Season 2 of the V10 R-League is coming into view, and the teams are preparing to do battle once again.
Season 1 saw incredible duals and fantastic drama, but as always the teams aren’t standing still going into the new season.
We sat down with some of the drivers and team personnel to see what lessons they are taking away from Season 1.
Each driver has a role to play
Porsche24 Redline came away convincing champions in Season 1. They were the class of the field, but that's not stopped Team Principal Diederik Kinds from identifying areas to improve.
"Even though our drivers weren't equally fast on every track, everyone has a role to play. Doesn’t matter if you are a good hotlapper, in a relay race if you manage to keep the guy behind you, if you’re good at defending, that’s fantastic. It really brought out different skills in everybody.”
“We have been analysing the races of Season 1, to see where each individual strong and weak points were and to try to build on those.”
Kinds isn't shying away when it comes to the competition either. He's not pulled any punches, as he's thrown down the gauntlet to the other teams.
“Bring it on! We love to battle, that’s what we live for. [...] we did not win everything, we suffered our losses and learned from that. [...] please, bring on the heat!”
There were small things we could've done better
Williams was Porsche24 Redline's closest challengers through the first season, being the only team to take the battle for the title to the final round.
Martin Stefanko was one of Williams' star drivers from Season 1 and he's proud of how his team performed but recognises there are areas to improve upon.
"The first season was good, better than I expected. I think we did a lot of things right, there were small things we could've done better though. These were mistakes that made the difference in the end."
"I think pace-wise and strategy-wise we are one of the best teams out there. So, if we manage to avoid these mistakes and improve on that, I think we're in a really strong position."
When we asked which errors specifically cost Williams the title, Stefanko referred to smaller errors rather than a lack of pace.
"We got some penalties for small pit stuff like driver swaps, so we lost two points there."
Refining driver switches and perfecting the small details will be key to any title challenge in Season 2, and Williams isn’t alone in wanting to iron out these small mistakes.
We learned how to practice for those situations
Red Bull was one of the favourites for the Season 1 crown, but ended up falling just short. Despite a late resurgence, the team finished third in the standings in the end. What did they and Flying Finn Joni Tormala learn from the inaugural campaign?
"Nobody had ever done this series before [Season 1], so we didn't know what to expect. In the beginning, I especially made a lot of mistakes.
"But, as we got towards the halfway point of the season, we learned how to practice for those situations. I think we also picked up the pace more and the end of the season was really strong."
Long practice sessions are part and parcel of sim racing, but in the V10 R-League practice is a little different. With the team dynamics being so important, drivers are constantly discovering new ways to practice.
"We started to practice more together on-track because there's a lot of dirty air produced from the car's aerodynamics. So, it's really hard to follow, especially to overtake. I think we underestimated that in the beginning."
"Once we began to focus on that our races became a lot stronger."
Just like last season, the competitors will be racing from home for Season 2, which means communication is key, something Tormala feels like Red Bull didn’t have a handle on early in the season.
"We didn't nail the communication in the beginning, but by the end we figured that out too."
It sounds like Red Bull has taken a lot of key learnings from Season 1 and is ready to put up a serious title challenge in Season 2.
Season 2 expands to 10 teams
The second season of V10 R-League arrives in April and will see the league expand to 10 teams.
McLaren Shadow and R8G Esports join the fray, with all eyes on an increased £120,000 prize fund.