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Distance From Your Steering Wheel?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by venusone, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. venusone

    venusone F1 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    2,809
    From a Level 1 Trauma Center: Sit as far back as you can w/ air bags. SCCA says your wrist should meet the top of the steering wheel (for autocross anyway). I stay about an inch back from wrist to top in most of my cars. You, for best street performance?
     
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  3. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    4,366
    NY
    I usually stay an arms length from the mid point of the steering wheel. Also tilt seat back . No problem and works good for me on both short and long drives. Oh 6'3" and 240lbs.
     
  4. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Pete
    If you want to be able to correctly control your vehicle you have to sit a reasonable distance back anyway.

    Too close and you will be a steering wheel shuffler ... pathetic method for driving a car, try catching a slide by shuffling ... too slow and you loose where the steering is pointing.

    Too far back and you won't have enough strength at the top of the steering wheel or will have reach troubles. Think hotted up Hondas with the boys pimping in them.

    Somewhere in the middle but leaning more away than close to the steering wheel is where ALL good tin top racers sit ... and that is for a reason!

    Sounds to me like the right seating position for full control (and thus performance driving) will be perfect for the airbag issue (personally just remove the thing and wear your safety belts).

    Pete
     
  5. vvvmd

    vvvmd F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 23, 2003
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    Victor Villarreal
    Instructors at the M5 driving school recommendations:
    Adjust the distance from the pedals so that you have a slight flex at the knee when prssing the brake pedal as hard as you can. This is so you have leverage to really mash down on the brake pedal.
    Adjust the seatback so that your wrists hit the wheel at three and nine with your arms fully extended.
     
  6. Mojo

    Mojo Formula 3

    Sep 24, 2002
    1,293
    Washington St.
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    Joseph
    Have you ever seen the nascar drivers they look like there sitting really close to the wheel. Elbows totally bent
     
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  8. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    4,366
    NY
    I understand that NASCAR guys sit close to the wheel because of the g-forces and the length of time behind the wheel. considering they only turn in 1 direction they don't need to have a lot of left/right capability. Also with the arms bent you use less strength to turn the wheel. With the addition of power steering a few years back it has become easier to steer and not as tiring as prior to PS.
     
  9. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Pete
    Agree, and as I turn left and right ... I sit further back ;). You very rarely ever see them catch a oversteer situation either ... another reason why I sit further back so I can turn quickly in either direction.

    I think I sit about the same distance as an Australian v8 Supercar driver ... which is not as far back as you might think ... but definitely not as close as a NASCAR driver.

    Pete
     
  10. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Instructors at Ferrari driving courses: adjust seat back so that your arms are NOT fully extended at noon/6. This way you can keep your thumbs in the steering wheel thumb rests and turn the wheel by +/-100 degrees without moving your back or pulling on the wheel. There should be no pull tension in your forearm when you are in corners at +/-90degrees, and your hands should never move on the wheel unless a hairpin or tight bend requires more than +/-100 degrees. They are adamant about this, and I believe they are right.
     
  11. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,492
    MO
    I sit only close enough that I can grip the top of the steering wheel without a major stretch.
     
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  13. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
    13,234
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Wrists even with the wheel at 2 and 10.
     
  14. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    46,681
    Texas!
    Agreed, but I'd add that you need to be relaxed. On the track, the more relaxed you are (up to a point) the faster you will go.

    Me, I'm a 3 and 9 guy with elbows bent.

    Dale
     
  15. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest


    Agreed 100%. Also, on track, you do NOT want your arms fully extended at all, especially when holding the wheel at 3 & 9. It gives you zero leverage in a high G corner, and also give you zero leverage if you need to do any super-quick countersteering.

    Ask me how I know this...

    On track, I now sit so that I can bend my non-dominant wrist over the top edge of the wheel w/o my shoulder coming off the seat. On street, I sit a bit farther back, for comfort, mainly because I tend to drive rather sedately on the street, since I get all my speed jollies out on track!
     
  16. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Most really good drivers sit closer to the wheel than lesser drivers tend to.

    Most top drivers would strongly recommend a closer sitting position than is being implied by the earlier posts in this thread.

    If your arms are fully extended or even a couple inches from fully extended at the top of the wheel, then it doesn't really matter that you feel like you can "move fast" up there... you won't have the strength and control to do it well.

    If you are trying to save yourself from a spin by moving the steering wheel in great big movements, you've already lost it more than you ever should have. And you should really try moving yourself closer to the wheel.

    Why? At the limit, you MUST have as delicate a feel of your traction as possible. You will feel that best through the steering wheel if you are maximally relaxed... and you can only be maximally relaxed if you have maximum leverage (strength) over the wheel.

    On race tracks, there is no issue with "shuffle steering" vs. "faster hand-over-hand"... on a race track you shouldn't be re-gripping the wheel anyway.

    On autocross, the tighter course forces some re-gripping. But you still want to slow down the wheel as much as possible and want to avoid crossing your arms. Most top autocrossers shuffle steer! And re-grip as little as possible.

    On the street, things should be moving much more slowly, so hand-over-hand works okay. But so does shuffle steering, if you learn to do it right. The jerky shuffle steering that you often see is "not doing it right".
     
  17. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Pete
    Agreed ... hence why race cars have quicker steering racks.

    In fact I agree with all your post. The arms out stretch driving position is really a poser look now taken over by the buy racers ... somewhere in the middle is right.

    Pete
     
  18. Aircon

    Aircon Eight Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 23, 2003
    87,310
    Melbourne, Australia
    Full Name:
    Peter
    Speaking of which, I've been thinking of increasing the gearing of my 355 steering so that it changes from 2.75 turns lock to lock to 1.8. Do you think that would make it too high? It's the only option I have. Anyone tried it?
     
  19. b-mak

    b-mak F1 Veteran

    And the winner is:

     
  20. tuttebenne

    tuttebenne F1 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2003
    3,005
    Bay Shore, NY
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    Andy
    Yes, boy racers and those of us with 308s who are 6'1'' and over ;)
     
  21. TheCarcierge

    TheCarcierge Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2004
    1,812
    Boca Raton, FL
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    Scott Saidel
    6'1"+ in a 308 - you'd pretty much be all around the wheel.

    Reminds me of the pic we took of Shaq sitting in a 246 Dino. His entire head was above the windshield and he could rach over the door and, almost, touch the floor. He had part of his legs under the dash but couldn't find the pedals - ecept maybe with his toes.

    I've got to find that pciture.

    Scottie
     
  22. tuttebenne

    tuttebenne F1 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2003
    3,005
    Bay Shore, NY
    Full Name:
    Andy
    I actually fit in the car pretty well; its when I put the helmet on that I have to rake the seat back. We taller guys are lucky that, when wearing a helmet, the only way we fit into a 308 actually is also the comfortable way.
     

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