If you can run 1:30s in the hotlap car then you’re going to be in the front pack in race condition and then provided you survive turn two lap one, you’ll wave goodbye to half the field.
One thing to practice is pit-entry. It’s important to know where the speed limit line is and where you need to start braking to be at/under the limit at the line.
Also, make sure you have buttons mapped to trigger the car’s pit limiter and, importantly, to call for a pitstop in the first place. You don’t need to give the team too much notice, but if you come in for a stop without telling the team you’re on your way the stop takes two-to-three seconds longer.
The game will announce a pit window opening and closing during the race - it’s over ten minutes long so you don’t have to instantly respond, but you must make one stop and change at least two tyres during that window to satisfy the compulsory pitstop requirement.
In these cars you only need to change two and those two should be the fronts because the rear tyres are only there to make sure the back of the car doesn’t scrape the ground.
You can stop outside of the pit window, for damage or a splash of fuel if necessary, but you have to stop inside the window to count for compulsory stop purposes.