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Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?


With Michael Schumacher's recent fantastic news that he is no longer bedridden, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share one of my absolute favourite videos about him. I stumbled across this video last year and immediately bookmarked it. It includes bits from interviews with various F1 drivers, including Schumacher himself and team mate Johnny Herbert. But my favourite part of the video is when they compare telemetry between Schumacher and Herbert.

The telemetry clearly explains where Schumacher is saving (lap) time and how exactly his talent and skills translate to better (and ultimately faster) driving. His talent is even more impressive when you consider the lack of active throttle mapping in modern F1 cars and the myriad of improvements made to driveability. Watch below to see for yourself.


What I love about this video is that I found Jonathan's Palmer analysis of Schumacher's telemetry to be absolutely true when applied to my driving on track.

SPOILER ALERT: One thing I found to be true driving my own car on track is that it is often quicker to gently reduce throttle input earlier in corner entry to set up for the turn instead of going wide open throttle (WOT) as late as possible. This is even far more true for road cars than F1 cars because road cars have softer suspensions with much longer delay between your input and the car's response due to time for suspension to settle after weight transfer. It took me a little while to figure out on my own and wish I had seen the video earlier. It was most apparent through the first corner of the track following the front straight. My section time was always quicker when I reduced throttle input earlier rather than going WOT until the very last moment possible.

What about you? Can you relate to what the telemetry data shows about Schumacher's driving? Make sure to comment if you can relate to the corner data from the telemetry in the video!

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