Physics is very questionable. The cars bounce like low riders for no particular reason. The steering is also very twitchy. I have gone through all the adjustments to try and fix this but it just can't be dialed in quite as good as Codemaster games.
You can say that the AI cheats. Cheating is when you don't play by the rules for the purpose of winning. That is what I noticed. You have to follow a very specific driving line in order for you to make it through a corner. The tighter and faster you go, obviously you would understeer and slam into the wall. Well the AI does not do that. The AI will also swerve left and right while making a tight turn to block you from passing. Then there is the collision system. The AI can slam into you and you are then taken off the road and it would take you quite a while to get back on the road. You would have lost several seconds and would probably cost you the race. Now if you decide to pit the AI cars, it won't have any effect on them. They will not slow down. In fact they would retain the same speed and jump back on track half a second later. It is such bull crap.
I'm not really that bitter since the game only cost me what a nice sandwich would.
If you want realism, stick with Codemaster racing games. This is a minimally decent attempt at simulation. But the Need For Speed series should just stick to arcade style racing.