best made tight to the apex of the corner, perhaps with
only the right-side wheels on the pavement or rumble strip.
Turn 8: Barely a corner at all but more than a fade, the
course gently turns to the left here. This is a full-speed
'corner,' but the racing line is still very important here.
Turns 9 and 10 (Mineralli): This is a pair of right-hand
corners which effectively function as a decreasing-radius 'U'
formation and are best taken in this manner. Turn 9 can be
taken at full speed, but upon exit to the outside of Turn 9,
severe braking is needed and extra steering to the right is
required to safely navigate around the decreasing-radius Turn
10. The track begins another (steep) uphill slope in Turn
10. Tightly hugging the apex allows for prime passing
through Turn 10. Care must be taken not to enter Turn 10 too
fast, or else you will be off the course on the left.
Turn 11 (Mineralli): Immediately following Turn 10, the left-
hand Turn 11 continues the upward slope of the course. Care
must be taken not to slip off to the right of the track on
Turns 12-13 (Alta Chicane): This is a tight right-left
chicane. Other cars generally slow significantly for this
chicane, so a full-speed maneuver here in traffic is NOT
advised. Experts with FLAWLESS knowledge of the circuit can
power through Alta Chicane at full throttle and still keep to
the circuit. The only viable shortcutting possibility is to
head straight ahead at Alta Chicane and edge slightly to the
right; the sand will slow the car a bit, but the cars taking
Alta Chicane as intended will be slowed even more.
Straightaway: The course begins its final downhill slope
here, fading gently first to the left, then to the right.
Turns 14 and 15 (Rivazza): This is a left-hand 'U' formation.
Moderate braking is required entering Turn 14, but then Turn
15 can be taken at full speed (IF you slowed enough in Turn
14), although some may feel more comfortable lightly tapping
the brakes here. Caution must be taken to use enough braking
entering the 'U' formation, or else you will end up in the
sand on the right side of the track.
Straightaway: This is the final long straightaway before
reaching the Pit Straight. However, the official course
fades to the right just after passing underneath the Helix
banner; driving straight ahead (the pavement of the old
course) will bypass Bassa Chicane (Turns 16 and 17) and allow
full acceleration from Turn 15 all the way to Turn 1 (or
possibly even to Turn 6).
Pit Entry: Instead of bypassing Bassa Chicane, keep to the
main circuit, then instead of taking the chicane, keep
driving directly ahead. However, there is no room for
slowing once you leave the main course, so stay tight to the
right side of the pavement as you slow to enter Pit Lane.
GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN: CATALUNYA
The Catalunya circuit is challenging, especially the two
hairpins and the final corners of the race. For observers
and drivers alike, plenty of action can be found at the
Spanish Grand Prix.
Intertextal Note: The Catalunya circuit is also used in the
PS2 game Le Mans 24 Hours.
No meaningful shortcuts here to lower lap times :-(
GRAND PRIX OF AUSTRIA: A1-RING
This course may only have seven corners, the fewest of the
circuits used in the 2002 racing season, but it is still a
highly-challenging technical course for the drivers. The
circuit itself is built on a steep hillside, with the Paddock
area and the Pit Straight located at the lowest elevation of
the course. The significant elevation changes and poorly-
placed barriers make this a particularly challenging circuit
to safely navigate for 90+ minutes.
No meaningful shortcuts here to lower lap times :-(
GRAND PRIX OF MONACO: MONTE CARLO (TEMPORARY STREET CIRCUIT)
'To finish first, first you must finish.' The Monaco circuit
is a highly daunting temporary street course, especially from
the Driver View, as the barriers are FAR too close for
comfort, and passing is virtually impossible for even expert
drivers. If there is a problem with a car, there are
extremely few places to safely pull aside, so all drivers
must be constantly wary of damaged vehicles, especially slow
or stationary cars around the many blind corners. The most
significant key to simply finishing a race at Monaco is
SURVIVAL, which means a slow, methodical, patient race.
Aggressive drivers (like myself) would almost certainly end
up dead - or at least driving an extremely beat-up vehicle -
driving the Monaco circuit for real!!! For a comparison, the
Surfer's Paradise circuit in Newman-Haas Racing is a sweet
dream compared to the Monaco circuit!!!!! The circuit is
extremely narrow, to the point that if a car bangs a barrier,
it will almost certainly ricochet into the opposite barrier
(if not into a nearby vehicle). While driving this circuit,
players may want to have "I Will Survive" playing on auto-
Chicane (Nouveau Chicane): The only possible place for
shortcutting is at the chicane following The Tunnel. Unlike
other games featuring this circuit (such as Gran Turismo 3),
there are no barriers forming the chicane, just rumble
strips. Therefore, it is quite easy to simply plow straight
ahead over the rumble strips. If using Simulation Handling,
be sure to soften the springs to reduce the chances of the
car bouncing (and possibly losing control) when running over
the rumble strips here.
GRAND PRIX OF CANADA: CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE
This incredible circuit is built on an island, accessible to
spectators only via subway. Much of the course runs along
the southern and northern shores of the island. This course
is also unusual in that the paddock area is to the outside of
the course (as at Imola), along the northern shore of the
island. The long, sweeping straightaways provide for
excellent top-end speed - a much-welcome change from the
slow, tight corners and the many unforgiving barriers of the
streets of Monaco (the previous race circuit in Championship
Mode) - but there are several tight corners here to challenge
both drivers and cars. Mind the Casino Hairpin (Turn 10),
the westernmost corner of the course. Also tricky is the
Senna Curve, as it immediately follows the first corner of
the race. F1 2002 presents the old circuit configuration;
the new configuration is a bit shorter at Casino Hairpin (to
allow for more recovery room, if needed), and has Pit Exit
empty out at the midpont of Senna Curve.
Pit Straight: This follows the final chicane of the circuit.
As the Pit Lane rejoins the main course from the left, the
Pit Straight fades to the right, setting up Turn 1. If you
were successful in flying through the final chicane at top
speed without needing to navigate traffic, you will likely be
pushing 200MPH at the Start/Finish Line.
Turn 1: This left-hand corner will require moderate braking,
and immediately flows into the Senna Curve. At the end of
the Pit Lane barrier, cut left and run over the grass,
slowing and beginning to turn to the right to rejoin about
1/3 of the way along Senna Curve.
Turn 2 (Senna Curve): This is a right-hand hairpin corner
requiring heavy or severe braking. It is very easy to run
too wide here, slipping off into the grass. Likewise, it is
rather easy to overcompensate and cut the corner, which can
cause the car to spin if taken too fast. Extreme caution is
required here if racing in wet conditions, as the severity of
the hairpin can itself cause the car to slide. Perhaps the
best tactic is to enter Turn 1 from the extreme right of the
pavement, and brake smoothly all the way through to just
beyond the apex of Senna Curve before accelerating again.
Beware the barrier to the left on exit. A moderate
straightaway follows the Senna Curve, so acceleration from
the exit is important.
Turns 3 and 4: This right-left chicane can provide a good
passing zone. Turn 3 is tight and semi-blind, but passing on
braking is an option for those who know the chicane well.
Turn 4 is an easier corner, allowing good acceleration on
exit, but it is still easy to overshoot the exit of the
chicane and bang the right side of the car against the nearby
barrier. Expert drivers MIGHT be able to blast through this
chicane at full acceleration by making judicious use of the
rumble strips. This chicane begins the segment of the
circuit closely bounded by barriers.
Turn 5: This sweeping right-hand corner can be taken at full
speed, unless you are coping with traffic. Be careful not to
hug the apex too tightly, or your right-side tires will be on
the grass here.
Turn 6: Finally coming out of the section of Monacoesquely-
close barriers, this left-hand corner will require moderate
braking, or you will be flying through the grass toward the
spectators in Grandstand 33. This leads out to a very brief
Turn 7: Following a very short straightaway, Turn 7 is a
light-braking right-hand corner. On the outside of Turn 7 is
a short, steep hillside with a barrier, so DO NOT run wide
entering the corner, as it is possible to send the vehicle
airborne!!! It is easy to run wide on exit and slip off the
course and into the barrier on the left, so be careful.
Straightaway: The course runs along the southern shore of the
island here. Unfortunately, the extremely tall barrier
prevents much of a view, which actually forces your eyes to
be transfixed on the road and any other cars ahead. Once you
pass underneath the pedestrian bridge, begin braking for the
Turns 8 and 9: This right-left chicane is similar to Turns 6
and 7 in that overrunning the chicane leaves you driving
through the sand directly toward another grandstand full of
spectators. Powering ahead at a 30- or 40-degree angle to
the right will mean running through the kitty litter, but is
faster than keeping to the main circuit. However, the
barrier on the exit of the chicane is right up against the
pavement on the right side; care must be taken to NOT tag the
Straightaway: About two-thirds of the way along, the course
fades to the left. Begin braking early for Casino Hairpin
unless you really want to beach the car in the kitty litter;
to begin braking after passing underneath the second
pedestrian bridge is almost certainly too late for this
Turn 10 (Casino Hairpin): This is a tight right-hand hairpin
requiring heavy or even severe braking, depending on when you
begin braking for the corner. Somehow, this corner seems to
be longer than it really is, so be judicious with the
accelerator until you see clear, straight track ahead.
Straightaway: On exiting Turn 10, the course fades to the
right, then back to the left. However, no braking is
Turn 11: Officially marked on course maps as a corner, the
course actually only fades to the right here, thus no braking
is required. You should be fairly high up in the gearbox by
the time you reach Turn 11.
Straightaway (Casino Straight): The Casino Straight (named
for the casino in the middle of the island) runs parallel to
the northern shore of the island on which the course is
built; there is not much of a view to the left, but it is not
very interesting anyhow (especially when compared to Albert
Park Lake in Melbourne). This is by far the longest
straightaway of the entire course, so much of the time spent
here will be in your car's top gear, quite likely achieving
speeds over 200MPH. The Casino Straight leads to the final
(right-left) chicane of the course, as well as the entry for
Pit Lane. if you can spot it through the trees, the Casino
de Montreal is the grayish complex off the course to the
right as you drive between the final two pedestrian bridges.
Turns 12 and 13: This is a right-left chicane which can be
cleared (without traffic) with light or moderate braking.
The best thing to do for fastest times through here is to
simply power through at full throttle at about 45-degrees to
the right until the car returns to the main circuit. This
maneuver will require running through the kitty litter, and
avoiding the Pit Lane barrier.
Pit Entry: As you enter the final (right-left) chicane, the
Pit Entry runs straight ahead. Once clear of the main
course, there is very little room for deceleration before the
Pit Lane's own tight right-left chicane, so it is very
important to slow down on Casino Straight before reaching the
Pit Entry. Keep as far to the left as possible when slowing
on Casino Straight, allowing other cars to keep to the right
as they prepare for the final chicane.
GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE: NURBURGRING
From a driving standpoint, the hilly Nurburgring circuit is
very much characterized by its tight corners, some of which
are semi-blind turns. Tire wear is a definite issue in long
races here, especially in wet conditions. Even more
important, however, is braking early for almost every corner;
perhaps only the narrow streets of Monaco require more
braking than does the Nurburgring circuit. Unfortunately, F1
2002 presents the OLD circuit configuration; the new
configuration severely changes the initial corners of the
circuit so that the course briefly doubles back behind the
Pit Straight: This straightaway is fairly long, but the
Start/Finish Line is near the exit of the final corner. The
Pit Lane rejoins the course near the end of the Pit Straight,
just before the Castrol S.
Turns 1 and 2 (Castrol S): Moderate braking is required
before entering this right-left 'S' curve. It is quite easy
to miss seeing the entry to the Castrol S unless traffic is
present to mark the corner for you. Until you know the
course really well, expect to find yourself driving straight
ahead into the recovery area. Turn 2 is actually somewhat of
a double-apex left-hand corner, so do not go too wide
initially on exit. Also, be careful not to drive too wide
exiting the Castrol S. Caution must be taken here on the
first lap of a race, as the traffic truly bunches up here.
Turn 3: Light braking or a quick lift of the accelerator will
be necessary for this left-hand corner. However, hard
braking will be required for the Ford Curve ahead. Beginning
at the top of Turn 3, the course moves downhill.
Turn 4 (Ford Curve): This is a hard right-hand corner,
practically a 'J' curve. The course continues its downhill
slope here, which significantly adds to the difficulty of the
turn, especially in wet condditions. Braking too late here
means a trip through the kitty litter, while riding up on the
inside rumble strips usually means losing control of the car.
This is definitely NOT a place to pass unless absolutely
Straightaway: The course fades to the left here. If you can
accelerate well out of the Ford Curve, you should be able to
pass several cars here as you continue downhill.
Turn 5 (Dunlop Curve): Severe braking for this hairpin is a
must, unless you really want to drive through the sand.
Again, rolling up on the rumble strips on the inside of the
curve may cause you to lose control of the car; however, I
have several times induced slight wheelspin of the right-side
tires on the rumble strip, which helped to swing the car
around the corner just a little faster. The course continues
gently uphill here toward the Audi S.
Turns 6 and 7 (Audi S): Entering the left-right Audi S, the
uphill slope of the course increases, making it very
difficult to see the course more than a few feet ahead. The
exit of Turn 6 is the crest of this hill. Unless traffic
blocks your racing line, the entire Audi S section can be
taken at top speed if you have a good racing line, so good
acceleration out of the Dunlop Curve will be very beneficial
for passing entering Turn 6 and/or exiting Turn 7.
Turn 8 (RTL Curve): With the rise in the course entering the
left-hand RTL Curve, this appears to be identical to Turn 6
on approach. However, you MUST use moderate braking entering
the RTL Curve, or you will definitely be off in the grass on
the outside of the curve. After a short straightaway, this
corner is followed by the gentler BIT Curve.
Turn 9 (BIT Curve): This right-hand curve will require light
or moderate braking, depending on how much acceleration was
used in the brief straightaway following the RTL Curve.
Turn 10 (Bilstein-Bogen): This is a gentle right-hand semi-
corner which can be taken at full throttle. From here to the
Veedal S, the course makes its final and steepest upward
Turns 11 and 12 (Veedal S): This is an extremely tight left-
right made even worse for the drivers by its placement at the
very crest of the hill. Shortcutting here is best done by
bypassing Turn 11 and running through the grass.
Turn 13 (Coca-Cola Curve): A 'J' turn to the right, moderate
braking is required here to keep from sliding off the course.
The entry of the Coca-Cola Curve is also where the Pit Lane
begins, so cars may be slowing on approach to go to Pit Lane
for servicing. This is the final corner of the circuit.
Pit Entry: The Pit Lane begins at the entry of the final
corner. It is extremely important to slow down before
entering Pit Lane; if you come in too fast, you will
certainly damage the front of the car on the barrier. Keep
tight to the right for Pit Entry, to allow those continuing
the race to have the prime racing line to the left of the
GRAND PRIX OF GREAT BRITAIN: SILVERSTONE
For the 2000 F1 season, the British Grand Prix was moved up
in the racing calendar, and resulted in a very wet weekend
(although the race itself was semi-sunny); fortunately, FIA
learned its lesson and moved the British Grand Prix further
back in the calendar in 2001, and continued that trend for
2002. Built on an airport site which is contracted to host
the Grand Prix of Great Britain until at least 2010, this
historic course features wide run-off areas in most places.
The final segment of the circuit is also very similar to -
but also vastly different from - The Stadium at Hockenheim.
Pit Straight: The Start/Finish Line is directly at the
beginning of the Pit Straight. There is no room for error on
the right side of the track, as the Pit Lane barrier is
directly against the pavement.
Turn 1 (Copse): This is a moderate right-hand corner which
can be taken at full speed, but be careful to not run off the
course at the exit of the turn. The best racing line is to
tightly hug the apex, but the Pit Lane barrier is right there
against the pavement, so it is imperative to keep the right-
side tires from rubbing the barrier. Turn 1 exits onto a
Straightaway: The Pit Lane rejoins the main course from the
right about 1/3 of the way along the straight.
Turns 2-5 (Bechetts): This is a set of left-right-left-right
'S' curves. Turns 2 through 4 can be taken at full speed or
with very quick tapping of the brakes, but Turn 5 requires
moderate braking to keep to the pavement.
Turn 6 (Chapel): This is a gentle left-hand corner which can
be taken at full speed. This opens onto Hangar Straight.
Straightaway (Hangar Straight): At 738.28m, this is by far
the longest straightaway of the course. Powerful
acceleration out of Turn 5 (the final corner of Bechetts) can
lead to good passing opportunities along Hangar Straight
and/or entering the almost-nonexistent braking zone for Turn
Turn 7 (Stowe): Light braking or a quick lift off the
accelerator will be required here (unless blocked by traffic)
in order to remain on the pavement. This is a tricky,
sweeping, right-hand corner followed immediately by a left-
hand semi-corner. This is the southernmost point of the
Straightaway (Vale): If you can somehow successfully navigate
Stowe without braking or lifting, then you should be able to
continue passing others fairly easily along Vale, especially
if they had to brake heavily in Stowe.
Turns 8 and 9 (Club): The official corner is a tight left-
hand turn followed by the increasing-radius right-hand Turn
9, leading out onto another long straightaway (Abbey
Straight). The best thing for fastest-possible lap times is
to keep powering straight ahead and slowly turning to the
right until the main circuit has been rejoined on Abbey
Turns 10 and 11 (Abbey): Like the previous set of corners,
there is another stretch of pavement to the left which is not
part of the official course; as before, this patch of
pavement is blocked by a tall barrier. Passing JUST by the
very left-hand side of this barrier will bypass Turn 10
completely. This maneuver will mean a short trip through the
grass before rejoining the pavement blocked by the barrier...
before rejoining the main circuit.
Straightaway (Farm Straight): With good acceleration out of
Abbey, good passing opportunities can be made here.
Turns 12-16: This final segment of the circuit is very
similar to The Stadium at Hockenheim. However, these similar
segments cannot be approached in the same manner.
Turn 12 (Bridge): Immediately after passing underneath the
pedestrian bridge, you will enter a complex similar to The
Stadium at Hokkenheim. This is a right-hand corner which
can likely be taken at full speed.
Turn 13 (Priory): This left-hand corner will require
Turn 14 (Brooklands): Another left-hand corner, this one
requires heavy braking. There is a small sand trap for
those who miss the braking zone.
Turn 15 (Luffield): This set of right-hand corners
essentially forms a 'U' shape, and requires moderate or
severe braking to avoid sliding off into the kitty litter.
The exit of Luffield can be taken flat-out all the way to
Turn 5. The entry to Pit Lane is on the right shortly
Turn 16 (Woodcote): Barely a corner but more than a fade,
the course eases to the right here. The right-side
barrier begins abruptly here (be careful not to hit it).
Pit Entry: The Pit Lane begins to the right between Luffield
and Woodcote. The new Pit Lane has a gentle right-hand
swing, so you can come into Pit Lane at top speed and have
plenty of room to slow.
GRAND PRIX OF FRANCE: NEVERS MAGNY-COURS
The Magny-Cours circuit is characterized by long, sweeping
straightaways, and fairly quick corners. The Adelaide hairpin
will almost definitely cause trouble, especially for
aggressive drivers, and is one of the slowest corners in
modern F1 racing. This is a very fun course to drive
(admittedly a very subjective statement), but its layout can
produce problems from the standpoint of hearing other cars:
Three of its main straightaways are almost exactly parallel
to each other with little distance and no large obstacles
between them, sometimes making it difficult to determine
where other cars are truly located around you as you try to
anticipate where the next group of traffic that you will need
to navigate is located; listen attentively to the team radio
for useful traffic information. The circuit also has
extremely wide areas along most of the main course for a car
to pull aside should a major malfunction arise.
Unfortunately, F1 2002 places the Start/Finish Line well down
Pit Straight, whereas the real-world Start/Finish Like is at
the exit of High School. This is the circuit where Michael
Schumacher won the 2002 Drivers' Championship.
Pit Straight: Following the tight High School chicane, strong
acceleration through the Pit Straight creates good passing
chances through Great Curve and into Estoril. However, the
tightness of the High School chicane and the incredibly close
proximity of the Pit Lane barrier requires immense caution
and headache-causing concentration as you come onto the Pit
Straight. The Start/Finish Line is about halfway down the
Pit Straight; the Pit Lane rejoins the course from the left
at this point.
Turn 1 (Great Curve): In accordance with its name, this is a
sweeping left-hand corner which can be taken flat-out unless
encumbered by a lot of traffic.
Turn 2 (Estoril): Either light or moderate braking will be
needed for entering the VERY long right-hand 180-degree
Estoril; in either case, you will almost certainly be tapping
the brakes repeatedly through Estoril. It is quite easy to
roll the right-side tires off onto the grass, and it is just
as easy to slip off onto the grass on the outside of Estoril
- both can easily occur, whether navigating traffic or
Straightaway (Golf): The Golf Straight if by far the longest
of the course and includes several fades to the right.
Turn 3 (Adelaide): The right-hand Adelaide hairpin is
EXTREMELY tight. The hairpin can be shortcut, thus possibly
passing up to three competitors, but the grass will make grip
difficult once back on the pavement - especially given the
very slow speed of the corner due to the tightness of the
Straightaway: Acceleration out of Adelaide is important for
passing other cars here. There are a few fades in the course
Turns 4 and 5 (Nurburgring): This is a right-left chicane
which will require light braking. It is possible to fly
through Nurburgring without braking by making use of the
bright-green extension on the inside of Turn 5; however, this
extension is significantly shorter than it was in F1
Championship Season 2000.
Turn 6 (180 Degrees): This is quite true - the official name
of this corner is '180 Degrees' according to the official Web
site of Magny-Cours. This is a wide left-hand hairpin
nestled well within the Estoril hairpin. Running too wide
here will put you out in the sand; running too close to the
apex could put you up on the rumble strips and force you to
lose control. While this corner is not as slow as the
Adelaide hairpin, you really do not want to try pushing very
much faster here.
Straightaway: The third of the three parallel-running
straightaways, this 'straightaway' has several fades before
the Imola chicane.
Turns 7 and 8 (Imola): This right-left chicane should require
light braking, except for cars with a flawless racing line.
The bright-green extension on the inside of Turn 8 is longer
than in F1 Championship Season 2000, which could well be used
for top-speed navigation of the chicane. A short
straightaway out of Imola sets up the Water Castle curve.
Turn 9 (Water Castle): Somewhere between a standard 'J' turn
and a hairpin, this is an increasing-radius right-hand corner
leading into the final straightaway of the circuit.
Turns 10-11 (High School): There is a false line of pavement
to the right as you near the official chicane; this false
pavement runs directly up to an immovable barrier (I believe
this is the Pit Entry for other forms of racing at the
circuit). The official chicane requires moderate braking on
entering, and allows for a VERY short burst of acceleration
on exit. Fast times van be gained by blasting through the
sand trap while edging to the right, then turning HARD to the
right on the inside of Turn 12. This is much faster than the
Pit Entry: The Pit Lane begins to the left at the entry of
Turn 12. The Pit Lane has its own sharp right-hand turn
almost immediately, so it is best to begin slowing (or
rather, barely accelerating) as you leave the High School
GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY: HOCKENHEIM
Surrounded by multitudes of trees which make much of the
circuit rather dark in wet races, this is the fastest course
used for F1 racing in 2002. If not for the Jim Clark, Brems,
and Ayrton Senna chicanes, cars would be flying around the
course in top gear all the way from the North Curve (Turn 1)
to the entry of the Stadium (Turn 10). Except for the right
side of the Pit Straight, there is more than enough room to
pull well off the pavement should a car have a serious
problem on any part of the circuit. It is truly interesting
that the German Grand Prix immediately follows the British
Grand Prix, due to The Stadium here at Hockenheim and its
unnamed similar segment at Silverstone.
Important Note: These driving instructions are for the old
Hockenheim circuit, which is still used in F1 2002 despite
the circuit's drastic reconfiguration and shortening in
Pit Straight: This is an extremely short straightaway
compared to the rest of the course.
Turn 1 (North Curve): This right-hand corner will require
moderate braking to keep out of the expansive kitty litter.
The Pit Lane rejoins the course from the right at the exit of
North Curve. Acceleration out of North Curve is of key
importance due to the length of the ensuing straightaway.
Straightaway: Immensely lengthy and lined with trees, speed
is of the utmost importance here. The entire straightaway is
an extremely gentle fade to the right. Drift to the left
when you reach the grandstands.
Turns 2 and 3 (Jim Clark Chicane): A nasty barrier blocks any
straight-ahead shortcutting attempts of this right-left
chicane. Instead, shortcut Turn 2, turn hard while slowing
slightly, and rejoin at the mid-point of Turn 3.
Straightaway: Yet another long, sweeping straightaway which
fades calmly to the right, so powerful acceleration out of
the Jim Clark Chicane is imperative to keep from getting
passed. Drift to the left before entering the Brems Chicane,
and begin braking much earlier than for the Jim Clark
Turns 4 and 5 (Brems Chicane): The original course
configuration (used in older F1 racing games) did not have a
chicane here, and the original pavement remains (without a
barrier). However, the official course suddenly cuts tightly
to the right and then cuts tightly to the left to rejoin the
old pavement. Essentially, treat this as the original course
configuration by using the original pavement; however, some
braking will be needed due to the downhill slope here.
Turn 6 (East Curve): This is a very wide right-hand corner
which can be taken at top speed. Strong acceleration out of
Brems is key to assist in passing here.
Straightaway: This is yet another long straightaway, but
without any fades. Drift to the right for the Ayrton Senna
Turns 7-9 (Ayrton Senna Chicane): DO NOT follow the old
course pavement directly ahead unless you really WANT to
collide with the brand-new barrier. The official course
turns to the left, cuts to the right, and eases left again.
It is actually possible to speed into Turn 7 at top speed,
lift off the throttle through Turn 8, and accelerate quickly
out of the chicane - but this is certainly NOT recommended.
Straightaway: The final long straightaway of the course has
extra pavement on the left - this could potentially be a
place to pass large numbers of cars. This extra pavement
begins shortly after the exit of the Ayrton Senna Chicane,
and ends at the entry of the Stadium; thus, if you are on
this 'extra' pavement entering the Stadium, you will have a
better racing line for Turn 10, allowing you to navigate the
corner with less.
Turns 10-13 (The Stadium): This is similar to the final
segment of the Silverstone circuit. However, do not expect
to drive The Stadium the same way you would the final segment
Turn 10 (Entrance to the Stadium: Agip Curve): Light
braking may be required here, but you should be able to
pass through the Agip Curve without any braking at all
(especially if your racing line began with the 'extra'
pavement on the left before the Stadium). A short
Turn 11 (Continuing through the Stadium: Sachscurve): This
is a left-hand wide hairpin turn, requiring moderate
braking. Be careful not to end up in the grass, either
entering or exiting the corner.
Straightaway (Continuing through the Stadium): This short
straightaway has a fade to the left, followed by a fade to
Turns 12 and 13 (Exiting the Stadium: Opel): The first
right-hand corner is somewhat tight, and heavy braking
will be required here; the old course rejoins the current
course from the left on exit, so if you run wide in this
corner, you can likely recover here using the old
pavement. The final corner of the circuit is a right-hand
turn which will require moderate braking. The Pit Lane
entry is to the right just before the official Turn 13.
Pit Entry: The Pit Lane begins to the right at the entry of
Turn 13 (the final corner of the Stadium).
GRAND PRIX OF HUNGARY: HUNGARORING
The Hungaroring circuit has wide run-off areas, which can be
quite important, especially for Turn 1. It is imperative to
qualify near the top of the grid and be (one of) the first
through this corner, as traffic backs up tremendously here at
the start of a race - moreso than at most other circuits due
to the extremely nasty configuration of the first turn.
Pit Straight: Like Interlagos, Pit Straight is the highest
elevation on the course and a very long straightaway.
Actually, the highest elevation is at the very end of the Pit
Straight, at the entrance of Turn 1, due to the continual
Turn 1: It's all downhill from here, almost literally. This
tight right-hand hairpin corner is downhill all the way
through, making early braking a necessity; plus, you will
certainly be tapping the brakes all the way through this
important first turn. If you do overrun the corner, there is
a huge sand trap for your inconvenience. However, if you
roll up on the inside rumble strips, expect your car to spin
violently and collide with anything nearby.
Turns 2 and 3: After a short straightaway, Turn 2 is a left-
hand 'J' turn requiring moderate braking. Turn 2 is quickly
followed by Turn 3, a light-braking right-hand corner which
must be taken at full throttle on exit to set up passing
opportunities through Turn 3 and along the ensuing
Turn 4: This moderate left-hand corner may require light
braking or may be taken flat-out. Plenty of kitty litter
awaits those who overrun the corner.
Turn 5: Moderate braking is necessary for this right-hand 'J'
turn. Plenty of sand is available on both sides of the
pavement here, just in case.
Turns 6 and 7: This right-left chicane is VERY tricky.
Shortcutting means powering through the sand on the inside of
Turn 7 at about a 45-degree angle to the right.
Turn 8: This moderate left-hand corner may require light
braking, but may also be taken as a full speed passing zone
if using rapid reflexes and a flawless racing line.
Turn 9: Almost immediately following Turn 8, this right-hand
corner definitely requires moderate braking to keep to the
pavement. Accelerate strongly out of Turn 9 to set up good
Turn 10: An easy left-hand corner which can be taken at top
speed, but only with a good racing line. This is a prime
place to pass if sufficient acceleration was made out of Turn
Turn 11: Shortly following Turn 10, the right-hand Turn 11
requires moderate braking to stay out of the kitty litter on
the outside of the corner.
Turns 12 and 13: This is a minor right-left chicane.
Turn 14: This is a narrow 'J' turn to the left. At first,
there is plenty of sand to the outside for those who overrun
the corner, but then a metal barrier rubs up against the
pavement beginning about halfway around the corner, so DO NOT
overrun the corner if you like having the right side of the
car intact. The course begins its steep uphill trajectory
here. A very short straightaway follows.
Turn 15: At the entry of this final corner is the Pit Lane
entry, so beware of slower cars on the right. The official
corner itself is a tight, uphill, right-hand hairpin with
little room for those who overrun the corner. Accelerate
strongly (but not too early) out of this final corner to pass
along the Pit Straight and put on a show for the spectators.
Do not take this corner too tightly, or you will damage the
right-side tires on the Pit Lane barrier.
Pit Entry: The Pit Lane begins at the entry of Turn 15 on the
right; begin slowing (rather, do not accelerate much) at the
end of Turn 14 (the left-hand 'J' turn).
GRAND PRIX OF BELGIUM: SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
This is a well-storied course used for many forms of racing.
The longest course used in the 2002 F1 season, the forest
setting is rather scenic. This is also home to the famous
Turn 1 - the La Source hairpin - which is deemed the slowest
corner in all of F1 racing. As at Hungaroring, it is very
important to be at the front of the grid on the first lap to
safely navigate the first turn. Due to the forest setting,
much of the circuit is perpetually shadowed, which is
especially significant if racing in wet or overcast
Pit Straight: Strong acceleration out of the Bus Stop chicane
allows SOME room for passing here. Fortunately, the
Start/Finish Line has been moved back away from La Source.
The course also slopes downward here, all the way through La
Turn 1 (La Source): This is an incredibly tight right-hand
hairpin. Fortunately, there is plenty of swing-out room and
plenty of recovery space, both paved, which can provide a
great passing opportunity by taking an extremely wide racing
line. The downward slope of the course is not much here, but
it does add to the difficulty of this hairpin turn. Brake
lock-up and the resultant flat-spotting of the tires is quite
easy to inadvertently accomplish here, especially in wet
racing conditions, so caution is extremely important. If a
car in front of you takes the wrong racing line, passing here
can be easy if you can suddenly dart either to the outside or
the inside of the turn. Passing can also occur here if you
brake REALLY late.
Straightaway (Eau Rouge): Immediately at the exit of La
Source is where Pit Lane rejoins the main course, so try to
keep away from the inside of the course here, especially
since the barrier prevents cars exiting La Source to see cars
exiting Pit Lane (and vice versa). To the right is the Pit
Lane for the 24-hour races held at Spa-Francorchamps; take
care not to smash into this concrete Pit Lane barrier,
especially if you are too hard on the accelerator exiting La
Source and force the car into a slide or a spin to the right.
Immediately after passing the 'other' Pit Lane and
entering Eau Rouge (Red Water), the straightaway has several
fades during a semi-blind steep uphill climb into Turn 2. It
is all too easy to misjudge the racing line and wind up out
in the sand and the grass on either side of the pavement
here, so memorization of this segment of the circuit is just
as important as perfect timing in order to keep the car on
the pavement. Until this corner can be taken flawlessly, it
is best to keep to single-file driving through the fades.
Turn 2 (Eau Rouge): This is an easy right-hand corner at the
top of the steep uphill climb. The kitty litter on either
side of the course fades away shortly after the corner.
Straightaway (Kemmel): The course truly enters the forested
area here, with trees lining both sides of the course and
casting lengthy shadows which make this area of the circuit
rather dark when racing in wet conditions. Cars can easily
achieve speeds over 200MPH by the end of this straightaway.
The end of Kemmel is where Mika Hakkinen made 'The Pass' on
Michael Schumacher in the 2000 Grand Prix of Belgium.
Turns 3-5 (Malmedy): This is a right-left-right combination
of corners. Moderate or even heavy braking is necessary
entering Malmedy (Turn 3), but little or no braking is needed
for Turn 4. After an almost non-existent straightaway, light
braking is needed for Turn 5 to keep from running into the
nearby grandstand. Turn 3 can be shortcut (through the
grass) to return to the main circuit at the midpoint of Turn
Straightaway: Between Malmedy and Bruxelles (the French
spelling of 'Brussels,' the capital of Belgium), the course
takes a steep downward trajectory. This can be a good
passing zone for those who did not need to use the brakes
(much) leaving the Malmedy complex.
Turn 6 (Bruxelles): The course continues downhill all the way
through this right-hand hairpin, making heavy braking a
necessity before the corner as well as light braking most of
the way through Bruxelles, especially if the tires are rather
worn. If any corner is to be overrun on a regular basis
during the course of the race, this is it (due to the
downhill slope), so the wide sandy recovery area may actually
be a blessing in disguise. However, due to the slope of the
hill, running up on the rumble strips on the inside of the
turn may well result in a spin or other loss of control; if
done 'correctly,' this may also result in launching the
Turn 7: Shortly following Bruxelles, this left-hand corner
requires moderate braking.
Turn 8 and 9 (Pouhon): These two easy left-hand corners
essentially form a wide 'U' shape, and require light or
moderate braking. There is plenty of run-off room here, if
needed, on both sides of the pavement.
Turns 10 and 11 (Fagnes): This right-left complex will
require moderate braking on entry, and possibly tapping the
brakes through Turn 11 as well. Accelerate well out of
Fagnes to pass one or two cars on the short straightaway
Turn 12 (Stavelot): This is another right-hand corner,
requiring light or moderate braking. It is highly important
to accelerate STRONG out of Stavelot, as you won't be using
the brakes again until the Bus Stop Chicane.
Turn 13 (Blanchimont): This is a long, sweeping, left-hand
corner which must be carried at top speed (from Stavelot) or
else you WILL be passed by others. The trees here are
pretty, but keep your eyes on the road, especially due to the
shadows cast over the circuit.
Turns 14-17 (Bus Stop Chicane): This is a tight left-right
followed by a super-short straightaway and a tight right-
left. True experts can easily fly through the Bus Stop
Chicane at top speed (but be prepared to save the car should
the rumble strips cause you to lose control).
Pit Entry: While the Bus Stop Chicane begins here with a
tight left-hand corner, the Pit Lane continues straight
ahead, with a quick right-left mini-chicane of its own.
There is not much room in Pit Lane to slow down before
reaching the Paddock, so slow on the main course, but keep to
the right to allow cars remaining in the race to pass you on
the left as they enter the Bus Stop Chicane.
GRAND PRIX OF ITALY: MONZA
This historic high-speed track hosts a highly partial pro-
Ferrari crowd - affectionately known as the 'tifosi.' The
2000 Italian Grand Prix is the race in which a volunteer
corner worker was killed at the Roggia Chicane, due to all
the flying debris from the first-lap multi-car collision
caused by Heinz-Herald Frentzen missing his braking zone.
This is also the final race of the 'European' season; the
final two races are both overseas, 'flyaway' races (at
Indianapolis and Suzuka).
Pit Straight: Strong acceleration out of the Curva Parabolica
can create prime passing opportunities along the Pit
Straight, the longest straightaway at Monza. The Pit Lane
begins on the right shortly after exiting the Parabolica.
Turns 1-3 (Rettifilio): The new chicane here is a tight
right-left with a gentle right turn back into line with the
original pavement. The chicane is blocked by a barrier, but
quickly swerving to the left around the barrier and rejoining
the circuit will be the fastest possible way through this
Turn 4 (Biassono): This sweeping right-hand corner among the
thick trees can be taken flat-out. To the left is a long,
wide area of sand, but the corner is so extremely gentle that
the sand should not be needed for any reason unless you blow
an engine or severely puncture a tire.
Turns 5 and 6 (Roggia): Despite the flatness of the Monza
circuit, this chicane is extremely difficult to see on
approach unless traffic is present to mark the pavement for
you, so it is very easy to overrun the chicane. This is a
very tight left-right chicane, so moderate or heavy braking
is required; shortcutting through here at full throttle is
possible by making use of the new, narrow, bright-green
extensions on the inside of each corner. There are also
large sand traps on the inside of each corner to slow cars
which miss the green extensions.
Turn 7 (First Lesmo): This right-hand corner requires
moderate braking. There is a wide sand trap on the outside
of the corner, just in case. Beware the barrier on the
inside of the corner. About 150MPH is the maximum speed
here, or you risk slipping off the course and into the kitty
litter. If you shortcut the first two chicanes of the game,
this will be the first time you absolutely need to use the
Turn 8 (Second Lesmo): This right-hand corner is a little
tighter than First Lesmo, and also has a significant area of
kitty litter on the outside of the corner. Moderate braking
will be needed here. Again, beware the barrier on the inside
of the corner. Generally, about 140MPH is the maximum speed
here to keep from sliding off the pavement.
Straightaway/Turn 9 (Serraglio): This is really just a fade
to the left, but the official course map lists this as a
curve. Counting this as a fade, this marks about the halfway
point on the longest straightaway of the Monza circuit.
There is sufficient room to pull off the course here on
either side if necessary, except when passing underneath the
first bridge. The circuit is extremely bumpy between the two
Turns 10-12 (Ascari): The Ascari chicane is more difficult
than it seems. Turn 10 is a left-hand corner requiring at
least light braking. This is followed immediately by a
right-hand corner requiring moderate braking. Turn 12 can be
taken at full acceleration if you slowed enough in Turn 11.
Wide areas of grass and sand are available for those
overruninng any part of the chicane, but will slow cars
greatly. Unless encumbered by traffic, experts may be able
to take Ascari at full throttle with a flawless racing line
which makes use of the rumble strips as well as the bright-
green 'extension' on the inside of Turn 10.
Straightaway (Rettilineo Parabolica): This is the second-
longest straightaway at Monza and a prime passing zone,
especially with powerful acceleration out of Ascari.
Turn 13 (Curva Parabolica): This final corner is a very-wide
increasing-radius right-hand hairpin. Light or moderate
braking is required on entry, but after about one-third of
the way around the hairpin, stand on the accelerator all the
way through to Rettifilio. The outside of the Curva
Parabolica has an immense expanse of kitty litter, but this
really should not be necessary unless you suddenly need to
take evasive action to avoid someone else's accident. After
the Lesmo corners, the Curva Parabolica is the third and
final place where braking is a definite MUST.
Pit Entry: Shortly after exiting the Curva Parabolica, the
Pit Lane begins on the right. This is perhaps the shortest
Pit Lane in all of F1; there is virtually NO room for
deceleration once leaving the main course, so cars going in
for servicing will begin slowing at the exit of the Curva
GRAND PRIX OF THE UNITED STATES: INDIANAPOLIS
The inaugural U.S. Grand Prix was significant for two
reasons. First, for the first time ever, cars were racing
'backward' (clockwise) at Indianapolis. Second, cars were
racing in the rain, which is virtually unheard-of in American
auto racing (CART is an exception, but only on road courses).
Fortunately, FIA gave the live rights to ABC for the American
audience, a very intelligent move to try to increase F1's
exposure in the American market; this would not have been
nearly as effective if SpeedVision had been permitted the
live rights for the race, as SpeedVision is a cable-
/satellite-only channel, and not all cable systems carry
SpeedVision in their more affordable packages (in Tucson, I
personally pay $25 extra per month just to get the package
which includes SpeedVision). Except the Pit Straight, the
U.S. Grand Prix circuit features wide run-off areas,
especially along Hulman Blvd. According to many of the
drivers, part of the 'mystique' of the U.S. Grand Prix at
Indianapolis is the closeness of the spectators; at no other
F1 circuit are the fans literally 'just across the wall' from
the cars (the main grandstands at Albert Park would come
closest). The U.S. Grand Prix begins the final 'flyaway'
(non-European) races of the 2002 season.
No meaningful shortcuts here to lower lap times :-(
GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN: SUZUKA
This world-famous circuit in figure-eight style is used for
many forms of auto and motorcycle racing; as such, those who
have played other racing games (such as Moto GP World Tour or
Le Mans 24 Hours) may already have some familiarity with the
Suzuka circuit. One of the most famous sights of the
'circuit' is the large Ferris Wheel on the left behind the
grandstands as cars pass along the Pit Straight. This is the
circuit where Michael Schumacher won the 2000 Driver's
Championship. Suzuka was once the official test circuit for
Honda, with the figure-eight configuration ensuring that
there were a near-equal number of both left-hand and right-
hand turns; similarly, the circuit was purposely designed to
include as many types of corners and situations as possible,
which makes the Suzuka circuit more technically difficult
than it might at first appear to Suzuka novices.
Turns 14-16 (Chicane): This is the trickiest part of the
course (even moreso than Hairpin), and the only area where
shortcutting may be useful. The inside of Chicane is filled
with DEEP sand which will greatly slow cars. Full-throttle
acceleration approaching Chicane is required to get through
this kitty litter as quickly as possible.
Pit Entry: Using the old entrance to Pit lane, the Pit Lane
begins to the right just before Chicane. The current real-
world course configuration has cars entering Pit Lane from
the tiny stretch between Turns 15 and 16.
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