As a testdriver, translator and beta-tester i am following a not commonplace hobby. And that without any risks, except for power-failure or square eyes ;). Always when strangers see the wheel, pedals and the shifter at my desktop they first thought about gaming and stuff like „need for speed“ *no-go“.
As beeing an f1 fan since the first days of Mr. Schumacher, racing was one of my big favorites. All  types of racing where combustion engines and four tires per vehicle were involved. With a title called „F1 2000“ under the publisher-flags of „EA-Sports“ (…) the first serious simulation has been released. Developed by Image-Space-Incorporated which started with realism in terms of driving physics right from the start. They were not faking any physics like games like Need-for-Speed or Gran-Turismo do. The market is beeing controlles by serious rules of the manufactors which often prohibit realistic damage of cars. And yeah, the usual games wants to have some fun with just a gamepad or controller. ISI was creating a „realistic simulation“ right from the start. Tires, Suspension, Gearbox, Engine, Aerodynamics. All at the highest possible level given by the current cpu power at this time.

That there was a huge talent to handle cars precisely at their limits finding the last tenths of a second in me. I knew way before i got my driving-license in 2004. Since 2002 there was a new title released (F1 2001) i was able to mess with the best online. It was pretty easy to me to win against hundreds of human opponents from all over the world. I never felt beeing defeated. Of course i lost races, but always keeping in mind that i could do better with a different strategy, improved vehicle setup or doing less mistakes.
Later as i started to drive my own cars on the streets of europe, i was able to use that simulator-knowledge 1:1 on the streets. Real cars behave exactly as i knew them from the simulator which helped me a lot driving it. Of course there is a real existing danger in reality.
You cannot press escape when crashed into a tree. On one day i want to make driving cars my business becoming a race, or a test-driver for the industry. Nothing brings more fun than driving cars carefully at their limits finding the last tenths, beeing better than your opponents.

Beeing fast on track and translating the entire rFactor simulation was my entrance to the internal team of ISI back in 2005. Since then i am doing physics-test driving jobs, translation, beta-testing, complaining about wanted features, etc. ;). I cannot get into too much details because the isi-stuff is covered by a signed nda (non-disclosure Agreement).

How detailled a tires is beeing simulated in rFactor2:

Under the bonnet of rfactor2(pro), the software which is also beeing used by almost all f1-teams in their simulatores, there is an engine simulating the real physics. Vulcanizing tires which getting harder through too much heat, having temperature, pressure and material properties moving on a rim are pure complexity. Simulating a tires is more complex than entire computer-games just some years ago. Watch the following movie for  more details.