Top 5 Beginner Mistakes (or: How To Ensure Everyone Hates You)

I am not into great Intro texts. So let’s just start and see what are the Top 5 Beginner Mistakes in Simracing and how to fuck up everyone’s opinion about you.

5.) Two Minutes To Start. Asking For Setup.

Say “setup, pls”, and everybody will know that you did not only not practice, like is Ancient Rite in Arcade Racers. But they now know that if somebody gives you a setup, you will not even be familiar with the handling of your car.

There is also the variant that someone, well known by the other racers, will lend you a joke-setup which seals your early drop-out. And everybody except you know that.

4.) Divebombing.

This is one manifestation of the Senna-Syndrome. The newbie is behind another racer, and in the braking zone before the next corner, they overestimate their ability (or underestimate the situation, which is equivalent), they brake later, turn on the contenders inside (“diving”), overstress their traction, and perfectly bomb (“bomb”, uh) away their contender.

Now both are out. Just like real bombs, which are typically not reusable either, the common divebomber usually quits without saying a bit. But beware:Likewise real bombs, some divebombers will make it to the pit stalls, get minimal repair, and then return as nondeterministic, unexploded bombs, buried somewhere deep into the field.

Note: The Senna-Syndrome is a collection of simracer diseases in which newbies, who have always dreamed of winning Formula 1 races, enter real simraces for the first time(s). They think “Now is my time, and I will showeveryone“. It takes a few races until they realize that this is at most halfway true. Once hated by everyone, they are grounded again, and either quit Simracing, or begin to slowly build up real skill.

Note 2: Experienced racers can often detect an ongoing divebomb and take precaution. Unfortunately this has the effect of the bomber thinking “yay, I knew it works”.

3.) Being Lapped And Not Looking In The Mirror.

Just recently, it was in an IndyCar fixed setup race, I was doing pretty good. I was leading the field, and built up some distance to my competition after a few laps. Then, right inside the Esses (Maggotts and Becketts), I was about to lap a slow car.

That slow car was pretty slow, however, it looked like it would stick to the center of the track, such that I could stay on the inside safely. I am always happy to flawlessly pass lapped cars, as there’s always the chance they will provide some blocking to my competition; not necessarily intentional: sometimes there’s just no room and honest racers know that.

All great. Except … the moment I’m about to pass him, he turns into the inside. I was about 270 km/h (160 mph) and he just 210 km/h (130 mph) or so, with just 10 metres (32 feet) between us. And you know what? You cannot decelerate a Dallara IndyCar in Becketts by 30 mph in just 30 feet, while being on the peak of traction already and sniffing on the braking zone already.

Thanks. Race over. The win busted. Last race of the week for me, even the season was basically over (w.r.t. actual competition) because I would have to use all my off-weeks for real life stuff, therefore not having the chance to maximize points.

Morale: Always watch your mirrors. Build up an instinct to recognize visual events in your mirror without explicitly looking at it (as part of your peripheral view). In iRacing, this is even easier, because you have the so-called F3-page, which displays in realtime the deltas to your surroundings.

2.) Trying To Win 1 sec After 3rd Restart After Somebody Tried To Win 1 Sec After 2nd Restard After Somebody Tried To Win 1 sec After 1st Restart After Somebody Tried To Win 1 sec After Start.

You know what: There is even a step-up of this, take a deep breath:

Trying To Win 1 sec After 3rd Restart After Somebody Tried To Win 1 Sec After 2nd Restard After Somebody Tried To Win 1 sec After 1st Restart After Somebody Tried To Win 1 sec After Start After Somebody Tried To Win On Warmup Laps.

Yes, I really experienced that.

This, too, is a manifestation of the Senna-Syndrome.

And, don’t do it. Let the race settle into an actual race. Unlike real life racers, simracers have real life after the race, and they need to pee and cannot afford to solve for that by peeing into the trousers. At least not if they have a significant other.

1.) Trying To Win In The First Corner.

Finally, this is the fastest way to make everyone hate you. While you can start generating hatred in warm up already, the probability for a huge pile up is never higher than after initial start, especially on standing starts.

How To: Start from behind. Upon green, begin targetting the inside of the next corner. Because the other racers are typically not intelligent enough to realize the potential of going inside heavily and gaining at least 5 positions there, you can use that sweet spot to your advantage to win the race like Senna could not have made it better.

Who’s better than Senna? Grosjean! At least on his high time in 2012:

Now, that’s how you win races, right?


Sebastian Mach

Sebastian Mach

Simracing for more than five years. iRacing, rFactor, but sometimes arcade racing just for fun.

Typically Top 2%-5% racer. Tries to not be slow.
Sebastian Mach

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