Friday, April 11, 2008

Lewis Hamilton? (Instalment 2)

Lewis Hamilton's style is to keep the car pointing straight for as long as possible in preparation for a corner. The advantage of this style is that Lewis has a more obedient car, when he eventually turns-in, that will respond to his steering inputs in a controlled manner without overloading the outer wheels. By having the car straight, he has the dynamic weight of the car more evenly spread out between the inner and outer tyres. One obvious advantage of this technique is that he has a larger contact patch from the four tyres that he can use for braking with maximum force without fear of locking up - that is so easy to do at the turn-in.

Another very unique thing that you notice about Lewis' style is his steering input. It's not so much about the point of his initial steering input as it is about the rate of input. He just ever-so-slightly squeezes his 'wheel into the corner, takes some amount of positive lock out of it, almost immediately again gives the positive lock back again. All these happen between Lewis preparing his car for the turn-in and the point when he hits and crosses the apex of the corner. Why is Lewis doing that? Again, he always thinks in straight lines. He wants to make sure he has a perfectly dynamically balanced car at all the points of a corner.

Follow this link to read Lewis Hamilton? (Instalment 1).

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