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Scott's F1 2010 career - Part 1: Bahrain & Australia, season 1 // Follow along as a brand new virtual racing career begins

Published by Scott Woodwiss

So, just like a few of the other gamers here at Sidepodcast, my F1 2010 career has begun. I have started the journey to become Formula 1 World Champion, and I intend to do so on the highest difficulty. No driver aids, no help, just pure car control. Now while my blog Living The F1 Dream tells the sequence of events in more detail, playing them out like a story, here I'd like to go over what happens in the race weekends, both on the track and in front of the cameras.

It started with a brief press conference to confirm my name and nationality, followed by a couple of questions on what I was expecting from my time in the sport, which was to take on the best in the world (this technically signified I was choosing Expert difficulty), and also how long I was expected to be in F1, which was the full 7 year career. Finally it was time to pick a team to start this long journey up the ranks, and of course with it being local and having been privileged enough to work at the original team’s workshop, I chose Lotus Racing. I managed to settle in quickly and get stuck in to tackle my first race weekend – Bahrain.

Bahrain

The weather stayed dry all weekend, although it did seem a tad overcast during practice. This was spent just getting to grips with the car and making tweaks to the setup to get the car feeling the way I wanted it to. Of course, I spun a few times but then who doesn’t? After a lengthy period getting used to the T127, it was time for qualifying.

Managing to catch and dispose of Tonio, I carried on going round on the primes, moving as high as 4th

Amazingly, on my very first attempt at a session, I secured a staggering 12th place! Although my start wasn’t as impressive. I lost about 4 or 5 places and got to Turn 1 around 16th or 17th. I made up these places around the first lap and spent the next couple chasing Sutil. I managed to edge closer and closer to him through the new twisty section of the course and eventually passed him a couple of corners after the track rejoined the original layout. Slight contact was made, but I made it stick. It only lasted about half a lap or so, as over-exuberance on the throttle helped the back end round in the new section and let both Sutil and Liuzzi through. Managing to catch and dispose of Tonio, I carried on going round on the primes, moving as high as 4th.

Spinning again whilst in this position, and under pressure from Button behind, let Massa past and eventually I pitted on lap 7 of the 10-lapper and bolted on the options. Exiting 13th or so, I tried to chase down Kobayashi but moved to 11th and caught Button as he was exiting from his late stop. Tailing him round 2/3s of the lap, I forced him wide and snatched 10th place. The last couple of laps were just holding him off, and I finished there to score my first point!

Afterwards, Crofty asked me a couple of questions. He asked who we thought we were going to beat this season, to which I said it would be the teams around us, and also if the team were happy with my performance over the race weekend. I was good and said they’d worked hard to give me a good car. The team in turn were very impressed with how I’d handled the interview and sent their thanks.

Australia

There were chances of rain throughout the sessions at Melbourne and it actually did so over both of Friday’s practice sessions, despite starting relatively clear and sunny. FP3 and qualifying were both overcast, while it was clear for the race. This race weekend saw the first of the R&D challenges, where you were required to beat a set lap time within 5 laps in all 3 sessions. Do so and a new performance upgrade was unlocked. In this instance, it was a new engine map setting to help deliver quicker gear changes and presumably a more responsive throttle.

I found a relatively sweet spot with the setup, but even so had both my stints in Q1 compromised by both Button and then Hamilton respectively. Therefore, my best efforts got me no higher than 19th. Again the “go long on the primes, then a quick dash on the options with light fuel” strategy was implemented. A slightly better start than Bahrain made sure I only lost 1 or 2 places. I disposed of Chandhok and then tailed Buemi for a bit. It was more or less the same kind of sequence, as I pounded round looking after my prime tyres with a nice smooth driving style and line while everyone else ahead pitted.

Had there been one more lap, I might have caught and passed the Renault in front of me at the finish

With a couple of laps to go before my stop, I caught Hamilton as he was coming out of the pits and also sneaked a look at him out of Turn 1! He edged away ever so slightly though as I pushed hard to try and stay with him. Pitting on lap 9 of 12, the options went on and so began an awesome sequence of overtakes. I exited 15th but all the cars in front were in one massive group, so passing wasn’t such a big problem. Disposing firstly of Barrichello, I then took Alguersuari, Massa, Button (both of the previous two with moves around the outside of them!), Sutil and finally Liuzzi on the last lap with some 4 corners to go. Had there been one more lap, I might have caught and passed the Renault in front of me at the finish. Still 9th place was one better than Bahrain and 2 more points in the bag!

Once again Crofty interviewed me afterwards, asking questions on if I thought we were championship contenders, again on if the team were happy (I think, can’t quite remember exactly) and on my thoughts on the race and my overtaking. I answered respectively that we were going to wait and see how the season panned out, that things were going well and that the race itself was very interesting, which was made better with a good car under me. Again, the team were impressed and thanked me for my comments.

So, next up is Malaysia. Maybe we’ll get some rain in qualifying or the race. Mind you, if it does, I’m expecting not rain, but floods. Trust me, driving in the rain on this game can get scary!