Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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ringo
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Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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I think this my first thread :mrgreen:

This is about the quick drivers, the ones who get the complements about their ability to really drive the wheels off a car. Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi, Massa whoever.

Most of the time the this ability boils down to the driver having a preference for over steer. This is not always the right diagnosis, but it's almost a given that every fan wants to associate their driver to being one that loves instability and over steer.
There are many drivers that have been labeled as an over steer driver, one example is Sebastian Vettel. Upon watching one of his great qualifying laps, I realized what his secret of speed is.
Vettel seems to be an under steer driver! He gets on the power early, but not right after the apex of a turn which may cause over steer, he does this way before.

He may have figured that accelerating way earlier than most do in the turn will save time between braking then waiting idly for the apex. He seems to have a quicker exit this way.
The only downfall with this technique is that he runs the risk of under steering into a wall.
This is why he comes so close the the walls on the street circuits; it's not because he is doing it for the sake of it, it's a result of getting on the gas too early. :-k

Watch this video. Keep your eye on the throttle, the turn apex and exit. No walls here though. 8)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjH8k4uql9o[/youtube]

It would be interesting if we had some of his telemetry data. I find this technique very interesting and also risky.

If anyone else feels like mentioning other fast drivers and their actual preference please do so. We hear the "he likes over steer" a little too much. So i figured this thread will actually look at things analytically. Flashy and fast drivers can use under steer to their advantage too and maybe some of the smooth and steady ones may actually prefer over steer.
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Terrible3
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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I think you are reading the telemetry wrong, he is not technically accelerating (with respect to change in velocity) prior to apex he he simply at neutral throttle. You can see the throttle depressed at a constant amount prior to the apex and then smoothly depressed to full throttle starting at the apex.

If Vettel was able to brake and then accelerate prior to the apex it would mean that he was slowing down too early and too much. His lap times would be terrible if this was the case.

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WhiteBlue
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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Hamilton and Schuey are examples of over steery drivers. Michael's setup vs Herbert around Silverstone was once analysed by telemetry. Michael is lifting very lite and he keeps the car on partial throttle through the corner. It means he is always on the edge of adhesion and correcting little slips with the wheel while other drivers (like Button) go much more off the throttle and need very little corrections if any. This smooth style results in speed variations around fast corners while Schuey and Hamilton carry almost equal and high speed around those corners. Hamilton is supposed to be very similar in style which means they both are a bit harder on the tyres when they run on full song.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtaV_cOGgTM[/youtube]

Schumacher was 1,5 s faster around Silverstone than Herbert with that car. That is extraordinary and certainly due to the fact that the car is totally set up for him. Nevertheless it shows why he is considered to be one of the fastest F1 drivers ever. I would love to see Hamilton and Schumacher in the same car one day, but it will probably never happen.
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ringo
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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Terrible3 wrote:I think you are reading the telemetry wrong, he is not technically accelerating (with respect to change in velocity) prior to apex he he simply at neutral throttle. You can see the throttle depressed at a constant amount prior to the apex and then smoothly depressed to full throttle starting at the apex.

If Vettel was able to brake and then accelerate prior to the apex it would mean that he was slowing down too early and too much. His lap times would be terrible if this was the case.
Well even in this respect, it still keeps the revs up, partially open throttle still means the engine is being accelerated. If this keeps the speed neutral, it still helps on exit compared to not being on the throttle at all. Similar to that shumi video.
Here is another video,

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgfA47e0mMU[/youtube]

what do you all think?
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Terrible3
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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ringo wrote:
Well even in this respect, it still keeps the revs up, partially open throttle still means the engine is being accelerated. If this keeps the speed neutral, it still helps on exit compared to not being on the throttle at all. Similar to that shumi video.
Have you ever driven a manual car?

If you are at a neural throttle position it means that there is no change in engine RPM.If there is no change in RPM and you are still in the same gear YOU ARE NOT ACCELERATING. If he speed is constant then his RPM is also. His revs do not climb until he depresses the throttle pass the current neural position at the apex.

My whole point was that he was that he is not accelerating the the car prior to apex. He simply holds the optimal speed (and rpm) for the given grip level. To have any fluctuation in throttle input at the optimal speed approaching the apex would upset the chassis. To little throttle and you will slow down too much, and too much throttle and you will run wide, both leading to slower lap times.

The goal of any driver is to optimize the maximum grip available to them. The drivers who do so will be the fastest. LH can visibly show this as his inside front wheel will sometimes momentarily look up as he on the absolute limit of traction.

Mr Alcatraz
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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I really think (and this is even more important this season with full race fuel loads) that tire management, which can be inherent to the setup, and overall ergonomics of the car is a huge factor. An example was a very special relationship (conspiracy theory here :o ) Renault had with Michelin in '05, and '06.
To watch Fred around medium to high speed corners was mind boggling to me. He had it all over the field. His style while watching him from the cockpit seemed to be one of just throwing the car around corners in a manner that you would think would induce a lot of over-steer. However the only time he had tire wear problems was on inters on a drying track. He destroyed a few rear inter's.
Having said all that I really think it comes down to the ability of a driver to know the limit and stay on the limit. I think one of the biggest changes was the advent of the new generation, much more durable brake components. They are much more forgiving than those of five years ago, although not any easier to get up to temperature. I used to love watching all the glowing rotors at The Canadian GP
Mike, Fred, Lewis, Kimi and maybe Seb I believe are the guys that are able to stay near the limit. Trulli is an example of a guy who's fast that apparently can't. JMHO

Oh yea it helps having a fast car :lol:
Last edited by Mr Alcatraz on Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Giblet
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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As well, to convolute the whole thing, Weber started using Vettel's setup very early on, as he was able to run faster with it, sometimes faster than Seb.

I don't think Vettel's style is all that different, but he is more on the edge.
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ringo
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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Terrible3 wrote:
ringo wrote:
Well even in this respect, it still keeps the revs up, partially open throttle still means the engine is being accelerated. If this keeps the speed neutral, it still helps on exit compared to not being on the throttle at all. Similar to that shumi video.
Have you ever driven a manual car?

If you are at a neural throttle position it means that there is no change in engine RPM.If there is no change in RPM and you are still in the same gear YOU ARE NOT ACCELERATING. If he speed is constant then his RPM is also. His revs do not climb until he depresses the throttle pass the current neural position at the apex.
Yeah i drive a manual daily, i know what you are saying but i can only find that neutral point either when the car is in neutral and the pedal is depressed till a somewhat constan rpm is held, or going at highway speed or going up hill where there is some kind of constant load.
That is almost imposible to do when the car is decelerating, you would have to be adjusting the displacement of the pedal accordingly to the road speed and engine load.

I don't want to divert but i do understand that you are saying he does it to hold the car at a engine speed to that he gets the best response when it's time to increase the throttle.

What i was saying is that, even if what you say is what he is doing, it still is different than what some drivers do, since not being on the throttle at all at that point would mean the engine will decelerate. You see where i was going?

There are also instance where you do see the engine accelerating before he reaches the clipping point; looking on the rev clock.
My whole point was that he was that he is not accelerating the the car prior to apex. He simply holds the optimal speed (and rpm) for the given grip level. To have any fluctuation in throttle input at the optimal speed approaching the apex would upset the chassis. To little throttle and you will slow down too much, and too much throttle and you will run wide, both leading to slower lap times.

The goal of any driver is to optimize the maximum grip available to them. The drivers who do so will be the fastest. LH can visibly show this as his inside front wheel will sometimes momentarily look up as he on the absolute limit of traction.
Everything you said here is perfectly understandable, but sometimes it seem the car is purposely provoked. Especially since a driver really has no way of knowing what optimal really is, unless he does many laps and keeps tabs on little adjustments that can give him improved times. Going through a turn even slower than he does can give the impression of being more neutral and less upsetting.
And i do see where he does accelerate sooner than most.

How about the monaco crash, does that add some credence.
skip to 2:00
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKh_1YGm ... L&index=44[/youtube]
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Jersey Tom
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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If you drive an open wheeler "loose" with the rear end hung out.. you're going to be slow as all hell.

In other race series.. depending on the car, the speed, the corner.. super loose (over-rotation) on entry can let you brake deeper, carry more speed, and put power down better with little to no rotation on exit.

Too lazy to write up full explanation just yet.
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PlatinumZealot
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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Perception and actuality can be very different. The thread is sort of confusing. Are we going to strictly stick to how we perceive the drivers' styles (one guy might perceive Vettel oversteers and another perceives otherwise) Are we going to mix in actual visual comparisons? Perceptions can be very misleading especially when we selectively choose events to support our perceptions.

A common perception is that Hamilton is rough on not just the tyres but the whole damn car. :lol: Some other common perceptions: Vettel is "always on the edge." Button is smooth. Kimi is oversteer. Alonso is understeer. Hamilton over steer and yet Hamilton copied Alonso's setup and beat him with it!! what?!! :wtf: Perceptions, perceptions. Some are close to actuality some are not.
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Chaparral
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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Perfection personified - Jim Clark it doesnt get better than this :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDkZYhJR1E
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marcush.
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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really lovely that piece ...
Chaparral wrote:Perfection personified - Jim Clark it doesnt get better than this :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDkZYhJR1E

but at 1:42 in the clip you can see a little time lost when he ´s a tad to quick into the corner and runs into understeer (adding lock on corner exit) so not perfect..but of course thats nitpicky.

You can see in the vid just how much give is in the car for the big steering wheel movement without change of direction it must have been very hard to get a feeling for those tyre sidewalls...

the point we are dwelling on is in my view not a case of undesteer or oversteer but
where the boys are doing their trade on the circle of traction.
the super smooth Button Prost etc are not really at 100% but more like 99.8% ,but with a very very low rate of exceeding the 100% ever.the result is a joy to watch
but it looks very often not as if they where really pushing.-see clark video...he seems to cruise around..
the Michael ,Hamilton style is a lot closer to the 100% of what is on the plate and these have the ability to still not exceed this 100% for extended times.It is
visibly more on the edge ,but you don´t see any of wild big corrections no overshooting of apexes no miracles performed to sve it ...and that is the big difference to the lesser mortals who cannot perform so close to the edge more than say two or three corners.

bjpower
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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Terrible3 wrote:
ringo wrote:

Have you ever driven a manual car?

If you are at a neural throttle position it means that there is no change in engine RPM.If there is no change in RPM and you are still in the same gear YOU ARE NOT ACCELERATING. If he speed is constant then his RPM is also. His revs do not climb until he depresses the throttle pass the current neural position at the apex.

My whole point was that he was that he is not accelerating the the car prior to apex. He simply holds the optimal speed (and rpm) for the given grip level. To have any fluctuation in throttle input at the optimal speed approaching the apex would upset the chassis. To little throttle and you will slow down too much, and too much throttle and you will run wide, both leading to slower lap times.

The goal of any driver is to optimize the maximum grip available to them. The drivers who do so will be the fastest. LH can visibly show this as his inside front wheel will sometimes momentarily look up as he on the absolute limit of traction.
sorry if i read the tone wrong, but you really sound like a condescending ass!

if you hold a constant speed through a corner YOU ARE ACCELERATING!!!
acceleration is the rate of change of velocity not speed.

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WhiteBlue
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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bjpower wrote: if you hold a constant speed through a corner YOU ARE ACCELERATING!!!
acceleration is the rate of change of velocity not speed.
It would appear that you are using words in an unusual way. Cornering at constant speed you are exposed to inertial forces but most people would not describe these forces from the change of direction as acceleration. Merriam-Webster gives a definition:

http://m-w.com/dictionary/acceleration
Merriam-Webster wrote:the rate of change of velocity with respect to time
You refer to the rate of change of velocity with respect to direction which may be proper physics but not very clear English.
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CMSMJ1
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Re: Perceptions of fast drivers and their driving styles

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I predict this thread will become a breeding ground for fanboys and their ilk.

None of us are world level drivers. Some of us think they might be...

Watching TV does not make you an expert and without telemetry graphs back to back of all drivers in comparable situations then this thread is going to become LH is the BOSS and Alonso is a 6 tenths stealing monobrow merchant pile of stinking syncophantic claptrap.


With regards to on off throttle before apices etc - we don't know.

Sorry to be a moaning minnie but speculative and biased spoutings like this thread is bound to become really gets on my wick.

If you want to watch some good onboard...go watch Senna at Monaco 1991. How is his staccato throttle going to be analysed by the F1Technical Driving, Coaching and Performance Opinion Committee?

:mrgreen:
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