My race at imola was a bizarre experience. I had to run on 4 sets of tires in the race and suffered 2 punctures, one when entering the pit lane (causing a really wild spin). I had set up the car to do 2 stops but my tires were completely worn after 9 laps. I was using soft tires btw as the hard compound were completely useless for Imola.
After getting the first puncture and realising I had to pit at the end of the ninth lap I had to ignore the automatic pit strategy and dynamically do my own to make it a 3 stopper. After the second stop (another puncture) I had chosen +58 litres of fuel. For some reason my fuel crew only topped me up to 36 litres. Great - got 5 laps in before I was called in to fuel up again. This was going to be the last stop so I chose 80 litres just in case - Crew put in 62L!! Hmm something wrong there then. This is worrying and I wonder if anyone else has experienced this? I'd hate to have distrust my pit crew on these matters.
After the race I went to back Imola to do some testing on tire wear and I found that the fronts wear at a totally unrealistic rate. I know I'm sliding into the corners trail braking and pushing hard but half the tire would be gone after 4 laps. I could reproduce a puncture every single time on the 9th lap. I even got a puncture and extreme tire wear from driving casually around the track for 9 laps. Very fustrating. I switched setups and couldn't get away from this problem. For some reason during practice and warmup I never did enough laps to notice it - which is my fault. I think that Imola is modelled with high tire wear regardless of setup - anyone else have problems with this? At least all the AI cars stopped twice this time round, allowing me to finally win a race!!
Qualifying was really good. I had a really good setup and was .5secs ahead of my best time at the 2/3 stage of my final flying lap when I overcooked it at the fast chicane - boy was I bummed as I really needed a low 1:26 to move up to the front row of the grid. One thing I have noticed about qualifying - don't accelerate time unless you want the PC to artificially give everyone fast times. In the last 2 races I did this and would normally drop down to 17th or so. This time I left it and kept my 4th place.
On to Silverstone testing this week.
Posted on Apr 9, 2000, 11:16 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11