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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:15 am 
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I've always wondered exactly how fast these guys are?

I like to think im fairly quick, im always there or thereabouts on leaderboards at go karting but not at all the quickest.

Say it took me a minute to do a lap of an outdoor go kart track, how fast would lewis or fernando be?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:35 am 
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the fastest


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:41 am 
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dmck88 wrote:
the fastest

Yer..... Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:43 am 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Gear_test_track

this article gives you a good picture.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:43 am 
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Where an F1 driver's talent lies is in ascertaining the absolute limits of the machinery they're driving. I remember a Top Gear segment where Clarkson drives a Lotus and I thought it captured my point very well. He had to overcome his natural instinct as to where his mind thought he should brake in order to brake where the car was capable of braking. These guys don't have to overcome their instinct - they get into the car and let the car dictate where they should brake. The better the driver the more capable they are of finding these limits and finding them and adapting to them in different machinery, circumstances, conditions and the faster they will find these limits.

Let's say I got into a kart and I kept at it until I'd absolutely found the limit. It might take me six months or a year. If an F1 driver got into that kart I'd expect them to find the limit within a couple of laps. Then if it rained I might struggle. But I'd expect them to find the limit in those conditions fairly quickly and adapt lap after lap as the conditions changed. Alternatively, I might never be able to find the limit, but given a bit of time they would be able to find that limit.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:51 am 
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The wiki article shows vettel is 2.7 seconds quicker than Ellen MacArthur (hamilton was 0.7 secs slower than vettel on a wet and oily track so I presume would go quicker) over a 1 minute 44 lap.

I take Kai's point that they could could find the limit very quickly and be on the limit consistantly however I was expecting the difference to larger than that. After all Ellen is only 2.6% percent slower than vettel


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Ben3991 wrote:
The wiki article shows vettel is 2.7 seconds quicker than Ellen MacArthur (hamilton was 0.7 secs slower than vettel on a wet and oily track so I presume would go quicker) over a 1 minute 44 lap.

I take Kai's point that they could could find the limit very quickly and be on the limit consistantly however I was expecting the difference to larger than that. After all Ellen is only 2.6% percent slower than vettel


I do see what you mean about the expectation that they would be much faster.

But I think this highlights that what separates an F1 driver from us mere mortals is not ultimate speed.

Yes, I'd look at it that if you put the F1 driver and Ellen (for example) into the car and gave them five laps with no assistance or training whatsoever the gap would be substantially larger and that an F1 driver could do that lap after lap after lap whereas Ellen would probably be all over the place with times. Plus I would take into account the fact that everyone is fairly familiar with driving a road car. If you were to put the two into a vehicle that neither had any familiarity with I would expect the gap to be substantially larger as well.

I'd also think about what 2.6 seconds really is. In Formula 1 the drivers are separated by tenths, hundredths and thousands of a second. A lot of the differentiation we see in qualifying is due to the differences in the machinery. If all the drivers were in the same machinery, I think the difference would be very, very small. What would separate them would be consistency more than anything else, and adaptability. So a 2.6 second gap from the ultimate lap is actually quite a lot in context.

I think this also ties in with the fact that often drivers who stand-out in lower series are nowhere in F1 and drivers who aren't stand-outs in lower series excel at F1. Drivers are suited to different disciplines, to different machinery. Indeed driver performance goes up and down depending on the particular regulations and the style of the car and the tyres.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Ben3991 wrote:
however I was expecting the difference to larger than that. After all Ellen is only 2.6% percent slower than vettel


There's only so much the car will do - and it will be just about what Vettel did with it.

Also, slow cars are, imo, far easier to learn and to drive. Put Ellen and Vettel in a 500HP Ferrari and I'm sure the difference will be a lot more than 2.6%.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Ben3991 wrote:
The wiki article shows vettel is 2.7 seconds quicker than Ellen MacArthur (hamilton was 0.7 secs slower than vettel on a wet and oily track so I presume would go quicker) over a 1 minute 44 lap.

I take Kai's point that they could could find the limit very quickly and be on the limit consistantly however I was expecting the difference to larger than that. After all Ellen is only 2.6% percent slower than vettel


That may just be a reflection of the absolute limit of the car, plus Ellen's lap being top out of many.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Long time ago one of my friend who is a racer told me this very interesting thing about racing. He said "When a normal person drives, the car calls the shots, but when a racer drives he makes the car dance to his every whim"

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:13 pm 
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It is a very interesting point. The adaption and consitency is what makes them F1 drivers I agree.

I just think 2.6 seconds over quite a long lap which is quite a technical track with hammerhead and the first corner isn't that much.

Give Ellen even just a week on the track and she would improve by another 0.5 - 1 seconds if not more. Quite suprising really. I was expecting the F1 guys to be closer to 7 - 10% quicker


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Ben3991 wrote:
The wiki article shows vettel is 2.7 seconds quicker than Ellen MacArthur (hamilton was 0.7 secs slower than vettel on a wet and oily track so I presume would go quicker) over a 1 minute 44 lap.

I take Kai's point that they could could find the limit very quickly and be on the limit consistantly however I was expecting the difference to larger than that. After all Ellen is only 2.6% percent slower than vettel


The faster the car the bigger the gap can be, your average person might be able to get a decent lap time out of a road car but as soon as you put them in a really fast car most people couldn't handle the power. Not to mention that's compared to the fastest time, really you'd need to compare it to an average lap time. A few of the people with the quickest times have a bit of experience driving cars quickly too so they're people who generally speaking are fairly quick.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:22 pm 
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The slower the car the less skill is involved in a good lap time, so driving a Liana isn't a true reflection of the skills of F1 drivers.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Check this video. I know they were doing it just for fun, but maybe it can show us how fast they are (or Alonso is).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDsIjxc-TKg

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Watch that episode where Sir Jackie Stewart gives James May racing lessons on Top Gear. I think thats a true reflection of how the F1 drivers think on track. Like wise watch Mika Hakkinen teaching James again how to drive a rally car. Very interesting and funny

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
Watch that episode where Sir Jackie Stewart gives James May racing lessons on Top Gear. I think thats a true reflection of how the F1 drivers think on track. Like wise watch Mika Hakkinen teaching James again how to drive a rally car. Very interesting and funny


Do you have the link?

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Last edited by Adit N. on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:41 pm 
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5 Lewis Hamilton 1:44.7 10 8 Wet & oily.
6 Jenson Button 1:44.7 8 8 Hot.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:47 pm 
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Adit N. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
Watch that episode where Sir Jackie Stewart gives James May racing lessons on Top Gear. I think thats a true reflection of how the F1 drivers think on track. Like wise watch Mika Hakkinen teaching James again how to drive a rally car. Very interesting and funny


Do you have the link?

Nope I dont have the link watched it on DVD, but Jackie stewart is season 8 epi 5 and Mika hakkinen is season 12 epi 3

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:47 pm 
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I've had the privilege of having an ex f1 driver drive me round a track... (was in f1 for only a couple of years)

Road tyres, and standard car.

I've done some karting and single seater racing and am a mid-pack amateur driver.

He just blew my mind away! As he's driving, he mentions that he hasn't driven a rear engined road car on a track before and then does some crazy slides (later he tell me he was trying to judge the balance of the car)
Then two quick laps, which was a couple of seconds faster than anyone else could manage.

On the third lap, as we are braking at the end of the straight, the brake pedal goes soft (no braided lines).
He calmly pulls the handbrake, and downshifts.
We are still too fast, so he turns in with the handbrake on and after the rear end steps out, the handbraker was released and we drift around the corner.

I've ridden with some good drivers in good cars, but the feeling was that he was reacting to what the car will do, as opposed to the car reacting and the driver sensing that and reacting.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
Adit N. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
Watch that episode where Sir Jackie Stewart gives James May racing lessons on Top Gear. I think thats a true reflection of how the F1 drivers think on track. Like wise watch Mika Hakkinen teaching James again how to drive a rally car. Very interesting and funny


Do you have the link?

Nope I dont have the link watched it on DVD, but Jackie stewart is season 8 epi 5 and Mika hakkinen is season 12 epi 3


Thanks.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:17 pm 
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simplythebest wrote:
I've had the privilege of having an ex f1 driver drive me round a track... (was in f1 for only a couple of years)

Road tyres, and standard car.

I've done some karting and single seater racing and am a mid-pack amateur driver.

He just blew my mind away! As he's driving, he mentions that he hasn't driven a rear engined road car on a track before and then does some crazy slides (later he tell me he was trying to judge the balance of the car)
Then two quick laps, which was a couple of seconds faster than anyone else could manage.

On the third lap, as we are braking at the end of the straight, the brake pedal goes soft (no braided lines).
He calmly pulls the handbrake, and downshifts.
We are still too fast, so he turns in with the handbrake on and after the rear end steps out, the handbraker was released and we drift around the corner.

I've ridden with some good drivers in good cars, but the feeling was that he was reacting to what the car will do, as opposed to the car reacting and the driver sensing that and reacting.


I think thats a good example what I mentioned earlier about what my friend told me.... "When a normal person drives, the car calls the shots, but when a racer drives he makes the car dance to his every whim

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:27 pm 
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MclarenBullet wrote:
5 Lewis Hamilton 1:44.7 10 8 Wet & oily.
6 Jenson Button 1:44.7 8 8 Hot.

To be fair, Lewis' lap wasn't really that wet, and he cut the hammerhead quite significantly due to not being able to see the lines because of the glare from the track.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Check out the ROC in a couple of weeks. Excellent comparison of F1 drivers to the best and almost best in other categories, across a variety of vehicles, in the same difficult conditions.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:00 pm 
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Also remember the car in top gear is not set up as they would like it. They dont know the limits of the car or the 'curve' of the engine etc.

It is not really fair to judge them this way. Imagine putting a professional cycle racer v a kid on a bmx in a park. Even Stig has done lap after lap in the car.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:10 pm 
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The Top Gear example doesn't really do them justice, unless you think about it.

Because the limits of the Liana's capabilities are so very low, "mere mortals" can also reach them relatively easily, yet still the fastest of a hole bunch of "normal" people is 2.7 seconds slower than Vettel. That's a lot of time in a car that most half decent drivers could reach the limits of. The F1 guys are just able to squeeze that bit extra out of it. The faster the car, the greater the disparity would be.

As with simplythebest's example, of a driver who was "only" in F1 for a couple of years, hence probably someone that most people on the forum would end up calling "crap", all of these guys, even Narain, are supreme drivers. They just have such an excess of processing capacity when pushing to the limit, much more than we could ever imagine, that they're able to driver a car beyond it's limits virtually all the time. In that respect it's good to remember that even though F1 cars generally look like they're on rails, whenever the drivers are pushing even a little bit, they are driving the cars beyond their base capabilities, the cars are always sliding, as you can tell on the super slow-mo shots. As Brundle always points out, if you could somehow stand beside an F1 car going round a corner, and you gave it a nudge, you'd spin it, yet they often just look like they're out for a Sunday drive.

When they want to be, F1 drivers are unbelievably fast. In the same way that any elite athlete's optimum performance levels are scarcely believable compared to normal people. Compare how far you could long jump, how high you could high jump, or how fast you could run a marathon, to the world records for those events, that's how fast F1 drivers are.

Edit - to be fair it's the same with most top level professional racers, as has been mentioned, check out the Race Of Champions, and bare in mind that the sort of driving they're doing in that is definitely out of their comfort zone, so to speak.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:15 pm 
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F1 drivers are the fastest drivers because they drive F1 cars. You or I wouldn't be able to take an F1 car through one corner. Comparison of times in other vehicles is irrelevant.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:15 pm 
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moby wrote:
Also remember the car in top gear is not set up as they would like it. They dont know the limits of the car or the 'curve' of the engine etc.

It is not really fair to judge them this way. Imagine putting a professional cycle racer v a kid on a bmx in a park. Even Stig has done lap after lap in the car.

This depends on what your definition of "fast" and "talent" are. For some, the fastest driver is the one who can jump in anything and use his instincts to be quick. For others, its who can be fast in a car tailored to him. For me, the question "how fast is he?" is asking for a fundamental basic measurement, so I don't consider things like car setup, race craft, etc because the fastest driver is the one who can best use his instincts, knowledge, and skill to lap quickly, in a short amount of time, in anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:19 pm 
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sultanofhyd wrote:
F1 drivers are the fastest drivers because they drive F1 cars. You or I wouldn't be able to take an F1 car through one corner. Comparison of times in other vehicles is irrelevant.

That's not at all true. F1 drivers have no issue carrying a car through a corner because they have experience both mentally and physically. You need your body and your mind to be prepared to ALLOW you to physically guide a car at massive speed through a corner. Your sense of self preservation tells you it can't work, so you need conditioning to be capable. Inherent speed of the driver has nothing to do with it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Adit N. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
Adit N. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
Watch that episode where Sir Jackie Stewart gives James May racing lessons on Top Gear. I think thats a true reflection of how the F1 drivers think on track. Like wise watch Mika Hakkinen teaching James again how to drive a rally car. Very interesting and funny


Do you have the link?

Nope I dont have the link watched it on DVD, but Jackie stewart is season 8 epi 5 and Mika hakkinen is season 12 epi 3


Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N--C6LDLhNk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bmqdnx5R1U


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Adit N. wrote:
Check this video. I know they were doing it just for fun, but maybe it can show us how fast they are (or Alonso is).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDsIjxc-TKg

I love the contrast between Alonso's in-car shot and Massa's in-car shot in that video.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:28 pm 
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sultanofhyd wrote:
F1 drivers are the fastest drivers because they drive F1 cars. You or I wouldn't be able to take an F1 car through one corner. Comparison of times in other vehicles is irrelevant.

It is pretty difficult to get it off the line in the 1st place. The engine has to be running at a certain rpm, then you release the brake and at that very instance need to get it off the line. Then comes the g-force with the sudden acceleration. That force itself will force your leg off the accelarator. Then even if you do manage to hold your leg there, provided you dont passout on the straight, you then brake at the same time change gear plus keep the car at a certain rpm by accelarating. If you get anything wrong/late 2 outcomes for this, 1. your going straight off track and crashing, 2. if By chance you do manage to turn the steering, your gonna slide and go off track and crash. Thats just the 1st corner for you all

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Also I forgot to mention this at the start. When your at the start line in gear to start off, as soon as you release the brakes, if you dont accelarate at a point when the engine is in that certain RPM it goes back to neutral.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:51 pm 
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I think the best way to think about it is, if you are 0.1sec slower through every corner than another driver you will end up around 1.6sec a lap slower.

F1 drivers are capable of taking the maximum through every corner almost every time despite changing fuel loads and tyre deg.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:53 pm 
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kai_ wrote:
Where an F1 driver's talent lies is in ascertaining the absolute limits of the machinery they're driving. I remember a Top Gear segment where Clarkson drives a Lotus and I thought it captured my point very well. He had to overcome his natural instinct as to where his mind thought he should brake in order to brake where the car was capable of braking. These guys don't have to overcome their instinct - they get into the car and let the car dictate where they should brake. The better the driver the more capable they are of finding these limits and finding them and adapting to them in different machinery, circumstances, conditions and the faster they will find these limits.

Let's say I got into a kart and I kept at it until I'd absolutely found the limit. It might take me six months or a year. If an F1 driver got into that kart I'd expect them to find the limit within a couple of laps. Then if it rained I might struggle. But I'd expect them to find the limit in those conditions fairly quickly and adapt lap after lap as the conditions changed. Alternatively, I might never be able to find the limit, but given a bit of time they would be able to find that limit.


I think you're spot on.

The best drivers have the ability extract the max out of anything they drive, in any condition. That's why Senna was so great.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
sultanofhyd wrote:
F1 drivers are the fastest drivers because they drive F1 cars. You or I wouldn't be able to take an F1 car through one corner. Comparison of times in other vehicles is irrelevant.

It is pretty difficult to get it off the line in the 1st place. The engine has to be running at a certain rpm, then you release the brake and at that very instance need to get it off the line. Then comes the g-force with the sudden acceleration. That force itself will force your leg off the accelarator. Then even if you do manage to hold your leg there, provided you dont passout on the straight, you then brake at the same time change gear plus keep the car at a certain rpm by accelarating. If you get anything wrong/late 2 outcomes for this, 1. your going straight off track and crashing, 2. if By chance you do manage to turn the steering, your gonna slide and go off track and crash. Thats just the 1st corner for you all


Where did you get this idea from? You don't have to rev match in modern F1 cars, it's all automatic as part of the downshift.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:54 pm 
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pyratheon141 wrote:
I think the best way to think about it is, if you are 0.1sec slower through every corner than another driver you will end up around 1.6sec a lap slower.

F1 drivers are capable of taking the maximum through every corner almost every time despite changing fuel loads and tyre deg.

So are the best sports car drivers, stock car drivers, touring car drivers, etc. F1 drivers dictate what their maximum is for the most part, because there is only one other driver in the same car. So technically, only half the grid is getting the "maximum" from each car at each corner, unless their telemetry is identical to their teammate's.

Most of the factors that separate successful F1 drivers from those who can't quite make it in the sport have little to do with actual "fastness". And no I'm not talking about money or support.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Denorth wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Gear_test_track

this article gives you a good picture.



This Lewis's lap was only 7 tenths of the Stig's best time and he drove on a dry track.
Lewis did it on a wet and oily track.

No. Driver Time Series Episode Notes
1 Sebastian Vettel 1:44.0 17 3
2 R.Barrichello 1:44.3 15 3
3 Ben Collins 1:44.4 The Stig II. (Removed from the board during interview with Vettel.)
4 Nigel Mansell 1:44.6 7 5
5 Lewis Hamilton 1:44.7 10 8 Wet & oily.
6 Jenson Button 1:44.7 8 8 Hot.
7 Jenson Button 1:44.9 14 5 Falling snow.
8 Perry McCarthy 1:46.0 The Stig I. (Not listed on the board.)
9 Kimi Räikkönen 1:46.1 18 7 Very wet.
10 Damon Hill 1:46.3 6 5
11 Mark Webber 1:47.1 6 10 Extremely wet.
12 M.Schumacher DNF 13 1 Got lost at Hammerhead, and car was not seen again.[37]

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Are you people seriously talking about Top Gear laps? Jesus.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Floppy_Boy wrote:
Adit N. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
Adit N. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
Watch that episode where Sir Jackie Stewart gives James May racing lessons on Top Gear. I think thats a true reflection of how the F1 drivers think on track. Like wise watch Mika Hakkinen teaching James again how to drive a rally car. Very interesting and funny


Do you have the link?

Nope I dont have the link watched it on DVD, but Jackie stewart is season 8 epi 5 and Mika hakkinen is season 12 epi 3


Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N--C6LDLhNk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bmqdnx5R1U


Thank you very much.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:05 pm 
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mcdo wrote:
Adit N. wrote:
Check this video. I know they were doing it just for fun, but maybe it can show us how fast they are (or Alonso is).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDsIjxc-TKg

I love the contrast between Alonso's in-car shot and Massa's in-car shot in that video.


:nod:

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