13 November 1999
John asked me to share my knowledge on F1GP with you. I'm currently leading the FOWSC championship and below is my advice on so that you can become faster (but not too fast :).
Q. Which control method do you use and why?
A. I use the keyboard because F1GP was designed in the early 90s - when joysticks and wheels weren't very frequent. I think is programmed perfectly for keyboard, in F1GP you need to be able to react quick and I believe you can be more precise by using the good old keyboard. Maybe if you practise a lot, a steering device can be competitive - but I doubt it.
Q. How do you find the best setup for a circuit?
A. That's easy, I just downloaded the HOF setups from the Internet. But sometime you need to change them a bit. In longer races, when you don't come out of the corners as quickly as in qualifying, you can't reach the same top speed at the next straight. So sometime I slightly adapt the gearbox, and in even longer races, I just make the car a bit more understeering, by raising the rear wing and lowering the front wing, a few notches.
Q. Which driving aids do you use?
A. F5 (Ideal Line) and F6 (Suggested Gear) are still on, but I don't think I look at F6 ever. I like to have F5 on because it gives you good concentration points on the track.
Q. Do you think that the "Ideal Line Driving Aid" is actually the fastest line around the track?
A. Well, I believe that's the definition of it. I think the line is pretty accurate in most corners. I don't think turning in earlier or later can help you much in gaining time.
Q. Do you use traction control? If so, do you think there is a lot of time gained by using it?
A. No, if you want to be really fast, you need to have no traction help, it only slows the car when exiting a corner. It is really difficult in the beginning, the car sliding all over the place, but once you come to grips with it, you can easily gain 0.5-1.0 second a lap. I recommend everyone to practise without the traction help, and the Estoril track is an ideal track to try it out. The benefit of driving without traction control is that you have all the power when you exit a corner. It also gives you a bit of oversteer in slow corners, which means you can use the throttle to make the turn a bit sharper and get on the gas much sooner. This enables you to get a better exit speed, which is very important.
Q. Have you any tips for driving in the wet?
A. I don't know. I hate wet weather, but I think you need traction help here for a start. Setup-wise I have absolutely no idea what you should really do to be fast. Just try not to go off the track can be enough to get a good time.
Q. Have you any other small tips for those who wish to be faster drivers?
A. Practise says a lot. Another handy tip is this : when you're doing qualifying times to try and beat your own record. Save the game just before the S/F line in the warm-up lap. That way you can - by loading that game - restart another flying lap soon, and getting in a rhythm much faster, without loosing it during the warm up lap.