F1 News

"It's not like we're constantly wetting our pants while driving’

18 October 2020 at 15:22
Last update 18 October 2020 at 15:49
  • GPblog.com

They are indispensable in the modern Formula 1 world, simulators. Certainly nowadays there are far fewer tests that can be done on the track. Some teams even employ separate simulator drivers nowadays. But no matter how good the simulators are these days, they cannot imitate everything.

The fear factor

When you think of the differences between a simulator and actually driving on the track, you might think first of the G-forces, but George Russell thinks there is a much more important difference; the fear factor. "In a simulator, you have no fear at all," says the Williams driver on Formel1.de. "It's not like we're constantly wetting our pants while driving. But if you make a mistake in the simulator, you press the reset button and start again. In reality, you give your mechanics a bit of work, to put it mildly."

Tyre simulation

So nowadays the simulators are getting closer and closer to reality, but there will (fortunately) always be differences. In addition to the G-forces and the fear factor named by Russell, there is another important difference: the bands. "It is incredibly difficult to simulate the tyres", says 22-year-old driver. "They are incredibly complex in their temperature development, how they work, how they deform in curves and how the air pressure is higher and lower. For me, this is the difference between a top simulation and a less good one: The tyre model."