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Some personal comparisons

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While awaiting the start of the last Formula One race of the season this morning, which is unfortunately NOT going to be as exciting as I was hoping since both Red Bull cars have been pulled back to start from the pit due to an illegal wing setup, I ran a couple comparison time trials between rFactor2 and F1 2014 on Silverstone, running the same 2014 Red Bull Renaults on a dry track and med/hard tires, setup as nearly equal as I could, with ABS on, and auto clutch and transmissions necessary due to a disability as usual.  My system runs well above both application's requirements, and steering is handled by a Thrustmaster M16000 Joystick which when pushed foreward provides variable throttle.  Braking is controlled by a homemade pressure thumb button providing more direct and variable braking than you can get with anything but a full pedal.

I've run this track and car combination on both venues a number of times in the past, although not since the release of F1 2014.  I have done much better in the past but I wanted to see the average differences I would experiance after such a long track hiatus.  After 3 laps on both I ran a terrible 2.15 on rFactor2 and a relatively bad 1.58 in F1. 

I had two other racers standing by to watch and then allowed them to both take the same tests, each of them showing the same relative differences in time as I did, though not to the exact seconds of course.  But after watching and analyising everything on playbacks as best we amatuers can do, ( and BTW, we all drove sets from both the default camera view just above and behind the driver's head as well as from the cockpit view. ), we all came to the same conclusions.

It didn't appear as if any real difference in car speeds/acceleration was at fault for the time differences between the two venues.  A fact we verified with a series of straight-line and full sector drag races.  There was a difference in curve handling, especially in right-hand 45 to 90 degree turns, with rFactor2 requiring more brake and more precision going into the turns which resulted in up to a .50+ time differential.  But the biggest negative variations seemed without a doubt to be caused by the perceptual differences of the two venues and how it effected eye-hand coordination.  A problem in rFactor2 I mentioned before that is more and more prominent as your viewpoint is set further away from the cockpit view!  But even in cockpit view all of us experianced more over and under steering in rFactor2 than in F1 2014 simply because of how the front of the car reacted in what seems to be a completely different way then what your eyes and hands are telling you!  All of us seem to base our steering on sighting straight down the middle of the car's nose out to about halfway down the visible distance of the track in front of us, and how well one is able to aim the car into the turns correctly is where the problem seems to be because the front of the rFactor2 cars float from side to side in unexpected ways and by different amounts.  This may indeed be closer to the physical truth in a real car...I have no idea...but on a 2D screen it makes one's judgement and repeatable turning abilities very hard to control!

We're not experts and don't even know of this kind of testing actually offers valid and repeatable data from which such conclusions can be trusted, but they seem to bear out.  I'd really like to hear more about this from others who can make comparisons themselves as well.  

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I agree wholeheartily!  We didn't make these comparisons to offer a better choice, but to verify each game's traits and validate differences we already felt subjectively.  This allows ME to make a better choice by qualifying my own reasoning with hard, repeatable facts!  And these facts tell ME and allows me to explain to others why I'd rather race in one or the other. 

If all I wanted was the most realistic physics rFactor2 would be my first choice.  But I want something more than that.  I want fun, satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, visual excitement, and race karma.  And these traits are what F1 provides well enough so that I can forgive its departure from reality.  But there is no doubt in my mind that were rFactor2 to get fully licensed and did even half as well as F1 does in these more subjective areas, it would quickly become my choice!  

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