#F1 Features: The new breed of Formula 1 fan

Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Jennie Mowbray

Editor’s note: TJ13 asked Jennie to give a perspective of the recent phenomenon of F1 fans learning more about the tracks by using racing simulation games.  Here is her take on this new practice.

“It is not always possible to be the best, but it is always possible to improve your own performance”

~Jackie Stewart~

I reside in a household surrounded by adept and proficient gamers.  My husband and our four progeny spend their leisure hours engrossed in their current challenge which usually involves questing, raiding or racing.  Despite numerous attempts I have always resisted any invitation to join them in their various electronic pursuits. I would much prefer to spend my meagre amount of leisure time reading a book. On the rare occasions that I could be persuaded to join in a racing game I would usually give up after a couple of laps, having crashed at every possible, as well as at every seemingly impossible, opportunity.  I had the rare talent of being able to crash the car while attempting to go in a straight line! I decided I had neither the time nor the co-ordination to persist in such an unsatisfying pastime.

As my appreciation of the finer points of Formula One grew over the early part of the 2013 season my husband began suggesting that it would aid my understanding of the races to master the track layout by playing F1 2012. I quietly rolled my eyes and ignored this absurd proposition.  How could driving around the circuit at 20 kilometres per hour, crashing into multiple barriers,  and spending half my time going backwards because I kept spinning the car, be at all helpful in learning the track.  It would only be a lesson in frustration.

At first, a familiar sight for Jennie

At first, a familiar sight for Jennie

After several weeks of encouragement (i.e. nagging) I finally agreed to attempt to slowly steer the car around the circuit a couple of times, solely so I could visualize the circuit from the driver’s perspective.  It was fortunate that we had bought our son a steering wheel and pedals for his birthday a few years before as I found this to be a tremendous breakthrough on my earlier struggles to pilot the car while using a joy stick.

The next race would be at Monaco – obviously the perfect track for the novice racer – well, maybe not! My son dutifully set me up with automatic gears and I crept around the circuit like a grandmother driving on ice.  Much to my delight my ability to keep the car on the track was far superior when driving with a steering wheel than it had been with a joy stick. My favourite part was going around the hairpin with the wheel at full lock but I could only do about ten laps before my hands were so cramped from my death grip on the steering wheel that I couldn’t hold onto it.  Surprisingly, my husband was correct, as I did appreciate recognizing the different sections of the track and it added enormously to my enjoyment of the race.

Rascasse - the slowest corner on the F1 calendar

Rascasse – the slowest corner on the F1 calendar

The next race, two weeks later, would be at Canada and I commenced practicing forthwith.  It was while going through the myriad settings hunting for automatic gearing that I found the set-up option that changed everything – automatic brakes! I could now leave my foot planted flat on the accelerator (perfect for my leaden right foot) and the program would brake the car to the appropriate speed for each corner.  As long as I was on close to the correct racing line I could zip through the corners like a legitimate racer.  I was also mastering the art of relaxing my hands while grappling with the wheel and, in short order I could do 25 laps in a stretch. After a week of practice I could close my eyes and visualize every corner of the circuit.

When I had my lap times down to within ten seconds of my seventeen year old son he challenged me to a race.  Initially, he would lap me twice in a twenty-five percent length race but as my speed and race craft improved he now could only lap me once – a real success for someone who at the beginning was so slow he could have lapped me every couple of laps.

What I hadn’t anticipated was that the professional drivers had difficulty with the same corners as I did. When a driver spun or lost control of the car it would often happen on a corner where I had crashed on multiple occasions.  I now knew the circuit so well I was arguing with the television commentators about where on the track the action was taking place.

Close racing is harder than it looks...

Close racing is harder than it looks…

For the subsequent races I began to get more methodical. I would copy the circuit onto paper and analyse the different corners, numbering them and putting them into groups. Then, while practicing the track, I would memorize the patterns. Initially it took me more than thirty laps to memorize the corner sequences but by the last few races of 2013 I would have the track pretty well sorted after ten practice laps.  Further practice would only reduce my lap times by tenths of seconds in each sector as I slowly improved my racing lines. My goal was to get to within ten seconds of my son’s lap times which, though not blindingly fast, was still fast enough to at least feel slightly competitive. In reality it was like a Marussia chasing a Ferrari!

My last breakthrough was to abolish the automatic braking.  I discovered that I was now so accomplished I could do my own braking and I could go faster if I did so because I could brake later and get on the power earlier than the car was programmed to do. My son continues to lap me once in most of our races but occasionally he takes compassion on me and does an additional pit stop which allows me to stay ahead – not for the win but at least I’m no longer one lap down!

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72 responses to “#F1 Features: The new breed of Formula 1 fan

  1. Absolutely fantastic write-up, Jennie – the Hippo had a lot of fun reading this 🙂
    Btw, not knowing what sort of wheel you use, but with most rigs you can improve your lap times considerably by experimenting with higher force-feedback settings and a bit of toe-and-heel.

  2. Thanks:)

    I’ve actually broken our wheel (the accelerator started to stick on!) because I used it so much and am back to using a joystick – any advice on a good wheel to replace it with?

    • A really good rig is very expensive, we’re talking 300+ Euros, but they provide a very realistic driving experience, like the Logitech G27. Cheaper rigs, like the Logitech Ferrari GT experience set you back only 40 bucks, but they’re mainly made of plastic and thus prone to breaking.

      • We had a cheap one which is probably why it broke, though my son had used it a lot as well….

        In trying to research a new one they all seemed to be very expensive or very cheap and I couldn’t find one half way in-between! Maybe I can request an expensive one for my birthday:)

        • I thoroughly recommend the G27 – very good build quality so it should last a long time. €300 is quite expensive if it costs that. I thing I paid about 450SGD over 2 years ago so I thought it shouldn’t cost that much.

          Heel and toe in a modern F1 car? There’s no need to use the clutch when shifting so it’s more effective to use left foot braking, I think.

          • There’s the secret – in most racing games, using the clutch is faster. I’m 12 seconds a lap fast round the Nürburgring if I drive a car that in reality has a sequential gearbox with the H-shifter and clutch use 🙂

          • Wow – that is impressive:) It would make a good steering wheel seem cheap in comparison though!

          • That big guy’s been on my “when I win the lottery” list ever since I saw it! I think when I checked it was something like $40K! Can’t remember if that was SGD or USD, but either way…

      • I can also recommend the Fanatec CSR pedals and wheel, its about £200-250ish, but a great bit of kit, and the do a very compact, but heavy and robust adjustable stand for about £80. I had my doubts, but was very pleased, and its also a very quiet bit of kit, an can be used wired or wireless. It works with Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, though I hear some issues with more modern consoles, but I am a PC player so its not much of an issue.

        Great read, nice to see people being positive about gaming as a hobby for once! I love gaming myself, and my racing is mostly Rfactor2, F1 2010-13 series, and iracing in dribs and drabs, I’m certainly not in the top tiers, but half competitive in the second tier leagues, though not in any at the moment!

        • Yes, those were the ones I was seeing, still a little bit out of range for me at the moment. I seem to be reaching the limit of my skill with the controller so it may be time to start saving pennies again.

          I do have a question about playing on PC, though. Do you have a separate monitor/tower or do you mirror your display to your telly. Very curious to hear as I can’t seem to wrap my mind around how that might work. thanks

          • Currently I have a 24″ widescreen monitor, and just use that, as the fanatec stand is very easy to kove to one side, and will tuck under a traditional desk, even wiithout foldi down. So my PC is for MMO’s, racing, and everything, but when the little one gets bigger we are moving both kids in together and I get my office back, at which point I might mirror to a 32″, from a single tower and justs witch monitors when I play. Having said that, the 24″ is not as tiny as it seems once you start racing, and there are plent of pro’s using that size monitor, so it need not be a barrier.

          • One thing I would say, is on F12012 silverstone and some other tracks are silly quick on a controller, and the wheel you won’t suddenly find 3 seconds or anything, but on some tracks, or any when it rains…. The wheel comes into its own, rain can be a thing of joy, not an inevitable lost from wing. 2011 and 2013 on wheel is nicer by and large, and the ‘retro’ cars, turbos from the 80’s particularly are nice to drive with a wheel, but just awfull with a controller.

          • I agree with Adam. I can play mine on either my 24″ monitor, or hook it up to a 32″ widescreen TV that has a VGA connector on it. The monitor is normally enough, and in full screen mode with a decent graphics card is great.

        • This looks perfect! And it will work with the x-box too. My husband reminded me that Mother’s Day comes before my birthday – I think I just need to leave the Fanatec website open on the desktop and he will get the hint:)

          • Ha, typical of the distaff. If he’s your typical husband best practice is to nail it to the side of his head with a ten penny fastener. It’s not that we don’t try, but let’s face it, we are coping with a rather large genetic disadvantage when it comes to subtle hints, namely a Y chromosome LOL!! 😉

          • Very funny Matt – but I suspect if your wife wanted a racing wheel for mother’s day you would notice a subtle hint due to the self interest of being able to “borrow” it for your own use – always an advantage in aiding observation and memory:)

          • LOL, good point, kind of like my daughter “wanting” an Xbox, definitely easier to remember than some of the things she has asked for…and again we are just one step behind… 😀

  3. Great read, made me chuckle.

    I race against my 15 year old son, he thinks he is great but I often whip him and his buddies, 25 years of playing video race games can do that for a man……and it’s so gratifying to beat the youngsters at their own game, so to speak.

    • Now you know how I felt last year, turning the fastest lap in a 24h Nürburgring race being the oldest fart on the team by miles 🙂

    • My husband has given up playing our son because he’s tired of being beaten:) In fact, my husband won’t even play me now because he thinks I’ll beat him as well. Our son’s times are usually in the top 1000 on-line times for every track so he’s pretty good! I’m trying break into the top 15,000 for Albert Park at the moment – still half a second off:)

  4. well, i had one of the f1 games, but our system didn’t work with pedals, so i wasn’t able to shift manually. Now that we got an Xbox for my daughter (really, I swear it was for her and not me), I am covetously eyeing a fanatech wheel and pedals, but man, those things are *not* cheap.

    • The Fanatech is a tricky beast for a beginner. You’ll need ages to find a config that works for you.

    • Is there a way to make the Logitech G27 work with an Xbox 360? And what is cheaper/easier: change console (take a PS3) or find a different wheel? And what wheel would come close to the much referenced Logitech G27?

      • G25 – cheaper/older version. But I’m not sure on what’s the cheapest good wheel that spreads across PCs and Consoles with full compatibility.

  5. Loved the article Jenny.
    Have a Logitech wheel and brake set tucked away from our last country swap that I’ve never got to grips with. Time to rethink maybe.

  6. Oh racing games. I love em. Been playing since the early nineties. But now the games are more about graphics than game play. To this day I still believe to the best f1 game ever is Geoff Cramond s gp 4. If the good man ever decided to make gp 5 I think I would nothing else with my life than play, play, play. ..

    • My husband said he can remember playing Geoff Cramond’s GP 2 – he said it was so realistic that you could get all the telemetry just like the actual teams at the time could and could pick the exact places you were loosing time.

      • GP2 was a revolution. It was the first racing game that simulated physics. It was also written completely in assembler language, which for a software of that size was an enormous undertaking. But due to that the program extracted a performance from the PC’s of the time that was utterly stunning.

        When Jacques Villeneuve prepared to come to F1 in 1996, he used GP2 to learn most of the tracks. That’s how huge a step forward it was.

        • That’s amazing! I wonder if we still have the game somewhere…

          Probably no chance it would work on anything now – 1996 doesn’t seem that long ago but I guess it’s 18 years:)

          • It works perfectly in dosbox. As an added bonus you can actually run it in Windows, Linux and MacOS that way 🙂

        • Danilo – what about GPL/coding? 1998 release.. I think GP2/GPM2 were a late 1996 release? iRacing had to ‘regain control’ of their code (latest iteration was NASCAR 2003.. it ended the modding scene there and was not a popular move) to move forwards on it.. and originally I think it was an Indy 500 simulation, released in about 1991 by Papyrus.

          I started with GP2, F1/GT on PS1, GP3/4.. but then I drifted from racing sims until GPL finally caught my attention in 2006. Perhaps I would have liked the GP series better with a wheel and not a joystick..

        • GP2 was also my first encounter with telemetry.. it definitely helps in GPL, when putting together the perfect lap (and seeing where you gain/lose time compared to the best).

  7. Now that we’re on the topic of F1 games, I’d like to agree with Jennie that these games indeed allow fans to catch a glimpse of what F1 drivers actually feel while driving a car, or a circuit. Personally I was rather shocked to discover how much more difficult it was to drive Spa or Suzuka (especially the latter is a sweater as you have no time to think of anything else for even a second, or else you’ll mis-prepare the following corner and surely end up in the gravel); as opposed to the relative blandness of driving pretty much any of the recent Tilke-dromes (bar Buddh, perhaps).

    There seems to be a raging debate about (1) whether the recent F1 games by Birmingham come anything close to a simulator? And (2) which of the F1 games is better overall: 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013?

    (Just a note, by simulator *I* don’t mean that this should be realistic—and insanely hard!!—enough for Kevin Magnussen to prepare for his McLaren debut. By simulator I mean realistic enough to give a glimpse to the average non-techie fan of how these cars behave, even if the software helps you at the margin in tough corners, and how the circuits feel.)

    Here’s some rant that I’ve written recently on the Autosport forums:
    http://forums.autosport.com/topic/191201-f1-2011-better-than-f1-2012/?p=6545769
    “Clearly opinions on the original question differ, but as far as I go:
    2011 > 2010 > 2012

    I have no opinion on 2013, as I never tried it.

    Some of my subjective impressions of each version (as tried out on an Xbox 360):
    *2010*: rather choppy. It clearly is their first iteration. There are inexcusable bugs (20sec pitstops), and the driving physics are half-baked, as are the graphics.
    *2011*: the most simulator-like version. I agree with the other commentators that the car is very slippery, but—without any actual engineering or real F1 knowledge—I suspect that this is related to the nature of genuine F1 cars: if you remove all driver aids (namely traction control) and you have no experience in handling a racing car, then pressing even a little bit the accelerator would quite likely make you end up in the nearest wall. I expect that these cars are so aggressive and capricious, that they’re not intended for common mortals to drive. And quite possibly the F1 2011 cars—even slippery as they are—are just a mild, consumer-friendly version of the real thing.
    *2012*: way too arcade. The car’s handling just feels so artificial (“canned responses to player input”). This iteration is clearly intended to broaden the mass-market appeal of the game, to the detriment of the hardcore niche looking for a simulation. In short, your mom can play F1 2012, too.

    To sum up, if you disable traction control in F1 2011, you probably get the most realistic experience of an F1 car on a console. It takes time and effort to get used to the handling of such a car (especially if you don’t have a wheel and just use a controller), but it’s rewarding when you learn to master it.

    Lastly, I found this discussion on a review of F1 2012 ( http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/09/22/f1-2012-codemasters-review-ps3-xbox-360-pc/ ) interesting to follow (and related to your question). I especially agree with a comment by ‘lin1876’: “If you haven’t played F1 2011 and just want to be Lewis Hamilton for an hour, then yes, 4/5 seems fair [for F1 2012]. If, however, you want a top notch simulation, then F1 2011 is your best bet. It’ll be dirt cheap now, and is arguably the better game overall.””

    Opinions?

    • I agree. Still play 2011 just because it’s less arcade than 2012. (Didn’t buy 2013, cuz the ones with the classics was sold out when I went to the store) but I still stand behind my earlier comment. Nothing compares to gp 4…

    • I’m probably old enough to be your mother so 2012 is probably perfect for me! My son has been using 2013 but I haven’t had time to go through the young drivers tests yet so I’m still using 2012. We also have 2010 (which I haven’t played) but not 2011.

      I can occasionally get through Eau Rouge without lifting my foot off the accelerator but most of the time unless I lift just slightly I put it into the gravel. The same with Suzuka – if I get the first of the esses just slightly out of line I just get worse and worse as I go through them. Maybe the reason I was learning the tracks faster by the end of the year was because they were mostly Tilke tracks and easier to learn.

      We have 2009 for the Play Station Portable that we hooked up to the TV to attempt to race Hockenheim last year as it wasn’t on 2010 or 2012 – not particularly successfully from memory!

      Thanks so much for your contribution – I really enjoyed hearing about all the different versions. I probably should take the time to play 2013 and compare them…

      • Thanks for the kind comments.

        Personally I still cannot find my way around Spa (and I’m positively hopeless through Eau Rouge). As for Suzuka, I’m getting much better at it, and it requires a lot of focusing, but I’m rather crappy through the esses. I learned to handle the car mostly through the Tilke designs (along with Hungaroring and Nuerburgring), using all driving aids including traction control and braking assist. Then little by little I started removing the aids and mastering more complex tracks. This said, it probably doesn’t help that I’m using a joystick and not a racing wheel.

        I have just checked my F1 2010, and it certainly features Hockenheim here. Perhaps you’re mixing up the various releases (I did too once!).

        • The Esses in Suzuka are a favourite of mine. I toasted people in super cars in a Lotus Elise through them. :mrgreen: The key is out-in-out. They tempt you to go straight for the apex, but that upsets your rhythm and you lose speed. It’s a bit counter-intuitive to turn left when setting up a right-hand bend, but you’ll carry so much more speed through them, it’s easy to find or lose more than half a second through them.
          You can learn them very well in a sim that has racing line display. Need For Speed Shift II (PC), Granturismo 4,5 or 6 (PS2/PS3) or Forza Motorsport 2,3,4 or 5 (Xbox) all provide that option. Granturismo 4 on the PS2 is probably the best ‘teacher’ as it features the major sequences of Suzuka (Esses, Degner, spoon, 130R as license tests with demonstration videos. And learning the line in an Integra Type R is a wee bit easier than in a twitchy F1 car 🙂

    • My son just told me that you can get F12011 on Steam for the PC for $30… Maybe I should try a three way comparison though from what you’ve said F12011 might be too realistic for me…

    • And for me, these games aren’t realistic enough. What do you get as mechanical faillure? A puncture. And if you hit something you wing comes of. In the grand prix series you had it all. Engine blow out, electrical systems fail, puncture, radiator fail and so on. And those where even made realistic, if you drove a mclaren or a ferrari you might have one or two of them during the season, but i remember one season I drove with a prost and i nearly finished 4 races. That’s something I miss… dog fight and suddenly all loss of power and in your rear view mirrors a big cloud of smoke. And the details where crazy. If you drove in cockpit view you where actualy in the cockpit in a helmet. You looked trough a visor with sponsor stickers on the top. Like they have in real life. I always say detail make the story. And that’s something the makers of games these days seem to forget. They just make it optical beautiful (they have never been better to look at, I give em that!)

      • We forgot to turn off race damage while racing Singapore (using F1 2012) and I had to pit three times in one race for a new front wing because I kept hitting the wall with it…

        When I tried not pitting to replace the wing the car was uncontrollable through the corners…

    • I decided that I should give F12013 a try so I struggled through the young drivers tests and did ten laps of Albert Park. The first thing I noticed is that the car is much harder to control (using a joystick) than 2012. It’s very hard to get the power on smoothly with a joy stick and the back wheels kept sliding around.

      While driving the screen view makes it feel like you’re driving faster – I’m not sure why, everything just seems to go by faster. However, despite the more difficult to control car after ten laps I had matched my lap time with F1 2012.

      Now to try F1 2011….

      • I also heard that F1 2013 was more realistic than F1 2012, more in line with F1 2011. But don’t worry: you get used to these differences quicker than you might think.

        • I did a race with my son on 2013 today and he didn’t lap me so I think you’re right in that I’ve got used to it pretty quickly. I managed a 1.28 something lap time but I had gone off the track. I can’t seem to keep the car on the track going through turns 3 and 15 – we’re sitting in front of turn 3 for the race so it will be interesting to see how many drivers struggle there too….

  8. “rare talent of being able to crash the car while attempting to go in a straight line!”
    Memory lane is wonderful – in my case it was with Grand Prix Legends – I used to feel awesome when I actually completed a lap whilst still on the black stuff!!
    Might be tempted with F12011 as a change from blasting aliens etc.

    • Still driving it.. its successor iRacing and Assetto Corsa by Kunos are probably the best sims on the PC market right now. But things are not over with GPL – a realistic Spa 67 is about to be released. A final definitive version.. 8 years in the making.. perhaps it can be converted to other historic sims in time. God knows how many incorrect Kyalamis and Spa 67s we’ve seen based on the original GPL tracks.

      My only wish was that I had started with GPL instead of GP2 – but it was derided as ‘too hard’ and probably too realistic at the time (and my PC probably too slow for it). My only real achievement left to get in GPL now, is sub-8 at the Ring (beached at 8:01).

      Trying current F1 on the Xbox as well gives me a great impression of how flexible the drivers have to be in the current era. Juggling DRS, KERS, gears and racing line are all tricky, never mind radio or brake bias. Add in to that GPL’s sense of traction, torque, wheelspin to 4th gear in the BRM and Lotus, thermal tyre degradation etc. and you have all the tools available to see what F1 in 2013 or 2014 will be like.

      PS. On the wheels.. if the current lot are too expensive, a G25 should be a good cut-price option (predecessor of the G27), and mine is still going strong after 6 years. It was only just over £100 (110-130ish) when I got it new.

      • Thanks for another wheel suggestion:)

        I know what you mean with juggling all the inputs – I still don’t do my own gears but it took me ages before I could use KERS and DRS without going off the racing line (or even crashing). Trying to push the right button while still steering the car….

  9. I’ve got a steering wheel (G27) but don’t have a dedicated room yet to set it up. One day….
    In the meantime – am addicted to real racing 3 on the iphone. Good cars and tracks including Spa and Suzuka. Just easy steering by turning phone, auto accel and brake by touching screen.
    Spent many hours last year while recovering from broken ankle slowly progressing through the ranks, great fun.

  10. I still love playing GP4 on my PC, and agree that it is one of the best F1 games made. In the good old days of Windows XP, I used to play with a wheel and pedal set. Now, it’s just the good old keyboard. However, having a much higher spec Windows 7 PC than in the old days, I can run the game with full graphics, which makes it look great.

    There are still loads of forums and websites around for GP4, and my carset has been updated to the 2013 season, and also includes some of the new tracks and the reprofiled Silverstone.

  11. Thanks for this article Jennie. I’ve been mocked for suggesting that my struggles on a friend’s x-box motor racing games are down to having to use a controller rather than a steering wheel. I now feel vindicated reading your comments on the joystick!
    Out of interest, what view do you (and the others) use when playing – the view simulating the proper seating position in an F1 car or one of the views as if sat/looking from higher up? When I first tried the F1 game using the proper driver’s view I was fine until I passed all the cars in front of me then next thing I knew I was in a wall. I realised I’d been using the other cars’ rear wings to aid my situational awareness. When that aid was gone, my awareness became zero. Made me a lot more sympathetic to occasions where drivers in the real races clipped one another’s cars. God knows how they can see anything from that prone position.

    • I use the TV Pod view where you’re just above the drivers helmet – it seems to give me a better idea of where my car is on the track. I should do some experimenting now that my skills have improved to see how I drive with the cockpit view,,,

      There is no way I could play with an x-box controller but my son prefers it to a joy stick. He probably likes the wheel better but we only have one and when we race (before our wheel broke) I always got the wheel – I needed some advantage!

      The main problem I have with a joy stick is that the throttle is very off/on and it’s hard to get it on slowly coming out of slow corners. I found that more of a problems with F1 2013 than F1 2012 – the car seems to slide around a lot more in 2013.

      • LOL would agree with you there, too, biggest problem for me with controller is braking and turning in, as it all happens with the left hand, followed closely by irritation at the binary nature of the steering and throttle. Very hard to feather the throttle and as a result my launches are almost always spectacular fails, as are trying to follow cars through corners as even touching the throttle before the wheels are perfectly straight results in a spin.

        • Are you using an x-box type controller? I had wondered if they gave more graduated acceleration than a joy stick – it doesn’t sound like it. I really struggled to get through the young drivers tests on 2013 last night because so much of it was in the wet and I had so little control over my acceleration with the joy stick. I was sliding around everywhere. I found it almost impossible to feather the throttle – I could only give a second or two on full throttle and then try to back off before the car spun…

          At least with a joy stick I can do everything with my right hand though…

          • Yes, Xbox, definitely better than joystick control, still although I can adjust brakes and brake balance, I have yet to find a setting that lets me adjust throttle response. And what I find is basically it goes from 0 to 2, with nothing in between. After that you’re good.

            Of course, I didn’t grow up with this technology, so it’s entirely possible that in the right hands it would be just as good. Instead, I just had to make do with the real thing. 🙂

      • I know Jacques Villeneuve used an Xbox controller rather than a wheel and pedal set when trying out iRacing.. He also said that in his mind a joystick could even be better as a steering device than a wheel (in the mould of fighter pilots and dealing with high G’s).

        • And while I found the Grand Prix games tough with a Joystick, in GPL I found it impossible! I’m amazed how some guys could have been so fast with it.. I think one British guy has beaten Norbert Michelisz on the rank with one, and Norbert is now racing in WTCC.

        • Thanks for all your comments:) I agree that the joystick works really well for steering (at least in the game – no idea about real life!) but it’s the on/off accelerator that causes me problems. I think I’m too old to convert to an x-box controller though….the younger generation have the advantage of growing up using it for all their games so it’s more second nature to them.

        • I had the same problem in GPL.. a paddle for acceleration/brake is tough. GP2 allowed the forward/backward axis to be throttle and brake – so you would use both dimensions at the same time (if possible)! Much better method, and a lot more like a fighter pilot!

          • That’s a thought – I’ll have to have a look and see if it’s possible. I don’t think it will be because I’m pretty sure it asks for a button when you do the input..

  12. This has been such a cool discussion – I’ve really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s experiences, wheels, game editions, etc…thanks everyone for your participation and adding so much more to what I wrote:)

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