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RE: What does it take to be an F1 driver (Jayway?)

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#1 Cinquecento

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Posted 09 March 2000 - 03:27

OK so months ago someone, maybe it was Jayway opened a thread about what it takes to be an F1 driver. I promised to look up a psychological research that was made on GP racers. The man of my words that I am, here are some of the results. These I dug up from a Finnish book ’1982 Formulan vuosikerta´ - a round up of the 1982 season.

The research was conducted by Berenice Krikler – a British psychologist. S/he tested five top F1 racers, two of whom were WCs. According to the research results the tested drivers’ IQs were significantly above average, but perhaps contrary what you might think, in normal circumstances their motoric reactions / responses were not different from the control group (consisting of non-drivers). However, when the racers were provided with motive (reward?) to react quickly, their reaction times dropped well below the average set by the control group. They excelled especially in reacting with their feet. Also, their concentration skills were excellent, easily on par with a second control group (consisting of university students whose IQs were higher than the racers’). Also, in resting state their mental processing (?) was slower than average, but become extremely quick under stress (most people tick the exact opposite way).

They were serene, attentive, patient, tenacious, and very realistic about the goals they set for themselves. They felt somewhat free from ordinary life and got a lot of refreshment and strength out of driving – this to a degree that Krikler thought letting go of their career would be harder for them than to any other professional of any given profession.

The fascination of racing for racing drivers comes from the pleasure of controlling a brutal force and a brilliantly finished vehicle, accompanied with the high stakes involved – fame, fortune and – life and death.


#2 Keith Steele

Keith Steele
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Posted 09 March 2000 - 05:06

Interesting, did the study say which five were tested?

#3 Cinquecento

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Posted 09 March 2000 - 14:47

I'm afraid it didn't, Keith. I believe it
was conducted sometime in the seventies, but
don't quote me on that.

#4 JayWay

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Posted 09 March 2000 - 14:59

I actually don't remember posting that, although I don't remember alot of things..including my password (god bless the cookie option) but I thank you for bringing that to our attention, and also for writing a thread which includes my name in the topic title..This is definatly a proud day for me.