Driver styles/preferences

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raymondu999
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by raymondu999 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:38 am

On Vettel's driving style - something I posted a while back.
raymondu999 wrote:There's a great feature on Alonso vs Vettel vs Hamilton in terms of driving styles in the latest Autosport:
http://digitaledition.autosport.com/iss ... 042013.jpg

It's well worth to pop the money to buy the mag IMO.
Fernando Alonso - Making Understeer Interesting

Fernando is medium-hard on the brakes and with a bit of overlap between braking and cornering. Then as he’s coming fully off the brakes he applies a lot of lock very quickly, initially partly stalling the front tyre to give a sort of false understeer. Occasionally the front will bite better than he anticipates and with so much lock on that can induce the rear into suddenly stepping out – and it’s then you see him applying punches of oversteer to which he’s very attuned, as if he’s half-expecting it. More usually the understeer stays through most of the corner and the balance is maintained with more or less throttle.

It’s a less extreme version of the technique that was very evident in the rearward-heavy Renaults of 2003-’06. But it wasn’t invented for those cars, they simply allowed him to amplify it to good effect. “I’ve always driven like that – ever since karts,” he said back in 2003.

It’s a technique that allows him to take in enormous momentum, making the car very alive but without the hazard of too much oversteer. It lends itself to great repeatability, but puts a slightly low ceiling on ultimate peak grip. But it’s consistent, makes the car malleable in that crucial, early part of the corner and it keeps strain off the delicate rear tyres. It’s a great fighting technique, working over a wide variety of lines and grip levels as he uses the throttle to fine- hone the car’s placement.

It’s a bullying technique, dominating the car rather than going with its flow in the way, for example, Kimi Raikkonen would. It’s quite similar, in fact, to how Felipe Massa drives but is less aggressive on the brakes, slightly earlier and therefore more consistent, with fewer line-altering lock-ups. It was a technique that allowed Alonso to minimise the penalty of the trait of 2010 and ’11 Ferraris not bringing their front tyres up to temperature quickly enough.

Because he doesn’t actually need the ultimate front grip; so long as he gets some sort of turn-in he’s manipulating the angle with brakes and throttle, almost rally-style. It’s a long way removed from the minimal-input neutrality Michael Schumacher used to stretch the Ferrari elastic in the tyre-war days, but in the Pirelli era Alonso’s more physical technique is probably more effective. Michael was still trying to drive his way in the control-tyre era, using steering lock only grudgingly on his Mercedes, his brain hard-wired to feel that steering lock equalled momentum loss. But when the tyre cannot support the momentum, the car refuses to adopt a stance of sliding neutrality after just the slightest hint of steering lock. Thus the Alonso method is much more adaptable.

With the higher grip of the 2013 Pirellis it’s going to be interesting to see if that still applies. If it does not, expect Alonso to adapt, just as he did when going from Michelins to Bridgestones in 2007 – though it took him a few races.
Sebastian Vettel - The Turn-in 'Rotation-meister'

Like Alonso, Vettel is medium-hard on the brakes but less brutal with the initial steering. He prefers the car to be quite nervous and pointy on entry and is ready to remove some of the initial lock once the front has gripped and caused the rear to step out. He has a great feel for pivoting the car in this way to quicken its direction change.

With the Red Bull’s exhaust-enhanced rear downforce he was the first to develop a counter- intuitive technique of taking what would normally be excessive speed in, getting the front in and then using the resultant oversteer to get him the direction change early in the corner.

Conventionally, this would be counter- productive; the slide would continue after you’d got the direction change, losing you momentum and more than losing what you’d just gained. But with exhaust-enhanced downforce like he had in 2011, he would at this point get back hard on the throttle and have the exhaust gas do its stuff by nailing the back end. So he’d get to have his cake and eat it.

It’s a very unnatural thing to do – with the tail threatening to slide too far, the last thing you feel you want to do is stand on the gas. But Seb proved brilliantly adept at it. When the 2012 regulations took most of the blown-diffuser effect away, the Red Bull initially was merely competitive – and into the bargain Vettel’s superiority over team-mate Mark Webber evaporated. But into the last third of the season Red Bull had not only got a significant chunk of exhaust-derived downforce back via re-shaping of the rear bodywork, but had also introduced a tweak in the rear suspension that gave the car a roll-oversteer characteristic into slow turns.

This got Seb back his quick direction change – and now with enough exhaust-enhanced rear downforce to tame that slide once he got back on the throttle. It loosely replicated the behaviour of the 2011 car, enough to allow Seb back what he termed “my tricks”. Watching the RB9 in action at Barcelona testing through the slow section at the end of the lap it’s very clear that the trait has been retained, maybe even enhanced.

The car positively rotates around itself as the rear rolls, nice and early into the corner, getting the car perfectly lined up with the apex and enabling the steering lock to be removed as he nails the throttle. It’s a beautiful case study of technology and technique developing together.

How much the impetus has come from Adrian Newey and the Red Bull vehicle dynamicists and how much from Vettel isn’t clear, but it isn’t important. It’s almost certainly been an organic development, a direction to follow that has allowed the driver to take full advantage of his strengths and perhaps leading the engineers in a direction they wouldn’t have otherwise thought to go. Why, after all, would you ordinarily want to introduce roll-oversteer into a car?
Lewis Hamilton - Last of the Late Brakers
Lewis is a traditional late-braking, oversteer- loving driver in the lineage of Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson, Keke Rosberg and Mika Hakkinen. He has a fantastic feel for how to modulate the brake pedal as the downforce bleeds away, reducing the pressure so as to keep the wheels just on the point of locking after a very heavy and late initial application when the car is smothered in aerodynamic grip.

Hamilton demands a lot of braking power. He will then take a geometrically perfect line, usually visibly later than Alonso into a slow corner, and will carry an audacious entry speed as he turns in, too much for the rear end to stay in line. But without the same degree of exhaust-type downforce as the Red Bull, typically that rear-end slide lasts longer and consumes more time than Vettel’s, forcing a lower mid-corner minimum speed. But his exquisite feel minimises the downsides of that; he’s onto it early and can carry way more momentum than anyone else in an oversteering state in a conventional car.

He’s very much a reactive driver in the sense that he’s prepared to deal with whatever consequences the car throws at him after he’s pointed it at the apex, not needing to build up to find a particular groove and rhythm.

He’s not dealing with the last finger-tip sensations of tyre grip through steering feel, but simply reacting to what the car does, confident that he can invariably deal with it. Although Paddy Lowe at the time reckoned Lewis’s ease with oversteer would probably lead McLaren down a development path of more aggressively pointy cars, not needing to have them as stable as with previous drivers, it didn’t really pan out that way. The arrival of Jenson Button maybe had something to do with this. Certainly there were traits about the 2010 car that Button didn’t care for and it was notable that he was much happier with the general neutrality of the 2011 and ’12 cars.

Hamilton meanwhile simply adapted to what he was given – and that’s the beauty of his preferred technique; it’s fantastically adaptable for all handling traits, tyre behaviour, grip levels and weather conditions. Only in changeable conditions, with grip varying from one corner tothenextlapbylap–suchaswesawfora time in Brazil last year – did Button’s finer- honed feel allow him to be faster.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by TAG » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:24 pm

This quote is something that's kicked around for a bit but goes with the realm of feel and driver ability to develop a style that works for them but may not always work given the situation. The last paragraph is particularly telling.
Sky F1 “The way they have their cars set up is actually quite similar,” said Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe earlier in the season. “I have been in teams where the two drivers have far more extreme set-ups. At McLaren in 2005 we even had to build different front suspension systems because the set ups preferred by Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya contrasted so much. Between Nico and Lewis it’s more just fine tuning.”

That fine-tuning typically includes where each driver prefers the brake bias to be. Hamilton has a natural preference for it to be more rearwards biased than Rosberg – something that played a part in Rosberg being able to keep the rear brakes alive in Montreal after the ERS ceased to function, while Hamilton could not.

As the driver carries some braking into the turn – a common technique in slow-medium speed corners as it helps keep the loads on the tyres more consistent and the car at a more aerodynamically stable attitude – a more rearward brake bias will tend to give the car less stability. The entry phase of the corner will have the rear of the car sliding more than with a more forward-biased set-up. Hamilton is typically more at ease with this than almost any other driver.

"When we first ran Lewis in an F1 car at McLaren in a test, we could see from the traces there was a lot of instability in the car in the braking and corner entry phases – and I mean a lot,” says Lowe. “Enough that our then current race drivers [Raikkonen and Montoya] would have been bitching about it when they came in. But Lewis didn’t mention it. So we pushed him about it, asked him what the car was like on braking and corner entry and he just said, ’fine’."
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by timbo » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:59 pm

TAG wrote:This quote is something that's kicked around for a bit but goes with the realm of feel and driver ability to develop a style that works for them but may not always work given the situation. The last paragraph is particularly telling.
Sky F1 “The way they have their cars set up is actually quite similar,” said Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe earlier in the season. “I have been in teams where the two drivers have far more extreme set-ups. At McLaren in 2005 we even had to build different front suspension systems because the set ups preferred by Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya contrasted so much. Between Nico and Lewis it’s more just fine tuning.”

That fine-tuning typically includes where each driver prefers the brake bias to be. Hamilton has a natural preference for it to be more rearwards biased than Rosberg – something that played a part in Rosberg being able to keep the rear brakes alive in Montreal after the ERS ceased to function, while Hamilton could not.

As the driver carries some braking into the turn – a common technique in slow-medium speed corners as it helps keep the loads on the tyres more consistent and the car at a more aerodynamically stable attitude – a more rearward brake bias will tend to give the car less stability. The entry phase of the corner will have the rear of the car sliding more than with a more forward-biased set-up. Hamilton is typically more at ease with this than almost any other driver.

"When we first ran Lewis in an F1 car at McLaren in a test, we could see from the traces there was a lot of instability in the car in the braking and corner entry phases – and I mean a lot,” says Lowe. “Enough that our then current race drivers [Raikkonen and Montoya] would have been bitching about it when they came in. But Lewis didn’t mention it. So we pushed him about it, asked him what the car was like on braking and corner entry and he just said, ’fine’."
Interesting, it probably also implies that Lewis can have more efficient ERS harvesting, that would explain fuel use differences.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by raymondu999 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:47 am

While it may be the case that he can harvest ers easier - would it really impact fuel use? Remember ers output is limited. Surely the amount of ers energy you use would be regulation-limited and not harvest-limited?
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by timbo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:39 am

raymondu999 wrote:While it may be the case that he can harvest ers easier - would it really impact fuel use? Remember ers output is limited. Surely the amount of ers energy you use would be regulation-limited and not harvest-limited?
A fair point, but do we know we are at max possible recovery all the time? It would be interesting to see, how the fuel use changes with the track.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by TAG » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:31 pm

raymondu999 wrote:While it may be the case that he can harvest ers easier - would it really impact fuel use? Remember ers output is limited. Surely the amount of ers energy you use would be regulation-limited and not harvest-limited?
The reduced fuel usage comes from being able to carry a higher corner entry speed because he's able to deal with the instability of the rear better, therefore requiring less acceleration during corner exit, saving the fuel.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by marcush. » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:44 pm

TAG wrote:
raymondu999 wrote:While it may be the case that he can harvest ers easier - would it really impact fuel use? Remember ers output is limited. Surely the amount of ers energy you use would be regulation-limited and not harvest-limited?
The reduced fuel usage comes from being able to carry a higher corner entry speed because he's able to deal with the instability of the rear better, therefore requiring less acceleration during corner exit, saving the fuel.
carrying more speed into the corner is not implying his apex speed is higher ? isn´t it more like some drivers are able to rotate the car better in transition from corner entry to apex being able to accelerate earlier WOT?

carrying speed through the corner 8higher apex speed -less forward acceration calls for more lateral acceleration , using up valuable fuel...maybe those who are able to save fuel better have the car flatter in those corners (less lateral acceration)

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by TAG » Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:55 pm

Everyone's got an opinion, I'm inclined to give Lewis Hamilton the benefit of the doubt. This from his own blog.
The new V6 turbo hybrid engines are more powerful and have much more torque - or 'push' when you go on the throttle - and the cars have less aerodynamic downforce, so have less grip.

They still drive like an F1 car, but you have to really hone your technique, especially when it comes to using the fuel as efficiently as possible - or 'fuel saving', as we call it.

There are all sorts of ways to affect that: how late or early you change gears, what gear you take a corner in - and in particular, when you're braking and using a technique called 'lift and coast'.

I'm sure hardly anyone knows what that means.

Despite the name, 'lift and coast' does not mean cruising. You're trying to be as fast as you can, and you're still going through the corner on the limit, but you have to approach the corner slightly differently otherwise you won't make the end of the race.

It is nothing new - we've been doing it for years, because it's quicker to run the car with less fuel.

But this year we are doing it a little bit more - although not as much as people are making out - and it is more of a hot topic because of the rule change.

You save most fuel by lifting and coasting in the heavy braking zones at the end of long straights into slow corners.

When you're driving absolutely flat out, such as on a qualifying lap, you would brake at, say, 80m from the corner, come straight off the throttle and get on the brakes, almost instantly together.

But on a fuel-saving lap in the race you'll lift at, say, 200m, and coast to the braking zone. In an F1 car, just lifting off the throttle decelerates the car by 1G, so you still slow down quite a lot.

That means you start braking at a different place - you have to brake later than before or you'll slow down too much.

So the trick is to know how much later you have to brake depending on where you lifted.

You're trying to get that to the optimum so you're not locking the brakes, and so you're losing as little time as possible with the lift and coast technique. That is the challenge and it is not easy.

It has a knock-on effect on how you set the car up, too, because its behaviour changes between qualifying and race day.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by marcush. » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:43 pm

that´s not carrying speed into the corner ,right? Hamsy talks about how he approaches a corner to save fuel and not lose too much time...If there was nothing to be found in late braking (apart from not being overtaken) nobody would try to find time in qualy by braking late....
He says nothing else than :
Moving your first (1g =lift the throttle)brakepoint back a considerable amount so you spend less time on the throttle -saving fuel in the process ...and brake less and later with the actual brakes to adjust cornering speed .
Sure a valuable technique -drivers in the ol days needed this a lot as the old brakes would not stand full attack for 2 hours racing....but this costs time .No doubt.
You simply spend less time on full throttle not eating race distance at maximum rate .Coasting is slow(er than going at full song) .End of story .The story is quite a bit different with cars not so draggy ...If the deceleration was not that severe you could lift much earlier and save aLOT without sacrificing laptime at all.

I think the biggest potential in terms of fuel saving is actually traffic .Trying not to get bunched up too much by the guy directly in front + tucking in neatly reducing drag is a very valid technique to save a lot of fuel during a race.(You use the slipstream to reduce the cars drag helping the acceleration and then you can actually use costing in the braking zone quite well -as the slipstream does help keeping the car quick when cosating!
As always I´m a bit miffed with Hamiltons speaking the speak-either the guy is outright not knowing whats going on or he leaks some silly techy stuff without even caring if its sensible or just mock.Either ways ...the guy can drive like a god and maybe it would be best he stays with what he does best. :-)
Last edited by marcush. on Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by ringo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:19 pm

I don't see what's wrong with what he says.
He wasn't talking about being fastest, he was talking about how the 2014 cars are driven compared to previous years. He is basically saying not much differently, only that fuel saving techniques are more pronounced.

He is right in saying that you have to brake much later when you lift and coast. You brake later because you already killed of much of the speed when coasting. So you compensate, and naturally this changes throughout the race and the demands of the race engineer.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by PlatinumZealot » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:58 pm

marcush. wrote:that´s not carrying speed into the corner ,right? Hamsy talks about how he approaches a corner to save fuel and not lose too much time...If there was nothing to be found in late braking (apart from not being overtaken) nobody would try to find time in qualy by braking late....
He says nothing else than :
Moving your first (1g =lift the throttle)brakepoint back a considerable amount so you spend less time on the throttle -saving fuel in the process ...and brake less and later with the actual brakes to adjust cornering speed .
Sure a valuable technique -drivers in the ol days needed this a lot as the old brakes would not stand full attack for 2 hours racing....but this costs time .No doubt.
You simply spend less time on full throttle not eating race distance at maximum rate .Coasting is slow(er than going at full song) .End of story .The story is quite a bit different with cars not so draggy ...If the deceleration was not that severe you could lift much earlier and save aLOT without sacrificing laptime at all.

I think the biggest potential in terms of fuel saving is actually traffic .Trying not to get bunched up too much by the guy directly in front + tucking in neatly reducing drag is a very valid technique to save a lot of fuel during a race.(You use the slipstream to reduce the cars drag helping the acceleration and then you can actually use costing in the braking zone quite well -as the slipstream does help keeping the car quick when cosating!
As always I´m a bit miffed with Hamiltons speaking the speak-either the guy is outright not knowing whats going on or he leaks some silly techy stuff without even caring if its sensible or just mock.Either ways ...the guy can drive like a god and maybe it would be best he stays with what he does best. :-)
With Lift and coast he said you have to brake much later because you already killed much speed. The cornering speed is also preserved but the disadvantage is your end of straight speed takes a hit. So whiteblue, after coasting he should be able to apply just enugh braking to keep a high apex speed which in turn would require pess fuel to accelerate out of the corner. That is how i think of it at least. Tho i may be wrong.
Last edited by PlatinumZealot on Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by Manoah2u » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:03 pm

That's how i understood it, too. less fuel to burn just before the corner. Couple that with the amount of corners and laps and you have a significant fuel saving.

In a sense you can compare it to the way you'd be able to react to a speed-camera at the road/freeway. You can lift your foot off the throttle and 'coast' till your speed is lowered to the speed limit. Or you can just keep on blazing till the very end and then hit the brakes to slow down to the speed limit. In both cases, the speed at the speedcam is the same - but the way you achieve this is significantly different. Obviously the 'coast' technique saves you fuel (and brakes for that matter), but it will take slightly more time to reach the speedcam. The latter technique will have you reaching the speedcam just a bit faster, at the cost of fuel (and brakes).

In the long haul, the 'lift and coast' technique will leave you a distance behind the 'full throttle' technique. In the end, you'll pass the 'full throttle' car when he's fueling up at the petrol station (extreme example yes). Since refuelling is banned in F1, you have no option but to lift and coast.

unless you get a safety car period, then you can go hit the speedcams as late as you can.
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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by marcush. » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:09 pm

it´s SLOW guys.That´s the point.lift and coast is a method to save fuel no question -as you shut of fuelsupply when throttle is closed (more or less).But it´s costing time as you are braking early ....when the other guy is still travelling at full speed you are already decelerating .No matter how late you finally drop the hammer with the carbon bbrakes -the time in between you are losing big chunks of time.

Lift and coast is a valid method to save fuel when following a competitor and i think this is what he conveniently ommitted.As you follow an opponent your dragnumbers will be significantly less so lifting is possible without losing time -and you can use the DRS as well in that situation helping your case as much.On the other hand trying to outfox the guy in front with attacks and fluked attacks will kill your fuelplanning....

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by Moose » Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:15 pm

marcush. wrote:it´s SLOW guys.That´s the point.lift and coast is a method to save fuel no question -as you shut of fuelsupply when throttle is closed (more or less).But it´s costing time as you are braking early ....when the other guy is still travelling at full speed you are already decelerating .No matter how late you finally drop the hammer with the carbon bbrakes -the time in between you are losing big chunks of time.
That's rather the point - while you're losing time, you're not losing big chunks of time. The ends of the straights are the positions on the lap where lifting will lose you the least amount of time.

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Re: Driver styles/preferences

Post by PlatinumZealot » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:17 am

Righto. It is not the fastest on a signle lap but it has proven to have many interlinked effects over the length of a race (and possibly the season).
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