Lewis In Malaysia

It was really nice to see Lewis driving as he did in Sepang. His charge from the middle of the pack showed to me that he is not intimidated by his hugely complex and powerful machinery. The way he hustled his McLaren on to the kerbs, opposite locking it, out braking and then recovering to get the car going was all a treat to watch. It’s really something special to see such an young man having total control of his car at those speeds.

I could very often see Lewis giving a tinge of opposite lock to the steering wheel when he was hard on the power with his outside rear wheel on the kerb. It was purely on the limit correction and driving and was really fascinating to watch. It was so much on the edge that even a split second of missed corrective action would have spun him around leaving him beached.

I think having traction control around would’ve been an injustice to the likes of Lewis or Kimi who have stunning levels of car control. Car control is not just about bringing your car home safely without making any mistakes. Many other drivers on the grid can do that. It’s about taking your car beyond its limits and then stepping back to exactly on the limit when it bites back. And doing this for the whole race distance. That’s what differentiates a champion driver from a good driver. In the process, you will have extracted a lap time that the car simply doesn’t deserve and at the same time would’ve provide a spectacle to the spectators.

A little bit more technical brief on why Lewis did so many opposite locks in Malaysia on the kerbs:

The kerbs have lesser grip levels than the tarmac. Also, the outside rear wheel, which is accelerating on the kerb, will have extra burden in the form of the car’s weight in addition to the accelerating force. Naturally, the tyre will tend to slide away as a reaction to these two loads. One effective corrective action that can be given by the driver is to take some of the car’s weight away from that tyre. This is done by turning the steering wheel in a direction opposite to that of what is required to negotiate the corner and this is what we call as the opposite lock. When this is done, the weight starts transferring to the inside wheels and the car starts to get stabilised. This prevents the car from spinning.


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6 Responses to Lewis In Malaysia

  1. chandru says:

    as u know, my knowledge is F1 is ur knowledge in cricket…(avasiyam etha sollanuma)… coming to the point, technology plays a vital role in F1 and how do(mention the skills) you classify a driver as best, good and mediocre?

    Also, rank the following drivers(I know Schumi would be at the top!!!)based on their skill level(not hard work and other stuff)

    Schumi, ALonso, Kimi, Massa, Lewis

  2. Sriram says:

    No hard and fast rule for classifying a driver. One of the obvious ways is by weighing his results. The other more difficult way can be done by people who understand the technical side of F1. Those people will comment on a driver based on his driving technique and based on his consistency. The other way is by comparing the driver’s car with himself–we’ve to analyse if the car is actually capable of getting a lap time that the driver managed to get. That is, if the car, for example is in Force India’s level and a driver manages to score points with it, then we say that the driver is brilliant. On the other hand, if a driver drives to score points with a Ferrari (with Ferraris, any driver is supposed to fight for podiums or wins), then we say he is a (bahuth) bad driver.
    The ranking part is the most difficult part. I can rank them easily but I’m not sure I can disallow my favouritisim to the drivers. Anyway, I’ll try my best: Here’s the ranking: Schumi and Lewis, Kimi, Alonso and then Massa. There’s not too much difference between Schumi and Kimi interms of their raw pace. Just a bit. However, that’s the ranking.

  3. chandru says:

    okieeee… if possible temme the reasons behind the ranking

  4. Sriram says:

    You’ve to understand that it’s based on the perception. This is based on the knowledge I’ve gained from the past few years of F1 watching. There’s no unit for measuring this.

  5. Js says:

    For me it would be Shumi,Kimi,Lewis,Alone and Massa is not in my ranking system

  6. Js says:

    But i like to Say that Shumi,Kimi,Lewis scores equal points in my ranking.I arranged them according to their race wins,although we must admit that all three of them are from different era.So practically we cannot rank them as you asked Chandru.They all have their own way of driving.

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