Drivers vs. Car

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Well its not all car alone, (as we've seen with Webber so far) but I would think that Hamilton would have won most of if not all of the 5 races so far this season if he had been in the Red Bull.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Ha!

DC only thinks its 80% of the car in the case of some drivers. For others he seems to think its 100% the car. I wonder what recent comment I am referring to. Oh and answer to the OP - Yes I think Hamilton would have done equally, if not better, if you reversed the positions of him and Vettel
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Didn't EJ suggest the driver input was even less than DC's 20% at the last race? Although with all the buttons and knobs to push, pull and twist whilst barreling toward a corner at 180mph I'd like to think that the 20% had increased. That said, Brundle described the throttle as a "request from the driver for power" in the build up to Spain which does make you wonder quite what the driver and the throttle pedal have to do with one another these days.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
The race in Barcelona actually stated quite categorically that the car is the star. However Lewis blew that into the weeds with a heroic drive and relentless pressuring of a far superior car with an inferior one.

Whilst it could be argued that the McLaren is a match for the Red Bull in race conditions, we all know that is simply not true. The Red Bull is glued to the road in fast turns and out performed the McLaren by 15KPH through turn three. There is no way that the McLaren can make up that deficit in downforce, only a driver with exceptional ability and determination can bridge that gap.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
It would seem that it is the driver who helps to pull in the punters and the pundits would suggest that the drivers are, if not superfluous, are only an adjunct to the technology.

With every passing regulation, I am still in awe of the drivers. Doesn't mean I dismiss all the guys behind the design and innovation - they do a sterling job - but if the driver doesn't understand/can't hit the right button, all of the engineers work is lost.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Didn't EJ suggest the driver input was even less than DC's 20% at the last race? Although with all the buttons and knobs to push, pull and twist whilst barreling toward a corner at 180mph I'd like to think that the 20% had increased. That said, Brundle described the throttle as a "request from the driver for power" in the build up to Spain which does make you wonder quite what the driver and the throttle pedal have to do with one another these days.

About the same as that as an aircraft pilot. I imagine they also make "a power request" ;)
 

snowy

Champion Elect
jenov2003 said:
It would be nice if there could be a consensus on importance to the sport

Nice but not necessary. And besides consensus is the mother of monotony.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
It occurs to me that if a drivers input was zero and just supposing an engineer, having started the car then pressed the button to release the clutch the car would either stall or would move off and continue in a straight line until meeting with an obstruction in its path and then stop. In fact, as proven by the little bloke on Top Gear, in a Renault F1 car the input of a small chap was insufficient on several attempts to make an F1 car move forward upon dumping the clutch. I venture to suggest that measuring driver vs car in percentage terms is thus somewhat futile since the drivers very presence determines what the car will do next.:thinking:
 

Porceliamone

This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal.
Contributor
The whole driver/car % thing irks me to an extent. Let's be realistic folks...neither you or I, or 99.9% of people could even come remotely close to matching these guys in F1 (even if we had years of training, as most of them have).

Yes, having a car under you that has an obvious performance advantage will always give you an edge but for me the drivers that shine; those who garner the most respect from me somehow squeeze so much out of a car that is inferior to the one in front, however marginally so, that you leave yourself scratching your head as to how they did it.

That's pure, unadulterated TALENT. They drive the car to places that it shouldn't be in. This season so far 'that' driver is Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. I could be saying the same if SV's arse was sat in a McLaren or Ferrari every other weekend. But it's not, so I can't.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
I have to say I think Hamilton would have at least equalled Vettel's 4 wins if he were in the RB7 and I doubt if Vettel would have chalked up a single victory like Hamilton did in China. However I think a driver's importance is more like 30%, with Vettel on 118 point and Webber on 67 points the table is very telling of how good Sebastian has been this season and how poor Webber has been, although he has been unluckier than Vettel on the KERS side (Spain aside). One would also have to look at the contrasting performance of the Ferrari drivers with Alonso have over double (51 points) Massa's tally (24 points). Clearly (to me at least) having the car doesn't guarantee success.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I should also add that the question of "is it the car or the driver" is one that has been asked of motor racing, in all it's forms, ever since man has raced a car. As technology increased the input of the driver has been questioned more and more but it's nearly always the fastest driver in the fastest car who wins and at the moment it's Sebastien Vettel and the Red Bull. Personally, I think if Vettel and Hamilton were to swap seats it would be closer than we think.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
When I was a lad there was a program on T'utVee called Superstars and it were right popular! It pitted athletes from all sorts of different sports in a kind of decathlon and regularly racing drivers came out on top or at least do exceptionally well. The reason being is that many work incredibly hard to be as fit as possible.

The fittest most agile driver has the same advantages as the fittest pole vaulter over his less fit rivals. And then there are the many finite skills, feeling where the bite of the clutch is, predicting the level of grip in a damp turn. It is endless the amount of difference a driver can make to even a contemporary computer generated car.
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
In my lifetime I've only really seen 4 drivers who ccould consistantly drive the car absolutely on the limit, they are Senna, Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton. You can tell when they're doing t as the car looks like it's dancing, for want of a better word.

Vettel is a possible, but I'd like to see him in another team or in a Red Bull that isn't quite up to scratch.

So in answer to you question, the driver could only be 1% of the overall package, but that actual measurable time that the 1% is over a lap is different for each driver...
 
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