F1 Games

How’s your F1 2012 career going?

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    Bradley Downton

    Just thought I’d beat @fixy to this ;)
    Absolutely smashed the Young Driver Test, got every Chevron and Every Gold Medal (though that’s not hard at all).
    Then started a Career with Caterham alongside the amazing Heikki Kovalainen! :D

    Participation Level – Long Weekend – Full Qualifying
    Race Distance – 100%
    Camera – Cockpit

    Braking Assist – Off
    ABS – On
    TC – Full
    Line – Off
    Gearbox – Automatic
    Pit Assist – Off
    Rules and Flags – Realistic
    Damage – Full
    AI Difficulty – Legend
    Flashbacks – 4 (Just in case)


    Right guys if anyone has been reading my 2011 race reports, I will be continuing my F1 career onto this game. In 2011 I spent my first year with Lotus and then moved to Williams. At that team I managed to win the WDC after a titanic battle with Vettel which went to the last race at Brazil. I hope that F1 2012 will be just as good as the last game although I’m not crazy about the no tyre scaling or FP2 and 3. My first race will be up soon..

    Bradley Downton

    @shaneb12345678910 – No FP1 or 2 ;)


    @bradley13 Lol yeah sorry :) Thats what I meant..

    Bradley Downton

    Ok, so I started my only practice session and it went manic, after the 11/12 chicane I spun off, only to find di Resta, Hamilton and Pic already in the same wall! Hamilton then got stuck at turn 1, and I later found him crawling along the straight at 15mph, but too late. I creamed into the back of him and ended both our sessions. I then realised I hadn’t edited my setup, and that I couldn’t do it in Quali, so restarted and had a really dull FP, except that Kobayashi was quickest from Senna!
    Qualifying came and my laps were consistent, but not impressive. I managed to go green on the time to get into Q2 in S1 and S2, but made a mistake ending my hopes. I will start 19th, with di Resta also going out in Q1. Massa just scraped through.

    The Grid
    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Nico Rosberg
    3. Michael Schumacher
    4. Jenson Button
    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Felipe Massa
    7. Sebastian Vettel
    8. Romain Grosjean
    9. Mark Webber
    10. Kimi Raikkonen
    11. Sergio Perez
    12. Kamui Kobayashi
    13. Nico Hulkenberg
    14. Bruno Senna
    15. Pastor Maldonado
    16. Jean-Eric Vergne
    17. Daniel Ricciardo
    18. Paul di Resta
    19. Bradley Downton
    20. Heikki Kovalainen
    21. Timo Glock
    22. Narain Karthikeyan
    23. Charles Pic
    24. Pedro de la Rosa

    I feel it would have been more random had I made Q2.

    Adam Tate

    Just tried the demo for the first time last night, did a couple 5 lap races at Monza and it was awesome!!!

    Really looking forward to the full game.


    I got the game yesterday, have to say that im happy that with the steering wheel it feels nothing like the demo. however I can feel the back getting out from me in a lot corners, this is with abs and full traction control as well. Started my season in the Catherham beside Hekki doing 25% races, full weekend, qualified in 12th and finished in 8th, pretty straightforward race, never had the pace to chase down the guys in front, i spent most of my time defending.

    2nd race and i qualified 4th (with the help of online setups) and on the very last corner was 3rd, but after a spin fell to 10th. again defended the entire race.

    3rd race qualified in pole and won the race, again spending the entire race defending

    one weird AI thing was that in australia i had Felipe behind me, crashed into the back of me and lost his entire front wing, didn’t pit, but stayed out for the next five laps chasing me down and eventually passing me


    I haven’t bought the game yet but I have decided that I will race with Williams. I hope I will go well and I wish you the best.


    Race 1 – Australia – Season 3 – Williams

    Quali – 14th
    I managed to get into Q2 fairly easily however it was very competitive. I was 2 tenths away from getting into the top ten but I qualified 14th. Maldonado qualified in 7th while Hamilton took pole ahead of Alonso and Vettel. Button was down in 11th and the two Mercedes struggled and qualified 15th and 16th.

    Race – 14th
    My strategy was to start on primes and pit on lap 17 for options. I got a decent start and managed to fight my way up to 9th by the first few corners. I then passed Massa on the straight after the 11-12 chicane. 2 laps later, Webber had a big accident and lost his front wing in and around the third sector. By lap 6 Massa was close behind me and I was close behind Kobayashi. On the next lap I passed Kobayashi into turn 3 using DRS. Alonso was battling with Vettel ahead and into the quick chicane Alonso had to pull out of the throttle as Vettel passed him. This meant he was slow off the corner so I managed to pass him on the straight. I was up to 4th now and was happy with my pace on the prime tyres. On the next lap I could not keep the Ferrari behind me and he passed me using DRS. Massa behind me spun going into the the 1st corner which took the pressure off me. I was in 5th with a 7 second gap to Alonso by lap 11. On the next lap, people ahead of me pitted and I was up to second. Hamilton, who had already pitted, was 3 seconds ahead of me in the lead. On lap 17 I pitted for options and I rejoined in 5th behind Grosjean. However on lap 23 I made a mistake going through the 11-12 chicane and spun into the wall losing my front wing and getting a puncture. Crawled back to the pits and I rejoined in 14th and stayed there. Very dissapointed to do a Maldonado so near the end of the race. But Im happy that the pace of the AI is better and I hope to get a good points finish in Malaysia. Hamilton won with Alonso and Vettel on the podium. Button retired early on and Hulkenburg got disqualified for some reason.


    Just finished my first race weekend at Australia.

    Firstly I found the Young Drivers’ Test really frustrating, but only because I thought I’d blitz it and it took my more attempts at most of the tests than I had hoped! It’s actually a great addition, albeit one I’m only going to use once. I’ve only had my steering wheel for 6 months (it’s the old MS Official Xbox wheel, off of ebay), and have only played it with GriD and Forza 4 which were both pretty much useable with a wheel straight out of the box, but F1 2012 took me AGES to get set up. The first straight line test I tried saw me careen all over the track and into the wall after I just touched the wheel. After playing around with the setting for what seemed like 30 minutes I got it more or less useable, but was still tweaking it through the rest of the YDT. Why the default settings are so awful is beyond me.

    The YDT was also useful just for getting up to speed, because I found the handling takes a lot of getting used to. Once you’ve got it though, I think the handling is great. It rewards precision in terms of sticking to the racing line, but I’ve found you have to be pretty brutal with the braking. Would like the throttle to be a bit more beastly, it feels like you can pretty much floor it without switching ends. It also seems to lack the remarkable change of direction that F1 cars seem to have, not enough turn in. I honestly can’t compare to the handling of any other racing game I’ve played, it feels very strange sometimes! But overall really it is challenging, rewarding and feels great once you’ve built up a rhythm.

    Anyway, first weekend at Melbourne after taking Charles Pic’s seat at Marussia and quitting my tradition of choosing HRT for ’10 and ’11. Not interested in making it easy for myself, so it’s legendary AI, assists off (except manual gears). 50% races for me. Found my typical setup from ’11 worked ok, would feel I could get a bit more front end bite though. Managed to get it more or less how I want it during practice but still about 3-4 seconds off my teammate’s pace.

    I’m not hugely disappointed about just having the one practice session, but it’s a shame there isn’t more than an hour. Particularly when I’m still getting used to the game, that just doesn’t feel enough to test everything I want to – tyres, gear ratios, etc. An hour and a half would be fair, but c’est la vie.

    Qualifying is pretty tough, find myself in last place but sure I could improve – annoyingly ran out of time to get another set of options on.

    Race day, and happy to see that this year your targets are more dynamic. My initial race target was 17th (!!!) but now it’s down to a rather realistic, if patronising, 23rd.

    Get a terrible start from last place, but still manage to catch up and take a few places in the first few corners. There’s literally a fountain of carbon fibre shards that explodes somewhere up ahead, but not sure who or what caused it.

    After the first lap I’m 18th, but make a few mistakes and I’m down to 21st after 5 laps with Heikki, Narain and Kobayashi (who had pitted on the first lap) chasing. Kamui must quickly dispatch the backmakers and within a few laps he gets past me too.

    I’m beginning to build up a bit of a rhythm now and while Heikki is rapidly approaching I seem to be keeping pace with the HRT, so set myself the new target. My option tyres seem to be starting to fall away, can really feel it out of the slower corners as the rears struggle to light up. Heikki makes it past using DRS. Narain is on the primes, and I try to hold him off before I have to pit. But my first mistake for a few laps means he dives past, and I pit immediately afterwards.

    I think the decision to not scale tyre wear for shorter distances is a great one and one I’d be hoping Codemasters would make for a while. A 50% race with, sometimes, 4-6 lap stints is just ridiculous and I like being able to build up a rhythm over longer stints even if I haven’t got the time for 100% races. Great in practice and qualifying too, as it was too easy to run out of useable rubber.

    So I pit and Narain carries on his merry way, and I’m pleased to see that I can keep pace with him. I seem to have missed some of the blue flags when I pitted, but he seems to lose big chunks of time which I assume is the leaders going past. I notice on the minimap you can see when other drivers are receiving blue flags – nice touch! After a few laps I’m within 15 seconds, another few and it’s down to 10. 10 laps to go and the gap seem to have stabilised at around 12 seconds as my options lose their best grip. As he pits I’m annoyingly held up by blue flags, make a small mistake on the last corner and see the HRT emerge just in front of me at the end of the start/finish straight. I’m close behind him but it’s pretty chaotic with blue flags and angry Mercedes drivers everywhere, but I manage to get past him into turn 3 – success!

    But there’s still 9 laps left and once his options are up to temp he’s hassling me a lot. I manage to hold him for a couple of laps, but another blue flags distract me and I spin. Lose about 20 seconds so it’s all over in that battle for today. I spend the rest of the race trying not to make a mistake – which I manage, it’s the small victories :)

    Luckily, somewhere along the way Vergne retired so I MANAGE TO MEET MY RACE TARGET! 23! My garage is a scene of absolute ecstasy, I’m naturally elated but manage to keep my calm exterior intact.

    Overall though, I’m happy. The game is great fun, much more challenging than the previous editions and I’m reasonably confident that I can make up that 2-4 seconds pace deficit as I get used to the slightly odd handling.


    I haven’t started mine proper because I’m just pounding lap after lap on circuits right now as I adapt my driving style to the new handling system in 2012. I still need to perfect my hand-eye coordination when it comes to the feedback I’m getting visually on the car and what my hands should do to respond. There is still a big disconnect between me and the game right now in any car except the Caterham – in which I am a demon. (I did 1 qualifying session and race with the AI on legend – I outqualified Heikki by 1.8s and was consistently 1.7-2s faster lap after lap in race pace)


    Participation Level – Long Weekend – Full Qualifying
    Race Distance – 100%

    Braking Assist – Off
    ABS – On
    TC – Full
    Line – Off
    Gearbox – Manual
    Pit Assist – Off
    Rules and Flags – Realistic
    Damage – Full
    AI Difficulty – Legend
    Flashbacks – 0 (Don’t want the temptation)

    I decided to pick the Caterham, after having a go with a couple of the teams. The HRT and Marussia just seemed a bit too slow, and I wanted to be able to try and take the fight to the midfield. So I’m partnered up with Heikki Kovaleinen. The team have given me the goal to finish 16th, with Heikki 15th. It could be a tough ask, with the improved AI, but not altogether impossible, with a couple of good races.

    The first couple of practice sessions I did resulted in me crashing into Karthikeyan when he spun in front of me, and then blowing up two engines (The first time because of the quick downshifting, despite thinking that’d I’d slowed it down, and the second because I realised hitting the limiter was killing the engine). After this, I restarted for the last time, now wiser to the fact that I would have to take care of the car, and not over-drive it.

    I set up the gearing, knowing that I’d either have to set the 7th gear to be just before the limiter with the DRS open, or without it. It was a trade-off between quali and race pace, which was a difficult decision to make.

    I only managed 19th in Practice. I was comfortably ahead of my team mate and the other lower teams, but still a little way off of the back of the midfield, but I was hoping that with some decent strategies, I might be able to pick a few places up.

    I think I only ended up doing two laps in qualifying. I didn’t want to use too many tyres, and I knew that I wasn’t going to able to get into Q2, as the pace just wasn’t there. I set my fastest time on the options – I think it was a 1:29.2 or something like that. It was a decent lap, nice and clean, but still couldn’t match those in front.

    Jenson Button managed to get pole, and I can’t remember the positions after that, apart from I think Kobayashi was up there, and Alonso as well. At the back of the field, Glock was behind me, with Heikki in 21st, Pic 22nd and the HRTs at the very back.

    I can’t quite recall the strategy that the team was putting me, I think it went something along the lines of Options, Options, Primes, Options. I know that they were telling me to pit on lap 14 (I was starting on Options).

    My start wasn’t too bad, but I was able to pick up a couple of places in turn one, because a couple of cars (One being a Force India) took a trip into the gravel, probably because of a collision. This happened again at the next corner (Turn 3?) and I was up to 11th. Someone then made a mistake, and I was up to 10th! I was very pleased!

    I was comfortable with my pace, and the tyres were holding up well and the fuel didn’t require too much saving (I set the fuel on Normal instead of the proposed Cautious). I was being hounded from behind by faster cars, but even with the assistance, I was able to keep just about in front, and even when they did pass, I could keep it on the outside just enough to keep them at bay, without being aggressive in any way.

    The first round of pit stops came around, and I stayed out. I was confident that the tyres could hold up further than lap 14, and I was right. In fact, it wasn’t until lap 17 that they started to go off, and I decided to pit then, instead of losing time with bad tyres. I was hoping that with the extra laps, I could do one stop less than everyone else. At first, I’d intended to try and go up to lap 25, to attempt a one stop, but I didn’t want to risk it when I began losing traction.

    I came out on options again in 14th place. Maldonado had pitted before me (He had been stuck behind me most of the race thus far) and was still behind when I came out, though he was on primes now. He was still surprisingly quick, and I knew that my position wasn’t to do with my pace, as the cars behind were clearly quicker.

    Not much happened until I stopped again, on lap 33/34, pitting for primes and hoping to go for the rest of the race. I was now in 17th, and pretty lonely. For some reason, Webber was in 16th and about 20 seconds up the road, though some cars were still to pit. After that point, the nearest I got to 16th was within 3 seconds, but they were just too quick for me.

    Unfortunately, I broke my front wing, whilst saving the car from a slide through turn 11, and decided to pit for options, with 14 laps left. This put me 40 seconds behind Hulkenberg, but I was still over a minute ahead of Pic in 18th. However, I managed to slide the car again coming out of turn 1, and slightly damaged my front wing again, giving me more understeer, but there was no point in pitting again.

    I carried on for the rest of the race, pretty lonely, and noticing that Di Resta was charging at me, closing the gap to 40 seconds, but still wasn’t fast enough to catch me.

    Alonso went on to win the first race of the season, with Grosjean coming out of nowhere to finish second, and Button third. Hamilton was 4th, with Massa 7th or 8th, and Webber only managing 10th. Vettel (at some point) had gone out of the race, enabling me to finish in 17th.

    It was a fun first race, despite it being lonely at times, and I’m definitely looking forward to trying my luck again at Malaysia, where I think I’m a little better. I’m sure it’s going to be tough to bring the Caterham into the midfield, but I’m looking forward to the challenge ;)


    @bradley13 ah, that’s a pity! :P Seriously, I have the game but my PC is getting repaired right now. I should get it back soon, and then I’ll make this thread mine ;)


    Malaysia Practice
    After a reasonable showing in Melbourne (out-qualifying and out-racing my team mate) I was confident going into practice, knowing that I’d have to make the trade-off once again between race and quali gears. The only problem…it was raining.
    I went out nonetheless, just to see how the car reacted in the rain. It was pretty decent. I was only a few tenths slower than Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India, and the balance felt okay on the inters. Though I quickly realised that it was a waste of time, as both qualifying and the race were set to be dry.

    With about twenty minutes remaining in the session, the track dried up enough for slick tyres. I changed some of the setup, to accommodate for the weather and went back out. I was surprised to see that my pace was pretty good. I don’t know if the other cars were struggling, but I was pretty quick compared to a lot of other cars.

    By the end of the session, Vettel was quickest, with me down in 10th place. Jenson was just ahead of me, but Hamilton was down in last place. Clearly he hadn’t gone back out since the rain had stopped. Having set my time on primes, I’m pretty confident, though I don’t know if the others will be quicker come qualifying. It’ll be an interesting weekend.


    Onto Malaysia for me and my Marussia today, completing the weekend either side of the real Grand Prix.

    After a bit of fiddling with set up, I quickly felt more comfortable than I did at Melbourne. I’ve always enjoyed the Sepang circuit in previous editions, and I really enjoy pounding around and trying to master the trickier parts of the track (like the devilish penultimate corner) – long, flowing corners are REALLY awesome with the new handling model.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could quickly get on the pace, and not just over a single lap but putting consistent stints together within a few tenths. I’m even getting the hang of the brake bias, swapping it back and forth like a pro (sort of). The wear on the hard compound seems consistent too, and I get faster and faster until they start to fall away. I whack on a pair of medium tyres, and after a few laps manage to pop in a time good enough for 19th – not only quicker than my teammate but better than the other teams too!

    I wonder if it’s a balancing issue within the game. From 4-5 seconds of the pace in one race, to a couple of tenths up in the next seems odd. And, while I know the baseline set up apparently varies from race to race, the car feels better by miles here despite me using my standard set up (which I tend to use race to race with different wings and only a few other small tweaks).

    Still, I’m not complaining – I’m in front of my rivals with a bit to spare! I manage a 1’42.0, a second or so off the real life pace I note.

    As per usual in this part of the world, rain is never far away, so it is little surprise when my engineer tells me half way through the session that rain is expected in 15 minutes. That prediction then changes to the more dire “heavy” rain.

    Aside from the wet weather test at Abu Dhabi, I haven’t really tried driving in the rain so I decide to stick around. Qualifying looks like it will be mixed conditions so probably best to have a splash around in practice.

    I damage my front wing slightly, pit to repair the damage and head back out on options as the grey mottled sky looms ominously. As I head into the first turn, the first drops are falling. The dynamic weather is really fascinating, a cool addition. Initially, it seems to be raining everywhere except around turns 3 and 4. It seems heaviest around the double apex corner on the far side of the track. Within a couple of laps, it’s raining over the whole circuit and beginning to get a bit treacherous. I know quite a few people on the CM forums have complained about the driveability of dry tyres on a wet track, but I thought the balance was really good and it steadily got more difficult to keep pace, and ultimately just to keep it on the track. Within 3/4 laps slowing down and turning in for turn 7 and the turn 9 hairpin is painfully difficult.

    As the end of the session approached, I notice the sky getting brighter and as the rain got heavier the sky become more and more blue. Not sure if a bug or what, but it’s not a big deal.

    So feeling confident after my strong showing in practice, it’s time for qualifying. Rain is again predicted, so I decide to head straight out on options. I love how the pressure ramps up in these qualifying sessions, it’s something missing from all the other console racers I’ve played that are basically just sprint races. The pressure is obviously getting to me as I make mistakes on my first two flying laps, and annoyingly I am hooked up on the third but run out of fuel on the back straight. Back into the garage for some new tyres. You can really feel the ultra grip of the fresh rubber, but I annoyingly I make ANOTHER mistake on my first flying lap! Ultra grip wasted. I’m in last place, only a couple of tenths off my teammate and certain I can do better. My engineer has warned me rain is on the way, and there’s only four minutes left on the clock as I head out on my used options for one last run. The team have given me 22nd as a target, which is also where Timo currently sits. On my outlap, my heart sinks – it’s raining at turn 7!

    Dialling the engine up on the back straight, I’ve nothing to lose. The lap feels great, but I’m tensing up as I approach the rain front. I’m green in S1, and manage to make it through the apexes of turn 7 and 8 unscathed and unslowed. It’s raining on the entire final half of the track now, but luckily it is light enough that it seems to make no difference to my grip. I’m green in S2, the horrible turn in for the penultimate corner feels satisfyingly good. Swap the brake bias up front for the final hair pin, and I’m P22! Another target met!

    Onto the race, and another bad start. I lose out two Timo and Narain, and head into the first turn in last place. As the right sweep fades I’m still behind, but into the tight left I get back past them both plus the other HRT. The next few corners are pretty hectic. Two cars spin out and a Williams heads into the gravel. With cars taking evasive action all over the track, I’m up to 12th by the time I head onto the back straight!

    I’m swamped into the hairpin, with a Toro Rosso taking me on the outside but a couple of other cars having a go. Senna slipstreams past me before the first turn, but I outbreak him to get back in front. He hassles me for the rest of the lap, before I run a touch wide at T11 and he bolts past.

    I manage to hold onto 14th for another lap, but as soon as the DRS is enabled I start falling backwards. Alonso, who must have been one of the first lap casualties, bullies both me and Kovalainen out of the way out of the final turn – he won the first race, so no doubt has the red mist finding himself at the back.

    A few laps later, and I’m 19th and running a good pace. I’m holding a good gap to the rest of the backmarkers as the pitstops approach. I notice Kovalainen pits early, and that releases Petrov to start hassling me as we head towards my planned pit window on lap 12. The tyres still feel ok, but I decide to pit as planned just in case anyone gets me on the undercut. A couple of my rivals pit on the same lap, but most wait until the next lap. After my outlap, I come out sandwiched between de la Rosa and Petrov, but manage to get past the Russian on the run up to turn 4. Only Narain hasn’t pitted, having run the alternate prime-option strategy as he did in Melbourne.

    The Caterhams both seem to have better pace on the primes, and despite running higher revs I can’t hold them off for long. As the leaders begin filtering through, the blue flags are causing chaos as usual. Me, the Caterhams and de la Rosa swap places for a few laps as Hamilton, Button and the rest storm through. It’s pretty brutal. I get nudged out of the way by Rosberg, and just ahead of me I watch Massa spin Pedro around!

    After this calms down, I’m behind the Caterhams but running 21st as Narain has now pitted and is some way back in last – my pre-race target! I just need to hold on for the last 10 laps.

    It’s an entertaining few laps, as I have de la Rosa and Glock taking it in turns to hassle me while Petrov is not far up ahead. I seem to be a bit better with the blue flags than the others, so that offers some respite and Petrov is getting closer and closer. 3 laps to go and Petrov has particularly trouble letting a Toro Rosso past, I’m just 1.3 seconds behind him! I turn the engine up into the penultimate lap.

    Then – disaster. I’m approaching the DRS-enabling 1 second, and my girlfriend asks me some inane question – “So what’s the steering wheel like then?” or something along those lines.

    Suddenly distracted, I lose it into turn 11. Almost spinning, I lose a ton of time and Glock blasts past me into 21nd. Dejectedly, I finish 22nd and miss my target. My girlfriend doesn’t understand why I’m so upset with her and just wants to watch Downton Abbey, my team are unsurprisingly disappointed and me, I just feel totally dejected – a disastrous finish to an such a promising weekend :(

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