Driver styles/preferences

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Just_a_fan
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by Just_a_fan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:38 am

JimClarkFan wrote: In what respect? Hamilton is typically said to be 'oversteering' yet he is fine compared to his team mate.
That's not what Hamilton says. He prefers slight understeer.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by JimClarkFan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:29 am

Just_a_fan wrote:
JimClarkFan wrote: In what respect? Hamilton is typically said to be 'oversteering' yet he is fine compared to his team mate.
That's not what Hamilton says. He prefers slight understeer.
raymondu999 wrote:Here's something in the latest Autosport, combining an old interview with Clark & Hill Sr. then comparing to one with Button and Hamilton (asking the same questions)
What’s your ideal car? Do you have a car to oversteer or understeer?
Jim Clark
Well, when I started I used to prefer an oversteering car. At first it was very difficult for me to drive a Lotus. It was fabulous to drive on tramlines, but as soon as you started to get the back out it became very twitchy. I feel that I can get somewhere near the limit with an oversteering car. Mind you, it mustn’t oversteer too much. As far as Formula 1 is concerned a slight tendency to understeer is probably a good thing, because understeer can be corrected without losing too much time, whereas correcting oversteer is liable to waste time.

Lewis Hamilton
Oversteer, good traction, anyone would think the same thing. I just quite like an oversteering car.

Graham Hill
Well, I think those days, the days of accepting a car as it is, are over. Practically all drivers have a different way of driving, so what is oversteer for one person can be understeer for another in the same car. Understeer and oversteer are mainly a function of the amount of power being used.
Early this year BRM did some testing at Zandvoort, and I tried Richie Ginther’s car. Richie was complaining of understeer, but I thought the car was oversteering. We were both right because we drive differently. On the whole I would like to think that I prefer a car with neutral characteristics. The whole basis of motor racing – the criterion of going round a circuit quickly – is the amount of power you can get on the road. If you have a chronic oversteering car, you have to lift off – otherwise the back will come round. In an understeering car you can kill a lot of the understeer by setting the car up and then putting the power on; this holds it in a power drift which in effect kills the understeer. But there are some corners which you just cannot get round without backing off and starting again.
I like to be able to set the car up at the entrance to a corner and go through the corner in a power drift. Nowadays I think it is essential for a driver to be able to set the car up for his own particular needs. I think the days have gone when a driver used to turn up, put his gloves and hat on, do a few laps and then go home. Nowadays a driver must make the car suit his style, because competition is so fierce that every little tenth is going to count.

From earlier ITT

PlatinumZealot
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by PlatinumZealot » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:45 pm

Interesting reading. - "The driver must make the car suit his style" very interesting indeed, there by Mr. Hill.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by raymondu999 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:45 am

I think Hamilton likes a pointy front - not "oversteering" per se. It may feel like oversteer to him, granted.
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JimClarkFan
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by JimClarkFan » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:19 pm

raymondu999 wrote:I think Hamilton likes a pointy front - not "oversteering" per se. It may feel like oversteer to him, granted.
I have kind if given up trying to figure out what people are doing in the car. The onboard videos and TV coverage only rarely make it obvious what a driver is doing. And then you have the often conflicting views of the drivers.

One thing I do think though is that there are different types of oversteer. There is a big difference been 1. power induced oversteer, 2. oversteer which can be manipulated by the driver when required, and 3. just general traction limited oversteer that inhibits the driver putting down power. ITT many seems to refer to oversteer as one type of thing, there are of course varying degrees of all of the above, it's an incredibly complicated topic.

Vettel is perhaps the easiest case to understand, I am certain Vettel likes a stable rear and uses power oversteer to eek out time - at least in the previous 4yrs.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by raymondu999 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:53 am

I'd think the opposite - he uses rear instability on entry - which was why the ebd was perfect for him, because when you braked and were off the throttle he could more easily induce oversteer with the sudden loss of rear downforce.
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PlatinumZealot
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by PlatinumZealot » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:08 am

Rear insrability and rb9 cannot be used in the same sentence lol. I have seen vettel overcome a sliding car due to over eagerness on corner exit but i wouldn't say that he had a car with tail happy characteristics, whether inherent or tuned in.
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Jersey Tom
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by Jersey Tom » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:04 am

raymondu999 wrote:I think Hamilton likes a pointy front - not "oversteering" per se. It may feel like oversteer to him, granted.
JimClarkFan wrote:One thing I do think though is that there are different types of oversteer.
You guys are getting it. Some extra emphasis of my own in one of those quotes.

Let's make it more general. Car handling isn't a blanket, binary 1 or 0 condition of "is oversteer" or "is understeer." It's not even a 1-d line or scale of how much or little OS/US you have. It's a broad spectrum and palette of all the different behaviors / motions / etc. a car can have.

The driver feels all these things, tries to find the right descriptive word(s), and that's what comes out of their mouth. What Driver A vs. Engineer B vs. Fan C associate with a generic and blanket term like "oversteer" can vary quite a bit. Yes there are some industry definitions and diagrams you can Google of what those things are, but they're just incomplete.

The "oversteer" or "understeer" thing to me would be like if a few people attend an eight course dinner, and at the end of it you ask each of them, "So was dinner sweet or sour?"
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JimClarkFan
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by JimClarkFan » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:03 pm

raymondu999 wrote:I'd think the opposite - he uses rear instability on entry - which was why the ebd was perfect for him, because when you braked and were off the throttle he could more easily induce oversteer with the sudden loss of rear downforce.
Lots of people say this, but I have seen no evidence that this is true. What I see personally is power oversteer mid corner to get direction change with the EBD ensuring he eventually gets grip. You can hear it. I can't see anything fancy on entry, it is when he gets the power down mid corner to get direction change with the EBD making sure he finds grip on exit.

Example: Mid corner turns 3-4 Canada, 20-25 seconds into video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT5Y-aMLpZ0
He quickly flicks the wheel to the left and plants the throttle, the car initially slides and then finds grip. It's unmistakable, both in how it looks and the noise, listen to the stuttering engine revs as he breaks traction. If you train your eyes and ears for that one specific pattern of driving you start to see it in lots of places with Vettel...

... here in Valencia too
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX6XMwSci6s
Turn 3 is first example but there are loads of corners in this video. Look for the pattern of hand movement (a quick flick) and listen to the engine revs as it jitters because he is breaking traction.


n smikle wrote:Rear insrability and rb9 cannot be used in the same sentence lol. I have seen vettel overcome a sliding car due to over eagerness on corner exit but i wouldn't say that he had a car with tail happy characteristics, whether inherent or tuned in.
I don't see instability either, I see manipulation of direction with power with EBD allowing him to find grip.
Last edited by JimClarkFan on Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by JimClarkFan » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:28 pm

Jersey Tom wrote:
raymondu999 wrote:I think Hamilton likes a pointy front - not "oversteering" per se. It may feel like oversteer to him, granted.
JimClarkFan wrote:One thing I do think though is that there are different types of oversteer.
You guys are getting it. Some extra emphasis of my own in one of those quotes.

Let's make it more general. Car handling isn't a blanket, binary 1 or 0 condition of "is oversteer" or "is understeer." It's not even a 1-d line or scale of how much or little OS/US you have. It's a broad spectrum and palette of all the different behaviors / motions / etc. a car can have.

The driver feels all these things, tries to find the right descriptive word(s), and that's what comes out of their mouth. What Driver A vs. Engineer B vs. Fan C associate with a generic and blanket term like "oversteer" can vary quite a bit. Yes there are some industry definitions and diagrams you can Google of what those things are, but they're just incomplete.

The "oversteer" or "understeer" thing to me would be like if a few people attend an eight course dinner, and at the end of it you ask each of them, "So was dinner sweet or sour?"
Lol @ bold.... sweet of course :mrgreen:

I don't do much racing at the moment, I do like to get out karting when I can, preferably just me on a track against a timer because it is more about going fast for me than racing. But the concept of oversteer and understeer needs expanding further. I think understeer is fairly simple, oversteer is very complex however with rear wheel drive cars.

There is one track I used to race at, there is a corner which is a sharpe blind left hand turn which when taken with your wheels in line requires you to lift, turn and then wait until you can plant the throttle because the exit is very tight. It was always my worst corner for a long time.

However what I was able to figure out after several visits was that if you have a decent kart you can drift the kart at the rear every so slightly, turning the car on the rear points your front in a better direction for the exit and allows you to pick up the throttle mid corner as opposed to late corner - the difference was about 0.2 seconds on a 25 second per lap track! (at least in my hands it was 25 seconds lap :oops:)

Of course that was oversteer but it was induced oversteer from an otherwise stable rear. Just because the rear was drifting doesn't mean it was unstable, it was stable enough to allow me to swing it out without causing me to spin, but unstable enough to allow manipulation.

I've done enough talking for one day :mrgreen:

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by Jersey Tom » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:34 pm

JimClarkFan wrote:Just because the rear was drifting doesn't mean it was unstable
Exactly. That is a key point to understand. So already... where some might associate rear drifting with oversteer, we see that it's not the whole story.

I would say the same could be said of "understeer" though. Really just another side of the same coin. You could say that just because a car doesn't rotate much... doesn't mean it isn't nimble, or that it's unresponsive. Going through a high speed slalom or trying to overtake and get around another car on a straightaway.. you might favor behavior whereby the car "side steps" (minimal rotation) rather than pivots. So again there's the difference between yaw (angle), yaw (rate), stability, and control.

The other part of this is that saying that the car is over/understeer steer or what have you is incomplete. Actually plays into your example quite well.

Let's say we have drivers A, B, and C who all have a lap of the same track, in the same car, with the same setup. They come in and describe car balance on entry to some specific corner. Driver A is adamant the car is nicely neutral, Driver B is convinced the car is very oversteer on entry, and Driver C is sure the car plows on entry.

How can opinions of the same car be that different, far beyond just subtle difference in preferences?

Well Driver A brakes the earliest of the three, mostly in a straight line, and is off the brakes on turn in. Car is neutral. Driver B brakes a bit later and trailbrakes entry, and the rear wants to slide out on turn-in as a result. Driver C brakes the latest or the least and tries to carry way too much speed than the car is capable of, and plows the front through the corner.

Moral of the story? Talking about balance is really talking about car behavior, that behavior being both from the car itself and what the driver does as an input. And generally, behavior is more involved than just using one or two words to describe it.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by hollus » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:57 pm

Jersey Tom wrote: Let's make it more general. Car handling isn't a blanket, binary 1 or 0 condition of "is oversteer" or "is understeer." It's not even a 1-d line or scale of how much or little OS/US you have. It's a broad spectrum and palette of all the different behaviors / motions / etc. a car can have.
The voice of reason speaking as usual.We shouldn't listen to drivers say oversteer or understeer and take it blindly as gospel. It is XX-ersteer, relative to that driver's preference, that day, in that car, in those tires, in that corner, in that track and, hell, in that set of rules.

But sometimes one can find an absolute, like in Schumi's famously uncontrollable (to everyone else) setups. I've been reluctant to bring up this story as I cannot find the source anymore, so I'll just tell the general lines. This was written about Alonso in one of the main Spanish sports newspapers around 2005, so take it with a lot of salt.
They were describing his F3000 days, when he joined an established Belgian? team as an absolute rookie. They had an experienced Belgian? driver, and with the language barrier to add to it, the team just assumed that Alonso was too green to have an input on car setup and went with the expertise of their number one driver. This left Alonso frustrated and gathering a string of mediocre results, while his teammate, while not winning races, was consistently gathering points. Until one day Alonso out of frustration demanded in angry terms, as he had done all season, more front end, a lot more front end. The team's response? All right, have your front end, and then you'll learn. No one can control such amount of oversteer, have it, maybe crash, and then you'll learn the lesson. The result? Second in Hungary and a dominant victory in Spa, with his teammate taking a season high second there.
Does that mean that Alonso likes oversteer? Probably not, more likely only that the car, at its fastest setup, displayed a lot of oversteer, and that he could control it.

There. I won't try to extract any moral from the story, I just wanted to share it. Does this story (likely a different version of it) sound familiar to any of the resident Belgians in this forum?
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by Powerslide » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:10 pm

I think it is important to note, some drivers set up their car to understeer not because they like understeer but because they'll have to drive around it, if that makes any sense. My point is, rather than think of understeer, the real situation is more like, they set up the car for maximum rear grip because that is where the driven wheels are and weight bias, also the pendulum of a cars motion, then drive around it but the rewards are there for the taking. Drivers known for high reactive set up are Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. I read an article a while back and fail to remember who that former Formula One driver was but when he drove one of Schumachers Ferrari, he though it was nigh impossible to actually get something out of it. The car was so sensitive and twitchy but Schumacher's ultra sensitive throttle control made this a possibility. Schumacher's style was car correction, reactive, so he would know where the grip limits were all the time hence high frequency steering movement but less abrupt with throttle. There is a Youtube video out there on this.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by timbo » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:37 pm

Ferrari reveals telemetry
http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/08/07/f ... ngaroring/
http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09204
sadly, the image quality is not so great to read some of the traces, but still interesting info.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by JimClarkFan » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:15 pm

timbo wrote:Ferrari reveals telemetry
http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/08/07/f ... ngaroring/
http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09204
sadly, the image quality is not so great to read some of the traces, but still interesting info.
Whose trace is whose?

The first thing I noticed was the steering movement.

Can't wait for someone to really dissect this