I would argue that if the guy who made a 'mistake' is faster then it really is not a mistake at all and is the more correct line to take. The other thing to remember with overpowered cars is the tyres. Just because getting the car pointing in the right direction and then powering down the straight might be the fastest way around the circuit on one lap it does not follow that it is the fastest way over a race distance because it might cause too much wear on the rear tyres requiring an extra pit stop.
I could imagine there being situations where drivers will adapt the driving style to the situation so if they are trying to create a gap they will use the faster but harder wearing style to create the gap and then use the smoother style to make the tyres last while trying to maintain the gap. If the cars are close enough in optimal performance then it would mean the drivers would become a larger differentiator in overall performance and that can only be a good thing.
You could also mandate the maximum travel of the throttle peddle so that they require even more fine control of their right foot which again would make driver skill and ability a more important factor than currently.
It is not a question of wearing tyres. It is just a question of traction circle:
Let's start from the basic racing line theory, the minimum curvature racing line. The basic sequence is, from turn in to apex you increase the curvature (you turn the steering wheel more and more) then from apex to exit you unwind the steering wheel thus decreasing the curvature.
Curvature is inversely proportional to forward speed and this can be seen from energetic states at different levels but you can see it at the tires level: You tires have a maximum potential of grip (braking/accelerating/cornering) which can be represented as a traction circle; When you brake you decrease the grip available for accelerating forward and cornering, when you corner you decrease the grip for braking and accelerating and when you accelerate you decrease the grip available for braking and cornering.
Hence when you exit the corner as the curvature starts to decrease you have to trade forward acceleration for cornering (as you progress through the exit you can use more and more accelerating because you use lesser and lesser cornering grip).
So coming from that traction circle theory you could ask yourself if doing some tweaks to the minimum curvature racing line could bring any positive results I.E: if any other trade off between forward acceleration and cornering may offer as good or even better lap time.
To answer that you have to look at the power/grip ratio. A car that has massive power but also high grip (like F1 cars) will thus accelerate very fast but also corner fast so the balance is toward the minimum curvature racing line; But if you have a car with lot's of power but low grip it may be in a position where accelerating out of the corner is more important than cornering or may bring similar results. This is the case with shifter karts; They have similar grip than non shifter karts but because of the gearbox they have all the power available at almost anytime, and that power is much more than what is needed when using the minimum curvature racing line. So two things are commonly seen in shifter karts vs non shifter karts:
1/Drivers that are above the minimum weight requirement can still be as fast than lighter drivers (of course it all depends on how much..)
2/When you do a mistake like sliding a bit, you can make up for that by rapidily aligning the kart and putting more power
You have the same analog relationship between racing karts and rental karts. Sliding with racing karts may not be too detrimental on some occasions, doing so with rental karts instantly kills your lap time.
As for the goodness of this for racing i agree...but having car with too much grip also allows for different racing lines and this is not a good thing i think we'll agree.. Imho when you put more power you need a corresponding increase in grip.
And a very good example of that were the 2004 F1...monsters of 900 bhp with tons of grip and rampaged through the turns and i think we'll agree they were quite challenging to drive!
Edited by Ogami musashi, 12 December 2012 - 11:26.