Here beginners will be able to find instructions about how to become a real GP3 driver. Yes, driver! We don't talk about "players" here! Well, it was a joke, but actually we take GP3 seriously. It is a kind of sport, and we deal with it mostly as a simulator than as a simple game.
Know Your GearEdit
Take a time to know your car. Enter a practice session, go to the track, see how she responds to your commands. Accelerate, break, turn. Gear up, gear down. Stop and get moving again. Your aim in this step is to accustom yourself to how the car behaves in each situation, how she responds to each command. Try gentle accelarations and breakings, then do it harder, then soft again. Try making some curves, to see how the car behaves: if she gets steady, if she spins to the right, or to the left and so on. Try simulating starts: stop the car and then accelerate as if you were starting a race. She will certainly skid, and your task is to get used to it so you find the exact amount pression on the accelerator that will not cause skidding.
Take a look at the indicators on your screen. Most of them will be located on your driving wheel: your position (when in a race or qualifying), how many laps you did, how much fuel you still have, whether there is something broken in the car and so on.
It is important that, the first times you go on track, you drive slowly. Think of it as if you were starting to drive a real car. Don't use the "indestructible" driving help, learning from the beginning that if you crash you are off race. If you spin or go off track, remember to slow down and go to a complete halt before getting back on track.
Avoid Driving HelpsEdit
Driving helps may be good if you just want to have some fun. But, if you really want to become a driver, you will have to get rid of them. The best choice is to avoid using them from the beginning.
In the beginning, when you are getting used to the car, you can turn on the ideal gear help, so that you will have an idea of the gear you should be using at any point of the track. Later on, this help is completely useless, and you will soon cease using it.
Taking a RideEdit
Know Your WayEdit
You must know a track before you can race on it. Now that you know your gear, you must know the tracks you will be racing on. To be realistic, you should choose only some tracks and practice on them, leaving some few tracks untouched until you first face a race on them. Anyway, it is a good idea to choose one or more tracks to be your "speciality". As a rule, you should choose about five tracks and go through them with your car. At first you won't be running, just going along them so that you know where and how each curve is.
Our advice for the beginner is to choose Monza as your first practicing track. It has basically only straights and easy curves, and they are not many: there are 9 curves, not counting a "bent straight" after curve 2. Another good choice for the beginner is Hungaroring, as it is a slow speed circuit with very characteristic curves that are easily learned.
Although this is a racing simulation and, when running, you can not afford losing one single second, you will take some time to learn it throughly, so... take your time, build a solid relationship with your gear before trying to get speed. You will not be able to become fast without doing it right. After you have full control over your car and she does exactly what you intend her to do, and after you know some tracks so well that you could run them with eyes closed, then you will make all efforts to become faster and faster. But, now, don't hurry. It is not time to haste yet.
Getting Better TimesEdit
There are several things you can do to improve your times. Some of them apply on your gear (engine and transmission settings, tyres, fuel, car ride height and so on), while others aplly to you and the way you drive.
You must always use tyres suitable for the weather conditions. Dry tyres for "normal" weather, intermediate tyres for wet track but with little to no rain, and wet tyres for driving under rain. As for soft or hard tyres, you will have to try both to see which one adapts better to your car configuration, the current track conditions and your driving style.
Car ride heightEdit
If your car is not high enough, the bottom plank will hit the ground, which is bad for several reasons:
- it will generate friction with the ground, which will slow you down.
- it may cause one or more wheels to cease touching the track, thus making you lose control and eventually spin or get out of track
- if you want to take simulation to extremes, consider that, according to F1 rules, your bottom plank has a wear limit, that is, if after the race the stewards find that your plank is wore more than allowed, you will be disqualified.
On the other hand, if you leave your car higher than needed, you will lose speed. The perfect ride height is one that is only high enough for the car avoid touching the track during most of the time. It is not a problem if it eventyally hits the ground (due to the vacuum effect when running behind another car or in peculiar track sections like Spa Fracorchamp's Eau Rouge curve, for example), but if it hits the ground regularly then you need to set it a little higher.
In general, the best break setting is one of balance between front wheels and rear wheels. Some tracks may require you to change that, but as a starting point you should leave it perfectly balanced.
Straights require no special action: you just sit there and accelerate, runinng on a straight line joining the exit of the last curve to the entering of the next curve. Now, the way you make curves is what will really define your times.
Making curves is the most important part in races. Although there is an ideal way of making a curve (an ideal line to follow, an ideal breaking point, an ideal re-acceleration point, an ideal gear for each point in the curve and so on), each driver develops his own style, being that one of the most personal characteristic differentiating one driver's style from other.
There are basically three moments when making a curve: breaking, steering and re-accelerating. In some curves these moments can overlap, that is, you are already steering while breaking and/or you are still steering when re-accelerating.
According to speed, there are three types of curves: slow, medium and high-speed curves. In general, high speed curves are the easiest to do, followed by slow speed curves. Medium speed curves present a great challenge, as they will make evident the difference from one car to other and from one driver to other.
According to the angle, there are also three types of curves: open, regular (medium) and tight (also called hairpins). In general, these correspond to the speeds (slow, medium and fast), but depending on track characteristics, regular curves may be slow, medium or fast.
The secret is to know each curve well so you find the perfect manner of acting on each of the three moments. If you break too soon, you will lose speed and certainly be overtaken; but if you break too late you will probably spin or go off-course. If you steer to hard, you may spin, if you steer to soft, you can go out of the track. If you re-accelerate too soon, you can spin, go out of the track or lose time by following a less efficient line; if you re-accelerate too late, you will lose speed and time. Use your practice sessions to find the perfect specifications for each curve, remembering that these will have to be adapted to actual conditions like weather, tyre wear and fuel load.
A chicane is a kind of a junction of two curves, facing opposite sides, so close together, that they become a complete different element with its own characteristics. In general, you change direction before entering the second curve, using kerbs to help you steer. Some special chicanes (in Albert Park and in Singapore, for example) allow for you to face them as a single curve with a kerb in the middle, depending you your car settings.