• Published 27th Mar 2020
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F1 Equestria: Duels of the Century - Akula966

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Round 1 Duel Highlights

Duel Highlights
Round 1: Australian Grand Prix


Duel 2: PIN (Aston-Martin Red Bull Racing) VS SAN (Williams)

Duel 2 was held between two promising drivers: The crazy, pink party mare Pinkie Pie of the Red Bull Racing Team and the young pony Sandbar of the smaller Williams team. Pinkie's Red Bull Racing RB15 had the standard livery, but with the blue replaced with her trademark pink colour and the car was highly lightened and very agile, making it undriveable to anyone but Pinkie herself. Sandbar's Williams FW42 however, kept stock standard and the livery changed from black-blue-and-white to cream-light-blue-and-white.

However, Pinkie made an even crazier move, when she chose to use Hard tyres for her 5-lap Duel, whereas Sandbar decided to use Soft tyres. The addition of Hard tyres on Pinkie's already uncontrollable RB15 made controlling the F1 car nigh impossible. But if anypony could do it, Pinkie could. In addition to the poor grip, cars that run on the hard tyre are 1.5 seconds slower than a car with Soft tyres.

Sandbar had decided not to take any chances and went for the Soft tyres. These tyres are the complete opposite of the Hard, offering the best grip out of all the tyre compounds and the fastest times. However, this results in very poor endurance, meaning the tyre easily wears when compared to the Hard.

At the start of the race, the stupidity of Pinkie's tyre selection became apparent. Every single time she exited a corner, the back end of her car would kick out, resulting in precious seconds lost and an opportunity for Sandbar to get past. But somehow, Pinkie held onto her lead.

All that changed on Lap 4.

When going into Ascari, Pie accidentally gave the corner too much throttle and skidded off into the gravel, eventually hitting the tyre wall. Although the pink mare was okay, she had lost both her front wing and her front-left wheel, rendering her car undriveable. And under official FIA rules, Pinkie Pie had to forfeit from the Duel, handing the win to Sandbar.


Duel 3: AKU (Mercedes-AMG Petronas) VS OCE (Red Bull Toro Rosso)

The 3rd Duel was nothing less of a clinical execution of a lesser racer by a master. This one was between the unreformed changeling, Akula of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team and the reformed changeling, Ocellus of the Red Bull Toro Rosso team.

Akula had a heavily-customized black-with-red-highlights Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+, with enhanced handling, engine power and brakes. This allowed Akula to be able to take corners at higher speeds that others and give him the edge in late-braking, something in which he excelled at.

Ocellus's Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 had the dark-blue replaced with a light-blue and was modified to be very user-friendly to the shy changeling. However, this left her STR14 lacking in most of the areas where Akula's W10 EQ Power+ excelled.

Both drivers had run this race on Softs, but there was no contest. Right from the beginning of the race, Akula easily pulled away from Ocellus and kept his distance from the other changeling. He never took a turn off the optimum line, nailed every single braking point and used his DRS whenever it became available, creating a huge gap between him and the Toro Rosso.

Ocellus had no chance, and was left in Akula's dust, leading the 'Demon Lord' to take the win via the Mercy Rule after just 3 laps.


Duel 4: TWI (Mercedes-AMG Petronas) VS CEL (Alfa-Romeo)

Duel 4 was a battle between student-and-teacher, with Twilight Sparkle of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team versus Princess Celestia of the Alfa-Romeo team. Twilight's Mercedes had the standard livery, but coloured lavender-dark-purple-and-light-purple instead of silver-black-and-light-blue. Also, the bookworm's F1 had heavily enhanced aerodynamics and lightness, making it very easy to control but also had very quick acceleration.

Celestia's Alfa Romeo Racing C38 had its livery, but with the red replaced with gold and the white kept as it was. Also, her C38 was modified to be all-rounded and match Twilight's Mercedes in all possible ways. This Duel was going to be close.

And it was.

The gap between the two cars was never anything more than a second. And whoever was in the lead at any given time, would always be in the firing line in this Duel. But on the final lap, Celestia made a daring kamikaze braking attack on Twilight in Turn 15, gaining the lead and holding it for the final corner, securing Alfa-Romeo a spot in the finals.


Duel 5: LUN (Alfa-Romeo) VS CHR (HAAS)

Duel 5 was a chance for the Alfa-Romeo team to get both their drivers in the final, as the two rivals in this Duel were Celestia's teammate in the Alfa team and younger sister, Luna and Queen Chrysalis of the HAAS F1 Team. Luna's C38 was dark blue-and-silver instead of red-and-white and was modified to match Celestia's car in performance.

Chrysalis' HAAS VF-19 had the bronze in its livery replaced with green, and was modifed with enhanced engine power and aerodynamics, to give the changeling queen a shot at taking down one of the Ferrari racers.

From the start of the race, Chrysalis held the lead, with Luna doing anything she could to get the lead. Then, going into Ascari on the last lap, Luna performed a daring overtaking move, only to be overtaken again in the last corner, giving HAAS the spot instead.


Duel 6: CHS (Aston-Martin Red Bull Racing) VS FLT (Red Bull Toro Rosso)

No matter what happened in Duel 6, Red Bull was guaranteed a spot in the final, with Duel 6 between Cheese Sandwich of the Aston-Martin Red Bull team versus Fluttershy of the Red Bull Toro Rosso team. Both Red Bull cars were modified to be all-rounders, but Cheese Sandwich's RB15 orange instead of dark-blue and Fluttershy's STR14 yellow instead of dark-blue.

Although the race was very close, in the end, Cheese Sandwich claimed victory for the Aston-Martin team, earning revenge for Pinkie's humiliating loss to Sandbar.


Duel 7: RAR (Renault) VS SUR (Renault)

Duel 7 was estimated to be a repeat of Duel 1, with two long-time rival mares driving for the same team. These two mares were the fashionista rivals, Rarity Belle and Suri Polomare, both driving for the Renault team. Both of the two mares' Renault R.S.19s were modified to be very light and aerodynamic, just the type of car the fashionistas would drive. However, Rarity's R.S.19 was white-and-purple instead of black-and-yellow and Suri's R.S.19 was orchid-and-violet.

Throughout the Duel, and much to the surprise of the spectators and the commentators, the two Renault teammates didn't trade paint and raced fairly (unlike the slugfest between Rainbow and Lightning), with Rarity commenting after the race that, 'As being two ladies in the same business, we would both think it would be uncouth to get into a fight, unlike Rainbow and Lightning,'

Although the Duel wasn't as explosive as the first one, it was nevertheless exciting, with Suri and Rarity constantly overtaking each other at random corners, until Suri was caught cutting the track limit at Turn 6 on Lap 4, therefore earning a 5-second penalty. And despite Suri beating Rarity to the line, her penalty handed Rarity the victory, by 4 seconds.

Needless to say, Polomare wasn't happy.


Duel 8: VRL (Mercedes-AMG Petronas) VS SPI (Scuderia Ferrari)

Considered at the end of the season as the best Duel of all, Duel 8 was between Viral Velocity of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team and Captain Spitfire of the Scuderia Ferrari team (also representing the Wonderbolts, alongside Rainbow). This time, both cars were fitted with the same modifications, which were enhanced engine power and handling.

Viral's Mercedes was coloured blue-red-and-orange instead of silver-black-and-light blue and Spitfire's Ferrari was orange-and-blue instead of red-and-black.

This Duel would go down in history as one of the closest finishes and most exiting Duel in the entire 2019 series, with constant hair-raising overtakes, simultaneous use of DRS on both cars and everything in between. And the finish margin was ridiculous! There was only a gap of 2.8 cm between both cars, with victory going to Viral.


Duel 9: BMI (McLaren) VS DNG (Scuderia Ferrari)

Duel number 9 was between the 'British Speedfreak' himself, DangerDean of the Scuderia Ferrari team and Big Macintosh of the McLaren team. Dean was the only driver in the whole Duel series not to use a custom livery, sticking with the original Ferrari livery, as it matched his colours. Macintosh's McLaren MCL34 however, was coloued red-and-yellow instead of orange-and-blue.

Dean's Ferrari was made to be as fast as possible, while Big Mac's McLaren was modified with enhanced aerodynamics. So while Dean was faster, Big Mac would be able to catch him in the corners.

Although this wasn't the most exciting Duel in the round, it did have its fair share of moments. When preparing to pass Danger on Whiteford, Big Mac cut into the Speedfreak's line, sending both drivers into the gravel. However, both of them recovered and the race continued. In the end, Danger was able to take victory, putting a second Ferrari in the final.


Duel 10: APP (McLaren) VS GLA (HAAS)

Duel 10 was one final chance to get a McLaren car in the final, which was between Big Mac's teammate in the McLaren team (which had accepted the Sweet Apple Acres as a sponsor) and sister, Applejack and the rich stallion Gladmane, Chrysalis' teammate in HAAS. Applejack's MCL34 was coloured completely in orange and had the exact same modifications made to it as Spitfire's SF90. Gladmane's VF-19 was tuned to be agile and aerodynamic.

In the race, no matter how hard Gladmane tried, he just couldn't catch the farm mare, giving her the win.


Duel 11: SIL (Racing Point/Force India) VS YON (Williams)

Duel 11 was a battle of the rookies. The heavily excitable hippogriff Silverstream of the BWT Racing Point team and Sandbar's teammate in the Williams team and best friend, Yona. Silverstream's Racing Point RP19 was coloured light-pink-light-blue-and-white instead of pink-blue-and-white, and was tuned to be very light and agile, to fit her excitable driving style. Yona's FW42 was coloured in multiple shades of brown to match her coat, and was specially lightened and given more engine power, due to the yak's weight seriously affecting performance.

During the event, Silverstream lead all the way, Yona struggling to catch up. But then, a miracle for the yak then occurred. Going down the back straight, towards Turn 11, Silverstream suddenly suffered from a case of understeer, sending the hippogriff into the concrete barrier. Although she survived the hit, her car didn't. This gave Yona the win, getting both Williams drivers into the final. And the Williams boss was very happy with both his Equestrian driver's results.


Duel 12: GAL (Racing Point/Force India) VS OSC (Aston-Martin Red Bull Racing)

The last Duel of the first round was one of the more interesting. Sliverstream's Racing Point teammate, Gallus and Oscura Galaxia of the Aston-Martin Red Bull Racing Team. Gallus' RP19 was coloured in multiple shades of blue, with no signs of pink anywhere. Also, his car was tuned to be fast and light, making it one of the fastest cars in the field. Oscura's RB15 had its blue replaced with black, and was modified with a very powerful engine and enhanced aerodynamics, to make it as fast as Danger's Ferrari.

Sadly, Oscura would not get the chance to race her nemesis (at least in this round), as on Lap 2, she was caught cutting the track limits on Turn 5, earning her a 5 second penalty. And 5 seconds is an eternity in Formula 1. Galaxia ended up losing the Duel by 2.25 seconds, giving the Racing Point team a car in the final.


Meanwhile...
Scuderia Ferrari Garage

Rainbow Dash sat in the garage of her team's pit, watching the other duels on a television in the pit. After taking her victory nap, Rainbow headed back into the garage to see what the other drivers she was facing were capable of. However, her nap managed to take the whole of the second Duel, so she missed out on seeing that one, but after that, she was able to watch the others, while her car was set up for the upcoming final race.

Out of all the other drivers she watched race, the ones she made a note to keep an eye on were Akula, Velocity and her teammate, Danger. Although, her over-inflated ego assured her she had nothing to worry about.

As she watched the 12th and final Duel, a voice suddenly spoke in a Italian accent. "Excuse me, Rainbow Dash?" The mare in question looked to her left, and saw a man in his thirties, wearing a Ferrari Team uniform and headset, and holding a tablet in his hand.

This was Concetto Barsotti, Rainbow's race engineer during her time in the Scuderia Ferrari team.

"Oh. Hey, Concetto. What do you have there?" Rainbow asked, pointing a hoof at the tablet.

"The grid positions for the race," He replied, handing her the tablet. She took it and looked.

On it, was the following:

  1. Rainbow Dash (Ferrari)
  2. DangerDean (Ferrari)
  3. Celestia (Alfa-Romeo)
  4. Viral Velocity (Mercedes-AMG)
  5. Cheese Sandwich (Aston-Martin Red Bull)
  6. Akula (Mercedes-AMG)
  7. Applejack (McLaren)
  8. Gallus (Racing Point/Force India)
  9. Rarity (Renault)
  10. Chrysalis (HAAS)
  11. Yona (Williams)
  12. Sandbar (Williams)

Rainbow Dash smiled. Both Ferraris were in the top two positions, with her two main opponents in focus in 4th and 6th. And she knew that the grid positions for the final were determined by the fastest lap times set by the contenders of the final. And knowing that she had the fastest lap time of them all made her feel very smug.

"The boss is expecting a good result in the first round, so we can get some points on the board early," Barsotti told Rainbow, as she studied the grid positions.

After studying the positioning of the other racers, she handed the engineer the tablet back and said, "Okay, how about race time? What's the low-down?"

After giving a simple nod to the mare, Barsotti grabbed a chair, sat down next to her and started to explain the rules, "The upcoming race is going to have a 25-lap duration, and will be a Grid Start. Under FIA regulations, penalties are in place and we have to change tyre compounds at least once during the race. However, you have to manage your fuel carefully, as mid-race refuels have been banned in Formula 1 since 2010, so try not to go push the car too hard on the first few laps,"

"Got it. How high do you need me to finish in order to please your boss?"

"At least in the top five, and the boss will be happy. If you can, try to finish ahead of one of the Mercedes cars. That will send a clear message that we mean business,"

"Pffft! The Mercedes drivers have got nothin' on the fastest pegasus in Equestria! Consider it done!" And with that, Barsotti walked off, satisfied that the pegasus wouldn't let the Ferrari team down. Watching him go, Dash eyed over her SF90 one last time before falling asleep in her chair.

She had to be ready for the race.

Author's Note:

Yes, I DID use an automatic name generator to find a name for Rainbow's race engineer. I'm not the best at coming up with names for characters, so I have to resort to these methods. I'm sorry if you feel Barsotti's name is dumb or unimaginative.

Also, every single final is determined by the competitors' lap times, with the fastest time ahead of the rest. Those who do not pass the Duels, their times are not counted. The only exception to this rule is during Qualifying Duels, where the whole field is out on the track and the fastest times move on to the final.

And for those asking, the Mercy Rule is where a driver pulls so far ahead of his/her opponent, that the other driver has to forfeit as their opponent has built up a gap that they can't catch in the required amount of laps.

Hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for the final!

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