Hidden 1 yr ago Post by FourtyTwo
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Qualy had been a blast, with exitement further up the grid creating a HAM BOT VER but a mixture of players up and down the field. It was a satisfying one to watch, and while most of it had been a blur given the fact they were looking at data, numbers and the car's performance throughout, everyone was a motorsport fan at a pitwall. Hugo heard Kimberly come over, congratulating the both of them as he got off the pit wall and came over by Kasumi, nodding with glee- a genuine one, given Qualifying in Formula One itself was a dream come true, one of many on his list.
"Thanks Kimberly, we appreciate it. Gave us the best chance we could to show you what we're worth. Thanks." He said, a grin on his face as he looked at Kasumi, in a supportive, if not a competitive spirit.
"I think that's a chance for us to go toe to toe, right?" Hugo added, chuckling as he knew that while they were friends off track, and team-mates, they were still racing, and still going to go for the position when it came down to it.
Hidden 11 mos ago Post by Bee
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"Absolutely." Kasumi replied, chuckling and shaking her head at the same time as she listened to Hugo's comment. Every minute that they spent on that race track together would be a chance to go toe-to-toe. Unless directed otherwise, Kasumi and Hugo were going to go at it every chance they could get. They were teammates, but they also had goals to set out. There was a reason why there was a driver's championship and a constructor's championship. Kasumi wanted the best chance for herself to show her skills and prove that she was meant to stay in Formula 1.

The prestige racing series frequently produced wash-outs. For every Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, there were your Taki Inoues, Chanoch Nissany, or Al Peases. Kasumi didn't want to be remembered as a failure, especially not after being the first full-time driver in Formula 1. Kimberly chuckled, "Just don't cause any crashes out there." The team principal said, lest they have repeats of what happened in Baku in 2018 or Spain in 2016. Kasumi nodded.

"I'll see you guys at the technical meeting later." Kimberly said, closing her laptop and holding it against her chest, walking away from the drivers.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by FourtyTwo
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Sunday

The race grid was assembled, fans on from one of the techs blowing cold air into Hugo's cockpit, and the fans loud as ever in Melbourne. The theatrics of F1 were always exciting, always heart pumping and made it all even just that more exciting.
"Comms check, Hugo. Happy with our strategy?" The engineer's voice was soothing, and with the helmet comms, almost too loud without the car alive just yet.
"Yep, happy. Let's keep it that way, depending on what happens out there. Let's go." Hugo replied, taking a strong sip of water from the drink, the precious, precious drink. That wasn't pissing on his floor, or not working, no, it did it's job, because he didn't have a set of engineers for tools. Even if Valkyrie was a poor team, at least they didn't fuck up the drink.

And before anything else was said and done, the crew were packing up and away, and moving aside as the lights started, readying all for the formation lap. The car was running as the cars in front began to pull away, and in slot, so did Hugo. This was it. F1, and it was coming up. Through the corners he warmed the tyres, well and truly now only thinking about his own race. Kasumi was on the row behind, but no less of a threat, right there and ready to pounce on a bad start. He wasn't going to let that happen. But then again, nobody does and it still happens.

Hugo brought the car around the last corner, and with that, parked into his grid slot, the extra two cars on grid an unusual appearance after almost 6 years without. But here they were, Valkyrie Racing were here to bring up the rear and then some, and maybe even score some shockers. Paddle clutch held, the burgandy and green helmeted Portuguese saw the bank of red lights come on, and taking a deep exhale, counted it internally. One, two, three, four. Gone. And throttle was half in, clutch was released, and from twenty-two F1 cars the noise of mechanical insanity began.
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by Bee
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Today was the day. Kasumi's first race as a Formula 1 driver was finally here. The atmosphere was nothing like she had ever experienced before. The crowd that was present for this race had nothing on anything she'd seen in other series as well. She knew that all eyes were on her and the 21 other drivers on the grid. "Comm check." Her engineer piped in, "Welcome to our first race in Formula 1. Take it easy on the start, and settle down into your rhythm. Keep it clean." Claire said on the radio, as Kasumi was glancing around her cockpit. If it wasn't for the fact that adrenaline was coursing through her veins and her heart pounding so loudly that she could practically hear it in her head, she would've fallen asleep. As tight as these cockpits appeared to be, the position they were in were comfortable enough to warrant some drivers falling asleep.

Soon enough, the entire grid packed away and off everyone went on the formation lap. Kasumi was directly behind Hugo, and stayed behind him as the cars paraded around Melbourne. Every once in a while, Kasumi weaved left and right to get some heat into the tires. The last thing she wanted to do was to start the race on cold tires. If she wanted an opportunity to score Valkyrie's first points in F1, then a good start was the first step toward doing so. Pacing behind Hugo, Kasumi's breathing was slowing as she got into the zone. Nothing else but the road ahead of her as she finally made her way around the last chicane.

Lining up in her spot, Kasumi held the clutch paddle and pressed on the throttle as she watched the lights. Watching the lights intently, she watched them stack -- and then fall as she released the clutch pedal and let the car launch forward. Gingerly applying the throttle, Kasumi went up the gears, every gear prompting more throttle input as the tires established traction. She found herself weaving to the right side of the track, close to the pit wall as she and presumably Hugo overtook a few cars just off the line. Right now was a drag race to the first corner, and Kasumi found herself jockeying for the corner with a car next to her as the braking point quickly came. Practically standing on the brakes, Kasumi beat the car next to her for the dominant position, and ended up in front through the initial chicane. "Great move, Kasumi. Keep it up! Pick your shots." Her engineer piped up, as she left the initial chicane and headed down the next straight.
Hidden 7 mos ago Post by FourtyTwo
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Hugo kept his cool as he put floor to throttle, and did as Kasumi may have well thought. His starts were good, and while in qualifying his pace was above average when things got to it, it was in races he found it best to get elbows out. Melbourne's start straight passed faster than a glimpse, and taking the chance to pass the Alfa of Kimi right ahead of him, and Latifi too, the heavily braking Williams giving Hugo a perfect route through on the outside as they went three-wide through the messy straights. Hugo was totally in that moment, and no doubt, it was a bit of a signature of things to come. A lucky break, or a ? Kasumi had the room to follow, but right now, Hugo was focussed on holding position, and through the next few corners, he could keep his calm, the grip not exceedingly convincing but the powerplant behind him giving enough power to build on and keep going.

"Nicely done, that's P16, P16." Hugo gave no response, not excited, just focussed in. He was here to race, and not to concede. Turn 9 and 10 came fast and quick, the aero of an F1 car keeping it virtually glued, the G-forces swinging through his neck as he could see Kasumi being able to follow through the hole he'd made through the other backmarkers, though they were getting moment to moment changes in the delta. It mattered nought, because now he had to keep it on.

The end of lap one felt like an exhale, but F1 was non-stop. It was going to continue, and while Russell ahead was still in a Williams, he was going to leave Hugo for dust with the rest of the train that was ahead. Simply put, the Valkyrie wasn't going to close that gap, and for now, Hugo knew he just had to get his head down. Lap after lap, time after time.
"Okay, good work, Hugo. Remember, we're on a one stop strategy, no changes to that. How is the car, copy?"

"Car is good, let me get on with it." Hugo replied sternly but he didn't want his focus ruined. He was here to bed himself into the race, and that was his strategy.

And so it went. From something climactic and epic, now it felt like the first lap had gone, Hugo Olivera was here alright. Lap after lap passed, and on the now scrubby mediums he knew he had to do the other part of holding the gap. He could see the delta time of Raikkonen behind him, flickering and up and down with DRS, but with the ability to equalise that thanks to Russell's slipstream, he could bed himself in here. Hugo didn't think about his teammate, but deep down, hoped she'd be able to make advantage of the train he was going to soon be leading.
Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Bee
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As the first laps came to a close, Kasumi had slotted herself in nicely in P18, right behind Raikkonen as he punched a hole for her. With every second that passed, Kasumi continued to get closer and closer to the Alfa Romeo. She was about 1.5 seconds back from the experienced Finnish driver, and with the activation of DRS, it was likely that Kasumi would be able to pass him within the next lap or so. Kasumi's prediction was correct, as the delta between her and Raikonnen continued to decrease, especially on the straights as they got into the next DRS zone. A combination of DRS and overtake mode propelled her forward, being close enough to inhale Kimi's exhaust as they went into the last chicane before the next lap.

As Kasumi powered out, the car got a little squirrely, but Kasumi remedied that immediately and straightened the car out as she and Kimi went down the straight. Activating DRS, the flap on the spoiler went down, allowing for the car to be able to capitalize and gain more ground on Kimi. Eventually, as the straight came to an end, Kasumi pulled out to the right and stomped hard on the brakes, overtaking Kimi and taking P17 behind Hugo as she made now focused on making up ground on him.

"How do the tires feel, Kasumi?" Her engineer asked on the radio. "They feel good." Kasumi said, her eyes glancing at the mediums attached to the car. "Should be able to stick to the plan." The plan for Kasumi was to stick to the mediums as long as she could, before switching over to the softs and making up as much ground as she can. It was a very bold plan, especially for rookie drivers like Kasumi, but if it worked out, they could very well have a very impressive showing for their first race in Formula 1.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by FourtyTwo
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The car pulsated lap after lap, turn after turn, holding a position against rivals that felt like it was nothing like F2, yet everything he had craved. Hugo was in his dreamland, and it was going to have to be something to hold. The race was almost boring, well, apart from going 200mph on the straights and barely even having the ability to blink through corners.

The stop that came was inevitable, dropping Hugo back further into the pack. A relatively smooth operation, but one Hugo knew they had they didn't have perfect- no team starting in F1 would. But still, medium stint over, it was onto the hards, and now, onto the long slog at getting back at it. He wondered where Kasumi was, and she appeared right in front of him, holding position, and tempting as it was, he wanted to go after her. Time would tell if he would, but for now, he held position, aware they had to work together to get forwards and get into this race.
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