See How Telemetry Data Can Help You Drive Faster

Diving into the world of motorsports can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially when it comes to telemetry data. You might find yourself grappling with the complexities of understanding and obtaining this data, questioning its worth and pondering how to utilise it effectively.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to drive faster and with greater consistency. After all, motorsports is all about that visceral, thrilling experience behind the wheel. Telemetry data promises to be the key to unlocking your potential, but it can be challenging to see how it fits into the bigger picture.

In the video above, I walk you through a real-life example, demonstrating how even the most basic telemetry data can significantly impact your driving performance. Feel free to watch the entire video, but if you’re pressed for time, the real magic happens around the 12 :30 mark.

Curious to find out why? Well, read on…

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Use data to help solve the puzzle of driving faster

In the video you can see I was confused, twice. The data then helped me understand what was going on.

Firstly, I did a fast corner – a left down hill called Cascades – and completely missed the apex. In my head as a driver I was thinking “Grrr, that was rubbish.” However, the data showed me that I only lost a tiny amount (less than 1/10!)

It felt worse than that though – meaning my mental model of what was happening was wrong.

This compounded because the “mistake” was still playing on my mind down the next straight. I was still thinking about mucking up the last corner as I get to the next corner.

You might have experienced this kind of frustration in the car too? One mistake actually becomes 3 or 4.

Everyone say’s “just forget about it, that corner is done” but it is hard to do that in practise and with your adrenaline flowing.

I actually do ok in the next hairpin but then make a second “mistake” into the following chicane (T8 or Brittens.)

You will see that that mistake, where I feel like I over slowed the car, actually resulted in me gaining 0.5 seconds!

Where I thought I had gone wrong, in fact, just the opposite. Oh!

Using data you get certainty on what’s fastest

So in one lap, my mental model was completely fooled… twice!… into thinking I was worse than I was. Without the data I’d have:

  • a) assumed I lost more time in the fast corner,
  • b) assumed the way I took the chicane was slower than how I’d been trying to do it before.

If you already run data you will know the value of using it to reinforce and centre check your driving plans.

What no-one explains about data

The real value, in my humble opinion, of using data for driver analysis is not to find fault in the driving sat in the pits. Data is to help you, the driver, have more certainty and more confidence when you are actually on track.

Data is not about being the fastest driver on the laptop. Data is about building better mental models of what to be doing in the car.

Once you know you’ve got a good mental model for approaching each section of the lap, you get to focus all your efforts on putting that into action. All uncertainty banished.

Sounds easy… totally appreciate it’s not! But that’s the fun.

Use Telemetry To Form Your Driving Plan

Driving for me is about having a plan and then executing on that plan.

Here I show you how I am using data to judge my driving and form that plan.

You will see me work out things that make me faster and things that do not. You will also see how data can surprise you – when something that does not feel fast in fact ends up being a lot quicker.

You will see I am not the best driver! Ignore that (if you can!) as my aim is to demonstrate how you can use data to help yourself.

I largely use the delta-t data channel. Unfortunately, this data channel has a number of different names. It is also slightly confusing as to how it works out whether you are faster or slower. Have a read of this article if you are curious to learn more about it.

Next Steps with Data

Before you go anywhere near your data, find out what the driver had to say. Here is a process and checklist to Get Great Driver Feedback.

How to get the telemetry data in this video … Getting Telemetry on Your PS4 For FREE

How do hills affect your braking? … with a Data Analysis Trick you can try on your own data.