Throttle smashing - F1 style?

  • Thread starter Ian JB
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162
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Ian Bick
Hello.

Years ago I was told that some F1 drivers ( Senna in particular ) smashed the throttle on and off as fast as the foot would allow. This, apparently, allows for faster cornering. I decided to try it - Well blimey crikey - It seems to work. I have tried it with several cars and each one results in quicker lap times. Depending on the circuit, smashing the throttle on and off in a corner can improve a lap by as much as a second and some times more.

Would some one like to try and replicate this and report back - It could be my style of driving. It could be something!

Best regards.

Ian.
 
1,035
Iceland
Kópavogur, Iceland
Guffaluff
Interesting. Haven't heard of this technique before. Might try it next time I fire up.

I wonder how good this is for the pedals though :D
 
783
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The key to quick laptimes is getting the car to rotate in corners and getting on the power early.

To do this you need to be very aggressive on turn-in and smash the brake & throttle. Basically unsettle and rotate the car.

Easier said than done and it does help to have a wheel for all the corrections.
 
1,294
United States
Kansas City/MO/US
Xamot
BallPtPenTheif
Schumacher also applied a small amount of throttle when downshifting, and was a lot smoother in this type of input than Senna.

Here's some telemetry of Schumacher compared to Rubens Barrichello during a hairpin.

compare.jpg


https://world2talkabout.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/michael-schumacher-driving-analysis/

Here, Schumacher is apparently 15km faster on entry.

So yeah, either a constant low input of the throttle or a rapid feathering of it will probably squeeze more acceleration out of the turn. Using a controller, I don't think I can maintain a constant low throttle input while downshifting and braking into a turn, but feathering out the throttle to aim the car towards the exit is definitely doable.
 
3,915
Australia
Australia
Here's some telemetry of Schumacher compared to Rubens Barrichello during a hairpin.

compare.jpg


https://world2talkabout.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/michael-schumacher-driving-analysis/

Here, Schumacher is apparently 15km faster on entry.

So yeah, either a constant low input of the throttle or a rapid feathering of it will probably squeeze more acceleration out of the turn. Using a controller, I don't think I can maintain a constant low throttle input while downshifting and braking into a turn, but feathering out the throttle to aim the car towards the exit is definitely doable.

That's a great find.
 
1,294
United States
Kansas City/MO/US
Xamot
BallPtPenTheif
I've been using this throttle method for a little while now and the best way I can describe it is that you lightly jab the throttle after braking into a turn to even out the car and pivot it around the middle of the car. Then, as you ease off of the brake heading into the apex you gradually pulse the throttle at 20% through the apex feeling if the car is about to slip out. Then you gradually increase the pulses (30%, 50%, etc) until your car is lined up for the exit and you hold the throttle down.

Schumacher appears to be doing this by simply holding the throttle down at 15%, lifting off, and then punching it through the exit. I haven't tried that method yet though I have toyed with braking on a light throttle with turns like turn 1 on Brands and the final turn on Willow and it does seem to keep the car balanced.
 
1,294
United States
Kansas City/MO/US
Xamot
BallPtPenTheif
Wasnt barrichello one of the last right foot braker? That would explain the gaps and straight throttle line in this telemetry.

That's interesting, I didn't know that.

Barrichello's telemetry helps here because that second gap is clearly where he's coasting through the apex on the hairpin. It's interesting that at that same heavy blue line, that Schumacher is still feeding slight inputs to both the brake and throttle.
 

Scaff

Moderator
26,591
United Kingdom
He/Him
ScaffUK
ScaffGTP
Wasnt barrichello one of the last right foot braker? That would explain the gaps and straight throttle line in this telemetry.
Yep, he was a right foot braker, if you look at he graph is does actually say he was as well.
 
792
Canada
Canada
I watched a Senna video last week where he was driving an NSX and noticed he was pumping the gas a lot in corners. Thought it was really strange. Kind of like a new driver unsure if they're past the apex or not and second guessing the throttle input constantly.
 
146
Austria
Austria
RA-1784
That's interesting, I didn't know that.

Barrichello's telemetry helps here because that second gap is clearly where he's coasting through the apex on the hairpin. It's interesting that at that same heavy blue line, that Schumacher is still feeding slight inputs to both the brake and throttle.
Schumachers telemetry shows that he danced with the pedals, so with the car. He liked a really agressive oversteering setup, i guess so he could rave his cars best. Berger said after the first test for beneton with schumachers championship car of 1995, that this car is undrivable... berger prefered understeering cars.
 

Petroperu

(Banned)
360
Peru
Peru
I brake like Barrichello.
Never use the left foot for braking.
Though I apply a bit of brake in the beginning then more as I get to the turn, and then go dive in with little gas and I apply more as I am getting off the turn.
 

VXR

10,313
United Kingdom
Plymouth, UK
motorforum
This is an interesting topic for sure. It could be argued that this is one of the big reasons why Senna and Schumacher were the big stars in their respective era, despite having stiff competition from Prost and Hakkinen throughout their careers. The edginess of their chosen cornering style, dominated by their oversteer leaning chassis settings making them look a lot more exciting, more of a spectacle than their contemporaries.

I used to use this technique in my E36 as that had a neutral-to-understeer balance.
 
373
Australia
Australia
wmd351
I watched a Senna video last week where he was driving an NSX and noticed he was pumping the gas a lot in corners. Thought it was really strange. Kind of like a new driver unsure if they're past the apex or not and second guessing the throttle input constantly.
That vid blew my mind but I can't find it now.
Can someone please post a link, it was pretty amazing stuff.
 
373
Australia
Australia
wmd351
Actually the vid I saw was different, don't think it had the instrument telemetry and had a lot more of the footwork stuff. I think?
But yes, I also use a lot of R2 "mashing" on the DS4 to help me steer (rotate) the car mid corner.
I'm not sure if it's actually better, I've always thought is simply helped cover for my skill deficiency?
 
2,853
United States
Theresa, Wisconsin
Actually the vid I saw was different, don't think it had the instrument telemetry and had a lot more of the footwork stuff. I think?
But yes, I also use a lot of R2 "mashing" on the DS4 to help me steer (rotate) the car mid corner.
I'm not sure if it's actually better, I've always thought is simply helped cover for my skill deficiency?

But does this only work well with a DS4? Let's not forget the "magic" PD adds to the DS4 to make it easy for pad racers to compete with wheel racers.
 
1,294
United States
Kansas City/MO/US
Xamot
BallPtPenTheif
But does this only work well with a DS4? Let's not forget the "magic" PD adds to the DS4 to make it easy for pad racers to compete with wheel racers.

If there is any magic in play it would be a general smoothing of the input to prevent the weight from shifting too drastically back and forth. That smoothness can be achieved manually so it's tough to say if the game is doing anything to make it easier on controller versus the wheel.

On the article I posted early it mentioned that this driving style worked against Schumacher when tire management became a huge aspect of F1 racing as this driving style rapidly erodes the tire. Additionally, modern driving aids may have made this driving technique unnecessary by then as computers began to modulate and regulate driver inputs.

So this might be a dated driving tactic that only helps us in races where tire wear is not a concern.
 
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2,605
Wales
Newport
NFSCARBON1
I'm pretty certain that Jackie Stewart once said 'don't get on the power until you know you won't have to take it back off again".
I think for most cars that's true, but for cars set up the way Senna and Schumacher's were its obviously a slower method (albeit better on tyre wear). I can't see it working on any FWD car though.
 
146
Austria
Austria
RA-1784
As interesting this topic is, i think this is too car/motor specific and we can not simply use this in sim racing 1:1. For sure not in GTS, correct me if im wrong. I just think a video game cant simulate various behaviours at the limit of a car that not even real life drivers can explain exactly. I guess this is a bit of magic in motorsport.
 
88
Estonia
Estonia
I used to do this technique before, as I saw Senna using it a lot and then also some guy GTS. IMO, this technique works best mainly for some of the older road cars. As for the newer road cars and Gr3, Gr4 etc I think more of a "precise" throttle works better, if you know what I mean. But then again, I could try using it again and this time I'll use it maybe even better..

I actually think that it could be quite helpful in Daily race B with that Evo on nurburgring.
 
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476
United States
United States
dabz343
Throttle inputs, what must one do?

Let's be clear here though,... it's not just the technic of your right foot...or your left foot, rather how both are in concert with your hands that rewards you with speed...and then there is the vision...the focus...the tenacity...

If you are looking for that next level, try every technique and learn from the telemetry from our legends. However, you can never expect someone else's method to take you to the top - you have to imagine and engineer your own. Review the vid(s) of Senna, and mimic the timing of his feet with his hands...that's the dance you're looking to find...Colin McRae had his, Walter Rörhl had his, now TRY to find yours...

One to the clues for GTS is to comprehend your car's chassis. Know the subtle differences between an FR package vs an MR package. There are rudimentary physics involved here and if you want to be competitive, it would suit you in the long term to become fluent in vehicle dynamics, as interpreted by PD.

My personal suggestion to find speed in GTS? Command a driving style that utilizes the shifting load at which your particular car feels consistently grippy. The best guys know how to find this. Whatever car/scenario/specs you introduce, the elite knows how to adapt and capitalize.

Motorsport at the highest levels demands creativity and imagination. If you're not firing up GTS every morning and saying to yourself, "What am I doing today to go faster?", then you might as well be just a passenger.

BTW,...the pedal to the left is even more important!
 
620
United Kingdom
Northern Ireland
GTRP_mirial
Hello.

Years ago I was told that some F1 drivers ( Senna in particular ) smashed the throttle on and off as fast as the foot would allow. This, apparently, allows for faster cornering. I decided to try it - Well blimey crikey - It seems to work. I have tried it with several cars and each one results in quicker lap times. Depending on the circuit, smashing the throttle on and off in a corner can improve a lap by as much as a second and some times more.

Would some one like to try and replicate this and report back - It could be my style of driving. It could be something!

Best regards.

Ian.

From what pundits have said, he used to blip the throttle mid-corner, rather than smash the throttle as a way to get round the inherent mid-corner understeer that came about from the development of the stiffer side-walled radial tyres in the early 80s which replaced the cross-ply tyres from the 70s.

I believe Schumacher got round this problem by running the front very stiff (or with lots of pre-load), which you can do in a single seater, kart or similar because these cars are far less limited by mid corner grip, so that the front end has much more grip (and that of your competitors too) whilst the car is rotating on entry. By the time the car reaches mid corner, it is already on a trajectory to reapply the throttle. Schumacher was the only one of his generation who could drive like that, others who tried would spin.

I even think Senna would have had difficulty driving Schumacher's cars because Schumacher had slightly better car control; watch any footage of the back coming out and Schumacher's cars break away more quickly, but with slightly less tyre scrub, much like Gilles Villeneuve.