If you want to go fast with this game, you must first learn how to go slow. Forget any Dukes of Hazzard driving techniques that you may have picked up with other arcade racing titles, because an itchy gas or brake finger will get you into serious trouble here. When approaching a corner, establish how deeply you can dive in without locking up the brakes, and then get on the binders firmly and consistently at that same spot every time around. When exiting the turn, squeeze on the throttle gently from the apex onward and pay close attention to any wheelspin you may be generating. Powersliding out of a turn may feel fast, but it will only end up costing you valuable speed on the ensuing straightaway.
Feel free to turn Traction Control on at the configuration menu without sacrificing too much realism. The simulation overdoes it a little with its wheelspin modeling, and the game is much too touchy--and unrealistic--to drive with this help disabled, unless you're equipped with a full-blown steering wheel and analog pedal setup.
If you have the competition level set to "Real" you should stick with the cars from teams Two through Five. These are representative of the real-life Williams, Bennetton, Ferrari, and McLaren teams, and, just as in real F1 racing, are the only cars capable of winning at the higher skill levels.
If you go into the pit and back into the dugout wall and press acceleration right before you hit it, your car will be launched.