After a race I like to look at telemetry. It shows what each driver is doing. It’s important to also run video so you can point at a corner that is 10 mph off and say “there was a yellow flag”. As usual, my telemetry is recorded with an AiM Solo DL and I view it with Race Studio Analysis. I’ve taken a screen shot of the fast laps of each driver (actually a pair of fast laps) with my fast lap as the reference lap (black line). The screen shows three graphs (1) GPS speed (2) engine RPM (3) time delta. Ideally, I’d love to have brake pressure and steering angle, but these are generally enough to infer what’s going on inside the cockpit.
One of the first things to note is that the blue driver’s RPMs are so much lower. The blue driver shifts well before he needs to. However, this doesn’t impact his speed or lap times very much. The red driver shifts much more often and is in 2nd gear several times, also not affecting lap times very much. When in doubt, drive the higher gear.
None of these laps were completely free of traffic. The red driver lost ~4 seconds in T3W to a yellow flag, for example. You can also find GPS errors where the speed is clearly recorded incorrectly for a brief time. That’s why it’s a good idea to examine multiple laps and have the corresponding video.
The biggest issue I find in the driving is that the green and red drivers slow down too early and too much in the faster corners. They do okay in the slow corners, and their final speeds may be as good as the reference lap. In slow, out fast, does actually lead to high speeds on straights! But in slow also leads to throwing away speed, and in a momentum car with very little engine, that’s a no-no. The better mantra is: in on the limit, out on the limit. That’s easy to say, but not easy to do.
Exiting a corner on the limit is like tightrope-walking; entering a corner on the limit like jumping onto a tightrope while blindfolded. — Mark Donohue
So how does one get better at jumping on a tightrope blindfolded? Do I really need to say it? Practice. And where does one practice such a dangerous activity? Do I really need to say it? Simulation.