Simracing HUDs, overkill or a requirement to be competitive? There is a very famous quote from Enzo Ferrari that goes more or less like this: «You don’t need mirrors in a racecar; what matters most lies ahead of you». Unfortunately for us simracers, mirrors matter, and a whole lot they do. Sometimes, or should I say many times, we also rely on further help like a spotter, proximity arrows, virtual mirrors and car radar to know exactly what is going on around us. Basically, our cockpit feels, looks and sounds more like a ballistic missile submarine control room than a racecar! After all, nowadays simracing has become mostly a matter of online competition, which means that the other drivers around are not robotic minds any more, but people just like you trying to have a clean, fair race. Taking necessary precautions is more than justifiable. Even if racing offline, but practising for online, it might be useful to get accustomed to such aids and features to avoid being overwhelmed by a terrific amount of information about what is happening around your car, which might end in committing some mistakes. At the same time, having all of that attention focused not only on the road and the opponents ahead of you, but also behind you, means that you might be spending quite some time looking and staring at the wrong side of the road. Another factor is the amount of HUD elements present in today's sims. You can have a gear indicator, lap and position counter, track map, tyres data, etc. These are all very useful indeed, but they also clutter your screen with enormous amounts of data that will require your attention, shifting your focus away from the road ahead. Having to keep under control while staying abreast of these many streams of info can be tiresome and fatiguing. So, we get to the point. Simracing is a technical challenge. I am not referring to physics, but to something else entirely. Differently from a real life professional driver, you will have to manage almost all aspects of racing by yourself while driving. You will not have a crew chief looking at the data coming from your car, and telling you the most important information only when useful. You will not be informed of what is happening to your opponents on the racetrack at all times. You will not have an engineer sorting things out when something does not work or your setup is simply not ideal. Let us not forget in fact that successful simracers also have to learn how to properly setup any kind of car for any kind of track under any condition, which is not something easy in the least. In real world motorsport, there are very few drivers capable of understanding how to efficiently setup a car, especially when it comes to the technology fed monsters that roam circuits now, and in the end it has always been so. There have been drivers capable of understanding how to improve a car and worked tirelessly to test and tune every possible modification and setting, however, they were always the exception, not the norm. Still, professional and experienced engineers helped them along the way. It is true that our current simulations still simplify reality to a certain degree, but they have also come to the point where cars replicate their real life counterparts in a believable way in a vast array of conditions and situations. Moreover, you will not get any sort of personal advice, as would come from your crew or the factory team, telling you how to tackle a specific situation to your advantage. In the end, simracing, at least to a professional degree or competitive level, is a delicate balance between having fun and becoming your own crew chief/engineer/tech staff, managing every possible aspect of racing, while in and out of the car. Many times, we see people in the forums, sometimes even developers, launching an offensive towards all those drivers that will have all corners of their screen filled with live information, while using a spotter app. At the same time, what is the alternative? If there will not be someone else doing it for you, checking and controlling all of the most important parameters during a race, to who else falls this task if not yourself? Yes, oftentimes, it happens to see drivers getting extreme with unnecessary gadgets in their HUDs, but those are in the end a small group of people, many times newcomers ignoring the difference between what is essential and what is not. If you are just taking a stroll in your favourite car, you will not need any HUD at all. However, when in a serious online race, yes you will. At the same time, this question opens up an interesting discussion: which scenario will be possible in the future for e-sports linked to Simracing? Will team not only have drivers, but also people dedicated to specific tasks like spotter, engineering, development, testing? Furthermore, to all people discrediting Simracing as an useful discipline, isn’t this level of self-education required for every driver to get to a competitive level, one big card to prove his/her equality, or sometimes maybe even superiority, to most professional motorsport drivers? Is there really an unbridgeable gap between virtual and reality, or are there only different obstacles to overcome? Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! RaceDepartment YouTube RaceDepartment Twitter RaceDepartment Facebook RaceDepartment Twitch RaceDepartment Instagram What do you think? Are drivers getting excessive with their HUDs? Is it a necessary evil? What is needed to be a top simracing driver? Which future scenarios might open for E-sports in the future? Let us know in the comments!