On September 9 2010 at Monza Italy Ferrari’s first online virtual simulator was revealed and it’s called the Ferrari Virtual Academy. It made its press début in the presence of Scuderia Ferrari drivers on the occasion of the Italian Grand Prix. The virtual simulator, developed in collaboration with Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella, as well as its engineers, enables you to experience all the sensations of driving an F10 virtually.
Thats some of the information I grabbed from the press release Ferrari sent me. I was actually invited to attend the event, but was unable to make the trip to Monza..
After the initial announcement, I emailed my contact at Kunos Simulazioni because I read rumor that Netkar Pro was under the hood of this new Ferrari F1 Sim. He would not confirm or deny, but was hinting that they had developed it for Ferrari.
Last Friday I received my press review code from Ferrari and started turning my first laps at Fiorano running their Virtual Academy. For just under $20.00 you are able to download the Ferrari F10 Formula One Car at a laser scanned version of Fiorano.
The Fiorano circuit was built in 1972, as a test track for shakedowns of racing cars and cars from the Granturismo production on a track close to the Ferrari works. Two more tracks are coming soon, Nurburgring and Mugello.
When you first boot it up, the configuration setup is very similar to Netkar Pro. Then as you advance to start turning your first laps, and then go off track and see the dirt build up, there’s no question that this has some NK Pro code under the hood. To me, it seems a tad easier than Netkar, especially considering you don’t have to fire up the car, and the tires and fuel get reset every lap while you’re hot-lapping.
Speaking of hot lapping,thats what Ferrari Virtual Academy is all about, trying to hot lap and beat the time that Felipe Massa set. Personally Im getting fairly close, tonight I got into the 58 second range ranking me in the 600s. I think after I write this I’ll go work for another hour or so to see if I can beat that 57 and get near the top of the leaderboard where guys are running mid 56s.
Here’s ten of my hands on observations.
1 ) Default Force FeedBack weak.. Turned up to 125% in Logitech FFB profiler.. Initial testing with G27
2 ) Tracks have good road feel once you turn up force feedback. Also found setting in controller.ini that changes FFB.
3 ) Triple Screen Support – Image is stretched though
4 ) Beautiful car model and interior – Cycle different camera views with F1 & F2 keys
5 ) Netkar under the hood
6 ) More user friendly that Netkar… No need to start car..
7 ) Tires build up.. Doesn’t go away until next session – Doesn’t seem to effect handling
8 ) No damage
9 ) Great physics.. better off track physics than iRacing
10 ) No FOV adjustment
Better “off track” physics I mentioned than iRacing, but I like iRacings on track physics better. The track Fiorana is nicely done, but is definitely a test track versus what they’ll be offering soon, Nurburgring and Mugello.
Do you think one car and one track is worth the price of admission ?