[Part 2] Formula 1 Engineer Dave Devine joins Samir Abid on this special two part Your Data Driven podcast. Dave shares his journey on how he has turned his own race driving hobby into his perfect day job. How did he break into Formula 1? What is it like to work with F1 drivers? What has he been able to bring to F1 from his own racing? How can you learn about the things he has brought back the other way?
[1:04] Designing Formula 1 Suspension at @RacingPointF1
[4:23] Influence of the F1 Driver
[7:31] What do F1 teams do that you can apply at club level?
[13:30] The difference between Pro drivers and club racers.
[17:15] What is great driver feedback?
[26:15] Which part of the corner drivers should focus on first.
[29:09] Final thoughts and key takeaway’s.
— Links mentioned in the show:
- Taking a scientific approach: https://www.yourdatadriven.com/race-car-setup-a-proven-approach-for-success/
- Current F1 vacancy’s https://www.racingpointf1.com/careers
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Full Transcript – [Click] to jump in
Samir Abid: [00:00:00] So you’ve rapidly moved to the front of the car now. there’s always a driver to worry about.
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:01:11] Yes. and, and to be honest with you that my desire, I had a desire to get onto suspension, right from an early age, because of the racing. And I did it with my father, we spent so much time developing the suspension.
I knew that it could give performance to a car. And so all of a sudden, That’s always, an area that I was keen to work on. And as soon as the opportunity came up at force India, I said to the head of mechanical, I said, please let me have a go. I’m super passionate, super keen. And, fortunately yes.
He said yes. And took me on. and as you say, it’s a great area of the car because you’ve got the driver involved. All of a sudden, he’s got a steering wheel, which moves the suspension. He’s got a brake pedal, which obviously has an effect. But then also again, because it’s formula one, everything has got an aerodynamic effect as well.
So you’re always aware of the aerodynamic influence of the suspension. And so we have a lot of people that all got to say what the suspension, front suspension needs to do, how it needs to operate, what it needs to look like. And so it’s a great fun trying to juggle all of these ideas and requests and then try and come up with the sort of the solution with least compromise is really,
Samir Abid: [00:02:27] So you’re well, just for the benefit of people listening it’s to try and pull all that together by the sound of it. So you’ve got different specialists. That people may or may not be aware of. So it might be worth telling people about that. And then trying to manage each one of their objectives, such that you get effectively the best compromise.
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:02:47] Exactly.
Yes. So we have nothing similar for most Formula 1 engineer teams. We have, a vehicle performance group. Simulations, they run a simulator and they are constantly looking at ride performance and how to change damping, springs, everything else for best ride performance. We have.
Samir Abid: [00:03:11] So a bit like the turning experience I needed with a bit more, Manpower
Dave Devine: [00:03:15] Exactly much more manpower.
Definitely. and yes, exactly. Curving foremost is one and they also look at, because the problem with Formula one is that it’s so Aero dominated. That, again, we’ve got a very large Aero team. While I say very large arrow team compared to other teams is probably not very large. But, to me,
Samir Abid: [00:03:35] that’s competitive for people listening.
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:03:38] Its lots of people are involved. And of course they look at the suspension and especially the wishbone members, they look at those normally as. and inconvenience and they don’t want them there. And so they’re always trying to shrink them or lose them. I do occasionally. They do occasionally use them as turning veins as well as sorts of things so you’ve got the requests coming in from them. We’ve got to hold structures team as well. So they are looking using FEA finite element analysis. And, they’re looking at the structural. Capability of components and things like that. So you can imagine that they certainly don’t want things to break. So the last thing they want to do is to make any components smaller.
And then, yes, and then we got the driver who the feedback from the driver is important, to come up with ideas in the past where, I’ve been convinced that will be worth lap time, but the driver just cannot get on with it in a simulator.
So in the end, it’s not worth the lap time because. If he can, if he’s not happy with the car, then he’s not going to push to a hundred percent.
Samir Abid: [00:04:43] That is fascinating. That can happen. Even at a professional level. We talked about this before. Obviously we can’t talk about the specifics, but the concept that you’ve got, this huge engineering team, who’ve done a lot of effort to find lap time.
And the concept that you’ve come up with is. Novel. But the driver’s still gets a kind of veto on whether or not they can make it work.
The driver does have to feel confident in the car, times, and, but you’d just think as a professional sports person, perhaps that. They would almost be told to get on with it
Dave Devine: [00:05:23] That was my initial idea, that, why like on there, just be told that this is quicker, you need to get on with it. But I think it was quite, it’s quite pleasing and refreshing to hear, the start. No, certainly a lot of people when watching formula one, just think that person with the fastest car will win. And the person with the slowest car will come last.
But it goes to show that the driver does still have. influence and that driver can’t just drive anything. And so the car needs to be, usable and if the car isn’t usable, then the driver won’t get the lap time.
So I think from that point of view, it was quite refreshing to see all of a sudden that no, just because the computer says it is faster.
Doesn’t mean, actually when you drive, it gets onto the truck, it will be faster. And, and I know certainly from my racing, we barely go over a hundred miles an hour and yet you feel like you’re zooming along and you stop the back and you step back and think, hang on a minute, zipping around Monaco, 10 seconds faster than Senna did.
There’s a lot going on. and it’s all happening very quickly. So if you just prevent the driver from making that split second decision or make him just pause and think for a second. Then the speeds that everything’s going on at that lap time is. is a notable naptime. So unless, I guess if I came up with a solution that was a second, a lot faster, we could lose a couple of tenths from the driver maybe, but generally the sort of lap time we’re looking for is less than a 10th usually. And so a driver not happy, then all of a sudden, it’s not gonna, it’s not going to go onto the car.
Samir Abid: [00:07:07] So I’ve got a question for you, which we be working out too. But what kind of things have you been able to take from the day job that you apply to your racing? Because these days you are back out racing yourself and you’re in the historic racing in those championships, which are hugely popular.
And again, a very high level, . With a lot of professional drivers and such. So is there anything you’ve been able to take from the day job or the day jobs and go the other way round? Cause we’ve talked about what you’re able to bring to them, but equally flipping it the other way, having exposure to professional racing team or teams, what have you been able to take from. And bring it to your own racing?
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:07:50] I think one of the biggest is, he’s, he’s almost procedures and things like that, bizarrely and set up sheets and things like this. It’s just interesting to look at how they document things and plan things and record things and things like that. He’s always been useful because I’m terrible for we’ll do development on the car and test things and all of a sudden. Six months down the line, you go, Oh, hang on, wait, when we put this D was it without, or was it with it? So even just even simple things like, just the procedure of running a car has been very interesting.
Samir Abid: [00:08:20] What do you mean by that? The procedure of running a car,
Dave Devine: [00:08:22] Just say to set out, yeah, that run plan. Of what you want to test to try and come up with an idea of an order that would be a sensible order to test it various items in, and then how to record that. I think if you arrive at a test with no paper, no pen, and you just try a few things. I think it’s very easy to then down the line to forget that or confuse.
It’s quite easy to then go, Oh, the car’s working well this weekend, and I’ve got a good result. So I’m not going to change it next weekend. When all of a sudden you’re a bit further off the pace. Whereas I think obviously if you can keep a record of everything you try and then the effects that it did, yeah.
Any comments of how it felt, and obviously performance, then I think it just opens up a bit more. in the future, when you decide, when you get to a track and you go out for qualifying or practice and you have been, a little bit overstepping a little bit on the story, you’re not as scared to then go and adjust the car and make modifications.
And hopefully, again, if you’ve got a record of everything you’ve done, you can look back and say, ah, hang on a minute. When we went testing here and we tried this, that happened, or that changed high temperatures or pressures. And so I think it just give you a more structured approach to motor racing.
Samir Abid: [00:09:42] two bits you talked about, which are quite interesting, the taking or keeping records of what you’ve achieved when you’re doing a test on a test day and what you’ve changed and how that. Feels and , whether it was fast or slow, but the other bit that you touched on there, which I don’t see personally that often, but I think it could be almost more powerful is planning what you’re actually going to do. Because often you arrive at a test session, and there’s so much going on by that point.
It’s just, it takes everything just to get a car out on track on time. Which point is the case of, let’s just go and do some laps and we’ll work it out. And then you get into the day and you’re away. And having a structure plan already beforehand is something that, I think the formula one guys take for granted that they do it every minute as a car is accounted for when it’s on track and.
Maybe that is something that’s quite easy to translate it back into a club environment. It’s we’re going to testing, we’ve got three, four sessions in the test, 20 minutes. what exactly are we going to do or try and achieve in each one?
Dave Devine: [00:10:52] Certainly in people, may forget as well that our Formula 1 engineer team we’re limited on what tires we can use.
We’re limited on engine mileage, even testing mileage. And Yeah, got to be useful kilometers on the track all the time. You’ve got to be learning in a test all the time. There’s no point going out and driving round and round. and I think people obviously believe that for one teams have got endless money and things like this, but actually we have limitations as well.
We have limitations on tires on engine mileage. So I think. It’s almost, you just need to make sure that every minute you are out on track, that you are trying to learn something about the car or about yourself, even your driving technique. And hopefully take that away with you. you see a lot of cases of people will go on a test and roll the car off, no drive around and put the car back on and go home again.
And, and I’ve certainly been one for. If I’ve stopped learning. if there’s no more to learn, then I’ll pack up the car and go, because it’s just a case of it’s wearing the car out just we’re not learning anything. So let’s stop. and I think as you say, there’s, yeah, there’s usually for the average cup racer, there’s usually so much going on.
That it’s just too easy to end up. After the test and get, Oh, I wish we would have tried this wish. Tried that. So I think going with some structure. Of what you want to achieve and try and honestly be realistic about it as well. I think it’s easy to. So you have a plan. we even do that Formula one.
We quite often don’t hit all of our targets during the day.
Samir Abid: [00:12:20] So is that something you’ve actually done though? Is that something you’ve done as a result of being exposed to these kind of guys who are doing it professionally? Is that something you’ve actually bought into your racing?
Dave Devine: [00:12:30] Yes. Yes. Yeah, we do.
Definitely. Certainly before I go to any test, for me, yeah, the luxury of testing, isn’t quite as, we don’t test quite as much as I would like anymore, but, But certainly when I go, yes. I will always have a plan of what I want to achieve. It does help. They just constant, it just forces you to concentrate on the task and what you want to achieve.
And again, even if you find that, whatever you try, just anything, if it makes the car slower, then it’s been a benefit.
You don’t, haven’t lost anything. You can go back to where you were. And so this is what we’ve always had the mantra of, don’t be afraid of trying things. And, because again, if you find out 10 things that make the car slower well, that’s good because not to do that in the future.
So yes, I, I would rate planning very highly for test days. Certainly.
Samir Abid: [00:13:22] So you got some planning, anything else? So you’ve been able to bring from Natasha, maybe in terms of the engineering side or some of your understanding, or even the drivers. do you get some exposure to what they’re doing and think.
Actually that is the difference between a club level driver and a professional driver.
Dave Devine: [00:13:40] As for the actual driving side of things. Again, this is where my racing at club level, and having relative success, I can then see, and I’ve been very fortunate. I’m very glad that I raced up to the level I did because I can see when a driver like Perez.
For example, if you watch him during the qualifying runs. Because I do multiple runs throughout the qualifying session. He almost every time we’ll set his fastest lap in the last qualifying run of the session. He’s extremely good at just gradually. Creeping up and this add in, just take, I’m just taking off my 10th, and just creeping up on the performance.
and again, when you watch it on boards, the commitment just lap after lap of commitment, of using every last millimeter of track, the level of, the skill involved, I think. It just goes to show that.
When you actually, when you honestly look back at your own racing, you then start to look at, I probably did leave, a foot of track there and, probably not quite right there and things like that. And yet you look at these guys and the level of commitment and, skill involved and their speed or their doing asset as well. And you think, again, you think the racing you do feels like you’re going very fast, but these guys are obviously going almost. Twice as fast as what w what we’re doing.
And I was also lucky enough to see, Ocon in the simulator.
Samir Abid: [00:15:05] Is it the same as my PlayStation, or is it a little bit more going on? It’s obviously a leading question. I know the answer, but, just to give people. what could you show in terms of the simulator that people might be interested to know about?
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:15:16] Simulators are, quite a large, quite a significant thing for a Formula 1 Engineer team these days.
And they are used quite heavily. Our simulator, I think, would need. A minimum of about four engineers to run it. It is a very sophisticated bit of kit now. And, it takes up a larger room and as a separate room with a whole suite of desks and screens and things like this. For people to be. It’s effectively being at race, meeting, what they, what the information they’re getting.
It’s like the screens and the layout is almost like they have at the circuit and watching someone like Ocon whilst in a simulator, it was just, it was phenomenal how quickly he can, switch on and off. He would do. It was basically started run.
I think I was watching a Hungary or something like that would start half a lap before the start line. And they would come around the last few corners. And again, the commitment that would be as if he’d just driven the past 20, 30 laps effectively. no faults or anything, and then do two laps, one, one time, lap and stop.
they don’t come on with the cross on the integral. Thank you. Which look at that data now, and he’s going to get out your phone and he’s sitting on his mobile phone, to sit in the simulator and then suddenly come back.
Okay. We’re ready to go again. And we’re going to try this and he’s okay. Put your phone down. And again, starts as if nothing has changed and, professionalism, of it. And the ability just to switch on and off is very impressive. There’s no warmup time or anything like that. It was a case of, he knows he needs half a lap effectively to, and he can be set in, a hot lap and, the ability of that was phenomenal.
Samir Abid: [00:16:59] Do you think if he did three or four laps, you would be quicker, would you say it’s pretty, it’s just on the posts within half a lap?
Dave Devine: [00:17:05] Yes, basically. I think he’s on the, he’s just on the pace and not only being on the pace, because obviously this is testing. now it’s the feedback you get from that?
Samir Abid: [00:17:15] Feedback that again comes up very regularly. And the question is particularly a club level in terms of if you’re on your own, making your own notes. But also if you’re working with someone in terms of feedback, how do you either give or elicit. Great driver feedback?
Dave Devine: [00:17:34] I think again, my relatively limited experience of it. I think the great drivers for feedback, there’s no emotion, no kind of ideas or suggestions as such. It’s almost just to give direct feedback of what is happening with the car.
I think once a driver starts to express, Oh, this is happening. That is happening. as in referencing certain components and things like that. I think that’s where you need them to step back and say no. Just purely at corner entry, mid ,corner exit. What is happening in each of those three phases? And they’ll generally look at high speed corners, low speed corners. So they’ll pick out one or two, three corners of the circuit. And then the idea is that you give feedback on all of those phases.
And I can imagine it at times, you almost, as a Formula 1 engineer, you want to make the changes blind to the driver. So they literally have no idea, but I think that’s sometimes a bit unsettling and unnerving for the driver. I think they like to be involved. So quite often they do. Give them. And then the changes will always be, IEP changes.
So you always need to go back again to make sure that the driver isn’t just improving in himself and that the changes you’re seeing are genuine.
There’s a lot of repetition for the drivers in the simulator, because again, they’re just every change we make you start off with the baseline, make the change, then have to go back to the baseline, for every single change you can think of.
Samir Abid: [00:18:58] Okay. So start sort of ABCA is ABA.
Dave Devine: [00:19:04] Yes, because you just need to ID to isolate every development, if possible, and, They again, a full credit to the drivers, because if you speak to someone and you say, Oh, they were simulate to drive. I, you think, Oh, would I love playing on my PlayStation? But again, to maintain the level of concentration and professionalism and deliver good feedback for that for the time that they’re sitting in it is it’s a tough ask mentally.
, And, certainly from Ocon, he was very good at it.
Samir Abid: [00:19:34] So what did he say? so you’re saying, tell us about high speed and low speed corners. And you’ve got corner entry, mid corner and exit, but what is he actually saying about that?
Dave Devine: [00:19:45] Often only sort of feedback as say is almost corner entry, instability, basically meets corner, stability to instability, and then quarter exit, generally just of traction. Effectively.
So he just breaking down those sections, going into the corner of, we got stable car or not Mitch corner. Again, it’s generally stability and fed on the steering as well. and then X it, picking up the throttle. And so it’s literally just that
Samir Abid: [00:20:16] I fell on the steering…
Dave Devine: [00:20:17] Quite often. we can make the driver feel that the car is doing something.
That it isn’t. So quite often it’s good to hear the driver give steering weights and things like this. and just what he’s feedback he’s getting through the steering wheel. and the other thing for simulation of course, is tire modeling is a very tricky business for simulation.
Again, is good for a team to have feedback from the driver of what they’re getting through the steering wheel. And then quite often for test driving. That’s why you want to test driver it to then go into the real car to give the same feedback from there, because you can then, if what they’re feeding on the circuit, doesn’t correlate to what they feeding in the simulator.
Then it goes to show that something’s not quite right. And so that’s why, so it’s often good just to. The physical feedback from the steering wheel, is it light? Is it heavy things like this? it’s useful to being put that compared to that, to the circuit, because if you’re not getting the same from the circuit, it make you question the tyre model, during slow speed or during high speed and things like this.
So actual, not only, car handling, but almost. How does it feel? how does the steering wheel feel to you? is also useful.
Samir Abid: [00:21:29] It’s just as fast as that. I think that, there’s two things on the feedback, both fascinating at one level, but also it’s quite simple. Really? You have this idea that maybe because it’s a professional of setup, you’ve got four or five engineers running around that the level of feedback is going to be broad complicated.
But I think before what you’re saying is just, yeah, just give me. A simple understanding of how you’re feeling as you’re driving round. And then we’ll work out the next part of the puzzle, which is that what we expected? Do we need to do anything about it?
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:22:05] Certainly. That’s where you start from.
And then with the data, hopefully what the drivers give them feedback that matches the data. And then from there you would then. Investigate more, in certain areas and you could then start asking more questions, but, from the start, you certainly want the driver to try and keep it as basic as possible.
Samir Abid: [00:22:24] Bringing that back into your own racing. You now that’s quite encouraging because one of the things about the processes, just even the word processes makes you feel. Exhausted, cause it’s just a familiarity, right? It’s just, it doesn’t get me excited. It’s not the most exciting thing about motor racing is that all the process I use and the way I record, that’s not where you’re doing it, but it’s the discipline and the means to an end.
And I suppose by, from what you’re saying, if you can make it as simple yet still valuable, then perhaps people are more likely to adopt that. And then. Just, start learning and Stein.
Dave Devine: [00:22:59] Yeah, certainly. I know on the cars I race at the moment, the amount of adjustment is not there to be able to change the characteristics in the three phases of the corners.
there’s limited things you can change. Whereas obviously on a formula one car, there’s still quite a lot. We can change. but I think certainly if you can just break down. The three areas of the corner.
Samir Abid: [00:23:22] is there any areas of corners that you’d prioritize?
Dave Devine: [00:23:25] Personally or at work?
It depends, I would say at work. I think ultimately again, we’d say for professional drivers, it’s a case of, we do still ask where do you think you are losing lap time? And if they say corner entry, like I just, I can’t turn him because the backend feels like it’s going to rotate. Then they focus on that.
But then you’d always end because you’ve broken the corner down into three phases that you can then say, we can change this, but for corner entry. But if that then is going to be a negative knock-on to mid , corner exit, then maybe you won’t be quite so keen. To do it. So I think that’s the other thing by breaking it down, as well as with the Formula one car that you’ve got, there’s multiple solutions to any problem.
Again, if you just say corner entry is a problem, we can then look at the other two phases and say, actually, The best way to solve that without affecting the other two phases is going to be, is going to be X. Or if the instability continues to mid corner, then we may look at different solutions to do it.
So I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily a particular area to concentrate on because at the end of the day, it’s just where, the data is obviously great for trying to find out where you are losing time, because you can then make the change and see directly on the data, whether it’s had a positive or negative effect.
I wouldn’t say there’s as exactly the best place to aim, to look at.
For my own racing. especially in the world of historics with rear wheel drive and, period tires. Yeah.
Samir Abid: [00:24:59] But just so you say that yeah, I think I know where you’re going with this, where your about to say. But it is really competitive.
Dave Devine: [00:25:08] Yeah. It’s super competitive. And, and, there’s basically. traction rear end traction is is King. I would say. because getting powered down, even with I drive a 1959 Riley with it’s already got 135 horsepower or something like this is not a lot, but even then it can still spin the wheels, especially if it’s done.
so traction certainly is key. And, And whereas I suppose at the lower power cars corner, exit is not quite so critical. it is critical. but traction corner exit is not quite as critical because you’re not trying to put as much down. So you could argue mid corner, maybe more, more of interest, trying to carry the speed through the corner because you’re not looking at trying to put down well, close to a thousand horsepower. In a formula one car these days.
Yeah, so I suppose, I guess with a lower power formula car with low power circuit racer that I raised, we look at maybe a more mid corner to carry the space through the corner, rather than trying to put all this power down when you come out of the corner.
Samir Abid: [00:26:12] It’s interesting to hear you say that because a lot of people at club level. It seems are very focused on the corner entry.
All of the things to all the phases of the corner, the most discussion I would say is on the corner entry. And yet here we guys a Formula one engineer telling us that really we need to be looking at traction. And then if that’s not a problem, the mid, but we haven’t even talked about the quarter, isn’t it? Because that is. A bit of a weird situation that all the focus is on the entry, that the time, the lap time is coming, the other phases of the corner.
Dave Devine: [00:26:54] Yeah. Suddenly I quite often found that it’s easy to overdrive an entry.
It’s easy to break too late and I find as soon as you break too late, you’ve just destroyed the corner basically. I always, if I recommend anything to anyone. You could sacrifice a 10th on the entry, just to guarantee you get that exit every time. The mid and the exit every time. I think that the entries almost that for me personally is the last bit I would look to find time in, as long as you’ve got no significant, problems with breaking and that first tipping into the corner, then I would say yes, almost the entries is almost for me personally, is the last place I would look to find time.
Samir Abid: [00:27:41] When you’re doing your rice craft and you’re in a rice, it’s a slightly different scenario perhaps, but in terms of trying to get up your lap time and quantifying or whatever, or maybe, you’re broken away at the front. What you’re suggesting is to sacrifice a little bit on the entry so that you go into getting the mid exit.
Dave Devine (Formula 1 Engineer): [00:28:03] Yeah, certainly. And I’ve got to admit, that’s probably been my biggest downfall in my own racing has been that, when I’m by myself, over one lap I can B. Fairly competitive.
But when it comes to racing, I’ve in my head, I’ve got all the time. I know the best, to get the ultimate lap time. I need to be breaking here. And, I have to quickly take that out of my head and, and say that you need to sacrifice this corner now because you need to try and outright the person.
And, so as you say, when you’re racing, things change slightly because to overtake, you generally need to outbreak someone. So quarter entry, all of a sudden becomes. More critical, but, but again, for circuit racing in general, if you’re quick and qualify and you can start at the front and hopefully you’re not having to overtake.
So that’s ultimately going to be your quickest, race time effectively is just, yeah, he’s been at the front. Corner entry is still of importance, but. If you’re quick and in, and you can start at the front and you don’t need to worry about overtaking anyone.
Samir Abid: [00:29:04] Thank you. thank you so much for a second time.
I really appreciate it.
If you’ve got one final thought for people listening, given, your experience by work and by saying that they can get as a takeaway and think, yeah, that is something I never really of that would really help. Racing that they may be surprised at with them. It might sound a bit counter-intuitive, One final a thought that we might leave people with, to ponder as they carry on with that day,
Dave Devine: [00:29:31] from everything I’ve done personally and racing and my own personal racing and from work is that it’s not impossible, basically.
I think motor sport can often seem very daunting, but it’s not impossible. and at the end of the day, there’s, you’ve got four pieces of rubber attaching you to the circuit. So again, if you’re clear and methodical and do your research, I think anyone can be reasonably competitive. It’s just a case of going through these procedures. As we said about looking at the different phases of the corners, not over driving and things like this.
And then generally I tell people that my fastest laps almost the most boring that’s because. You’re not sliding around and things like that. And, I think you just need to try and analyze it as best you can, try and make it a bit less exciting and a bit more of a science experiment. Really, is the best way I can, I could suggest for a club racer.
Samir Abid: [00:30:25] Cause I’ve written an article using those exact phrase science experiment. All right. I suppose like a prime day for it, but don’t actually want it one thought because you say that and it sounds brilliant, but one thing people may not realize is that you have actually put this some practice. So you have actually had a teammate who was towards the middle, towards the back of the grid and you. able to work with him and bring him towards the, front.
Such that he was very consistently competitive. I just, I thought it would be worth mentioning. is there anything that you learned during that, as I just mentioned me, the fun with the one minute guy, but as you were assigned to, it came into my head.
I was like, nah, that’s really a really good example that people would love to hear about. Just one bit of it anyway.
Dave Devine: [00:31:13] Yeah. certainly any coaching or anything like that, it was I warned him that I was going to make motor racing more boring and he was like, Oh, do you mean, what do you mean?
And I said, unfortunately they’re sliding around that. You’re doing isn’t quick. And, basically I just use braking boards for him to break out and various points to turn in at. Points on curves to hit and all of a sudden, the lap time and consistency came from nowhere. And, the other thing as well, which was fascinating was we had an intercom and, he’d mess up one corner and I could hear his breathing start to change.
And he was clearly getting worked up and I could see he was holding the steering wheel differently. And again, it’s this. Business of, if you break a corner down into sections all the time, then it doesn’t matter. What’s happened at the previous corner. We can forget about that. We’ve made a mistake, but doesn’t matter.
Forget about that because when we come to this next corner, we know exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to break it up. We’re going to turn in at that point, we’re going to find that point on the curve. And then we’re going to let the, and go out to that point on an exit. And if you can start to break the track down like this all the time in each corner, then it almost doesn’t matter. What’s happened. You can just jump in the car and do it.
And I guess the professional drivers, this must be something similar to what they’re doing all the time to get the consistency that they get them to be able to find those last little bits of lap time, because they can say, walk, braked to that board.
And I can just nudge it a little bit further and actually on the exit, I’m going to just aim at the next part of the curve along that sort of thing. And, and I say, unfortunately, it makes it less exciting, which I apologize for, but, if you want to be quick, I think it’s, it’s a short way to achieve lap time.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know there’s people out there. Senna always comes to my mind to just, I’m not sure he did drive like that. I think he could just drive by the seat of his pants and just perform. But I think for the average person me included in that I think if you can break circuits down into chunks and almost anyone can do it right.
Samir Abid: [00:33:19] That’s a lovely thought to finish on. And, I just want to say thank you again for taking the time and for everything you’ve shared. It’s, it’s a real privilege to be able to talk to someone working in Formula 1 engineer and who still races as well and competes very successfully, in the old historics.
Thank you very much for taking the time.
Dave Devine: [00:33:34] No, thank you so much. It’s great to talk. And, and again, if it helps anyone out there, then, that’s good news.
Samir Abid: [00:33:43] absolutely privileged to have Dave divine on the show. I hope you found these two parts really interesting and giving you lots of food in terms of improving the importance of process, importance of breaking down the corner, the importance of making sure you’re consistent, the importance of trying different things and learning every time he said about making it boring.
But I don’t think he really meant it quite that way. It’s really great to have him on the show. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I do until next time.
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