2011 AtomicF1 Championship Round 4

Bitter Sweet round, with a worse than expected first race and a solid and expected result in race 2
February 22 2011

I felt pretty optimistic about a good result at Turkey. I'd done a fair bit of practice on time trail mode and in Grand Prix mode, and qualified well (3rd on Expert, in my Ferrari - up on Alonso at least). It's always tricky using that to judge online play. Take Malaysia as example. I qualified second in our comp but couldn't get my Ferrari off the back of the grid on Expert levelin Grand Prix mode :S

Anyway, I qualified a disappointing fourth. I take solice that it was only a few tenths off second. I got swamped off the start and dropped back to last, before a bunch of noobs in front me fucked up and I got into third behind Flouncy. I can't remember Turkey very cleary now, but I do remember dropping it a number of times in a number of places. Second last after a handful of laps, I resigned myself to spending it as a test session and tried a variety of angles of attack on the corners, combined with different wheel turning angles. I'm of the impression that I'm turning to hard each way and it's understeering. I can't see it in the cockpit view I race in but it's fucking attrocious in the T-bar view (that may just be the view messing up my reference points). Anyway I tried putting less steering input into each turn and I think it made a difference. Hard to tell on hard and worn tyres. Either way I was glad and disappointed to see the end of the race. My lack of pace in general over the last few races is starting to cause me some concern and I began to think about playing with the way I setup my controller.

I was pretty confident of getting a good time around Montreal. My Time Trial time was solid and it's an easy circuit. On my first lap out in quali I tried to eat my dinner (home made pizza, yum!) while driving. Result? Nose meets wall. Nose goes red. Limp back to pits and come out easy on my first timed flying lap, shifting up early and generally not trying hard. Second flying lap and I focussed hard, pushing pushing pushing. I was rewarded with a time 0.3s slower than my initial flying lap. A time that would be my quali time. I felt I had a good 0.8s improvement in my, if my splits where anything to go by, buy second place on the grid was good enough.

I got off the line ok, falling back to third, which I got back on turn 1. Lambo wasn't pulling away over the next lap. Then I spun and got past. I spun again a lap later. Then spun again pushing hard through the right left kink on the back straight before the hairpin (did that another time too). When I came out of the pits I was just behind Ghost and about 38seconds behind Flouncy, who I assume hadn't yet pitted. 

Ghost and I had a good battle for the next 12 or so laps. I'd close it up to with 0.4, then I'd slip a bit in the dirty air. I'd catch back up and slip a bit again. Then Ghost would slip and I'd be right back in it. I got him on lap 21 I think and set about chasing Flouncy for second place. Suprisingly I caught him (and dropped Ghost) pretty easily. I saw Flouncy make a few mistakes as I got closer, and I assumed his tyres were shot. I put a clean but hard pass into Turn 8 and kept it planted firmly in the middle of the track, brake late and wide while I tried my best to keep Flouncy from cutting back under me and getting round the outside. Happilly we didn't colide and I managed to drive off into Force India's first one-two of the season.

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