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Max Verstappen Flich Throttle Technique


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#1 SeanValen

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 02:22

Do you think Max Verstappen has a unique throttle or talent regarding throttle applying. I used to remember Senna tapping on the throttle within corners, then Jacques Villeneuve was rumoured to call his technique Flich Throttle, but it was never proven. Schumacher balanced the car with break and throttle.

Max is very consistent in getting points even when it is not the best weekend for his car. Has he talked about his technique ever?

Edited by SeanValen, 10 July 2024 - 02:24.


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#2 JeePee

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 06:56

Every F1 driver balances their car with brake and throttle.



#3 BobbyRicky

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 06:59

Do you think Joe "The hummer" Tanto used the flich throttle technique when he pulled off his coin pickup trick in the streets of Toronto?



#4 Lurb

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 06:59

Of course Max being very good means that while he does the same things everyone else does, he does it significantly better than average.

 

And bear in mind that the fake telemetry they show in onboards is fake, so we won't have real examples


Edited by Lurb, 10 July 2024 - 07:05.


#5 jonpollak

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 07:31

Oh no not this again…..

Jp

#6 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 07:33

You know when a great comedy film gets a sequel nobody asked for, and she sequel just ends up being the same jokes as the first and it isn’t funny at all?

Yeah.

#7 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 07:36

Do you think Joe "The hummer" Tanto used the flich throttle technique when he pulled off his coin pickup trick in the streets of Toronto?


Everyone talks about the illegal street race scene; but I always thought that one was the stupidest.

#8 noikeee

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 12:05

Discussions about driver technique are actually quite interesting, but really hard to have because differences in driver technique are subtle, very hard to tell from TV footage (literally impossible to untrained eyes) and there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation out there.
 
I believe I've read before that what Max does particularly specially well, is mostly braking early (!), but being able to predict and handle quite a lot of oversteer in order to get the car rotated and accelerating out of the corner earlier than usual. I can only imagine that he does this with impeccable smoothness, given the way he retains race pace for very long stints, hinting at an excellence at tyre preservation - he's actually more impressive in race pace than qualifying pace, which in modern F1 indicates tyre management hence smoothness. However a lot of it is car characteristics and it's pretty much impossible to separate driver tendencies from car handling these days, we'd have to see Max in a range of different cars to understand him better.
 
The Senna technique of oscilating on the throttle is something entirely different, but I personally don't understand how it helped Senna in any way to begin with. Presumably so he could better feel how loose the car is? You would NOT want to do that in most cases, but very much the opposite of being as smooth and gentle and as progressive as possible getting on the throttle, to prevent unsettling the car and its weight distribution.

Edited by noikeee, 10 July 2024 - 12:08.


#9 F1matt

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 13:41

 

Discussions about driver technique are actually quite interesting, but really hard to have because differences in driver technique are subtle, very hard to tell from TV footage (literally impossible to untrained eyes) and there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation out there.
 
I believe I've read before that what Max does particularly specially well, is mostly braking early (!), but being able to predict and handle quite a lot of oversteer in order to get the car rotated and accelerating out of the corner earlier than usual. I can only imagine that he does this with impeccable smoothness, given the way he retains race pace for very long stints, hinting at an excellence at tyre preservation - he's actually more impressive in race pace than qualifying pace, which in modern F1 indicates tyre management hence smoothness. However a lot of it is car characteristics and it's pretty much impossible to separate driver tendencies from car handling these days, we'd have to see Max in a range of different cars to understand him better.
 
The Senna technique of oscilating on the throttle is something entirely different, but I personally don't understand how it helped Senna in any way to begin with. Presumably so he could better feel how loose the car is? You would NOT want to do that in most cases, but very much the opposite of being as smooth and gentle and as progressive as possible getting on the throttle, to prevent unsettling the car and its weight distribution.

 

 

 

Does this not stem from the turbo era? I am not sure he still did this when they went atmo. In the turbo era it would make sense to try and reduce the turbo lag? Other than that apart from throttle blipping to match the revs for gear changes when we they still had manual boxes or the early days of the semi auto box. Either way he must have used way more fuel than Prost. 



#10 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 13:43

Does this not stem from the turbo era? I am not sure he still did this when they went atmo. In the turbo era it would make sense to try and reduce the turbo lag? Other than that apart from throttle blipping to match the revs for gear changes when we they still had manual boxes or the early days of the semi auto box. Either way he must have used way more fuel than Prost.


I swear I saw something recently that showed he did it before F1.

#11 Risil

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 13:57

You know when a great comedy film gets a sequel nobody asked for, and she sequel just ends up being the same jokes as the first and it isn’t funny at all?

 

Austin Powers 2, and it was funny
 



#12 Baddoer

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 14:03

No.



#13 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 14:20

I think what always annoyed me most about this is that “flich” isn’t even a word.

#14 BRG

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 14:21

Every F1 driver balances their car with brake and throttle.

Even the humblest of amateur rally drivers probably does more fancy footwork than the F1 boys.  Balancing foot brake and throttle in a front wheel drive rally car to control the understeer is an essential skill if you are not to have an early encounter with the scenery.  And it carries over to the all wheel drive cars too.  

 

No flichs were injured in the making of this post.



#15 gillesfan76

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 14:26

 

Discussions about driver technique are actually quite interesting, but really hard to have because differences in driver technique are subtle, very hard to tell from TV footage (literally impossible to untrained eyes) and there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation out there.
 
I believe I've read before that what Max does particularly specially well, is mostly braking early (!), but being able to predict and handle quite a lot of oversteer in order to get the car rotated and accelerating out of the corner earlier than usual. I can only imagine that he does this with impeccable smoothness, given the way he retains race pace for very long stints, hinting at an excellence at tyre preservation - he's actually more impressive in race pace than qualifying pace, which in modern F1 indicates tyre management hence smoothness. However a lot of it is car characteristics and it's pretty much impossible to separate driver tendencies from car handling these days, we'd have to see Max in a range of different cars to understand him better.
 
The Senna technique of oscilating on the throttle is something entirely different, but I personally don't understand how it helped Senna in any way to begin with. Presumably so he could better feel how loose the car is? You would NOT want to do that in most cases, but very much the opposite of being as smooth and gentle and as progressive as possible getting on the throttle, to prevent unsettling the car and its weight distribution.

 

 

While the OP is a pisstake, I find driving technique fascinating. I think the majority of F1 drivers are adaptable and can generally drive to what the car requires. The best drivers are most adaptable. However it’s also clear that each driver has characteristics they favour and they are going to get every last percentage, or at least the good ones will, if the car’s characteristics match their own strengths.

 

Max is an incredible driver, but he likes a grippy front end and when the car gives him that that’s when you see big differences to his team mates. Right now, he matches so well with the car that you don’t consider Checo has having even an outside chance of out pacing Max either qualifying or race. Yet in previous seasons Checo genuinely out paced him at times. Not consistently or often, but there was some threat when the rear of the car wasn’t as reactive. Max brakes early and settles the car which suits the ground effect cars perfectly because they are so sensitive to even small changes in ride height. Then he turns in smoothly applying a little throttle to counter the natural de-acceleration that occurs when speed is scrubbed off in turning. Doing this would cause most cars to push understeer but because he has the strong front end he likes, it grips while the venturi floor stays relatively flat and produces the downforce to balance the grip. Max’s driving technique effectively induces understeer while calming oversteer, at least oversteer caused by trail braking/de-acceleration. On the flip side, because he’s applying slight throttle early on, it takes very deft feel for and control of the throttle so it doesn’t step into oversteer and he’s very good at that.

 

Take that front end grip from him and he will of course adapt, but he won’t have the same advantage over another quick driver who prefers a characteristic where the car is more balanced or even slight understeer because that driver’s natural technique tucks in a lazy front while provoking a strong rear. As you said, it’s always interesting to see various drivers in a range of cars over their careers to see how they deal with it.



#16 Nathan

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 14:57

I like watching in cars a lot on F1TV, I don't hear it.  I also suspect the electric motor element can pulse this effect.



#17 Clatter

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 15:04

Do you think Max Verstappen has a unique throttle or talent regarding throttle applying. I used to remember Senna tapping on the throttle within corners, then Jacques Villeneuve was rumoured to call his technique Flich Throttle, but it was never proven. Schumacher balanced the car with break and throttle.

Max is very consistent in getting points even when it is not the best weekend for his car. Has he talked about his technique ever?


Senna used to blip the throttle to keep the turbo spinning, reducing the lag at low revs. This isn't required currently as the MGUH can keep the turbo spinning.

#18 STRFerrari4Ever

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 15:14

Do you think Joe "The hummer" Tanto used the flich throttle technique when he pulled off his coin pickup trick in the streets of Toronto?


Now I have to watch Driven for the first time in like 10 years, thanks.

#19 MissingApex

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 15:14

While the OP is a pisstake, I find driving technique fascinating. I think the majority of F1 drivers are adaptable and can generally drive to what the car requires. The best drivers are most adaptable. However it’s also clear that each driver has characteristics they favour and they are going to get every last percentage, or at least the good ones will, if the car’s characteristics match their own strengths.

Max is an incredible driver, but he likes a grippy front end and when the car gives him that that’s when you see big differences to his team mates. Right now, he matches so well with the car that you don’t consider Checo has having even an outside chance of out pacing Max either qualifying or race. Yet in previous seasons Checo genuinely out paced him at times. Not consistently or often, but there was some threat when the rear of the car wasn’t as reactive. Max brakes early and settles the car which suits the ground effect cars perfectly because they are so sensitive to even small changes in ride height. Then he turns in smoothly applying a little throttle to counter the natural de-acceleration that occurs when speed is scrubbed off in turning. Doing this would cause most cars to push understeer but because he has the strong front end he likes, it grips while the venturi floor stays relatively flat and produces the downforce to balance the grip. Max’s driving technique effectively induces understeer while calming oversteer, at least oversteer caused by trail braking/de-acceleration. On the flip side, because he’s applying slight throttle early on, it takes very deft feel for and control of the throttle so it doesn’t step into oversteer and he’s very good at that.

Take that front end grip from him and he will of course adapt, but he won’t have the same advantage over another quick driver who prefers a characteristic where the car is more balanced or even slight understeer because that driver’s natural technique tucks in a lazy front while provoking a strong rear. As you said, it’s always interesting to see various drivers in a range of cars over their careers to see how they deal with it.

I’ve only one thing to add to this outstanding post: In my opinion understeer is the great equalizer, it’s easier to drive to the limits of a car with understeer, which is why lesser drivers often can keep up with their quicker teammate in this situation.

To handle a pointy car (and oversteer), there is more skill involved. Also it’s easier (so I’ve heard) to make a car quicker by making it pointier or/and add oversteer.

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#20 Sterzo

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 15:37

I’ve only one thing to add to this outstanding post: In my opinion understeer is the great equalizer, it’s easier to drive to the limits of a car with understeer, which is why lesser drivers often can keep up with their quicker teammate in this situation.

Agree with this totally.

 



To handle a pointy car (and oversteer), there is more skill involved. Also it’s easier (so I’ve heard) to make a car quicker by making it pointier or/and add oversteer.

Presumably the engineers make it quicker by reducing the understeer to aim for neutral handling, so all four tyres are running at their maximum grip. But of course that means the poor old driver is more likely to accidentally induce oversteer - and complain about it.
 


 



#21 midgrid

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 15:41

I think what always annoyed me most about this is that “flich” isn’t even a word.


I always assumed it was Québécois dialect.

#22 pacificquay

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 15:50

Mark Hughes writes a lot about drivers techniques and he has good insight into it.



#23 prty

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 16:10

I’ve only one thing to add to this outstanding post: In my opinion understeer is the great equalizer, it’s easier to drive to the limits of a car with understeer, which is why lesser drivers often can keep up with their quicker teammate in this situation.

To handle a pointy car (and oversteer), there is more skill involved. Also it’s easier (so I’ve heard) to make a car quicker by making it pointier or/and add oversteer.


Not really, being able to make understeery cars rotate is also a skill that great drivers have.

#24 Dan333SP

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 16:13

Makes me remember this post which still makes my brain hurt- 

 

https://forums.autos...=flich throttle

 

This thread is an excuse to share this video at least, one of my favorites for showcasing what Senna was doing with the throttle mid-corner compared to his peers-

 



#25 gillesfan76

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 16:22

I’ve only one thing to add to this outstanding post: In my opinion understeer is the great equalizer, it’s easier to drive to the limits of a car with understeer, which is why lesser drivers often can keep up with their quicker teammate in this situation.

To handle a pointy car (and oversteer), there is more skill involved. Also it’s easier (so I’ve heard) to make a car quicker by making it pointier or/and add oversteer.

 

Thanks. I think it also depends how you drive a car with understeer and if you drive in a manner where you are limited by the understeer, for example brake in a straight line washing off speed, then start turning in and feeding in throttle progressively. The amount of speed you can carry into the corner and subsequently how much you can feed in throttle will be limited by the front end, and overwhelm that front and you get push understeer. But if you brake late and start turning in as you roll off the brakes i.e trail braking, then you get just the right amount of weight transfer onto the front and the understeer is magically gone and the rear is light, needing quick steering correction and balancing it to stop the rear from flicking around.

 

If you try trail braking technique on a car that has a lot of front end grip and less rear, you’re spinning off rather quickly. Hence Max’s technique that actually would otherwise induce push oversteer, works for how his car is.



#26 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 16:31

I’ve only one thing to add to this outstanding post: In my opinion understeer is the great equalizer, it’s easier to drive to the limits of a car with understeer, which is why lesser drivers often can keep up with their quicker teammate in this situation.

To handle a pointy car (and oversteer), there is more skill involved. Also it’s easier (so I’ve heard) to make a car quicker by making it pointier or/and add oversteer.

i think this is a bit oversimplified. Any car with strong unbalances will be slow. You do want the ability to turn, hence a touch of oversteer is going to be faster than understeer. But it is a fine balance.

 

it is a lot easier to add front end - you have a front wing that hits clean air. Every other aero part is a piece of a system and the more you want to add stuff to the rear the harder it is as that air passes a lot of areas on the car before that.



#27 William Hunt

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 16:44

Every F1 driver balances their car with brake and throttle.

Exactly, not just every F1 driver but every professional racing driver (and the better amateurs). It's called trail braking. But that is not the same as Senna's technique which was pounding the gas pedal on and off very frequently in cornering and even using the heel of his foot!

 

Jenson Button is / was a master with his footwork (pun intended, but no he never drove for Footwork Arrows). Button was probably the smoothest driver of all time, at least in the same league as Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Lauda or Prost (other smooth masters).

When you watch Button in the cockpit, it's almost like watching a grandmother drive on a Sunday drive to a park. There is hardly any movement on his steering wheel, not even when he is at the complete limit. That's because he does micro corrections with his feet on the pedals. It's absolutely brilliant. During a Goodwood race in classic touring cars (might have been this year even) they had placed a camera in his car that filmed his feet. Remarkable.

Normally even drivers considered in the very smooth category tend or tended to still do micro corrections on the steering wheel on the limit in corners. Button not and he already was like that in karting. In karting I remember a race in the rain 3 years ago when I saw Freddie Slater, another mega talent (remember his name: like Lindblad or Antonelli he is a future F1 star, top category talent wise).

Slater was leading the race which he won in heavy rain and he was hardly moving his steering wheel. He was so clearly faster but there was zero agressivenes in his driving in the rain, he took a bit different lines but he hardly moved his steering wheel. The other drivers were often making agressive corrections and moving their steering wheel a lot, some even frantically.
That day I knew: I've seen a future F1 driver here. And his name is Freddie Slater.

 

In karting you can easier spot standout talents, not only because the competition is so much more intense with often up to or sometimes over 100 competitor in the events of the FIA, IAME or WSK. But also because you can see their hands and feet , you can see their driving technique, that can be very very different from one driver to another one, because their hands and feet or not hidden by a bodywork or a cockpit. It's open in the air. Drivers tend to form their driving technique, the way they brake or use the pedals or the way they steer, in karting and they keep that style for the rest of their carreer unless they are given a car that forces them to change their technique (Albon mentioned he had to chance his technique several times in F1, because the car forced him too.).

 

The most versatile driver in F1 is surely Alonso. He changed his driving style several times in his career. That is not common at all and few are able to adapt so well (see Ricciardo at McLaren or Perez, a smooth driver like Button, at Red Bull).

 

Piastri is also a smooth style driver like Prost, Perez or Button. So I have serious doubts that Piastri would be competitive at Red Bull, unless he is able to completely change his style because the Red Bull requires driving with huge oversteer and a very very pointy front end with lots of weight transfer under braking. That typically is the oposite of what a smooth driver required and it is the reason why Perez is performing so badly currently (and last year as well).

 

Norris is more an adaptable driver so I'm surprised about media rumours that Red Bull has Piastri on their list for the long term. I'm very skeptical about that because if they get him they would need to change their design and development philosophy at Red Bull and make their car much more balanced instead of pointy and sensitive.

 

Arvid Lindblad seems the ideal prospect for Red Bull. He is championship material and he might be able to handle that oversteer. I think it's always going to be more difficult for a smooth style driver, like Perez has experienced, to adapt and change style to an oversteered car. In particular when you have been driving with this ultra smooth technique your whole F1 carreer. A rookie at least does not have to change his driving style from one F1 car to another so the adaption would be less I think. But beiing able to do what Max does, handling such extreme sensitivity in the corners, does require a very special talent. But Lindblad is the man for it imho, but still very young off course.

 

Sainz is also a smooth style driver so I wouldn't hire him nor Piastri at Red Bull instead of Perez. They would end up like Perez once their confidence starts to drop. I'm very sure about that.

 

People on this forum seem to think that Perez is or became a bad driver. He most certainly is not. You're watching a smooth driver, Perez is the smoothest in F1 followed by Piastri, in a car that is exactly the opposite of the car his driving technique requires to be competitive.

If I was the team boss in an F1 team and I could offer him a much more balanced car under braking, Perez would be very high on my shortlist (so would Piastri or Sainz). Perez also is a driver who is what I call a "tyre whisperer". But you need tyres that degrade even more as the current Pirelli tyres, the Pirelli compounds when Pirelli had just returned to F1 would have been ideal. He would be class of the field with such tyres in combination with a very well balanced car because he can last those tyres longer, he could stretch them further in the race just like Button was able to.

It's sad Perez doesn't realize himself that he should quit Red Bull. Not only because his confidence is clearly shattered, a psychologist is something I would take too now if I were him. But mostly because he is driving a car that forces him to fight it to stay in control. When he is trying his normal braking style the car snaps. It's almost undriveable for him.

 

Then you should realize: okay this is not a car for me and also not the team for me, since he is paired with one of the most talented drivers since the likes of Schumacher or Senna. So staying there means playing a second role in the background and driving a car that makes him look much worse as he really is.

So I don't get why he wanted to stay so much. Better to feel better and more confident in a car that suits you in a midfield team, then making yourself look bad in a top team. That's my 2 cents. I would have left if I was him. He now even has put himself at risk of getting fired mid season. And that is his own fault imho because he didn't make the decision to quit Red Bull himself, he has only himself to blame for that. Not the team because they will always develop and build a car that is ideal for their lead driver.

 

Right now I honestly really hope that Perez will get fired this summer. I've always been a great admirer of Perez beautiful driving style, just like I've been a big admirer of Button or Jackie Stewart (who raced before I was born, but there are video's out there) their driving style. 
I like spectacular drivers like Raikkönen in his McLaren days, Max Verstappen now or in the past Peterson or Villeneuve or Senna a lot too. But smooth is just so stylish because it seems like they do it with less effort (which is not true off course, every style requires effort).

 

Jackie Stewart, one of the great epic masters in smooth driving, used to say: when it looks slow (but smooth) it is fast and often faster. Not completely true actually but in a long race with tyre wear yes then it surely is faster.

But seeing Perez struggling so much, and this season even almost making a fool out of himself, is just too painful for me, as an admirer of him, to watch. So I'd rather see him quit F1 and do WEC or drive in a smaller team with a car that actually suits him and allows him to maximise his talent.

 

Perez performed miracle drives in the past, early in his career when he was at Sauber and almost won a race and later one at Force India. He is ruining his reputation in that car. He should have left Red Bull on his own terms. Now he probably will get fired and that does not look good on your cv. Sad, but Checo has himself to blame. If he had earlier decided to leave there would have been great interest in him from other teams. But when you get fired, that interest won't be that high anymore.


Edited by William Hunt, 10 July 2024 - 17:14.


#28 noikeee

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 17:27

Exactly, not just every F1 driver but every professional racing driver (and the better amateurs). It's called trail braking. 

 

Err trail braking, as per the name, refers to braking whilst turning. Obviously doesn't refer to the bit after that when you start going on the throttle....



#29 William Hunt

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 17:34

Err trail braking, as per the name, refers to braking whilst turning. Obviously doesn't refer to the bit after that when you start going on the throttle....

True but it's a transition between braking and throttling. Senna used the throttle all the time whilst cornering. What made Kimi special is that he was earlier on the throttle as anyone else on corner exit. Max is an early braker, he actually brakes in two phases and with less brake pressure and he tends to be earlier on the throttle as well. To be able to be earlier on the throttle and push the throttle significantly and earlier as your competitors, it is key to give your car more rotation in the corner and this is where Max is super gifted in, he used more oversteer to give the car more rotation so it is earlier pointed in the direction for the next straight. Kim was able to throttle whilst the car still had rotation, Max style is more rotation so it's quicker with 4 wheels straight on the exit.

Senna pushed the car more in oversteer in the corner to create more rotation with his throttle (Alesi had the same technique as Senna btw, he also blipped his throttle). Senna also used his throttle to search the grip in the corner and to drive as close to the limit without the car snapping.

 

I consider myself extremely lucky that as a child in the late '80s and early '90s, that I have witnessed Ayrton Senna driving at Spa Francorschamps at full speed. You could so clearly hear him blipping the throttle in corners, it was so noticeable. And when Alesi came in F1 he was the only other driver where I ever heard that too.

 

I remember in the early '90s, I think 1990, a year when I was watching the F1 cars go up the Raidillon. And I was listening who was lifting or not (nowadays they all can drive flat out up that hill but not in the old days at all). There were only three drivers I had not heard lifting and who stayed on the throttle driving up the Raidillon, those were Ayrton Senna, Jean Alesi and Bertrand Gachot. Off course Gachot, in 1990, was driving an extremely slow car with the Coloni so it might have been easier to do in such a slow monoposto. But I remember how he impressed me with not lifting.

 

Those who have watched, live with their own eyes and ears (so not on tv), Senna in F1 in the '80s or '90s...they know how special he was. You could see with your own eyes as a spectator how much he stood out above the others. He was in a league of his own. It was that special to see.


Edited by William Hunt, 10 July 2024 - 17:44.


#30 Maustinsj

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 19:46

I think what always annoyed me most about this is that “flich” isn’t even a word.

 

You clearly aren't privy to the special technique which we in the know comprehend fully  :p



#31 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 20:34

You clearly aren't privy to the special technique which we in the know comprehend fully  :p

I assume I’ll hear about it on Danica’s podcast soon.



#32 RekF1

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 21:47

Max is very consistent in getting points even when it is not the best weekend for his car. Has he talked about his technique ever?


He's made more mistakes since Miami than he did in the last two seasons combined. Admittedly it's still very few, but it does happen. He was ruffled in Austria after his slow stop and made two mistakes on his outlap. He damaged his floor in Miami and in tricky qualifying conditions at Silverstone.

I think that's pretty normal for someone who's been so dominant in recent times. I think the difference is that Mercedes were just edging (stop laughing) the field, whereas RedBull switched from dominatrix to gimp overnight.

That's possibly one of my finest analogies (apart from when I referred to Russel, Norris and Leclerc as Top Gun characters).

#33 pup

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 22:08

Max is very consistent in getting points even when it is not the best weekend for his car. Has he talked about his technique ever?

Yes, usually to the stewards.



#34 SeanValen

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 23:04

Discussions about driver technique are actually quite interesting, but really hard to have because differences in driver technique are subtle, very hard to tell from TV footage (literally impossible to untrained eyes) and there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation out there.

I believe I've read before that what Max does particularly specially well, is mostly braking early (!), but being able to predict and handle quite a lot of oversteer in order to get the car rotated and accelerating out of the corner earlier than usual. I can only imagine that he does this with impeccable smoothness, given the way he retains race pace for very long stints, hinting at an excellence at tyre preservation - he's actually more impressive in race pace than qualifying pace, which in modern F1 indicates tyre management hence smoothness. However a lot of it is car characteristics and it's pretty much impossible to separate driver tendencies from car handling these days, we'd have to see Max in a range of different cars to understand him better.

The Senna technique of oscilating on the throttle is something entirely different, but I personally don't understand how it helped Senna in any way to begin with. Presumably so he could better feel how loose the car is? You would NOT want to do that in most cases, but very much the opposite of being as smooth and gentle and as progressive as possible getting on the throttle, to prevent unsettling the car and its weight distribution.

Great write up. I guess with Senna, Schumacher used to say about Senna, that he was precise and I would agree. Even if someone moved a tire wall by a inch, he'll notice it. Kinda surreal just how fast he was at times. They just seem to know the limit as far as their understanding of the car. I kinda like not knowing, makes them keep that mythical god like status. These deep levels of concentration and attention to detail, and telemetry homework really is quite something, just how close to perfection Senna, Max, Fangio, Schuey and others got.Jim Clark mythical super god like cornering technique to. After millions of posts, those drives are endlessly fascinating

I think what always annoyed me most about this is that “flich” isn’t even a word.

Flich is kinda like a Lisa Gerard song, you want it to mean something, but it perhaps represents the unknown truth about a driver's style. A symbol to a word perhaps. The subjective truth. I came up with it 20 years ago. The mind works in mysterious ways just like a driving style. I was a different poster then.

Edited by SeanValen, 10 July 2024 - 23:58.


#35 KPower

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 00:15

The only driver I've seen on the grid today with a "unique" throttle trace is Leclerc as sometimes he tends to stay on the gas very slightly when most drivers are completely off the pedal. 

 

On the topic of current drivers with a smoother driving style, at least from onboards, Ocon is my pick. He drives very delicately. Rarely upsets the car or gets bent out of shape. 


Edited by KPower, 11 July 2024 - 00:17.


#36 RainyAfterlifeDaylight

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 01:14

Give him the sixth fastest car and all the throttle flich myth would be gone.

#37 midgrid

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 14:21

Jackie Stewart, one of the great epic masters in smooth driving, used to say: when it looks slow (but smooth) it is fast and often faster. Not completely true actually but in a long race with tyre wear yes then it surely is faster.

 

On the subject of smooth drivers, I recall reading an anecdote from a veteran journalist (perhaps it was Nigel Roebuck?) who described spectating a qualifying session out on a circuit, only viewing a particular corner.  He watched the various drivers and cars going through out-laps, fast laps, slow laps and in-laps.  Alain Prost spent the entire session apparently doing slow laps, but then the circuit commentator announced over the address system that he had just taken provisional pole position!



#38 gillesfan76

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 14:56

Exactly, not just every F1 driver but every professional racing driver (and the better amateurs). It's called trail braking. But that is not the same as Senna's technique which was pounding the gas pedal on and off very frequently in cornering and even using the heel of his foot!

 

Jenson Button is / was a master with his footwork (pun intended, but no he never drove for Footwork Arrows). Button was probably the smoothest driver of all time, at least in the same league as Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Lauda or Prost (other smooth masters).

When you watch Button in the cockpit, it's almost like watching a grandmother drive on a Sunday drive to a park. There is hardly any movement on his steering wheel, not even when he is at the complete limit. That's because he does micro corrections with his feet on the pedals. It's absolutely brilliant. During a Goodwood race in classic touring cars (might have been this year even) they had placed a camera in his car that filmed his feet. Remarkable.

Normally even drivers considered in the very smooth category tend or tended to still do micro corrections on the steering wheel on the limit in corners. Button not and he already was like that in karting. In karting I remember a race in the rain 3 years ago when I saw Freddie Slater, another mega talent (remember his name: like Lindblad or Antonelli he is a future F1 star, top category talent wise).

Slater was leading the race which he won in heavy rain and he was hardly moving his steering wheel. He was so clearly faster but there was zero agressivenes in his driving in the rain, he took a bit different lines but he hardly moved his steering wheel. The other drivers were often making agressive corrections and moving their steering wheel a lot, some even frantically.
That day I knew: I've seen a future F1 driver here. And his name is Freddie Slater.

 

In karting you can easier spot standout talents, not only because the competition is so much more intense with often up to or sometimes over 100 competitor in the events of the FIA, IAME or WSK. But also because you can see their hands and feet , you can see their driving technique, that can be very very different from one driver to another one, because their hands and feet or not hidden by a bodywork or a cockpit. It's open in the air. Drivers tend to form their driving technique, the way they brake or use the pedals or the way they steer, in karting and they keep that style for the rest of their carreer unless they are given a car that forces them to change their technique (Albon mentioned he had to chance his technique several times in F1, because the car forced him too.).

 

The most versatile driver in F1 is surely Alonso. He changed his driving style several times in his career. That is not common at all and few are able to adapt so well (see Ricciardo at McLaren or Perez, a smooth driver like Button, at Red Bull).

 

Piastri is also a smooth style driver like Prost, Perez or Button. So I have serious doubts that Piastri would be competitive at Red Bull, unless he is able to completely change his style because the Red Bull requires driving with huge oversteer and a very very pointy front end with lots of weight transfer under braking. That typically is the oposite of what a smooth driver required and it is the reason why Perez is performing so badly currently (and last year as well).

 

Norris is more an adaptable driver so I'm surprised about media rumours that Red Bull has Piastri on their list for the long term. I'm very skeptical about that because if they get him they would need to change their design and development philosophy at Red Bull and make their car much more balanced instead of pointy and sensitive.

 

Arvid Lindblad seems the ideal prospect for Red Bull. He is championship material and he might be able to handle that oversteer. I think it's always going to be more difficult for a smooth style driver, like Perez has experienced, to adapt and change style to an oversteered car. In particular when you have been driving with this ultra smooth technique your whole F1 carreer. A rookie at least does not have to change his driving style from one F1 car to another so the adaption would be less I think. But beiing able to do what Max does, handling such extreme sensitivity in the corners, does require a very special talent. But Lindblad is the man for it imho, but still very young off course.

 

Sainz is also a smooth style driver so I wouldn't hire him nor Piastri at Red Bull instead of Perez. They would end up like Perez once their confidence starts to drop. I'm very sure about that.

 

People on this forum seem to think that Perez is or became a bad driver. He most certainly is not. You're watching a smooth driver, Perez is the smoothest in F1 followed by Piastri, in a car that is exactly the opposite of the car his driving technique requires to be competitive.

If I was the team boss in an F1 team and I could offer him a much more balanced car under braking, Perez would be very high on my shortlist (so would Piastri or Sainz). Perez also is a driver who is what I call a "tyre whisperer". But you need tyres that degrade even more as the current Pirelli tyres, the Pirelli compounds when Pirelli had just returned to F1 would have been ideal. He would be class of the field with such tyres in combination with a very well balanced car because he can last those tyres longer, he could stretch them further in the race just like Button was able to.

It's sad Perez doesn't realize himself that he should quit Red Bull. Not only because his confidence is clearly shattered, a psychologist is something I would take too now if I were him. But mostly because he is driving a car that forces him to fight it to stay in control. When he is trying his normal braking style the car snaps. It's almost undriveable for him.

 

Then you should realize: okay this is not a car for me and also not the team for me, since he is paired with one of the most talented drivers since the likes of Schumacher or Senna. So staying there means playing a second role in the background and driving a car that makes him look much worse as he really is.

So I don't get why he wanted to stay so much. Better to feel better and more confident in a car that suits you in a midfield team, then making yourself look bad in a top team. That's my 2 cents. I would have left if I was him. He now even has put himself at risk of getting fired mid season. And that is his own fault imho because he didn't make the decision to quit Red Bull himself, he has only himself to blame for that. Not the team because they will always develop and build a car that is ideal for their lead driver.

 

Right now I honestly really hope that Perez will get fired this summer. I've always been a great admirer of Perez beautiful driving style, just like I've been a big admirer of Button or Jackie Stewart (who raced before I was born, but there are video's out there) their driving style. 
I like spectacular drivers like Raikkönen in his McLaren days, Max Verstappen now or in the past Peterson or Villeneuve or Senna a lot too. But smooth is just so stylish because it seems like they do it with less effort (which is not true off course, every style requires effort).

 

Jackie Stewart, one of the great epic masters in smooth driving, used to say: when it looks slow (but smooth) it is fast and often faster. Not completely true actually but in a long race with tyre wear yes then it surely is faster.

But seeing Perez struggling so much, and this season even almost making a fool out of himself, is just too painful for me, as an admirer of him, to watch. So I'd rather see him quit F1 and do WEC or drive in a smaller team with a car that actually suits him and allows him to maximise his talent.

 

Perez performed miracle drives in the past, early in his career when he was at Sauber and almost won a race and later one at Force India. He is ruining his reputation in that car. He should have left Red Bull on his own terms. Now he probably will get fired and that does not look good on your cv. Sad, but Checo has himself to blame. If he had earlier decided to leave there would have been great interest in him from other teams. But when you get fired, that interest won't be that high anymore.

 

I wonder how much of Perez’s tyre whispering is about actual tyre management which is the art of balancing pace with management to maximise race pace, or whether it’s simply driving slow so his tyres go longer. I don’t ever recall consistent standout race pace from Checo.



#39 F1matt

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 16:04

On the subject of smooth drivers, I recall reading an anecdote from a veteran journalist (perhaps it was Nigel Roebuck?) who described spectating a qualifying session out on a circuit, only viewing a particular corner.  He watched the various drivers and cars going through out-laps, fast laps, slow laps and in-laps.  Alain Prost spent the entire session apparently doing slow laps, but then the circuit commentator announced over the address system that he had just taken provisional pole position!

 

I think that was Steve Nicholls when he was at McLaren and not Nigel Roebuck though Roebuck may have told the story. Steve Nicholls was at Spa (I think) and he walked out to the track, someone like Mansell came past him wrestling the car, then Senna screamed past him, then Prost on what he thought was a 2nd warm up lap, when Prost came around again clearly slower than Senna and Mansell he presumed there was a problem with the car and headed back to the paddock, when he got to the pit he found out Prost was on pole.



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#40 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 16:12

I wonder how much of Perez’s tyre whispering is about actual tyre management which is the art of balancing pace with management to maximise race pace, or whether it’s simply driving slow so his tyres go longer. I don’t ever recall consistent standout race pace from Checo.

he had impressive stints in various races. Making those long stints work on Force India required good pace and tyre conservation. 

This guy almost won in a Sauber, pushing Fernando Alonso and had 2 other podiums in his Sauber times. He's won with a very strong pace in the RP in 2020. 

 

Looking at him struggling now is awful - I can't understand what has changed from early season (Japan where he was super close to Max) to now. Clearly balance is the only explanation.

 

Alex describes it perfectly here - in terms of both extreme driving style AND car progression where you start reasonably close but lose more and more confidence as the season goes on because the car just moves further and further more extreme. 



#41 PayasYouRace

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 16:26

I think that was Steve Nicholls when he was at McLaren and not Nigel Roebuck though Roebuck may have told the story. Steve Nicholls was at Spa (I think) and he walked out to the track, someone like Mansell came past him wrestling the car, then Senna screamed past him, then Prost on what he thought was a 2nd warm up lap, when Prost came around again clearly slower than Senna and Mansell he presumed there was a problem with the car and headed back to the paddock, when he got to the pit he found out Prost was on pole.

I think it was a common enough trope of the time. Alan Henry relayed a similar story.



#42 MissingApex

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 16:45

he had impressive stints in various races. Making those long stints work on Force India required good pace and tyre conservation.
This guy almost won in a Sauber, pushing Fernando Alonso and had 2 other podiums in his Sauber times. He's won with a very strong pace in the RP in 2020.

Looking at him struggling now is awful - I can't understand what has changed from early season (Japan where he was super close to Max) to now. Clearly balance is the only explanation.

Alex describes it perfectly here - in terms of both extreme driving style AND car progression where you start reasonably close but lose more and more confidence as the season goes on because the car just moves further and further more extreme. https://www.youtube....dEW_jHupA&t=28s

Alex probably describes exactly what is happening to Perez right now and will happen to most drivers on the grid, especially the ones that are mentally not that strong.

#43 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 17:50

Alex probably describes exactly what is happening to Perez right now and will happen to most drivers on the grid, especially the ones that are mentally not that strong.

yeap, and it's not unique. Alesi and Berger found the Benetton pretty much undriveable when they took over from Michael.

Jos was probably in a similar situation at Benetton



#44 Alan Lewis

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 20:23

I think it was a common enough trope of the time. Alan Henry relayed a similar story.


Indeed. Roebuck definitely did relate such a tale whilst watching with Jenks at Monaco one year. After Prost went through and the time was announced, DSJ said: "Well, where did that time come from?"

Edited by Alan Lewis, 11 July 2024 - 20:23.


#45 Beamer

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 20:31

I think he planks the gaspedal really all the way on the straights, then shifts back a gear, then floors it again. And in the corners he just dares to go quicker then anyone else. I heard they even want to use that in the upcoming F1 movie

#46 SeanValen

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Posted 12 July 2024 - 02:30

Exactly, not just every F1 driver but every professional racing driver (and the better amateurs). It's called trail braking. But that is not the same as Senna's technique which was pounding the gas pedal on and off very frequently in cornering and even using the heel of his foot!

Jenson Button is / was a master with his footwork (pun intended, but no he never drove for Footwork Arrows). Button was probably the smoothest driver of all time, at least in the same league as Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Lauda or Prost (other smooth masters).

When you watch Button in the cockpit, it's almost like watching a grandmother drive on a Sunday drive to a park. There is hardly any movement on his steering wheel, not even when he is at the complete limit. That's because he does micro corrections with his feet on the pedals. It's absolutely brilliant. During a Goodwood race in classic touring cars (might have been this year even) they had placed a camera in his car that filmed his feet. Remarkable.
Normally even drivers considered in the very smooth category tend or tended to still do micro corrections on the steering wheel on the limit in corners. Button not and he already was like that in karting. In karting I remember a race in the rain 3 years ago when I saw Freddie Slater, another mega talent (remember his name: like Lindblad or Antonelli he is a future F1 star, top category talent wise).
Slater was leading the race which he won in heavy rain and he was hardly moving his steering wheel. He was so clearly faster but there was zero agressivenes in his driving in the rain, he took a bit different lines but he hardly moved his steering wheel. The other drivers were often making agressive corrections and moving their steering wheel a lot, some even frantically.
That day I knew: I've seen a future F1 driver here. And his name is Freddie Slater.

In karting you can easier spot standout talents, not only because the competition is so much more intense with often up to or sometimes over 100 competitor in the events of the FIA, IAME or WSK. But also because you can see their hands and feet , you can see their driving technique, that can be very very different from one driver to another one, because their hands and feet or not hidden by a bodywork or a cockpit. It's open in the air. Drivers tend to form their driving technique, the way they brake or use the pedals or the way they steer, in karting and they keep that style for the rest of their carreer unless they are given a car that forces them to change their technique (Albon mentioned he had to chance his technique several times in F1, because the car forced him too.).

The most versatile driver in F1 is surely Alonso. He changed his driving style several times in his career. That is not common at all and few are able to adapt so well (see Ricciardo at McLaren or Perez, a smooth driver like Button, at Red Bull).

Piastri is also a smooth style driver like Prost, Perez or Button. So I have serious doubts that Piastri would be competitive at Red Bull, unless he is able to completely change his style because the Red Bull requires driving with huge oversteer and a very very pointy front end with lots of weight transfer under braking. That typically is the oposite of what a smooth driver required and it is the reason why Perez is performing so badly currently (and last year as well).

Norris is more an adaptable driver so I'm surprised about media rumours that Red Bull has Piastri on their list for the long term. I'm very skeptical about that because if they get him they would need to change their design and development philosophy at Red Bull and make their car much more balanced instead of pointy and sensitive.

Arvid Lindblad seems the ideal prospect for Red Bull. He is championship material and he might be able to handle that oversteer. I think it's always going to be more difficult for a smooth style driver, like Perez has experienced, to adapt and change style to an oversteered car. In particular when you have been driving with this ultra smooth technique your whole F1 carreer. A rookie at least does not have to change his driving style from one F1 car to another so the adaption would be less I think. But beiing able to do what Max does, handling such extreme sensitivity in the corners, does require a very special talent. But Lindblad is the man for it imho, but still very young off course.

Sainz is also a smooth style driver so I wouldn't hire him nor Piastri at Red Bull instead of Perez. They would end up like Perez once their confidence starts to drop. I'm very sure about that.

People on this forum seem to think that Perez is or became a bad driver. He most certainly is not. You're watching a smooth driver, Perez is the smoothest in F1 followed by Piastri, in a car that is exactly the opposite of the car his driving technique requires to be competitive.
If I was the team boss in an F1 team and I could offer him a much more balanced car under braking, Perez would be very high on my shortlist (so would Piastri or Sainz). Perez also is a driver who is what I call a "tyre whisperer". But you need tyres that degrade even more as the current Pirelli tyres, the Pirelli compounds when Pirelli had just returned to F1 would have been ideal. He would be class of the field with such tyres in combination with a very well balanced car because he can last those tyres longer, he could stretch them further in the race just like Button was able to.

It's sad Perez doesn't realize himself that he should quit Red Bull. Not only because his confidence is clearly shattered, a psychologist is something I would take too now if I were him. But mostly because he is driving a car that forces him to fight it to stay in control. When he is trying his normal braking style the car snaps. It's almost undriveable for him.

Then you should realize: okay this is not a car for me and also not the team for me, since he is paired with one of the most talented drivers since the likes of Schumacher or Senna. So staying there means playing a second role in the background and driving a car that makes him look much worse as he really is.
So I don't get why he wanted to stay so much. Better to feel better and more confident in a car that suits you in a midfield team, then making yourself look bad in a top team. That's my 2 cents. I would have left if I was him. He now even has put himself at risk of getting fired mid season. And that is his own fault imho because he didn't make the decision to quit Red Bull himself, he has only himself to blame for that. Not the team because they will always develop and build a car that is ideal for their lead driver.

Right now I honestly really hope that Perez will get fired this summer. I've always been a great admirer of Perez beautiful driving style, just like I've been a big admirer of Button or Jackie Stewart (who raced before I was born, but there are video's out there) their driving style.
I like spectacular drivers like Raikkönen in his McLaren days, Max Verstappen now or in the past Peterson or Villeneuve or Senna a lot too. But smooth is just so stylish because it seems like they do it with less effort (which is not true off course, every style requires effort).

Jackie Stewart, one of the great epic masters in smooth driving, used to say: when it looks slow (but smooth) it is fast and often faster. Not completely true actually but in a long race with tyre wear yes then it surely is faster.

But seeing Perez struggling so much, and this season even almost making a fool out of himself, is just too painful for me, as an admirer of him, to watch. So I'd rather see him quit F1 and do WEC or drive in a smaller team with a car that actually suits him and allows him to maximise his talent.

Perez performed miracle drives in the past, early in his career when he was at Sauber and almost won a race and later one at Force India. He is ruining his reputation in that car. He should have left Red Bull on his own terms. Now he probably will get fired and that does not look good on your cv. Sad, but Checo has himself to blame. If he had earlier decided to leave there would have been great interest in him from other teams. But when you get fired, that interest won't be that high anymore.

Excellent 👍 👍👍 reading.
Worthy mention of Button. I remember Spa 2000, where after the race Schumacher commented on Button's performance in the wet conditions as rookie, praise was there. Flash backwards, Senna and Berger were talking about Michael as a rookie in similar way. Time flies.

Edited by SeanValen, 12 July 2024 - 02:32.


#47 George Costanza

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Posted 12 July 2024 - 03:34

True but it's a transition between braking and throttling. Senna used the throttle all the time whilst cornering. What made Kimi special is that he was earlier on the throttle as anyone else on corner exit. Max is an early braker, he actually brakes in two phases and with less brake pressure and he tends to be earlier on the throttle as well. To be able to be earlier on the throttle and push the throttle significantly and earlier as your competitors, it is key to give your car more rotation in the corner and this is where Max is super gifted in, he used more oversteer to give the car more rotation so it is earlier pointed in the direction for the next straight. Kim was able to throttle whilst the car still had rotation, Max style is more rotation so it's quicker with 4 wheels straight on the exit.
Senna pushed the car more in oversteer in the corner to create more rotation with his throttle (Alesi had the same technique as Senna btw, he also blipped his throttle). Senna also used his throttle to search the grip in the corner and to drive as close to the limit without the car snapping.

I consider myself extremely lucky that as a child in the late '80s and early '90s, that I have witnessed Ayrton Senna driving at Spa Francorschamps at full speed. You could so clearly hear him blipping the throttle in corners, it was so noticeable. And when Alesi came in F1 he was the only other driver where I ever heard that too.

I remember in the early '90s, I think 1990, a year when I was watching the F1 cars go up the Raidillon. And I was listening who was lifting or not (nowadays they all can drive flat out up that hill but not in the old days at all). There were only three drivers I had not heard lifting and who stayed on the throttle driving up the Raidillon, those were Ayrton Senna, Jean Alesi and Bertrand Gachot. Off course Gachot, in 1990, was driving an extremely slow car with the Coloni so it might have been easier to do in such a slow monoposto. But I remember how he impressed me with not lifting.

Those who have watched, live with their own eyes and ears (so not on tv), Senna in F1 in the '80s or '90s...they know how special he was. You could see with your own eyes as a spectator how much he stood out above the others. He was in a league of his own. It was that special to see.

What do you make of Michael Schumacher's driving technique and style? And Mika Hakkinen?

Alesi was very fast and fun to watch but he lacked in other ways that make other people champions.

Edited by George Costanza, 12 July 2024 - 03:43.


#48 George Costanza

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Posted 12 July 2024 - 03:36

Jacques had a quite an aggressive style of driving whereas Damon Hill was much smoother.

#49 George Costanza

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Posted 12 July 2024 - 03:40

Discussions about driver technique are actually quite interesting, but really hard to have because differences in driver technique are subtle, very hard to tell from TV footage (literally impossible to untrained eyes) and there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation out there.

I believe I've read before that what Max does particularly specially well, is mostly braking early (!), but being able to predict and handle quite a lot of oversteer in order to get the car rotated and accelerating out of the corner earlier than usual. I can only imagine that he does this with impeccable smoothness, given the way he retains race pace for very long stints, hinting at an excellence at tyre preservation - he's actually more impressive in race pace than qualifying pace, which in modern F1 indicates tyre management hence smoothness. However a lot of it is car characteristics and it's pretty much impossible to separate driver tendencies from car handling these days, we'd have to see Max in a range of different cars to understand him better.

The Senna technique of oscilating on the throttle is something entirely different, but I personally don't understand how it helped Senna in any way to begin with. Presumably so he could better feel how loose the car is? You would NOT want to do that in most cases, but very much the opposite of being as smooth and gentle and as progressive as possible getting on the throttle, to prevent unsettling the car and its weight distribution.

Your last paragraph is explains why Ayrton was a genius when it came to pure speed. Alain Prost couldn't quite understand it either. I don't think anybody can do what Ayrton actually did with those cars. It was a very unique aspect and it certainly worked for him.

Edited by George Costanza, 12 July 2024 - 03:41.


#50 Stephane

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Posted 12 July 2024 - 06:48

Jacques had a quite an aggressive style of driving whereas Damon Hill was much smoother.

 

I remember Patrick Head saying Villeneuve wanted a throttle close to an on/off button, really short course of the pedal.