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by Gertrand Bachot 28 Oct 2017, 15:58
This is one of my sim racing exploits (if this is in the wrong place, mods, please move it) in F1 Challenge 99-02, as Williams-BMW in the 2000 season. I picked the Nurburgring and 50% race distance and off I went. The race used real-life starting positions and weather, so I started P5 (as Ralf Schumacher did IRL) and I started off. I got a great start and was up into P3, battling David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher for the lead. I continued doing this up until Lap 3, when I spun at the Schumacher-S. Luckily I recovered to P6, at which point I noticed it would rain in a few laps so I took a big risk and pitted in to change to wet tires. I rejoined in last and had to drive 1 and a half laps until the rain fell. Then my gamble was paying off as people came peeling in the pits and I found proper traction on the wets. The teams only pitted one of their drivers in at a time, so about half of the drivers left were still on dry tires in the wet. I picked them off and was in P10 and going strong; until I came up to Johnny Herbert.

I tried to pass him at the harpin and he cut me off. I had nowhere to go and hit him and thus lost my front wing. I then had to wrestle my car for half a lap while it understeered through the corners. I pitted in and took another risk and fitted monsoon tyres on while the car was repaired. I went out in 15th and began my hunt. I overtook Alesi and Verstappen while on my charge and came up to none other than the same Johnny Herbert. I passed him quickly and headed down to catch Pedro Diniz, 10 seconds up. But I had to pit for tires and fuel and I ran wide at the hairpin, which let Johnny back through. I chased him down and closed the 2.5 second gap he had and overtook him at the same hairpin. I then made it my business to close down Pedro Diniz and steal his 10th place, but to do that I had to gain 12 seconds on him. It took 15 laps to catch him, but on lap 28 I did it, and later that same lap, I took Alexander Wurz as well. Some laps earlier, Jacques Villeneuve's engine gave up so I was now 7th. Then I had to close a 5 second gap to Pedro De La Rosa in 6th, if I wanted to get points today. I had 6 laps to do it in and I continuously did it. It was on the last lap that I made my move. I kept my foot down through the Schumacher-S and I braked late - too late. I smashed into the Arrows and flipped him over. I had done it; I was in 6th and would salvage a point in return for all my efforts. But Lady Luck decided otherwise. As soon as I accelerated out of the corner, the engine had decided enough was enough and it gave up. I was devastated; I had worked so hard and I wouldn't even get a point. Pedro had kept going and stole the point; I was still classified 7th, and I had the fastest lap, but it could have been so much more - I could have won, but alas, today was not the day.

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