First F1 Esports title decided by final-lap pass

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The first F1 Esports title was decided yesterday.

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Comment of the day

Nase considers how big an effect Lance Stroll’s old engine had on his poor qualifying performance yesterday:

Comparison of sector times at Williams:

Sector one: Stroll +0.106 (+0.62%)
Sector two: Stroll +0.327 (+0.81%)
Sector three: Stroll +0.646 (+1.64%)

Sector two stands out as the power-sensitive part of the track, with six slow corners and two very long straights, whereas sector one and especially sector three emphasise cornering speeds (traction being another important factor in sector three).

The thing is, his sector times clearly show that, despite his indisputable engine disadvantage, he lost most of his time in the twisty parts of the track.

The speed trap points to a similar conclusion: Massa was second-quickest at 329.4 kph, but Stroll was just 1.5 kph (or 0.45%) slower. While the speed trap at the end of a long straight line might not tell the whole story regarding the power output of an engine (DRS and slipstreams potentially levelling the differences), the ‘maximum speeds’ measured at the end of every sector essentially confirm that impression:

Sector one: 290.9 vs. 289.3 (+0.55%)
Sector two: 326.7 vs. 323.0 (+1.145%)
Finish line: 228.4 vs. 227.0 (0.61%)

In the case of sectors one and three, the differences are almost negligible, not even standing out when compared to other teams. Stroll apparently suffered a bit more on the second long straight, but the fact that his top speed on the first long straight was virtually identical to Massa’s, casts some doubt upon the significance of that one reading. Massa may have had a bit of a slipstream, in which case 3.7 kph would be insignificant. Even more so considering that the long straights only account for circa 26 seconds of full throttle, i.e. just over a quarter of the lap time.

The most telling figure is the speed measured at the finish line, which tells us roughly how well the cars accelerated out of the slowish final corner on the short dash to the finish line. Stroll only lost 0.6% compared to Massa on this short run. By naïvely multiplying this deficit with the estimated full throttle percentage of 59%, Stroll’s acceleration-related time deficit over his best lap would’ve been circa 0.35 seconds, which might have put him ahead of Magnussen, who was 14th.

Yes, the old engine definitely wasn’t helpful, but his engineers know that it didn’t play a decisive role.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “First F1 Esports title decided by final-lap pass”

  1. F1 Esports. How long till they run a FPV racing car series?

  2. For a first attempt venturing into esports, it was an admirable effort from F1. From what I gathered there was a few technical issues and while the game itself isn’t a simulation, it seemed to drum up a decent amount of interest. Maybe longer races for next year?

    I also found it extremely pathetic the handful of people who were mocking the participants on the SkyF1 and F1 twitter as if they wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to make £2,000 from their hobbies.

    1. Well it’s very mockable isn’t it? The prize could be a million pounds but it wouldn’t change what it is.

      1. @f1bobby, why is it so mockable?

        There are certain e-sport events that gain audiences that put a great number of conventional sporting events to shame in terms of the number of viewers. The finals of one series organised by Intel earlier this year had a live audience of 173,000 and 46 million online viewers – the live audience alone would put the race day attendance figures for most circuits on the calendar to shame.

      2. Why is it mockable? My top 3:

        1) F1 2017 is an arcade game, not anywhere near a sim.
        2) They ran 25% races, 25% distance of an actual GP, any self respecting league at least runs 50% races.
        3) They had several people drop from the servers during the race. How can you hold a championship and not give everyone a fair chance.

        1. @flatsix

          How can you hold a championship and not give everyone a fair chance.

          Sounds like a very realistic simulation of F1 to me.

          1. @keithcollantine Maybe we should have the contestants pay for which car they want to drive. The more money you’re willing to put into it the better car you’ll get. Hehe, imagine that,…

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            26th November 2017, 10:44

            @flatsix Oh no! Have EA won the rights to make the next F1 game!?

          3. they could have loot boxes for those willing to pay, after all, f1 is a pay to win sport, might as make the games the same.

        2. @flatsix
          Why does it matter what type of game it is? They’re competing to find the best player on that game, if they play a sim it’s just slightly different controls and physics -it makes no real difference to their skill level and neither is anything like real life.

          I get the complaints about length but that’s just to get casual viewers to stick with a new sport and the technical issues are irritating but that’s the same with all new series. The opening season of Formula E in particular was hilariously bad when it came to things like the safety car.

          I’m not a big fan of esports but I enjoyed the races I watched and they seem to have done a good job.

          1. it makes no real difference to their skill level

            @glynh I have no issues with you disagreeing but that’s simply not true. Even with traction control you can still floor it out of almost every corner, if you do that on iRacing you’re facing the wrong direction after every corner. F1 2017 requires zero skill compared to actual sims or ‘close-to’-sims like AC or PC2.

            Obviously that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, entertaining to watch or even used in a competition like this, it just shows how little the world knows about actual simulation games.

          2. @flatsix The thing is, is the Codemasters F1 games are made for F1 fans who want to have some fun racing around themselves. If they made it a full scale sim then they wouldn’t get nearly as many sales as most people would find it too hard. So then people like me who want to do some sim-ish racing too, can buy games like AC, rF2 and PC2, as well as the F1 game, which is more casual. It does still take some skill to become very good at it like these guys are.

      3. Why is it ‘mockable’?
        It’s just a new sport like skateboarding and BMX were a few years ago. And probably more of an excercise than a game of chess or a fews days of cricket.

        1. It’s not a sport. It’s a game. If they named it something more credible, some quarters might take ‘eSports’ more seriously.

          1. @flatsix (no reply button above) I meant their skill level at playing games, not any specific area. They’re still (supposedly) the best at their game whether it’s sim, arcade or even a strategy game.

            Personally I don’t see the big difference between arcade and sim though, both take skill just in different areas. Obviously sim is harder initially and tries to be more realistic but in reality neither is anything like real life because the physical aspect is so much less and games don’t capture the true random nature of driving.

            Unfortunately there’s never a way to compare drivers from both as they wouldn’t have the experience, in the same way as when Formula E does its sim races the drivers rarely do well against the players.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            26th November 2017, 13:29

            @newfangled Sure but with motorsports and flight simulators, it is much more like the real thing than other games. With FIFA, you control your players movements with thumb-sticks and buttons – that’s nothing like real life as you aren’t physically kicking the ball. The same applies for most games but with with motorsports or flight sims, you can accurately simulate what you would do in a cockpit.

            It’s not the real thing of course but there is a reason that F1 teams use simulators, pilots have to spend hours on simulators but football teams don’t force their players to play FIFA (and wizards don’t train by playing Skyrim).

            Obviously by picking a more arcade-focused game rather than a proper sim, they’ve lost a bit of credibility but hopefully now that this is starting to take off a bit, Codemasters may look to make the game more realistic. I don’t blame them from wanting to promote the officially licenced game.

          3. @glynh
            It’s a casual video game with hardly any depth. The only thing is has going for itself is the sponsored name. Although you can be world champion in something like thumb wrestling, while it takes skill and practice and dedication to be the best, that doesn’t make it a proper sport.

            All in all I’m glad there is some attention for esports, but towards the general public these games based on real life sports shape the wrong image of what esports constitutes. Big esport titles like League/Dota, Counter-Strike, Starcraft make more sense as a respectable esport in its own right. Those are really good games with a lot of depth and are true challenges for body and mind like any good sport.

        2. Whaaat? More exercise than a few days of cricket? Couldn’t handle that..

      4. petebaldwin (@)
        26th November 2017, 13:15

        No it wouldn’t change what it is but I don’t see why it’s mockable… I’m sure lots of the guys in this competition would have been decent racing drivers had they been lucky enough to be one of the 0.001% given the chance to take up karting at a young age but they weren’t. E-sports offer people a platform to compete and show off their driving skills without cost being a barrier.

    2. @davef1 I loved the finger-wagging in the video.

  3. Hopefully this will mark the end of Rosberg’s tiresome Miss Retired World Champion social media victory tour.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      26th November 2017, 6:24

      Its probably being bankrolled by Merc. If my employer was paying me to jet around the world and post videos about it on FB and YT, I’d do it.

    2. Why? Nico personal logo are far better than soon to be official F1 logo.

  4. Re CoTD, is it possible Stroll went for a setup with less wing, which compromised his handling and stability in the slower corners in S3?

    1. @wsrgo
      While not impossible, I think it’s unlikely for two reasons:
      – The contribution of straight-line speed to lap times is just a minor factor at Yas Marina, otherwise we’d see much higher top speeds on the 1.2 km long first straight. Sacrificing cornering stability for top speed is quite predictably a very poor trade-off at that track. There is nothing to be gained from it – the Williams (old engine or not) is already one of the fastest cars on the straights, especially compared to Stroll’s ‘neighbours’ on the grid, and all that straight-line speed is completely useless if the setup compromises the car in the third sector, allowing the cars in front to drive away from Stroll.

      – The speed measured at the finish line quite clearly speaks against it, as the final corner is rather sensitive to a car’s balance (thus, the exit speed would be directly affected by wing setup), and the speed between the final corner and the finish line (130-140 kph at the apex, 220-230 kph at the finish line) is too low to cause noticeable differences in drag between different wing setups (thus, there is no advantage for cars with less downforce). Which is why Massa, who had one of the fastest cars on the long straights due to the Williams’s inherent low drag – low downforce characteristics, was only eleventh-fastest at the finish line.

      1. On 5hr Sky coverage Damon Hill and Martin Brundle were again talking about Stroll and lay the blame squarely on his choppy aggressive technique at the wheel, with the nature of Abu Dhabi rewarding the type of precise car control that he completely lacks at moment.

        If Kubica ends up in the other Williams car (as Mark Hughes at Motorsport seems to think) it will be even more humiliating for Stroll in 2018.

  5. Well, that “eSports” race proves pretty much why this entire concept is one big and unfortunately not particularly funny joke.

    The fact that Codemasters’ vintage immediate penalties of questionable logic pretty much decided that race at the end (even if you could make the point that it was fair) makes the 2008 Belgian GP look positively well-ruled and killed all tension.

    Not to mention the fact that all three-podium finishers look like total losers I can never see myself asking for an autograph, even if forced to at gunpoint.

    1. +1 they should make them wear a halo device next year just to complete the picture.

    2. Think the reason E-sport is gathering followers is that ultimate skill, without any attachment to socially accepted norms for appearance/behavior, which you seem to require, is the key requirement. These guys might not look like superstars, but they possess ultimate skill at their specialty – which in this case is a semi-arcade racer. Most of the rest of us possess zero ultimate skills at anything. If, on a sports website, you choose to not appreciate skill over looks, then that is a choice – but a somewhat sad one.

      1. For a couple of hundred pounds (or about £400 if you need a console too), it’s possible to get the game and actively compete with players of all abilities across the world…

        Whilst it isn’t a full in sim, it does have a requirement for more than a basic ability than something of the full on arcade racing games and has a wide availability across the 3 main platforms. Its close enough to a full sim as other race games such as Gran Turismo (which in itself had a competition to take a proper race series seat).

  6. ESport summary:
    Kvyat on front row manage to take the lead from Hamilton, but Hamilton take the lead back couple laps after. Bottas early stop undercut both. Hamilton pit stop held by couple safety release moment and came out behind Kvyat.
    Lap 13/14: (from Kvyat) [censored by FOM], [censored by FOM], Honestly!
    (Charlie instruct Bottas to give championship to Kvyat)
    Podium interview:
    (Formula E Presenter): “Why don’t you be more happy? An overweight Toro Rosso driver to win is a great thing!”
    (Kvyat): “I wait for ten minutes, for [censored by FOM] sake!”

  7. Am I wrong to think that if you do like it, don’t like it, support it, hate it, or are totally in different to it… Someone being the best in the world at an F1 computer game has nothing to do with the F1 I follow?

  8. Toto: “You’re always free to take a penalty, take an engine then that will cost you more money. Or you can not run your engine with so much power, that’s the formula. If you took a Mercedes engine today and ran it at lower power, you could get through the season already on three engines.”

    Farce three engine rule for championship. Only wealthy customer team who can afford engine allocation strategy if they were willing to ditch a race for better next one. This could be handy for McLaren and RedBull but not for the remaining team who will force to race in tune down engine for most of 2018 season.

  9. That McLaren – Honda champagne send-off looks like a hearty laugh.

  10. COTD emphasises how much Williams is now Stroll’s team. They make excuses for him like nobody before. It’s interesting to see, really.

  11. petebaldwin (@)
    26th November 2017, 10:53

    “Racing is a combination of things, and the secret of success is to optimise every single thing at every level. If you do so, you achieve.”

    No Jean. You don’t unless you convince Mercedes to sell you an engine. Without that, you can optimise whatever you want – you won’t achieve anything.

    1. @petebaldwin Ferrari had the faster car over the season. Just not the drivers to make full use of it.

  12. Thanks for the CotD, @keithcollantine! :)

    @ the story about Mosley:
    The accusations he brings forward against the Times sound worryingly accurate. Any UK residents know more about the subject?

    1. Two words, Rupert Murdoch. Although the Times have usually kept above this sort of thing, they are extremely worried by the IPSO proposal which takes away the ‘self policing’ aspect of the British media. Up against some other nations press, the UK enjoys some good standards but in itself, they have fallen dramatically in the past decade. Kelvin McKenzie, an early proponent of “ if you have nothing to write about, just make it up and give them (the subject) something to deny, then you will have your story. “ (From his book, Stick it Up Your Punter), was largely responsible for the disasterous Hillsboro report and subsequently dragged British journalism to the gutter, at least at tabloid level with dwarf throwing and topless news readers etc. Mosely of course, started the whole Press Responsibility thing following disclosures of his private life which he maintained was ‘private’. He successfully sued several newspapers and then helped set up IPSO (Independent Press Organisation) to monitor standards in British Journalism and they clearly don’t like it, hence the fake news which they hastily retracted a couple of days later in a couple of lines at the bottom of the page. You may agree or disagree with Mosely but what the Times did was well below the belt. It may of course, be standard practice in other countries and thus people from abroad may shrug their shoulders and go “so”? But we have come to expect better than that..

    2. You have to understand the complex back-story here to Mosley’s accusations. Irrespective of whether the article in the Times was accurate or not Mosley has been been fighting to introduce heavy regulation of the Free press through a new ‘Independent’ press regulator: Impress. Unfortunately Impress board members are far from independent and organisation is spoiled by anti-free press bias, and a partisan political outlook.

      Although Mosley’s record for driving safety improvement in F1 is to be recognised and lauded his work with Impress to restrict the free press in the UK is worrying.

  13. Some comments against the game used for the e race but how would the winner get on against a real F1 driver in a top years actual simulator. The actual simulators are sure to be millions of times better than IRacing. Also how about e racing on actual F1 simulators for all the teams 3Rd drivers who cannot do anything else all year. These drivers are known upcoming realised talents. Nice to see them against each other.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      26th November 2017, 13:32

      I’d like to see the winners get the chance to practice on a real sim and then compete against real drivers. It’d start to give us an idea of how quick they’d be as drivers rather than how quick they are on a game.

      Obviously driving actual cars, you can’t compete with 10 years of real life racing experience so none of them would stand a chance.

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