Race Sim Studio is a leading 3D modelling service specialising in the creation of vehicles for businesses, personal users, and driving simulators. Currently producing content for Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2 and Automobilista.
In 2017 Race Sim Studio released their original Formula Hybrid, a car that they built from the ground up based on the 2017 F1 regulations which saw dramatic changes to the sport. 2018 saw further changes to the F1 regulations including the hotly debated Halo system. So one year on from the original Formula Hybrid, Race Sim Studio have the Formula Hybrid 2018, which looks to build upon the success of the original car.
The Formula Hybrid 2018 is available through the Race Sim Studios website as a 'pay what you want' deal, though it does start at a minimum of 3.99 euro. What we get for that price is, as per last year, a car that is built from the ground up from the F1 2018 regulations. Basic stats are as follows
- Peak power: 980 hp
- Wheelbase: 3580 mm
- Front track: 1640 mm
- Rear track: 1550 mm
- Weight: 734 kg
The tyre compounds within the mod are Hyper Soft, Ultra Soft, Super Soft, Soft and Medium and degradation has been modelled as best as possible to match that of the real life compounds.
The 3D model of the car is staggering detailed and simply a work of art. The screenshots in this article are captured via Assetto Corsa content manager and use a third party livery sourced from Race Department. Race Sim Studio were unable to release replica liveries with the car due to licencing reasons.
The mod comes with a Halo and Halo-less version, so should you find it gets in your way or you simply hate that it exists, you're welcome to race without it. Personally I don't mind the Halo and like the authenticity of running the car with it turned on. It also doesn't get in the way as much as you may think.
The physics/aero/chassis model for the car is equally as impressive as the physical one. The amount of detail engineered here is reflected in the sheer amount of options you have when you go to set the car up.
For the hybrid system alone you have several delivery options ranging from charging to hot lap and covering everything in between, there is a variable recovery variable, motor or battery MGUH modes and engine braking adjustment.
Aero adjustment is kept to a simple front and rear wing adjustment like we're used to. Much the same for the brakes where we can change bias and power. Suspension settings is where things start to get intense and really reflect the effort put into crafting this chassis. All told there are somewhere between 40 and 50 individual variables available to tweak to your hearts content.
In comparison the car drives similarly to some of the more modern official F1 releases we see in Assetto Corsa, further emphasising just how well Race Sim Studios have done in modelling this car. The steering is light but direct at low speeds and gets gradually heavier as aero builds in faster corners. As per 2018 regulations there is no traction control or ABS here so I would be lying if I told you it's easy to drive fast. Many a time I've found myself facing backwards after being too heavy footed on corner exit or trying to ring the guts out of the engine when perhaps a short shift was more wise.
On the topic of actually driving the car, when racing against the AI within Assetto Corsa, we've found that setting the AI aggressiveness somewhere between 30-40% to be a sweet spot. Any higher and it seems that the car is too fast for the AI to be appropriately 'aggressive' and you end up with a grid full of Max Verstappens. Sorry Max.
This does lead me to one of the few downfalls of this mod... that no one is racing it online! I don't know if it's just too hard to drive quickly or if there just isn't any interest. But there's maybe the odd public server race and I think I've seen Formula Trout running a league but that's about it. Strangely, a lot of the liveries that come with the mod are sponsored by Sim Racing System, which is kind of like iRacing, but for Assetto Corsa, however since the release of the Formular Hybrid I've not even seen them run it in a series... which truly baffles me.
SRS if you're out there, please run it! You have your name on the car for goodness sake.
There are some other minor issues with the mod, one being that the tyre compounds don't seem to be quite as fast as their real life counter parts and the other being that as the F1 2018 season has progressed, so have the cars. Meaning that the Formula Hybrid may now be more of a McLaren than a Mercedes when compared on pace to the real cars.
This is somewhat illustrated in a series of videos by Youtuber Jimmy Broadbent where he tries to beat the pole times from each real life race in Assetto Corsa, using the Formula Hybrid 2018.
Overall this car is excellence of the highest order. If you aren't directly comparing it to the pace real world cars and tyres, which have millions (billions?) of dollars of research and development behind them, you're getting an absolute steal for 3.99 euro. Do remember that this is a pay what you want car and if you have the disposable income, we highly recommend paying more to keep these guys creating content because currently no one else even comes close.
It's almost perfect, as close as anything may ever come but the lack of races online and not quite perfect like for like pace pegs the Formula Hybrid 2018 back ever so slightly.