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Good simdriver's abilities

Discussion in 'rFactor 2' started by Slawomir Judek, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Slawomir Judek

    Slawomir Judek

    Hi everyone. I would like to present my thoughst about good simdriver's abilities. I decided to put it here and in Assetto Corsa section because these two games will be, sooner or later, main racing simulators. Besides, I would like to invite you to read and follow my blog www.realsimdriver.blogspot.com. My twitter account is @realsimdriver.

    Which abilities make a simdriver a good one?

    A good driver should have a couple of abilities which together create an all-round portrayal of him. Of course, it's impossilbe to master of all them perfectly because there is always one or couple of things which is/are worse than others. I divided these abilities into: track abilities and traits of character.

    Track abilities

    In this group I put the following abilities:
    1. Altering the racing line - we alter the racing line mostly in two cases: when battling with another car(s) on the track and during wet conditions.
    2. Anticipation in the battle - I think it's self-explanatory. You should predict what can happen if you do one thing or another. This ability also helps take correct decissions while battling (inside or outside line if we approach curvy (with two or more) turns which happen one after the other.
    3. Behaviour during lone racing - often happens that during (almost) the whole race nothing interesting really happens to the drive. Then our concentration goes lower and thus we are more susceptible to make an unnecessary mistake. In such a situation the engineer comes in handy. He should sustain the driver's concentration by talking to him but only about vital things related to the race or to the strategy.
    4. Behaviour in traffic - I'm pretty sure it's self-explanatory. The driver has to know what he should and shouldn't do in traffic. Often when in a battle there is 3 or more cars involved, lack of responsibility caused by lack of g-forces, adrenaline and other factors which appear in real life, occurs and we have a "beautiful" (read pathetic) accident. Without a doubt this ability is directly related with patience, anticipation and coolness.
    5. Consistency in lap times - also very important ability for a driver. It helps in making correct decisions in setuping the car. During races it facilitate engineer's work, for example helps make a proper decision in the strategy (e.g. predict approximate time for pitting etc.).
    6. Control over own performance - it's an ability to control the speed on the track. Sometimes, especially when tyres are very important, altering the driving style and thus tyres' degradation is very important.
    7. Forwarding info to engineers - the more you can tell you engineers about the car the better and more efficient the work on setuping the car.
    8. Peripheral vision - very important in both real racing and simracing. This is the ability to notice things which appear beyond the place we are currently looking at. When an accident happened in front of you and you are in the middle of the turn, this ability helps you to figure out the correct path in order to avoid the accident. Very difficult to master in simracing. Often drivers (I also have this problem), when an accident or something unusual happened in front of them, have a tendency to focus on the object of the accident thus they usually lose the apex or spin the car, i.e. lose time.
    9. Racing knowledge - this is knowledge which includes all the stuff related to how to drive fast, safely, etc. It comes with practise, experience and, of course, depends on a driver's attitude and character.
    10. Setuping knowledge - it's good when a driver and an engineer have the same or at least approximate knowledge about setuping the car. In real racing there are teams and bunch of engineers around one driver. In simracing though, similar knowledge increases efficiency of the process of setuping the car.
    I'm sure that's not all a good simdriver should have but it's a comprehensive range of abilities which, trained, can improve the value of the simdriver.

    Traits of character

    This group consists of:
    1. Cleverness - sometimes all your knowledge you possessed isn't enough to overtake your opponent. Then you should be cleverer (more clever) and try to overtake him in a different but still safe way.
    2. Concentration - very important in long and endurance races. It's not that easy to be concentrated when you are physically tired. Low level of concentration "helps" you doing mistakes on the track.
    3. Coolness - self-explanatory. It's the ability to stay calm under heavy psychological conditions (e.g. during a start, in a battle, after being overtaken, with non favourable conditions on the track).
    4. Determination - another self-explanatory trait. You want to achive medals, cups and other good stuff :), you must be determined and work hard for your success, even in simracing.
    5. Patience - sometimes is a key to win races, especially these long or endurance but first and foremost patience is crucial when battling with other car(s). In my opinion, lack of this trait is the worst problem among simdrivers and simracers. Of course due to lack of g-forces, adrenaline, that is a claim that it's only a game so even if I do something stupid, which in real life could cause serious damages to the car, injury or in the worst case, even death of the driver, I don't really penalized for what I did. In my opinion, and I belong to this very small group of simdrivers who prefer 100% or more simulation, this is the biggest issue in all the simracing games.
    6. Precision - it's all about being precise on the track, that is drive exactly there where we want to drive.
    7. Self-confidence - if you want to be the best your self-confidence must be high.
    8. Smoothness - very important especially when the tyres degradation is fast or they are very vulnerable by driver's inputs.
    9. Thoughtfulness - very similar to patience. All your moves should be deliberate, especially in a battle. Another trait which isn't popular among simdrivers and simracers.
    That's all the abilities and traits I consider the most important for a simdriver. What are your ideas about what makes a simdriver a good one? I invite you to comment and discuss it.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Miroslav Davidovic

    Miroslav Davidovic

    Very nice post!

    You have the most things covered here.
    I have a few things to add.
    In our last RDRWS league race I was second and Jimmy won the race.
    He was very fast and he got faster and faster during the race. I didn't knew how he could manage that as I thought I was driving on the limit and the tires were gone half through the race so I took a look at the replay.

    Jimmy was able to adopt to the given circumstanses much better than anyone else.
    The track got much grippier during the race with the amount of the ruber but I couldn't recognise that as the tires were gone and I did't have the feeling that I can push all the time but it was deffo possible.
    Also our Palm Beach race was in continuous changing track circumstances.
    At the start the track was wet but the sun was shining and then the racing line was drying and mid race we got some heavy raing again.

    The ability to adopt to the given track and weather circumstances is pretty important and can decide races. It's nearly impossible to practice that much to check all posibilities you can have (low fuel, high fuel, all the different tire compounds, different rubber amount on track, diff temps and wind and and and....)

    One thing I want to add is also when racing in a CC given to the current raceposition it's always important to make clever desisions in regards to your points in the CC.
    Sometimes you have to be agresive fight to win the position but sometimes it's also very clever to just defend the position and bring the points home.

    I would add all these to the CLEVERNESS point.

    That's all from my side. :)
  3. Ian Franssen

    Ian Franssen

    Great piece:)
    I think you can add the tactical thinking, especially with the tyremanagement and the ability to adapt your driving style for your tyremanagement, and adapting driving style for changing conditions and situations.
    Are you gonna be aggressive in driving and burn your tyres real fast? are you gonna be less agressive and a little bit slower, but you can last more laps with it, and don't have to make a pitstop? If your opponent is going for another pitstop strategy, should you adapt to it? how much can I ask from the tyres to last to the end. How are you gonna be in racefights defending with locking your wheels at all cost, or are you gonna let them pass and catch them later in the race in sacke of tyre management? etc..

    This is more noticable with the marussia's and long races like 40 minutes or more.
  4. Slawomir Judek

    Slawomir Judek

    I think Ian that point 6 (Control over your own performance) is what you were talking about. I agree, tactics is very important. However, it should be the engineer's duty to find a good strategy to the driver. Driver should only focus on driving.
  5. Ian Franssen

    Ian Franssen

    True it is part of point 6. I have to be my own engineer:) , but I guess at top level simracing they probably have other people for it.
  6. Matt Horst

    Matt Horst

    I would add "driving within your own abilities"It's probably the single hardest thing i have had to learn how to do since i started simracing more regularly and seriously about a year ago.Any real race car driver wants to win,and the desire to do so can lead to driving outside your skill level.It's the hardest thing in the world for a very competitive driver to back of and let a faster driver go because he/she is pushing the limits beyond there abilities to keep pace.Every drivers first goal should be to finish the race.Drive the car like you must pay for the damage out of your own pocket.I have developed a habit when sitting on the starting grid of telling myself a few times no dnf!.Once i started to figure this out and force myself to do, i found that often some of those faster drivers would wind up making the big mistake and i would find them along side the road in a smashed up race car.Many times there is one or two or maybe a few or more drivers i can't catch but a second,third,fourth ect. ect. place finish is better than a dnf or back of the field finish.

    I guess this could be part of the patience category but i believe it is more about a specific approach or mindset that covers a race from start to finish rather than knowing when to have patience and wait for the right time to attempt an overtake.Being the fastest guy on the track is not always going to get you a win but driving consistent and avoiding a mistake tends to get you a decent finish most of the time and i have learned i would much rather get a good finish than no finish.DNF= massive failure on my part as a race car driver of most or all stated category's.
    • Like Like x 1