The Simulationing

This week, the sim racing community will be split into two very distinct groups of people, as it is with each passing year at around this time. There will be those who brave the “mass market bells and whistles” of Codemasters’ officially licensed Formula One game, F1 2017, discovering a very modern, well-rounded racer that’s already receiving rave reviews from fans & critics alike, and there will be those that scoff at the title, unwilling to accept anything other than a bland, boring piece of software in the pursuit for unparalleled authenticity.

While brands like Electronic Arts experiment push the envelope with each new iteration of their yearly sports franchise, this year giving Madden fans three distinct gameplay styles and a narrative-driven piece on top of seemingly endless features and refinements that reflect an authentic game of professional football, the sim racing landscape is the only sub-genre of video games in which members actively call for new releases to remain stale, dated, and lifeless, while criticizing showcase elements that actively engage the user within the virtual world. These gentlemen do not want unlockable vehicles, they do not want elaborate single player career modes, they do not care for modern visual fidelity – though this is probably down to their outdated computer specifications being unable to handle it – and the thought of a car that isn’t trying to kill them in every corner, at least in their eyes, places the game into the same category as Need for Speed; a distraction for children and teenagers.

As if there has been some sort of hidden contract signed by a portion of the community, no matter how genuinely good Formula One 2017 ends up being when the routine patches stop and we’re left with a game that is considered “complete”, sim racers are not allowed to like anything that doesn’t fit the status quo of being a bland, uninspired package with some cars and tracks that are somewhat realistic. Just look at the responses from sim racers after Liberty Media revealed there would also be a small Formula One eSports championship taking place during the back half of this season, with bigger plans obviously in the pipeline for next season and beyond. I wouldn’t call it a complete meltdown, but it’s obvious the community takes offense at the mere thought of a racing game that goes against the established norm of what a simulator has traditionally been composed of in the past, being called a simulator by the biggest racing series in the world.

Is Formula One 2017 a little bit easier to drive than the real thing?

Very few of us sim racers have driven a Formula One car (hi Max, care for an interview?), so we can’t really sit here and give a definitive answer. But it’s certainly plausible Codemasters have sat there during the game’s development and said, you know what, the average consumer needs just a bit of assistance that we’ll code into the game’s tire behavior. Not a lot, but a little. And that’s perfectly understandable, because this game is not advertised but as a hardcore simulator that’ll crush your balls and force you to donate a portion of your paycheck to some financial dominatrix in Russia, but instead a reasonable virtual representation of the pinnacle of motorsport – and the surrounding activities as well.

And does Formula One 2017 offer a set of distractions that maybe pull you in a different direction and serve to entertain you rather than encourage you to focus on perfecting your speed, car setup, and racecraft?

Well, absolutely.

But does that give hardcore sim racers a justifiable reason to scoff at the title?

Not at all. And they won’t like the answer as to why.

Above, I have compared an iRacing qualification lap from Esterson Motorsports in preparation for the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona, versus the qualification charts provided by for the real deal. In a simulator that advertises itself as the absolute pinnacle of authentic, accurate motor racing from the comfort of your own sim rig, the lap times produced within this software were profoundly inaccurate – the virtual Mercedes running a blistering five seconds faster than the quickest real-world team campaigning the same car. Yes, there might be some balance of power going on, and yes, the weather conditions within the simulator may have been a touch different than the real event, but five seconds is still five seconds. For the absolute top of the food chain to produce such a massive discrepancy, after years upon years of the marketing department – and other sim racers – parroting this elaborate pretense that all of the world’s best drivers use iRacing to practice for upcoming events, the discrepancy between the real thing and the virtual counterpart is equivalent to that of a Codemasters game, if not more so.

And this isn’t even an alien time, with Esterson’s YouTube account not appearing to display any sort of footage that indicates they’re at the peak of the virtual racing ladder. This is one of the more talented average Joe’s in the community, who maybe race for fun and because they’re good at it, but do not have an elaborate Facebook fanpage conducting mock interviews with their drivers.

Five seconds.

We now move on to Automobilista, a game many including myself believe to be the best commercial usage of the isiMotor engine and the absolute best “traditional hardcore” simulator you can buy with little aside from an active Steam account, eclipsing ISI’s own rFactor 2 in the process. Several weeks ago, as part of a community-wide competition, Reiza challenged all owners of Automobilista to attack the Suzuka Grand Prix circuit with their knock-off 2002 Formula One entry, code-named the Formula V10. Michael Schumacher’s pole time for the 2002 Japanese Grand Prix, set during what was arguably his prime years behind the wheel, was blown away by four seconds by a flock of nerds sitting in their basements – one hundred and thirty one nerds, to be exact. The other nineteen professional race car drivers on the grid (give or take a few pay drivers) wouldn’t even be in the ballpark if their real world laps were to be submitted to the Reiza leaderboards.

This is a game that sim racers recommend if you’ve exhausted basically all of the “mainstream” simulator options, and want something that offers maximum simulation value, though with it comes maximum obscurity as well. And yet Schumacher’s impeccable speed – which should be absurdly difficult to match for all but the most talented of sim racers – is a lap time that any moderately talented driver can obliterate.

To me, that sounds like an arcade game.

And then there’s Studio 397’s rFactor 2, which has recently partnered with McLaren themselves to hold some kind of elaborate eSports competition – the ultimate reward being a job as McLaren’s in-house simulator driver. The audience, admittedly, has been very nice – surpassing what genre front-runners iRacing have been able to do with their championship series – but the authenticity aspect is up for debate. rFactor 2 was chosen partially for it’s status as an ultra-hardcore PC racing simulator, yet the top drivers – and many more that follow in the extended leaderboards – are turning laps three seconds faster than the Blancpain GT series pole time. Yes, again there’s balance of performance that we maybe don’t see in rFactor 2, and maybe some track conditions at play as well even though these sessions are held in a public server that can’t be manipulated to produce insane grip levels…

But three seconds is three seconds, and this is a leaderboard full of professional race car drivers. To be blown out this badly by computer nerds who in some cases don’t actually possess valid drivers licenses, is not simulating much of anything. Either the real world drivers should all be fired; their jobs given to names such as Enzo Bonito and Risto Kappett, or maybe the whole thing is no more or less accurate than a Codemasters game.

Lastly, we get to Assetto Corsa, again a game with it’s own flock of followers who praise the indie racing simulator to high heavens, and during the game’s on-going botched console release, can actively seen belittling those who do not understand what the fuss is about as “console children” who cannot appreciate authentic car physics as the game’s bread and butter.

I have not chosen to consult the popular RSRLiveTiming leaderboards to compare lap times, as these laps are often completed in what drag racers call “mineshaft conditions”, in which users manually opt for insane track grip and temperature settings outside what would occur in reasonable competition.

In a SimRacingSystem GT3 event, Polish sim racer Jakub Charkot posted a qualification lap almost three seconds faster than the Mercedes AMG GT3 pole time set during the 24 Hours of Spa earlier this season. Kunos have already balanced the cars among one another, and this lap was set under authentic race variables; imperfect track grip, other traffic to contest with, and realistic fuel consumption.

Give Jakub a ride? Or re-consider your perception that these hardcore simulators that boast unparalleled levels of authenticity and realism are really no better or worse than a Codemasters Formula One game.

Though everyone will obviously have different tastes when it comes to the precise way they enjoy their pretend race cars, the elitism that a portion of sim racers hold in regards to titles like Formula One 2017 is simply not justified.

On top of having Formula One cars that are marginally accurate, the F1 series from Codemasters has an actual game built around the experience. There are stunning visuals that you can show off to the general public and they won’t crack jokes about it – as per the Visa Vegas eRace stream – there are practice training regimes, a team of mechanics that can respond to voice commands and have a simple conversation with you, there are unlockable bonus cars, dynamic racing lines, a full TV-style presentation, animated paddock area with individual characters who act out a predefined role, research and development arcs, cooperative championship play against a field of AI bots, and last but not least an artificial intelligence that’s compelling to race against.

Hardcore racing simulators, on the other hand, have marginally accurate cars and confusing menus. And then the excuses come.

  • It’s not supposed to look nice, it’s a simulator, think X-Plane but with cars.
  • I don’t care for good AI, I just like to test drive the different vehicles and better my lap times
  • The developers don’t have enough money for flashy gimmicks, but I don’t care, I just want to drive, those other modes are a distraction and take away from the driving anyways.

So if they both provide the same objective experience behind the wheel – the same marginally accurate vehicle performance that can be deconstructed with a quick trip to the results sheet of any major racing series – why is the complete game scoffed at, whereas the elaborate tech demo praised?


Enjoy Formula One 2017. For those who are unwilling to, ask yourself why you put up with this abomination when the on-track product is the same.


176 thoughts on “The Simulationing

  1. Elitists often aren’t able to drive well modern content, much less historic. Some spend more time on forums preaching about games they haven’t played much than turning laps. These vocal elitists are the ones outraged by this marketing initiative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. F1 games DO drive like absolute garbage. And it’s a real shame because the rest of the package is brilliant, with the damage model, the weekend format and rules, the classic cars, a full field of cars of one series (which is what most sims forget these days)… Would have been brilliant if it was remotely believable behind the wheel.

    I for one consider myself on the second boat. Give me a satisfying driving experience and coping with clunky interfaces and the usual sim sins will be an acceptable toll.

    Calling it elitist is stupid, it’s not about patting yourself in the back for driving a more realistic game, it’s about having fun. And I can’t have fun if the driving bit is backwards like in these games. Let’s hope sim developers wake up and start trying to mimic the bits and pieces that games like F1 get so right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is talk of the handling being much improved this year, someone said it’s akin to the AMS formula sandal w/ 10% stability control.

      Hardly a bad thing in that case, but we’ll see.


      1. There is ALWAYS talk of much improved handling James. And every year it’s same old shit. You get wheelspin with huge slip angles and you have ages to react, and the car straightens itself up with the slightest hint of lock the other way. The car doesn’t even feel like a single seater, the suspension is spongy and that not only hurts handling but also allows you to ignore track limits. Curbs do nothing and grass is flat and grippy like hell.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Unless you’ve driven a single seater how do you know what it feels like? I’m not doubting that F1 2017 isn’t a hardcore simulator but I’m sick of sim racers saying “it doesn’t feel like” a car they’ve never driven. It’s a ridiculous thing to say. And for the record, the handling model has improved markedly since 2015.


          1. Onboard shots and pedal graphics give a decent insight. I don’t need to put my ass in a hybrid F1 and a V8 F1 to know the hybrid is trickier to get out of slow turns, it’s obvious by the footage.


        2. Have you played it with a controller without assists on a console? The 2016 game feels quite sluggish and is horrible. If it’s a knife’s edge thing, no one will play it.


      2. So when the handling of F1 2017 is highly improved like RD is telling us, even not on the level of so called hardcore-sims, the handling of F1 2016 must be total crap. And that´s what was my impression in F1 2016. It wasn´t even easy, because when i don´t feel the car, it´s just driving by memory. In AMS i´m driving good lap times in all F1-cars after three laps, because it´s so obvious what the car is capable of. In F1 i had to turn on the idiot breaking lines, because the tarmac has no textures that could tell me where i should break and the cars feeling like utter nonsense.

        You liar should better point out, that all real F1-drivers playing the F1 game for PR-videos very obviously used the traction control and never said a word about how accurate it is.


    2. I have not really enjoyed driving or racing F1 cars in any game for some of the reasons you give.I think part of the reason why online GT3 races are popular is that they dont have much grip,are easier to drive just like the real thing where gentlemen drivers are able to drive with the pros.I think to enjoy an F1 sim you would need a full motion sim rig.


        1. What even Max Thestrappon? Demented comment and one which assumes no real world drivers actual sim race, which would be incorrect…


        2. Unless F1 cars have suddenly become much more difficult to drive, I’m not sure you’re correct.

          Plenty of older, wealthy, gentleman drivers are able to push slightly older machinery to the limit at historic races all the time, and without issue. If these guys can do it, I’m not sure why a few sim racers, with a little seat time, wouldn’t be able to as well.


  3. I really enjoyed last years f1 outing , I hadn’t bought the title since 2012 .

    Will pick this up today and I’m sure I will get many hours of enjoyment from f1 2017 .

    I think people forget that even a racing simulator is still a coded GAME at the end of the day , as long as I have fun /enjoyment , I’m happy all be it from something that calls itself a simulator or a racing game .

    Oh! and yes f1 2017 in a esports type of situation would be more enjoyable to watch then most if not all current racing simulators , reason being that it has a marginal damage system , tyre ware and pit stops that actually make a difference .

    Codies are a little all over the shop this year after that dirt 4 effort 😦 procedural generated shit .


    1. Correct. You needed really good throttle control in F1 2016, and that’s a skill that actually translates well to driving in real life.

      In fact, I think every Mustang GT buyer should be given a copy of F1 2016 and told:

      “Go home and play this. Only after you can accelerate out of La Source without swapping ends are you allowed to attend a Cars and Coffee”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If i´ve far less problems with the throttle-control in the Formula Extreme or V12, than it´s something broken in F1. The awkward handling in F1 2016 is just fake and the physics crap including FFB and telemetry.


      2. going from memory i agree, & i’m sure it translates to real life driving, but i don’t think it’s more accurate…it’s almost certainly not anymore. the old formula extreme in AMS was ridiculous with the throttle as well. i don’t think torque control’s really been an issue in F1 since 2014 when teams were still struggling with optimizing the delivery.

        funny to recall last year when james suggested traction control for the game & was ridiculed for using it in a simcade title, but it struck me as (at least) a bit over the top without. pretty sure i used TC/ABS/unlimited flashbacks, bc i DO think this title is meant first & foremost to gamify the F1 driver experience, not to genuinely simulate the cars…it’s just an ideal that it’d do both. i was still really, really slow, but if i’m simulating a full season (in a small % of the time) i’d prefer to purely enjoy the experience instead of pushing my limits, personally.

        ofc expectations may also come into play here; you dont expect a game intended to be played with a controller to require (or feel like it requires) delicate throttle management.

        i loved last years game & even if the physics didn’t change, this one looks objectively better (more content). if they’ve improved, it could be my favorite racing title in years.


        1. Nope. If you go over the edge in AC you get a huge tank slapper, you have a fraction to correct and you have to counter the right amount. In F1 if you go over the edge the rear gently steps out at a slow rate, you have ages to correct, and any amount of opposite lock saves you. Get a clue.


          1. The so-called edge in AC happens much later, and there’s little skill in saving it as it’s considerably less predictable. All you do is drive within the limits of the near-infinite grip, which, as any F1 driver will tell you, is not going to get you very far.

            Take a look at Vettel in the rain at Silverstone in 2015. That’s how it should be done and that is actually skillful, unlike what AC and AMS do.


            1. If you had any sort of talent to drive at anything else than pedestrian pace you would realize how much more rich the AC car is on the limit than Codies hovercrafts. Of course first you’ll have to get there without binning it every lap.


      1. You’re not a very good driver if you struggle with it. In quali mode it comes close, but it’s still too easy on the throttle. The snapping is the only hard part about it.


    2. More enjoyable too. In quali mode the SF15-T comes close, but it suffers from the same death slide syndrome as the older modern Reiza F1 cars. The progressiveness of the 2016 cars, particularly the Haas on the throttle, is downright fantastic and extremely satisfying.


        1. If you set them up like an idiot (as most simracers with no clue how to set up a car do) then sure, they snap. Set them up correctly, and you’ll be able to drive them just fine. Good thing there’s no good rain in any pure sim as you’d be a laughingstock in those conditions.


          1. >Set them up correctly
            Important thing to keep in mind: this is almost impossible to do in AMS because the low speed physics are crap and the cars are only ever worth driving at high speed. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, because you’re too used to crap physics.


          2. Nope. They snap because they’re stiff. A modern F1 is stiff because it needs a stable aero platform. It doesn’t have to be comfortable, it has to be fast. Please go get a clue, and don’t discuss about topics you don’t know shit about.


            1. Not really. You’re basing this on info you learned about F1 back in the 90’s. Since then, most teams actually run very soft settings on the rear. It’s been a very long time since the days where F1 cars ran super-stiff suspension to avoid diffuser stall (third springs fixed that, so you no longer need rock-hard main springs to prevent things like porpoising).

              I could give you multiple links to back this up, but then I’d be depriving you the chance of discovering it yourself.

              Google “F1 suspension stiffness” and you’ll be very surprised just how out-of-date your thinking is.


          3. You don’t have a clue. They snap because they’re stiff. They need to be stiff because they need the stable aero platform and because they have to be low. And the clueless monkeys soften them to survive throwing away a second.


            1. Um, wrong.

              This hasn’t been true since third springs came into common usage. See what I said above. In a modern F1 car (since 2009), they actually run quite soft rear stiffness.

              This is what they wanted all along. It was only after third springs and a better understanding of rear diffuser physics (driven mainly by CFD) that they were able to afford it.

              A soft rear makes it much easier to roll on the throttle earlier, and because of the third spring (and before that, the exhaust-blown diffuser – now outlawed) you can have both a nicely progressive car on corner exit while maintaining downforce in high-speed corners.


            2. they snap from the aero load, or rather lack of when they start to yaw, they loose downforce rapidly, and the tyres are low slip angle, i think the higher the tyre grip, the less itll like sliding.

              ive tried a few of the codies f1 games but i find it hard to be consistant, and the way the steering wheel isnt matched to your own physical wheel really disconcerting.


  4. Really pushing the negative aspects of all competition to PC2 aren’t you. Every day you are becoming more and more of a joke. In regards to the McLaren comp, the times may have been due to incorrect track cut limits imposed midway through round 1. Then an update for the track was released after round 1 to address this.
    Why there are no PC1 or 2 times relative to real life….maybe the same result. Online racing will always be faster due to not being able to simulate every split second of every factor that will affect a lap time, plus the inherent lack of fear that the virtual world brings.

    Go and enjoy your real life car sponsorship before Mr Bell realises he has no more use for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. About the iR 5s difference thing; extreme temps are still broken (night and overcast especially). That’s for sure. And the current tyre model on the GT3 cars is absolute aids.

    But do remember that IMSA GTD cars use Continental tyres, vs the “Pirellis” on iR. That’s like 2-3s/lap right there on a normal track, no joke lol. They are absolutely terrible.


  6. I still think comparing lap times is retarded, but saying that the snobs find F1 not hardcore enough is just part of the issue.

    The games are bad. They drive bad, they sound bad, they have menu problems, they are inconsistent in AI and visuals, and the last one I bought, F1 2015, has no proper aliasing, so it’s pixeltown or smudge grease all over the screen. F1 2016 had Denuvo, so I didn’t want it. The new one also does.

    I agree with Semaj on a bunch of things, but the game part of the game is not one of them. I’m not saying every racing title should be like nKP, but having to go through menus upon menus, loading screens, fake interviews, reading emails, more loading, unskippable introductions to a bunch of shit, an AI that’s been softened in many cases, etc. is why I can’t stand racing games that try to do more, like a career mode or other types of progression. I don’t want to unlock anything, like Nicky in Dirt 4 (which I still haven’t after 2 months), I don’t want to race shit cars until I get to what I like, and I don’t want shitty little messages about my performance not being up to snuff after being shoved in a fence by an AI and having to retire, and I don’t want to pretend manage a “career”.

    Lay out the content, let me create my championship and let’s get to fucking business. I have to go cut the vegetables for the soup later.

    F1 probably is the most restrictive licence out there, so I’m not blaming Codemasters for everything, because they do a good job on many fronts, but I’d feel like shit having to program all the shitty modern gizmos and systems and buttons that these cars have now. And I certainly don’t want to use them in the game, and they are all racing games. Shaun Cole can call everything a sim as much as he likes, including Shift 2 Unleashed, but at the end of the day, no matter what you play, you’re still an adult in your socks playing with a plastic wheel.

    And maybe there’s a chance they go back to finishing Dirt 4 once this one is out, eh?

    And “it’s” means “it is”.


    1. >let me create my championship
      You can do that in multiplayer now at the very least.

      >I don’t want to unlock anything
      Stop being lazy. Little wonder pure sims are for you – all you care about is the very simplistic driving aspect.

      >They drive bad
      They drive fine. On the throttle they’re better than any pure sim out there.

      >they sound bad
      Maybe if you’re used to the TV sounds, which are unrealistic as they put the sound capture devices in random places for each car to make them sound different. When you’re in the car, all you’re going to hear is the engine in its pure state – the Williams and the Force India are going to sound completely identical, for instance.


          1. Choose a championship, go. That can last me a few days or weeks depending on how long the events are. Much more immersive in fact than doing a few short races here, a few short races there. All the rest is fluff in a driving game.


  7. The logic problem with this article is the use of lap times to essentially discredit the various sims, without taking into account the (by far) largest variable in lap times (aside from precipitation):


    Tires make a profound difference to lap times, and it’s therefore a specious argument to use lap times as your sole metric of simulator verisimilitude (pardon the obvious tautology) without carefully considering whether the Sim tires are matched to the IRL tires used to generate those times.

    So, what metric can you use?

    I’d say there’s only one: Can a real race driver step into the sim and immediately be quick via skill translation.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly, and besides tyres not being the same exact ones used in real life GT3 competitions, the cars in RL and sim don’t have the same BOP.
      Then you get the sim exploits any sim is bound to have but in a 24h race there aren’t such risks taken, you get aliens doing crazy things doing 1000s of hotlaps.

      But James, did you know the lmp1 lap times are very close in AC and real life, at tracks such as Spa, Silverstone GP, Nurburgring (GT layout I think).


  8. I do think a lot of the appeal is the idea that it’s ultra realistic. Without that, a lot of people are afraid that their sim racing talents won’t transfer over to the real world.

    What’s funny is that there’s always something unrealistic, always exploits or lack of detail, and the only thing that truly matters is marketing.

    iRacing is quite often wrong, inaccurate, poor, etc, but it’s marketed to the sim nerds with the idea of “pros got their start here” to validate the sim portion of what’s quite honestly nothing more than a wallet emptying game.

    I think a lot of mediocre to slightly good iRacers don’t want that credibility taken away, because without it, their iRating is meaningless.


    1. It’s actually a lot easier to drive a real car than a sim car in AC, AMS, rF2 or R3E. I think people would be really surprised.

      What’s hard is the sheer physicality of it and maintaining perfect concentration and consistency, lap after lap amid the cacophony, fear of dying and pressure from other drivers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t understand this idea that professional race car drivers struggle with their mortality while racing. They take fewer risks, sure, but racing is so safe nowadays that everyone is on the limit. Plus race car drivers are there for the adrenaline, not to pace around.

        When drivers have a near fatal accident and then are never the same, as if they’ve been “shook” by the accident, that’s proof drivers don’t drive scared. Because when they do, you can tell very easily.


  9. The great Canadian kike Ezra Levant has murdered his (((Rebel Media))) outlet.

    He has lost all of his personalities which people like and he has been caught in several scandals.

    Without Gavin’s wry wits and Faith’s spry tits, no one will watch some ugly Jew and dried-up Jew hag Laura Loomer.


    1. Yes. And it’s not because of it happening too much, it’s because of the way you beat it. You add even more lock and the front works even better, that’s not how a front tyre sliding works.


  10. F1 2016 and DiRT 4 are both enjoyable driving games, hopefully 2017 will build on that. They capture the spirit of the sport and make it accessible and exciting with the likes of the practice challenges in F1 2016. Procedural generation, for all its repetitive faults, made DiRT 4 a better rally ‘game’ than DiRT Rally which quickly became a hill climb event as people memorised the stages.

    The sales figures speak for themselves, these accessible games way outsell the dry hardcore simulators.

    An unpopular view with some I know but Forza, Pcars, F1, DiRT 4 are all capable of producing as good close racing among like minded and reasonably equally skilled players as any of the sims. Also dial down the difficulty in the sims, especially AC, and it quickly feels just like Forza.

    I like the sims for what they are but we get more enjoyment from these well structured and playable games.

    I’m Loki g forward to Friday and the start of the new gaming season.


    1. > An unpopular view with some I know but Forza, Pcars, F1, DiRT 4 are all capable of producing as good close racing among like minded and reasonably equally skilled players as any of the sims.

      Probably more so, but some people prefer logical behaviour to an even playing field.


  11. The rF2 one is not so wrong (or maybe even not wrong), the track record is 1:58 with this same car. Maybe with equal track temps we’d see a closer lap time. Not that bad for a track that is not laser scanned

    Problem is that people said this is the hard tires, then you’ll see crazy lap times if that’s true when they add soft and medium compounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like I said: Tires are the biggest determinant of lap times in general. We have no idea how the compounds in rF2 match up with those IRL.

      So, it’s ridiculous to split hairs and “prove” rF2 is “not realistic” unless and until you match up the tires precisely (which is likely impossible).

      Manufacturer tire data is a closely guarded secret and expensive to obtain.


  12. 2:15:8 is a perfectly realistic lap time for, say, a Corvette C6R/C7R or a 911 RSR on SPA, regardless if it’s on Assetto Corsa or rFactor 2.

    Look at the following video, the guy does 2:16:6

    I did 2:16:7 with lots of effort on the same car. Started with a green track and took me at least 8 laps to build enough rubber and temperature to do that lap time. The track/air temperature started at 13C if I’m not mistaked.

    I did 2:16:5 with the 997, on basically the same conditions as above. Here’s the video:

    Don’t forget that sim racing doesn’t equate for real-world body physics or the fear of destroying your car and your career (or even dying), so 2 seconds is perfectly possible to achieve on top of a real world lap.


      1. Infinite cars, tyres and laps plus no harm on accidents are certainly good for 2 sec. differences. And real drivers like Nicki Thiim are seconds behind the fastest iRacers even i can´t see where he might loosing time.


  13. Fine article sir, probably your best.

    People will still make excuses about physics and other hardware and programming stuff, which is fine, I have no problem with some things being a bit unrealistic due to the constraints of the software, but the problem is the community thinking their hotlap simulators are the be all and end all and that all console games and simcade games are awful.

    I’d rather play a game with a flourishing career mode and extra features with a good but not simulation driving model than a “realistic 1-1 sim” (cough iRacing cough) that offers nothing but barebones modes and you just drive. Driving is the main event, but the modes give it the seasoning, the spice, the cherry on top.

    Also, just play the games you like and enjoy the fucking games. At the end of the day, they’re games. Just have fun and stop the bullshit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well I really want the career mode feeling of progression etc, but I just found it impossible to enjoy the the handling of F1 2016. I don’t really care if it’s realistic or not, but if it makes no sense, it stops being fun very quickly.


  14. People who moan about a bit less realistic physics on those recent F1 games probably don’t even remember the Evolution Studios games, those felt absolutely nothing like sim cars. They felt worse than those classic Bizarre Creations PS1 F1 outings.

    To me, what Codies do seems like a fair trade for the extremely inconsistent offline racing and unpolished product experience from stuff like AC and rF2.


  15. I’m not sure you can say because sim A does the correct real time lap time, that sim A has to be accurate,because you could have the sim car faster in the corners and slower under braking and still produce the right laptime compared to real life,that doesn’t make it more accurate.


  16. So, creativity with a racing simulator is discouraged. Good to know. Even X-Plane got a UI overhaul to make it easier to navigate the UI to change what you want to change. No complaints from the flight sim community about the UI overhaul of X-Plane, just praises. And last time I checked, NO racing simulator has the capabilities to predict the aerodynamic properties of the race car based on shape alone, which means there is no “X-Plane of sim racing.” And even X-Plane needs help predicting airfoil behavior, because you still need wind tunnels in order to be able to accurately predict how an airfoil will behave.

    One more thing: Last time I checked, nobody who uses X-Plane blasts those who use FSX for not using X-Plane and nobody who uses FSX blasts those who use X-Plane for not using FSX. The sim racing community would do well to learn from the flight sim community’s example on how they treat other flight simmers. Nobody dares to claim that only their simulator of choice is used to practice real life flying skills because they’re BOTH used by real pilots and flight training centers. The sim racing community would do well to learn from the flight sim community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “nobody who uses X-Plane blasts those who use FSX for not using X-Plane and nobody who uses FSX blasts those who use X-Plane for not using FSX.”

      Although the flight Sim community on a whole are maturer more productive, and far more helpful and knowledgeable of the sims subject matter, you statement is not true, you can find X-plane/P3D fights in almost every area of flight sim commentary, also check out Dovetails recent Sim, and the dramas around that.for example.


  17. Soft tyres aren’t used in real life GT3 races at Spa, only M and H, often just the Hards. However in the sim that’s what you use for laptime records, the Softs.

    Real life gt3 drivers don’t do 1000 hotlaps with infinite tyres.

    Cars in sims aren’t BOP’ed exactly as the GT3 series you take those lap times from, most likely not even the tyres match between sim and real life, because depends what the tyre manufacturers do each season.

    If the devs want, even mario kart can match the laptimes of real life gt3 cars. (replace mario kart with pcars) and that says nothing about the accuracy of the simulation.


  18. AC’s F1 cats may well be better handling than Codies versions, but hey, means Jack Shit when the game ain’t even launch for the past four days. At least Codemasters can code.


      1. Fuck off about “working”.
        The game is a pile of horse shit. It’s like a year 7’s computing project. Amateur hour. A bedroom project wrapped up in a £40 wrapper. Biggest con-job since Hitler’s Diaries.


  19. It makes me laugh,the same sentiment was regurgitated in iracing.
    Fact is they are all games and it would be a dumb move not to use the only officially sponsored f1 game on the market.

    This was a good read,basically rf2 is the less wrong sim on the market lol,all for 40% off


  20. James accuses sim racers of being sim elitists and talking down on games like formula 1 (when any racing game player can enjoy).

    Yet is you James who have been making articles over the years hyping and hating formula 1 games by codemasters. Make up your mind already and stop blaming the sim racing community.


  21. The sheer insistence of the “I don’t need good AI, playing alone is for losers” has really reached some ludicrous degrees. I get it shouted at me anytime I look at anything single-player; hell, I once had a PCARS 2 fan attempt to quell my concerns about the in-game spotter by telling me if I played online, I could just hire a real person to spot for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s true. SP is stupid because you’re denying to himself GOOD RACING. No AI ever came close to racing another skilled human.


      1. That’s like saying people shouldn’t play chess against anyone except grandmasters. Like even if it was fine in theory (it’s not, reaching the highest possible difficulty is not the only reason people play games) it’s completely impossible because there simply aren’t enough of them out there.

        In sim racing that translates to, you can search for skilled humans to compete in an Escort at Spa on game of choice for 40 days and 40 nights, and you’ll never even find one. The more cars/tracks a game has, the more important AI becomes – cause racing once every 6 months when the right forces align is just not good enough.

        I mean, it’s true that AI aren’t and likely never will be as interesting to drive against as humans. But they’re better than hotlapping.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. People like you, saying shit like this, is what gives devs permission to be lazy and not include critical features like AI and SP career modes.

        Don’t you get it? Without these features, sim racing will decline in popularity to the point where all we’ll have is half-assed indie efforts like LFS.

        Also, my Internet speed sucks ever since these criminal Western embargoes went into place. I think the CIA is fucking with me every time I get dropped by AC.

        When you run a Juche-oriented socialist state, you sure as hell need offline racing.


        1. Some kids entire Social life is online, so its no wonder these dweebs equate playing SP in the same manner as “having no friends”, my social time is down the pub and at work, my grown arse friends dont play “video games”, SP and AI is far more consistent then most online lurkers, and is there in my short windows to play, and dont have to deal with dweebs whos entire existence revolving around their online personas.


          1. If you have limited time to play like adults do it’s a damn good reason to make the most of it. And racing silly bots is not the way to do it.


            1. Right, because online is so consistent in sim racing?
              if you find it is, Im happy for you, for me, its a fucking nightmare,and I use all sims to max potential online play, maybe once a week ill find 2 guys on a grid of say 10 that have decent racecraft, and normally both will be different paces, add the fact that NOBODY plays interesting combos online either,or anything much different than GT3/2 spa/monza blah blah blah


        2. Nope. We don’t get poor AI and SP because I find it a waste of time so devs don’t have to please me.

          We get poor AI because at this point in time it’s impossible to create something that can get anywhere close to a skilled human. They’ll always be retarded in some corners, some track conditions, in some racing situations.

          Racing AI is like masturbation, racing other humans with talent is like sex.


          1. “Racing AI is like masturbation, racing other humans with talent is like sex.”

            Annnnd this is the kind of millennial BS equating im talking about, get married kid, masturbation is a rare and engaging treat, some fellers cant sit at PC’s/Devices all day blowing loads into socks over rape anime while “mom” makes your pop tarts.


            1. It’s the truth, sorry it hurts. Ugly and boring people masturbate, beautiful and interesting people have sex. Talentless drivers compete against AI, people with half a clue can have double the fun fighting other talented humans.


              1. Key word there is “talent” good luck finding that online, 95 per cent I find online would be smoked by AI, cunts cant even stay on track for longer than a handful of laps, and if you happen to cross someone with racecraft, 9/10 they going to be off pace to you (slower or faster).

                Besides no ones denying people love racing other humans, its the theory that AI should be ignored which has contributed greatly to the utter shit show of modern games, it also ironic that this arguments on a article about F1 2017, which take all sim racing dweebs, wreckers, poor drivers and Brazilians and times that by a 100 when playing games like Forza or F1 games, its a virtual kindergarten with cars.


              2. AC’s AI is so shit, Kunos have even stopped us from racing offline as of Thursday. It’s like they’re BEGGING us to fuck off and buy Project Cars 2.


                1. The AI in AC i find the best atm. They don´t slow down or break too early, even works with Mod-tracks and -cars and they can fight (clean) now i can tell. Certainly racing real people is something different and the masturbation-example is not that bad, but shit will happen and some MP-races can be boring even compare to AI-races.


                  1. Stop the car in the middle of the track. Now look behind you. AC’s AU are like slot cars. They don’t even have the intelligence to pass a stationary car. Will probably get fixed by 2027.


                    1. When i set them too high, i’ve always some AI trying to pass me and often driving several corners door to door, so i can´t confirm that it’s still an issue, even if you can trigger it.


    2. This attitude is what kills offline career in GT Sport, IMO. After the endless bitching about how weak GT’s AIs and what you mentioned above, it ended up to the limited offline career in GTS.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh and Dave Greco is pushing back on the sim racing FB page, he’s using that Mario Cockroach guy for a punching bag. I enjoyed F1 2016, I got it after it got a decent write up here and I still play it on occasion, but then I also play Project Cars, DriveClub, Nascar Heat and Assetto, I guess that makes me a fake pretend racer unlike all you real professional fake racers.


          1. Are you by chance the sad busboy that cleaned up my table last night after the six of us had lobster? Sure I left the waitress a tip bigger than your last paycheck, but don’t be a hater over it, she earned a nice tip and you are just a sad loser in the only job you’re qualified for. Go for it, improve your life and maybe, just maybe, there’s a future as a dishwasher or lawn care tech ahead of you!


            1. Imagine this: A hillbilly scum liar, his cousin and their four offsprings sitting in restaurant eating lobster. Yeah, this definitely happened!


        1. Sorry, on vacation in Barcelona (great timing).

          I’m done posting for a while anyway, got back into flight sims and frankly bored with the sim racing “community”.

          Basically a bunch of frustrated wannabe nerds arguing over their rich fantasy life. I get enough of that action at work.


          Liked by 3 people

          1. As if kondor will ever leave James.

            There might be a reason a psychiatrist like dr.kondor has Austin in such a high regard, could be because he sees him as a patient.


          2. Off of La Rambla is Placa Reial, there’s a joint that does an amazing brunch, Santa Monica maybe, it’s in the far right corner if you walk in from La Rambla, the Mrs and I have eaten there on all three of our visits to Barcelona.

            I’m a big fan of the food all around the Mediterranean.

            Enjoy Barcelona, it’s a great place to chill out.


  23. As others have already mentioned, the rF2 lap time was not 3 seconds faster than RL, it was only 1 second faster. Some of the guys who got into the top 20 did over 1000 laps, with one guy doing 1400+

    If the real life driver had endless sets of tyres and 1000 laps, maybe he could knock a second off.

    Shit on every sim except pCars. Seriously…


  24. You guys arguing back and forth about this stuff was sort of interesting for awhile, but honestly it’s all gotten very repetitive. I’ve been without internet for over a week and it doesn’t feel like I missed much. I see now its degenerated into silly anon name-calling and schoolyard taunting.

    Why don’t you go drive or something? Have some fun? Just a suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. after your vacation when you go back to work you will be back here sucking james cock everyday. Tell me that isn’t what you’re going to do?


  25. I have no interest in F1 2017 because I find racing AI to be boring and the force feedback has been awful in every single previous incarnation of the series (I played these games a lot between F1 2011 to 2016). I don’t care if they’re realistic or not.


  26. You’re all sat there on your mum’s sofa getting your knickers in a twist because some kid on your game laps faster than a real driver on the real track. God help all of you if you ever have anything serious to worry about. See that yellow thing outside? That’s the sun. Go and enjoy it. Ask your mum for the door key.


          1. Happy Birthday on the Xbox One release Stefano!
            12 months in and we’ve gained at least 3 FPS through Eau Rouge and Radillon. Keep up the good work. Cant wait fir patch 1.15 where we might even hit 20 FPS.
            When is the next dlc coming out? I’m itching to get more polish for my turd.


            1. If you can’t hit 20fps with Assetto Corsa on xbox one then your console is really broken. You should look into that.

              AC is a simulation game and xb1’s cpu is weak for the job. There is a reason PS4 Pro manages to give stable 60fps for AC, because Sony upgraded the cpu and a few other parts.

              But since you’re just trolling and insulting, you lost all the credibility already. Original xbox one can’t keep a stable 60fps for AC but no where near being on 20fps. But you can’t expect facts and objective posts from trolls 🙂


          2. Since when have you become so delusional? Should be the fault of dr.kondor for going on vacations and not prescribing you anything meanwhile.


          3. Why would you even care if the xbox game is fixed? You don’t play any version, even though you own the game on PC.

            Troll harder next time James, aka Austin Ogonoski.


        1. Facts! He’s a whore. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s all about the scrilla anyway and I applaud him for that.


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