The GPRO Newbie Guide
So you’ve signed up, been accepted, logged in – and now you’re thinking “What the hell do I do now?”
Hopefully this short guide will give you a brief overview of the main “do’s and don’ts” before you wreck your GPRO career before it’s even begun. This guide is primarily for Rookie as by the time you reach Amateur a few things will change and you will have a better idea of what to do.
We recommend that you read all of this before you proceed with the qualification for your first race.
So first things first, as a rookie there are two things that are vitally important, a good driver & saving money. We will come onto what makes a good driver shortly, but first money.
The initial temptation is to go straight into “Update Car” or “Facilities” and spend all your money on making your car instantly faster. This is a huge no-no. The Rookie league especially, is meant as an introduction to the game and to teach people how they will need to manage their finances if they wish to progress and be successful in this game.
If you overspend and are forced into debt, then you will not be able to sign a decent driver, replace any of your car parts (you can only downgrade), plus you will not be promoted if you are in debt – even if you trounce your league and win by 50 points.
Therefore it is strongly recommended you never spend any money unless you are forced to. Scrimp and save is the mark of a true champion.
ONLY ever replace/upgrade car parts when they are so worn they will not last the next race. This way you are getting the most use out of them and not throwing money down the drain. If you’re in contention for promotion, then you will need every penny you can save for you to mount a realistic survival effort next season in Amateur.
Facilities, training of staff and testing should probably be ignored whilst in Rookie. Again, Rookie is more about getting a handle on your finances, and you cannot afford to be spending millions on facilities and training – whilst any testing will add wear to your car, meaning you will need to replace your parts earlier.
Finally, at the end of every season Rookie is completely reset. Anyone who does not earn promotion has all upgrades, facilities, everything, wiped and everyone starts with a clean slate with $30mil to spend once again. This is upped to $35mil if you raced in all 17 races of the previous season. This can be very useful if you know you will not promote and want to sign a new driver as you can effectively write off your driver offer & signing fees as the money is reset and all you will be left with is the driver salary for the following season. More about this in the next section.
In Rookie your driver is your number one priority. He can very easily be the one factor that single-handedly changes your fortunes to finishing 1st instead of 20th. There may even be people who will dominate their leagues and earn promotion, simply because of their sensational driver without even bothering to upgrade their car. This of course is great, but extremely dangerous – as people who do this will be in for a rude awakening if they attack Amateur with a car 3+ levels lower than everyone else. By all means sign a fantastic driver – but please don’t let him earn promotion for you alone. Still continue to upgrade your car throughout the season (only when parts are worn out of course) and save cash whenever you can.
You will not find a driver who has a good rating for all his skills whilst in Rookie, but a driver with one or two skills will suffice and provide you with a promotion-worthy driver. Find out which skills are part of the fun.
But how much do you pay these drivers? Well as little as possible really. A lot of the time there may well be huge competition for drivers of this ilk, so you may be forced to pay over the odds to get them – but generally it is not recommended to pay much over $2mil salary (and that’s per race) otherwise you may struggle to continue upgrading your car come season end.
As mentioned in the money section above, at the end of every season Rookie is completely reset. This includes your driver where, if your driver has over 85 OA (Overall level) you will lose him also. This mean a LOT of managers are without drivers come season start, meaning it is a mad scramble in the drivers market with the best promotion-capable drivers receiving in excess of 40 offers. Not good – and you want to avoid being involved in this at all costs.
Therefore you want to be scouting for a driver and signing one towards the end of the season in preparation for a serious assault next year.
The advantage you have here is that the market will be quieter – but you can also offer an obscene signing on fee (up to 3 times the salary) as an incentive for the driver to join you. The money you effectively throw away here doesn’t matter, as you will be reset to $30mil next season anyway!
The one thing you need to bear in mind though is that after you sign a great driver – you will lose him at the reset if his OA is over the 85 limit. Similarly, you will not be able to extend his contract if his OA is above the 85 limit. There are a few ways to bring his OA down, but this you will have to find out by yourself.
In order to be able to progress in GPRO you will need to collect as much information as possible. Suggestions for data to be collected are the details from the Race Analysis Screen (this will give you your fuel usage and tyre wear information), your car part wear, your driver stats (from the Driver Training screen) and the race temperature (as this also affects tyre wear). Car part wear data will enable you to know when to replace different car parts while fuel and tyre data will enable you to plan better strategies for the races ahead.
Car setup and race qualification
Before we move on to qualifying for the race we need to talk about getting your car setup sorted out. In setting your car up for a race you get 8 practice laps in order to find your 'perfect' car setup. This isn’t as easy as it may sound as your driver may actually be happy with the car setup even if it isn’t 'perfect'.
There are 6 parts of the car that you can set up, Front & Rear Wings, Engine, Brakes, Gears & Suspension and each can have a value from 0 to 999. On the practice/qualify pages there are little help icons that will tell you precisely what is meant by the higher and lower values of these ranges.
After you have identified your 'perfect' setup you will want to do your qualification laps. Before you do this you will need to have decided which tyres you will be racing on. In order to do this you should consider looking carefully at the characteristics of the track and the weather conditions. Don’t worry if you are not sure what tyres to pick in the beginning. You should start with more conservative strategies and after a couple of races will have pretty good estimation on what tyres to choose. Your choice of tyres will also affect the amount of fuel you will be starting the race with.
With your car setup in place, you will need to make sure you have your tyre choice selected and then having picked to do your Q1 lap you will get a new option, the risks instruction for your driver. The more risk you go with, the quicker the potential lap time but also the greater chance your driver will make a mistake.
Having done your Q1 lap you can see how you are doing in relation to the rest of your group. This may mean you want to amend your fuel strategy a little. If you are a lot quicker than your group you may want to add a little more fuel at the start so that you go further into the race and the opposite of this if you are a little slower.
Either way, you will come to do your Q2 lap. This time you will need to input your starting fuel for the race. This cannot be changed after you do your lap. Again you will get the same risk instructions for your driver.
After your Q2 lap you can now see where you are on the provisional grid. More importantly, it is time to do your Race Setup & Strategy.
Before we get onto that, a quick note about the Rain.
Here comes the rain again
So it's raining again, it might be Q1, Q2 or the race but it has suddenly gone all wet. So what? Well for a start you should think about putting some wet weather tyres on. The other main thing is that your car setup will be different in the wet to the dry. How much you would need to find for yourself for instance by comparing your setup from a dry testing session with your setup from a wet testing session.
This is especially important when Q1 and Q2 are dry & wet respectively (or vice versa). You must also remember that when its raining you MUST use Rain tyres in qualification (or you will lose a lot of time). This is a mistake that even experienced managers make as the Rain tyres are not the default choice even when it is raining.
There is one other issue when it is raining in Q2. Rain for Q2 means it will be raining at the start of the race. However it is important to look at the weather forecast for the race before deciding on your starting race tyres. If the forecast says that there is a very low chance of rain in the first 30 minutes of the race it means that the rain will stop, usually after a few laps. You will need to decide if you want to start on rain tyres and pit after just a few laps or start on dry tyres and lose a little time at the beginning of the race but not have to make a pit stop.
Race setup and strategy
So you have done your two qualifying laps and now you need to specify your race setup and get your strategy sorted out.
There are a few elements here so we will step through them one at a time.
Firstly, the Car Setup. This will most probably be the setup you used in qualifying (or one of them if it started or stopped raining). Also if qualification was wet and the race is dry or vice versa you will need to amend your setup.
Your Fuel Strategy is next, in GPRO you will never run out of fuel. You will pit as soon as either you do not have enough fuel to complete another lap or if your tyres will not complete another lap. This means that rather than input laps you want to pit on, you input the amount of fuel that you want put in the tank and that will determine how many laps you can do. The amount of fuel is the amount for your tank to be topped up to rather than topped up by.
A simple example - you pit with 15 litres in your tank and your strategy says 60 litres. This means that 45 litres will be added to your tank at that stop.
Tyre Strategy is next. You have two choices, your dry tyres or your wet ones. As mentioned in the previous section, just because the race may start in the rain it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to start on wet tyres. There is a VERY important second section to the tyre strategy section. The number of laps before you pit for a weather change. In real F1, when it starts raining there is usually a couple of laps before the track is wet enough for the Rain tyres and the same applies when it stops raining. NOT IN GPRO, when it starts raining in GPRO the whole track is immediately wet and you need your rain tyres, and when it stops raining the whole track is dry and you need your dry tyres again. This means that in most circumstances you will want the 'How many laps until driver stops' for starting or stopping raining to be ZERO. One other thing to mention here is that when you stop to change tyres because of the weather your car will be refueled. This can cause you a problem and ruin you fuel strategy so it is something to be considered.
Driver Strategy is the last section. First here we have your driver risks. As the GPRO FAQ states a value of 40 here is considered very high for Rookie. You should keep in mind that the higher the driver risks the more wear the car will sustain during the race. Also within Driver Strategy there is the option to let a teammate past. No harm in this being set on if you have a teammate in your group.
If the car has a problem, it makes sense to get it fixed if it is fixable, however the laps remaining part will be personal preference. Also personal preference is the refuel when stopping for a technical problem.
Finally, you can give your driver starting instructions. These are similar in style to the ones for your qualification laps.
Both of your qualification laps must be completed at least 90 minutes prior to the start of the race. This also applies to updating your Race Strategy which can be changed as many times as you wish but 90 minutes before the race is due to start the Race Setup page will be locked and no more changes will be possible.
The race day
The race itself you get to just watch if you want to. By this point there is nothing you can do to affect the outcome, this means that the same result will come if you watch the whole race, watch bits of the race or if you miss the whole race.
The race itself updates every two minutes with the next lap. This means that a 40 lap race will take about 80 minutes to watch and a 75 lap race will take about two and a half hours to watch. Note that this isn't the length of the race but just how long it takes to watch it live.
A little while after the race is completed (usually within half an hour) the Main Office is fully updated with the results of the race. You can then collect any data that you wish to as well as watch a replay of the race at your own leisure. This means it will take a lot less time to go through the race.
When you join the game you are given a sponsor for 10 races worth 1 Million per race. This is also the case in Rookie after a season reset. It is up to you to get additional sponsors in place.
It is quicker to negotiate with just a single sponsor at a time as this will progress faster. You will be asked various questions by your sponsors during the course of a negotiation. You should make sure that you answer their questions before the next race, otherwise the negotiation won’t progress at all. It is also recommended to negotiate with sponsors that do not negotiate with any other managers as if another manager closes a deal with a sponsor the negotiations with all other managers are canceled.
There are 8 different priorities that can be used when testing. When you do testing it will cost you $1mill and make your car parts wear. You will get 10 testing stints and a maximum of 100 laps over the 10 stints.
The car setup priority will just let your driver give you feedback about how the car is setup in a similar way to your practice laps.
The other options will each earn you differing amounts of testing points in each of Power, Acceleration and Handling which will then, over the course of four races, be turned into car character points which will increase the performance of your car. The more laps you do within each of these priorities, the more testing points you will gain. These, as is mentioned above, are converted into Car Character points over the course of 4 races and the conversion rates of these points depend upon your facilities.
If you are certain of promotion with 4 races remaining you may wish to carry out some testing. This means that you would start your Amateur career with some car character points to boost your car.
Staff and facilities
Whilst in rookie the only things you may wish to upgrade are the Pit Stop Center & the Commercial center. The rest of these facilities relate to how testing points are converted into car character points.
In order to train your staff your overall staff level must be lower than maximum level of training shown on the Staff & Facilities screen. This training level is increased by purchasing additional facilities.