Get Confidence on the Brakes in 3 Easy Steps

“I have no confidence on the brakes. What should I do?”

This question came up with a reader. Here is what I suggested.

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1- Don’t too hard on yourself!

If you’ve had a long break, a crash, or feel unsure, go easy on yourself.

It’s tempting to beat yourself up back in the pits, but that doesn’t help you or anyone.

So here’s what I suggest to do instead.

2- ABC of Getting Confidence on the Brakes

If you look at your speed trace and you’re hesitant (like in the picture), try these three steps:

a) Know your full-throttle-until point.

Instead of a braking point, look for a reference on the track for where you’re coming off full throttle.

First, be aware where this is. What references are around you?

There are actually two issues here – your confidence on the brakes but also a reluctance to stay on the throttle all the way down a straight.

Your goal is going to be to move that point where you lift down the track.

You need to work on both, by building confidence in being able to slow the car at the end.

For now just know where you’re lifting.

b) Brake less hard. Seriously.

This might sound odd, but rather than hesitating and coasting into the corner, it is better to be doing something positive.

Try brake earlier, but less hard.

You want to braking consistently, and still aim to come off the brakes at the same point as normal so you make the apex.

Typically, this is harder than it sounds.

c) Stay on full-throttle (slightly) later

As your confidence grows, start to push forward the point where you are lifting off full throttle.

Do this gradually – only a few metres at a time.

To ensure you still hit the apex, you will need to start braking more firmly.

Your Car will Respond Well to be Driven.

When you’re hesitant it can make it feel worse, sapping your confidence on the brakes further.

This method ensures you’re always asking something from the car.

It will feel more in control. And with that you can build up your confidence to stay on full throttle longer, and get onto the brakes with increasing confidence.

You might be surprised how quickly you get to diminishing returns in terms of lap time here – all the while getting much more confidence on the brakes.

Try it as an experiment.

Give it 10 laps and let me know how you get on.

The results have been transformational for drivers I’ve coached.

 

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