How DO they do it?


Having read some really informative comments over the last couple of days, ending with a recent thread about 'rookie' drivers and their struggle up the ladder to acquire a better drive, I got to wondering about their individual car sets-up (set-ups? - whatever :))

If the two drivers in a team were to swap cars (without being changed), presumably their performances would go downhill. So how and when do the up and coming drivers learn their craft? How do they figure out what works for them? How do they know what is needed to give them an 'edge'? How do they know whether , say, LH's set up would be better for them than JB's or FA's? And presumably a Ferrari is vastly different from a Red Bull to start with.

Can't be ALL trial and error surely.
In karts from the age of eight.Junior racing series until they reach F1.
My nine year old son who races karts can explain and tell us what changes are needed to improve handling.
Not really.Its several years and thousand kilometres of racing (not testing) in junior series where they learn their craft
It's often said that the best drivers can adapt to a car that has its shortcomings, while the middling ones need the car to be adapted around their shortcomings.

I think sportsman could probably speak to the level of truth in that statement. Over to you sir.
Eddie Irvine always thought he was better at car development than Schummi.His reasoning was that Schummi was that good he could drive around the car's problems.
Thanks for nothing Keke.
OK Yes in principle the statement is perfectly true. The best drivers if results are the defining factor will always make the most out of what they have got.They will adapt their driving styles to compensate for the cars characteristics and ultimately get the most performance from it.
Other drivers, even those who are extremely competitive if the car is adapted to suit them perfectly can only struggle badly with a car that does not suit their particular preferences.

In my own personal experience I spent five years racing in the VW Golf series with a good friend who raced the same car.
We were not a team as such but to save money we shared the same workshop and transporter and used the same tuning engineer.To all intents and purposes the cars were as identical as they could be.Same blueprinted engines, same exhaust systems in short identical twins.Except for set up.Our driving styles were completely different and in fact he was better than me, except in the wet.But he could still beat me in my car using my set up where I could not get anywhere near him in his car.
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