Friday, April 11, 2008

Why Slower is Faster

To go faster, go slower. Seems a bit odd, doesn't it? Sure, it does. But, most of the time in Formula 1, when drivers try to keep raising their pace lap after lap, they make a lot of mistakes that ironically spoil their lap times. There's only so much that one  can extract from a car. If you've to brake 80 metres before, for a corner, you've got to brake 80 metres before. If you've to nail the throttle only after kissing the apex, you've got to nail the throttle only after kissing the apex. Then how do you increase your pace? You might ask. You increase the pace not by braking at 70 metres before the apex (in contrast to 80). You increase the pace not by dabbing the throttle before the apex. You increase the pace by braking at the 80 metre mark, exactly, millimetre perfectly, lap after lap. You increase the pace by nailing the throttle at the apex.

May be, 80 metres can come down to 79 metres in those laps when you have found a great rhytm in your lap and the tyres have gelled in perfectly and you're dancing with the car.

Those laps will (mostly) be your fastest laps.

And those who do have the habit of nailing such laps, lap after lap, throughout a race are far and few between.

And one such far-and-few-between driver is Kimi Raikkonen.

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