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A 'My Team' Story - Wycombe Racing

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Introduction

Not content with their football team being the talk of the country after their hugely unexpected promotion into the Championship, reaching the second tier of English football for the first time in their history, the town of Wycombe are now represented on the biggest motorsport stage of all - the Formula One grid. Wycombe Racing will adorn the same famous light and dark blue colours of their footballing partners, and while they're obviously going to be regarded as huge underdogs in the beginning, that particular tag has always sat well with the management of the Chairboys and it's no different now.

The budget is inevitably small, with sponsors Distort pumping £4.7m into the team to set them on their way. The aim is to finish 8th in the Constructors' Championship, which would certainly represent progress in their first season in F1 and given the struggles of Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas, is also pretty realistic on the surface. 

Most of the budget has been spent on a deal with Mercedes to become their engine supplier, giving Wycombe Racing one of the best engines on the grid from the get-go. However, early sim data suggests that serious improvements will need to be made in the aerodynamics and chassis departments, and a 7-day team building activity for the two departments ahead of the car reveal should improve morale and productivity. Mercedes themselves are obviously the team to beat, with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing the second best car on the grid and Racing Point not far behind.

As for the second driver, well - the underdog story wouldn't quite be the same without hiring the mother of all underdogs, would it? The much-maligned Mahaveer Raghunathan takes the seat, and was promptly sent on a 5-day training camp in the week leading up to the Australian Grand Prix. It has the desired effect - Raghunathan's ability improves from 45 to 48 in the week, but the paddock is not expecting much from the man ridiculed during a slow error-strewn 2019 season at MP Motorsport in Formula Two.

The trip to Melbourne is just around the corner, and with no acclaim in the paddock to speak of whatsoever, the world awaits the debut of Wycombe's inaugural F1 team.

 

Author's Note:

The AI are set to 94, which is roughly my level using a controller (I raced with AI around 90-92 on F1 2019). I race full sessions with simulation damage, no flashbacks and I will never restart - whatever happens happens and it's up to me not to nick my front wing on a slow Ferrari.

Hopefully we'll have some fun - wish me luck!

Edited by JoeBaldwin
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WYCOMBE RACING CAR REVEAL

Just as with the football team, Wycombe Racing will be sporting a light and dark blue livery, as seen below:

947196644_WycombeRacingCarReveal.thumb.jpg.0ceec8d75754b84ad31762396b8949f0.jpg

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1 hour ago, Guga_Cyr said:

How come your emblem is blurry?!

No idea - I changed it from the one on the wall (which I used previously) to the one in the top right, but for some reason it's like that. It should be the one in the top right, the blue W.

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On 10/29/2020 at 7:30 PM, JoeBaldwin said:

Introduction

Not content with their football team being the talk of the country after their hugely unexpected promotion into the Championship, reaching the second tier of English football for the first time in their history, the town of Wycombe are now represented on the biggest motorsport stage of all - the Formula One grid. Wycombe Racing will adorn the same famous light and dark blue colours of their footballing partners, and while they're obviously going to be regarded as huge underdogs in the beginning, that particular tag has always sat well with the management of the Chairboys and it's no different now.

The budget is inevitably small, with sponsors Distort pumping £4.7m into the team to set them on their way. The aim is to finish 8th in the Constructors' Championship, which would certainly represent progress in their first season in F1 and given the struggles of Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas, is also pretty realistic on the surface. 

Most of the budget has been spent on a deal with Mercedes to become their engine supplier, giving Wycombe Racing one of the best engines on the grid from the get-go. However, early sim data suggests that serious improvements will need to be made in the aerodynamics and chassis departments, and a 7-day team building activity for the two departments ahead of the car reveal should improve morale and productivity. Mercedes themselves are obviously the team to beat, with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing the second best car on the grid and Racing Point not far behind.

As for the second driver, well - the underdog story wouldn't quite be the same without hiring the mother of all underdogs, would it? The much-maligned Mahaveer Raghunathan takes the seat, and was promptly sent on a 5-day training camp in the week leading up to the Australian Grand Prix. It has the desired effect - Raghunathan's ability improves from 45 to 48 in the week, but the paddock is not expecting much from the man ridiculed during a slow error-strewn 2019 season at MP Motorsport in Formula Two.

The trip to Melbourne is just around the corner, and with no acclaim in the paddock to speak of whatsoever, the world awaits the debut of Wycombe's inaugural F1 team.

 

Author's Note:

The AI are set to 94, which is roughly my level using a controller (I raced with AI around 90-92 on F1 2019). I race full sessions with simulation damage, no flashbacks and I will never restart - whatever happens happens and it's up to me not to nick my front wing on a slow Ferrari.

Hopefully we'll have some fun - wish me luck!

You are ready to sign the Akinfenwa as a 2nd driver.. would be great to see that Monster in the Podium 😀😀

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AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Wycombe Racing's debut weekend in Formula One began reasonably well considering the expectations. I was 16th in the first practice session, and Raghunathan was quicker than Latifi at the bottom of the timesheet, which highlights a minor superiority over the Williams team. Our car is more power-friendly (5/23 going into the weekend), while our aerodynamics (2/24) and chassis (0/23) are very poor, and the Albert Park circuit is one which favours the latter, and this was emphasised by the practice programmes, which all asked way too much of me in terms of pace. The only programme I was able to complete at all was the Track Acclimatisation, not much of an achievement, and the Qualifying Pace programme wanted me to record a 1:23.3 - I could only manage a 1:26.0.

During P2 I filled the car to the brim with fuel and ran a few laps to see how it would handle. It wouldn't, it seemed - I suffered from considerable understeer through medium and high speed corners, which is the majority of them around Melbourne's problematic circuit, and I resigned myself to a slow weekend fighting the Williams.

This proved true in qualifying, where after an error-strewn first run I was actually slower than Raghunathan! I posted a much better second lap, recording a 1:24.604 to qualify 19th, four tenths above my team-mate and ahead of both Williams cars. We were nearly a full second away from 16th.

The Race

The first half of the race was an extremely dull affair. I might have had an interesting battle with George Russell, but after I dipped a wheel onto the grass on the inside of Turn 8, he sensed an opportunity and tried to dive up the inside into T9. I felt I left him enough room, but his front left wheel made contact with my side-pod, spinning him round to the inside and dropping him to last.

A problem developed with Latifi's car, meaning I ran 19th and Raghunathan 20th during the first stint, and by my first stop on Lap 17 I'd built up a 9 second advantage. This extended to 13 as a result of me pitting a lap earlier and getting the undercut effect, and I gained a place when Vettel retired with a mechanical issue. The Haas and Alfa Romeo cars were quicker and pulled away from me by a few tenths each lap - I'd quickly resigned myself to not catching them and focussed instead on building the gap behind to keep myself entertained.

Suddenly, Kevin Magnusson pulled over to the side of the track on the outside of the fast T11/12 chicane, bringing out the safety car just after the second round of pit stops. Russell had been nursing some wing damage - presumably from our tangle on Lap 1 - and boxed for a third time to change it, going back onto a Soft set of tyres. I'd been lapped, but fortunately so had Grosjean, so the two of us found ourselves towards the front of the safety car queue and his advantage over me, which was in the region of 20 seconds, was wiped out.

We weren't allowed to unlap ourselves as is usually custom, so as the safety car came in, blue flags were being furiously waved at all of the backmarkers and I had to keep my wits about me. Three corners turned the race to my benefit. Firstly, with Raghunathan and Russell were right on my tail, and my team-mate tried an ambitious move round the outside of Turn 4, but I didn't give him any room on the exit, forcing him to back off. Immediately I noticed Grosjean had pulled over to the left of the track and slowed for the blue flags and I capitalised, pulling off an opportunistic move up the inside into the fast right-hander of T5. 

The following laps consisted of trying to keep Grosjean and Russell, who was trying to make the most of his Softs, behind me. It took me several laps to finally get out of the DRS range, and I got into a rhythm of deploying my ERS battery on the exits of the slow corners T7, T9 and the final corner, as that was where I'd lose time to them. I did eventually manage to break out of DRS range, and Russell dropped off as his tyres wore. Grosjean stuck with me, but I held on to finish 16th, 3.5 seconds ahead of the Frenchman.

All things considered, it was a reasonable finish for one of the slower cars on the grid at a track which I'm sure will prove to be one of our worse tracks. Bahrain with its long straights will be much more suited to our power-dependant car - but the power advantage helped as it made it difficult for Grosjean to get close enough at the end of Australia's three DRS zones.

Final Results:

Lewis Hamilton won the race, from Bottas and Verstappen. Albon was 4th, and Leclerc, Ricciardo, Sainz, Norris, Perez and Stroll rounded off the points-paying positions. Ocon was 11th, ahead of Kvyat, Gasly, Raikkonen and Giovinazzi, with myself 16th, Grosjean 17th, Russell 18th, Raghunathan 19th and Latifi 20th - last of the finishers. Magnusson and Vettel DNF'd.

Ocon had been given a 5-second penalty after a collision with Kvyat, presumably in the melee from the safety car restart, and as ghe didn't serve it in the pits it was added to his time. He finished just behind Stroll on the track anyway and his position didn't change.

It means that after one round, we sit 9th in the Constructors Championship by virtue of having a higher best finishing position than Haas and Williams, but behind the other pointless teams AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo. 

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Here's the incident with George Russell on Lap 1 from his perspective. Terrible from me to dip a wheel onto the grass in any case - I didn't have any rhythm at all at that stage - but he shouldn't be sticking his car in there in my honest opinion...

 

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