The online racing simulator
#1 - bozo
Quali format
The F1 qualification format has been tweaked over the years, and maybe it is time to build a little more into the OLFSL qualification system. The quali server works well (for the majority of the time), and it enables drivers to put in their qualifying lap at a time which suits them, so I wouldn't change that part of qualifying. My suggestion would be to make the qualifying on the quali server determine just the race pool, and to have a new and very short qualifying session just before the race.

So, I would do my laps on the qualifying server, and perhaps get into pool 3. On race day, the session would start with a short qualifying period during which I might have time for just 1 or perhaps 2 qualifying laps; say 5 minutes max. This would determine my grid position within the pool race.

The start time of qualifying would be fixed, and anybody joining late can join until the end of the qualifying period, at which time the server would be locked. This would stop any hold-ups from waiting until drivers join the server, which can happen currently. Drivers joining during the qualifying session might not get a lap in, and would therefore start at the rear of the grid.

If possible, there should be a rule to prevent anybody returning to the pits (whether by alt-p or driving to the pits), therefore drivers would qualify on their race setup, and if they crash on their qualifying lap and damage their car, they would be starting near the rear of the grid. The race would start straight after qualification, with no returning to the pits in between.

This format would perhaps add an extra level of pressure and excitement, and on occasions might lead to a less predictable grid order, which would then lead into an interesting race for those out of position.

Any thoughts on this suggestion, or improvements?
Not sure about this, I belive one of the reasons why OLFSL has been so popular over the years was also because the league has always kept a simple and light event format.
#3 - bozo
I agree that it's best kept simple GreyBull, but equally there should not be a problem if the series evolves over time.

Be nice to hear if anybody else has any views.
#4 - t1ger
Hi bozo,

On the whole, I like it, but there are some concerns for me.

The first one is that at the moment, the start of the race isn't set in stone exactly. We say, for example, 16:00GMT, but the race might actually start at a few minutes past while we wait for a few stragglers. Using this format, we would have to start the qualifying at a very specific point for it to last exactly five minutes and then the race to start. In one respect this would give more incentive to racers to show up on time, but I see more people saying "please wait for me" and it getting too difficult to suit everyone.

The second problem is that it adds a lot more pressure on us (well me) as the hosts to ensure everything goes well. To stop people pitting is possible with an update to the insim app which we currently use to start races but it is getting more complicated. Definitely possible, but quite hard to ensure every possibility is thought of and covered.

Having said all that, it is a good idea and something I will have a look into for next season as an option - no promises and it will have to be put past the rest of the staff for approval (if I can get it workable in the first place). You never know I might come up with something along these lines which is a compromise on some of the areas - once I start thinking and coding it, I will know more. I doubt it will be any time soon though.

#5 - bozo
It was just a suggestion that could be considered. I'm not precious about it. If nothing changes, we have some excellent racing using the current format. But equally, change can bring renewed interest and fresh challenges.

I like the idea of a pressurised qualifying with just 1 or 2 chances, but it's difficult to achieve with a format similar to our current format; with elongated qualifying period and limited time on race day. That's where my suggestion aimed to fit into that current format.

In respect to the timeliness of drivers, I'm aware of the current hold-ups due to drivers not getting themselves ready in time. Drivers who are ready shouldn't be penalised by them, therefore having strict start times, with the option for a driver to arrive a few minutes late and only penalise themselves is more fair.

I'm happy to get involved later to discuss this or other suggestions when the time comes.
While I like the current format in general, what I don't like is that everybody pitches up for the race, do it, and it is over - kind of an anti-climax...

This where Bozo's idea also has merits, it kind of extends the race into a 'racing day', making it a more coherent whole and not just a "Wham Bang Thank You M'am"