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How to recognise circuits?


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#1 mercutio

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Posted 13 September 2000 - 20:24

Well, I think the question above is clear enough...

A bit strange perhaps, but some people see a picture of a corner and say:
"Hey, that's (ie) Monza, at Parabolica"
Just to give an easy example...
Even I recognise that one most of the times. :rolleyes:

Can you help me and say how you guys (and girls?) do all this?
I fully understand it's unpossible to say everything, but you could give me some "Hints & Tips"...;)

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#2 Felix Muelas

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Posted 13 September 2000 - 21:41

Merc,

To keep it short and simple, the process you follow is actualy very similar to the one you use to recognize a car, or a driver.
To start of with, you cannot recognize something that you have not seen before, so most of the times the process will be called "deduction". After some years and thousands of images seen -and that´s the clue, as you build a mental database of features peculiar to a track- you start changing "deduction" into "recognition".
Of course, some "features" are easier to spot and remember than others...
But in the majority of the cases you will have additional clues, as could be a particular number on a particular car or an advert, or a tree, or some very peculiar light, or the colour of the tarmac...but no real "magic" in that. It is just, like the majority of human abilities, a process related with a mixture of conscient and inconscient lerning through reiteration.
If you want to "force" the issue, for instance, you could imagine yourself browsing through all the imaginable pictures that you can find of, let´s say, Jarama. After a week or two just "learning" them, a further picture of Jarama, regardless of the year it was taken or whether it is in colour or b&w will lead you to your brain shouting "Jarama!". It sounds pretty simple, and actually it is. Only it takes quite some time...
(Well, if you want "shortcuts", you should read the majority of the articles we publish at 8W, as we normally deal, in each picture with the "How?" and it´s pretty usual that we address the "recognition of the track" there...)

:-)
Felix Muelas
The 8W Team


#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 13 September 2000 - 21:47

Merc,
it all boils down to memory and how much you have. I can only claim 20GB at present. They say people loose it with age but I havn't noticed anything yet, luckily. :)

#4 Felix Muelas

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Posted 13 September 2000 - 21:51

Hans,

If I only could use English properly...I would use a tenth of the words I do and come up with a better result.
Shame it´s not the case...
;-)
Felix


#5 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 13 September 2000 - 22:43

Felix,
It seems that we both prepared our answers at the same time and I find your answer much better in explaining the memory process.

#6 Falcadore

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Posted 14 September 2000 - 12:13

I remember a TV journalist, might have been one of the Australian 60 Minutes crew did an interview with Senna. They were in some kinda of gallery or something with motor racing pictures and art on the walls. The journo pointed out a print of Senna, McLaren bound. It was an aerial shot with a destinctive square cornered looking ripple strip being the nearest identifiable feature to the car. The journalist was astonished that Senna was able to pinpoint it to Monaco. Wasn't a feat. The only place where you can find a square cornered ripple strip is at Monaco, nature of the circuit. The chicane in question, the one immediately after the tunnel is much photographed and televised. It's the little things sometimes.

Repitition and memory. After a while you'd be surprised what sticks in your head. And what you forget :p

yours
Mark Jones

#7 Don Capps

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Posted 14 September 2000 - 23:35

Gee, Felix, so that how you do it, Wow!

And as for Mark's comments, in some (many) cases, you just know! However, with the current circuits being such bland places, it is easy to get tripped up -- often it is only the trackside hoarding that seems to give a circuit away. In many cases, I often need just a glance, assuming that the brain is engaged, to realize which circuit it is.

#8 Johnny Lugnuts

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 07:27

My wife is always amazed that I'm able to, most times, very quickly identify a circuit on TV. She's starting to learn, as well; I always challenge her now. I'm actually quite happy to see this thread; I thought I was the only guy who really made an effort at studying tracks on TV and in books. :)

Regards,

Johnny Lugnuts

#9 mercutio

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 18:51

Well Johnny, as you see, you are not the only one!

But I'm in a team (Felix and Don might know it;)) in 8w.
(The name is: Team Historique d'Avantgarde)
But you may say "Historique" for short, if you want so...

Well, I asked the other team-members how they could recognise a circuit that quick! He simply said: I have brains...

So, that didn't help much.
But I'll give it a try, watching as much pictures as possible.

Greetings,
Merc

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2000 - 04:08

Many of the pics of the French GP of 72 were taken looking down on the cars, so that the only background was the bitumen surface. Yet that surface looked different in the photos to similar photos taken at Zandvoort. I could always pick them. If you look at race reports in a number of mags, I found those days that you could always pick the circuit. Just more or less automatic.