“It’s a very fine line in how you manage the risk you take, and that is performance. It’s all about flirting with the margin.”
World Endurance Championship and Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi joined other world-renowned motor racing drivers such as Jean-Eric Vergne, Augusto Farfus and Sam Bird in providing insight on how to execute race pace, when to pick your battles, and the key ingredients required to create the optimal race performance.
These essential tips come from the latest video release from SafeisFast.com, a website aimed at tutoring young drivers and set up by the Road Racing Drivers’ Club.
In the newest instalment, drivers from the world of single seaters, endurance racing and touring cars discuss how drivers need to be more than just quick in order to perform well in race scenarios.
British Formula Three champion Enaam Ahmed began by saying that whilst he had the pace in qualifying, he wasn’t always an accomplished racer, and that he had to work on his race pace:
“I used to just throw myself in everywhere in qualifying, and it used to work, but when it comes to racing, I never used to have good race pace.
“I used to kill my rear tyres and I used to be sideways all the time, but now I’ve learned to be more consistent and drive more smoothly.”
When it came to the races, DTM and Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa said that always leaves ‘a bit on the table’ to ensure that he doesn’t make any costly mistakes.
“When you’re out there on your stint, doing a thirty-lap stint, I’m pushing at 99.9%. I’m just leaving that little bit of safety margin to make sure I don’t drop a wheel on the grass, or I don’t have a lock-up.
“Because if you have a lock-up on lap three of a thirty-lap stint, and you have to double-stint those tyres, you’re going to suffer for a very long time.”
Reigning Formula E champion Vergne added that having opinions on other drivers helps judge how much risk to take against them:
“There are some drivers that I know I can race to the limit at 200%, and I know that there are some drivers that I don’t trust, so I’m not going to race 100% with them.”
All images: Motorsport Images