Okay, to keep myself from doing something physically violent to my keyboard, monitor, or other computer components after this past race, I'm going to vent about some more frustrations I have with the game:1. Racecraft
This is probably my most major gripe in the game at present, since reliability has been patched to actually cause DNFs. The racecraft of your drivers is - and there's no way to sugar coat it - a total and complete joke. It's so bad I have to wonder if the creator of the game has actually ever raced, even at the karting level or in a non-arcade computer game. Here's why:
First, when attempting an overtake, your drivers have no regard for the position of any surrounding cars, and will happily lunge up the inside into a corner that is not
a passing opportunity, then lose momentum (too much of it) and be forced to take the outside line around the following corner while the entire field passes them up the inside. The number of times my drivers have done this is well beyond counting, but suffice to say it's a lot.
Then there's the way that, unaccountably, after losing a place my drivers will drive like total and complete fairy cakes for the next few corners, taking the outside line, braking extremely early, and generally waving anyone who wants a look right by. They are also totally unable to anticipate the car in front, and will follow it in its slipstream right up to a corner, then stomp on the brakes - keeping behind the car, mind you - while any other cars nearby happily dive down the inside of both. At the start, if my drivers get a better start than the car in front, they'll just step on the brakes so they don't risk actually making an overtake.
They're wildly inconsistent, too. Not infrequently, one of my drivers will make a garbage start, let the first 5-8 cars by in as many corners or fewer, then suddenly start driving decently and actually braking somewhere near the corner. I understand that the developer didn't want the drivers to be too computer-like in their consistency, but things like braking points really don't change by 5 car lengths from one lap to the next. No driver at the level of motorsport the game is simulating would be that inconsistent in their braking. 2. Time loss in traffic
This one is related to the racecraft, but it's a bit separate. When passing traffic on a flying lap or just if there's a large enough speed differential, your drivers will always
lose an enormous chunk of time if they have to pass a car. Even if it happens on a straight, or if they're able to take the racing line through a corner anyway - they will lose at least a second every time. This is part racecraft - they pass lapped traffic in pretty stupid ways sometimes - but they lose far more time than their actual on-screen actions would result in. In my own experience - mostly virtual - passing a yielding car on a straight costs virtually no time at all, and even passing through a corner won't result in the loss of multiple seconds. I have to assume the develop put this 'feature' in on purpose, and I can't imagine why. It makes finding space for your flying lap unnecessarily frustrating, since you know that encountering a car at any point on the track - even a straight - will destroy your lap utterly. 3. Blue flags! Honestly, it's ridiculous!
This could be argued as a difference between the fictional WMC and the real F1, but the blue flag conduct of lapped cars is incredibly frustrating. They will get out of your way if you encounter them on a straight, but otherwise they will actively fight you for position, including if you pass them on a straight and they decide they can outbrake you into the next corner. And since your own drivers have roughly the racecraft of first-time rental karters, they'll lose multiple seconds a lap fighting with the backmarkers. Seb has no idea how lucky he is.4. Pit stops
The chance of an error in the pitstops is implausibly high. You can choose between a safe pitstop (often 0% chance of incident), a balanced stop (about 10%) or a fast stop (25%); each increment costs 2 seconds off the expected time of the pitstop. Although I will say my expected time is always optimistic; the projection of which cars you will be fighting at exit is nearly always wrong by at least a place or two.
Even accepting that pit crews in the WMC are much slower than those in F1, the idea that they have a 25% chance of stuffing up a simple wheel change when trying to do it quickly is ridiculous. Any crew that incompetent wouldn't last a year at the top level. And messing up in this case doesn't men just a second or two; no, if they make a mistake with a tyre it's usually 7-9 seconds worth of extra time. A mistake that major happens about once a season in F1, if that. To add insult to injury, when they screw up the stop your driver will come on the radio and say the idiot who made the mistake should be fired - but it never happens. Clearly, every available mechanic is equally incompetent.
Okay, that's all I wanted to unload right now. Despite the above I am still really enjoying the game most of the time - it's just that every time my drivers throw away a good result with mindnumbingly stupid driving, it makes me wonder why my ex-driver team boss doesn't fire them both and go drive the car herself. It's incredibly frustrating to see your car start well, hit the brakes instead of overtaking the driver in front, then proceed to get passed by the next dozen cars in line over the course of single painful lap in which they brake while still halfway down the straight, take the outside line for no reason, and then attempt an overoptimistic maneuver with absolutely no chance of success, losing even more positions in the process. It fosters a hatred for both of my drivers, who are supposedly two of the best in the championship, and in turn that's not good for my suspension of disbelief.
But then another race comes up where they actually drive decently, and I start enjoying my masochistic relationship with the game again...