- Atharva Desai
First F1 2022 Simulator Experience
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
I finally got my A license in iRacing. My number one goal at the moment was complete and I was able to drive the W12 Mercedes F1 car. I spent all of my time in the W12 and kept on practicing. I was actively looking for eSports racing series and streaming them on my social media. After doing multiple on iRacing, I started getting more and more race experience. Suddenly, I received a phone call to participate in an eSports race. I immediately assumed that it was another iRacing race, but to my surprise, it was a race on F1 2022. I heard that F1 2022 isn’t the best on racing simulators, but I wanted to give it a try. I said to myself that I will get the game on Steam and start playing.
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F1 2022 Game Cover (Picture by EA Sports)
I was skeptical at first. It isn’t one of those games where people praise it for being a good racing simulator. Usually, people would say you are better off with iRacing, Assetto Corsa, rFactor, etc. The moment I sat in and took the first turn, I instantly knew the racing style is completely different from those of the other simulators. I took my time to practice in Bahrain, but I was unable to manage the car at first or understand the physics behind the game. After racking on multiple laps, I was able to get a handle on the car and understand how the game reacts to my different racing techniques. I started to take the career path in the game so I could learn (or relearn) all of the F1 tracks along with practicing for the upcoming F1 2022 eSports series. I integrated my racing style and just focused on racing F1 2022. Things were going well, I started nailing the practice sessions, I kept squeezing as much time in the car as I can, and I constantly qualified 1st. A big problem arose at every race I drove: I was never able to get a perfect start. I experimented with my race starts with no traction control and I kept wheel-spinning or getting put into anti-stall (Traction control is not allowed in the F1 regulations, so I turned it off in the game). The guides didn’t describe the best way to do a race start, so I referred to a video to teach me. In the final race, I kept wheel-spinning as I kept getting passed by the cars behind. I got a little frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t nail my perfect race start; however, I started to keep myself calm as I try to keep practicing.
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F1 2022 Solo Racing
As I kept getting passed by 5 cars, I immediately recovered and went on to use my racing skills. To finish strong. My pace was anyways more than a second faster than the other cars but overtaking posed a difficulty. Well, it wasn’t a difficulty, rather it was something to get used to. Obviously, when shifting from iRacing to F1 2022, I had to change my style quite a bit. But my racing skills were still mostly applicable. The car setup was a lot more basic to handle, so I stuck to the vanilla race setup and did the best I could with it.
I could carry a lot of speed through corners, and I was also able to fundamentally understand the corners in an F1 car. Tracks like Jeddah, Miami, Bahrain, etc. were tracks that aren’t included in iRacing. One part I especially liked about F1 2022 was that the cars are more forgiving and visually a lot more stable. It is a game where one can constantly rack up hot laps after hot laps. The competitiveness of the game was also great to run.
Through my excellent and consistent race pace, I was able to cleanly get first place on the tracks I drove. I started growing confident as I had memorized and driven on every F1 track (in the sim) prior to buying the game. Some time ago, I drove 3 new tracks that I hadn’t raced in the game before, but know very well: Suzuka, Monza, and COTA. I competed with a more experienced player, but I was confident in my driving skills. However, when we jumped into the race, the car was very difficult to handle compared to the platform I learned these respective tracks. (I will be honest) I’m not quite sure what I expected then. A brand new track and a brand new car. It was good practice towards getting better with the car.
I am looking towards getting more involved in F1 eSports and competitively racing in that field when I am not racing at the track. By collaborating with different eSports teams and professional sim racers, I hope to get to the top of racing eSports.