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F1 Tranny/Traction Control = No Talent Driver!!

Discussion in '360/430' started by squidracing, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. squidracing

    squidracing Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2001
    626
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Matt
    It is my opinion that technology has made driving a car at speed easier.
    Furthermore, it's my opinion that it has made the car more 'idiot proof'.

    However....it has not made a better driver. I feel that technology has made it so, that when any given yahoo finally gets in over his head, as well as the electronics head, he will finally realize he is truely not the driver his speeds told him he was.

    Let the fighting commence!!

    ps If anyone has the urge to mention Schumi and his ride....please just move on and don't waste the bandwidth. This is over your head.
     
  2. todd

    todd Guest

    May 20, 2003
    114
    fresno
    Full Name:
    todd spencer
    This is the problem with idiots like this;They give the impression that unless you are a track driver or do some racing you don't deserve a ferrari. I don't race or track my spider and yet I still enjoy it. How is that possible? Futhermore,if it was not for the new technolgoy of the car we couldn't possibly drive a ferrari. What pompous nonsense.
     
  3. titanium360

    titanium360 F1 Rookie
    BANNED

    Nov 10, 2003
    3,371
    Well said Todd. did you sell your f-car yet?
     
  4. alanhenson

    alanhenson Formula 3

    Dec 2, 2003
    1,335
    Technology certainly has made the Mercedes drivers better and safer. But those of us BMW and Ferrari style guys, the technology intrudes. I will admit in the rain and ice I leave on the traction control in the M3. It has saved my dumbass on occasion. A buddy of mine has a Porsche GT2. Now that is one hairy beast to drive. Very fast, w/o all the tech too get in the way. No all wheel drive either. Takes talent to drive it at it's limits.
     
  5. todd

    todd Guest

    May 20, 2003
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    todd spencer
    Thanks. Have not sold it but if I did it would be to grab a chance to get the 360 or 420 or whatever the successor to the 360 spider is.
     
  6. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    5,933
    Milton, Wash.
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    Jeff B.
    Who said that technology makes for a better driver? More gizmos might make a given CAR faster in given conditions, but they aren't implanting technology into drivers yet. The point of racing is to get 100% out of the car and the driver. Someone who pushes past that limit, maybe at 100.1%, hardly qualifies as a "given yahoo".

    It is my opinion that the great majority of people who watch racing have the highly mistaken belief that driving a REAL race car is just like driving a street car really, really fast - WRONG!! I have never driven a race car, and I'm well aware that I could not begin to drive over 100MPH, inches apart, for 90 minutes, no matter what the technology.
     
  7. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    True enough, Matt. Keep in mind though, that your statement is true pretty much for ANY car made LATER than any OTHER car. A 2004 575M Maranello, with the F1 transmission, ABS and traction control is easier to drive than, say a Testarossa. Which in turn is easier to drive than, say, a Testa Rossa. And in turn, easier than, say, a 166MM.

    As cars have evolved, they have gotten faster, safer and easier to drive. Most technology on a car is intended, naturally enough, to achieve those goals. AWD? Power steering? Disc brakes? Syncromesh transmission? Fuel injection? "W" rated rubber? All of these advances have made driving a car at speed easier.

    As for more "idiot proof"... again, almost any technology that makes the car safer also makes it more idiot proof. Modern transmissions, for example, makes it far tougher for an "idiot" to make the "money shift". So do modern rev limiters. Disc brakes? Who worries about brake fade on the street anymore?

    You speak in generalities, Matt. A better driver is a better driver is a better driver, no matter the car. A really excellent driver in a 917 is still a really excellent driver in a GT3RS.

    You're right, of course, though, in that a mediocre driver who can drive a modern car quickly doesn't make that driver any better than "mediocre". And you're also right in that with all of the electronic aids today, a driver may not learn how to threshold brake properly, prevent TT oversteer, or heel-toe double-clutch downshift. And if and when the mediocre driver really screws it up, or if something really unexpected happens that the electronics can't control, then Matt is right - there will be a price to pay.

    Having said that, however, this doesn't mean that the "mediocre" driver isn't fast in that modern car. :)

    (must resist.... can't resist...) Ok, very quickly - the point to be made here is that whether the driver is Schumacher or an idiot, technology does make a car faster, period. You will be faster with ABS than without. You will be faster with traction control (race, not "street") than without. You'll be faster with active suspension than without.

    Overall, I agree with Matt's thesis - technology has made it much tougher to distinguish between "good" drivers and "mediocre" drivers. At the track, an idiot in a 911 twin turbo with all the electronics on will be stinkin' fast, period. But technology has its limits too (e.g., the 911tt driver who turned right exiting the paddock and entering the hot pits, and ... kept turning right, directly into the armco. Oops).

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  8. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
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    Dennis
    Todd, might you be overreacting just a bit? Methinks you're reading too much into Matt's admittedly semi-controversial post.

    He didn't say anything about anyone "deserving" a Ferrari or not. And he didn't say anything about "enjoying" his or her Ferrari.

    His hypothesis is that electronic aids today allow people to drive their cars much faster than their innate skill levels would otherwise allow (i.e., without TC, F1, ABS). I know more than a few Ferrari owners who LOVE and APPRECIATE and DESERVE their cars even though they've never been on a track -- nor do they even drive all that quickly on the street.

    How many of us know Ferrari owners who love their cars and do almost no driving other than to and from concours shows? We even know guys with pure "garage queens".

    Does modern technology allow you to drive your car at a somewhat faster pace than you would otherwise (e.g., if you were driving, say, a Daytona Spider instead)? Sure. But that's true for almost all of us. Are you less skilled or experienced to handle the eventuality if you find yourself out of control, because you've never had to practice at it, thanks to the electronics? Probably.

    BUT NONE OF THIS detracts from your ability to "enjoy" your car, Todd.

    Just my $.02....

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  9. todd

    todd Guest

    May 20, 2003
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    todd spencer
    Fair enough, Dennis.
     
  10. squidracing

    squidracing Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2001
    626
    NYC
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    Matt
    Dennis....ALL very well said.

    My intent with this post was to stir up the debate (of which both sides you covered) over the intrusion of technology on the overall driver controll issue.

    It was not a personal attack on anyone.
    Me thinks Todd is a little overly sensitive, but that's ok...I'd still buy him a beer.

    So come on everyone else.....any other thoughts??
     
  11. tracknut

    tracknut Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    31
    Folsom, CA
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    Dave Mills
    It is my opinion that better tires have made driving a car at speed easier... probably more than any other advancement.

    If I wanted low-tech, I'd have bought a horse!

    Dave
     
  12. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast

    I think there's a spectrum here. IMO, there aren't just "idiot proofing gadgets" and nothing. What I mean is. There are "driver aids," there are "intrusive driver aids," and then there are the "driver diapers/training wheels." Which brand of (band) aid you get , I think, really depends on which car you buy , and it's intended use.
    Of the first sort is ABS. It's a proven fact that racing drivers using RACING ABS are faster v. racing driver w/out ABS. To me, that presents ABS to be a driver aid that doesn't hamper the driver experience, nor does it lower the limits. On a street car, ABS is a different story, and street ABS on the track can sometimes be instrusive, but overall I don't find it all that annoying -- you just have to get used to your particular type of ABS, and it's behaivour.
    Now, onto the other types of aids... "intrusive" and "diapers." These truely lower the limits of the car, and make the car easier to drive at speed by dull the edge upon which the limit resides; therefore, the drivers don't get cut. These aids (i.e., psm, traction control, multi channel braking, electronie torque diverters, etc etc) consrtain the cars dynamics to make it safer; these are what allow medicore drivers to attain landmissle speeds, and allows them driver very fast, but will never teach/show them how their car behaves, nor what it's really like to "feel" a car out.
    I think the real problem is that everything in a street car is a compromise. You can't unleash a 700 hp car onto the street without at least attempting to limit your liability -- at least not here in the U.S. The perception (to the general population) is taht a car is not a living , breathing kicking and vicisous animal; rather, they cars as appliances; as driveway decoration; or, a status symbol. So, b/c of this compromise in thinking, and respect, cars will get safer, heavier, flashier and in the spirit of mass marketing more powerful, faster and the performance threshold will climb, but the envelope will get smaller and smaller b/c most of the owners/drivers can't handle it.
     
  13. LouB

    LouB Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2001
    1,811
    FL, OR
    Matt, the point in your original post could easily have been writen by a driver from the 20's or 30's screaming around a track hand pumping pressure into the fuel tank, crunching gears in a crash non syncro box, trying to avoid brake fade and trying to survive the season where the death rate was 10+% per year and complaning how the 1980 drivers (before high tech aids) had it easy and are not as "good".

    I hear "old school sailers" complain about modern GPS and self steering aids that make modern sailers not "as good"

    The same for bi-plane vs modern pilots etc etc.

    Still not quite sure what you are trying to say. Of course technology makes a given driver ,sailor, pilot or whatever faster, safer,and his task easier.
     
  14. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    13,337
    Ex-Urbia
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    Jack
    With all the modern driving aids, society in general has become better at driving because, without as many car-related distractions (shifting, brake modulating, etc.) we can turn our attention to other needs such as making phone calls, watching DVDs or eating our #3 McCombo--supersized! So, you see, it really affects us on a societal level by making all of us more efficient humans.
     
  15. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    gilles brings up, i think, the root origin of this saftey device phenomenon. driving is no longer a skill, it's just something you do; it's take for granted , and no one cares to take any pride in doing it well or even correctly; this is also, why, it seems utterly ridicoulous (to most people) to be passionate about cars. becuase, like i said, car's are an appliance , akin to a telephone, toothbrush or a shoe (in a fahionable sense). so, naturally, to keep all these myopic twits from killing themselves, others and small animals (while performing the annoyning driving chore) manufactures install the electroni coocon to keep them alive, and reduce their liability. this is also why no one really "gets" motorsport.
     
  16. TeenwhoneedsaFerrari

    Dec 23, 2003
    90
    Greensboro, NC
    Full Name:
    Blair Salter
    Being a good driver has NOTHING to do with being able to talk on a cell phone while driving in the city or anywhere. Nor does it have to do with being able to eat our mcdonalds and not grease up the leather while on the road. This thread is about whether or not we are better drivers now, not whether we are more efficient human beings. The introduction of F1 transmissions into street cars ,i think, is not so great. It takes away the true skill needed to drive a high end sports car. As you know, there is no manual clutch in an F1 transmission, that takes away most of the skill involved in shifting! You can't double clutch with an F1 transmission, there is no skill involved in downshifting, certainly none in going up hills anymore. And how many people with the F1 transmission actually use it all the time?? Most of the cars equipped with it have an automatic mode, i am sure that people get tired of all the two hands on the wheel paddle flipping while city driving. As for me, i will always stick with the traditional manual. As for traction control, (in sports cars) if it isnt slippery outside, then who needs it? Granted it comes in handy here and there with keeping your tires planted, if you are truly in touch with the machine you are driving, then it should be up to you to keep the car in line.
     
  17. Willis360

    Willis360 F1 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2001
    3,928
    Redmond, WA
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    Willis H
    TeenwhoneedsaFerrari,

    I use my 360F1 all the time (nearing 3 years and over 23,000 miles so far). Auto mode hasn't been used since testing it back in 2001. What do you think about that?
     
  18. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    No, but the reason why our cars have become techno gadget ladden land barges speaks volumes to the, pressumed, amount of skill possesed by most "average" drivers. Essentially, people can't be trusted with their cars. Therefore, that commentary inturn leads us to a more contextually accurate discussion of the skill level of todays "motorsists." (If you can even call them that anymore).
     
  19. TeenwhoneedsaFerrari

    Dec 23, 2003
    90
    Greensboro, NC
    Full Name:
    Blair Salter
    I think that the fact that the auto mode on your 360F1 has not been used since testing in 2001 is great. Since you have been driving a car with the F1 transmission for so long i would love to hear about what you think of it. Obviously you like it or the car would be somewhere else now, and wouldnt have 23,000 of your miles on it. But how is it around the city, and i mean stop and go traffic, without a clutch to press, is there constant paddle flipping?? or will it vary the throttle position for you? Just how much fun is an F1 transmission?
     
  20. squidracing

    squidracing Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2001
    626
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Matt
    LouB, you write....'Still not quite sure what you are trying to say. Of course technology makes a given driver ,sailor, pilot or whatever faster, safer,and his task easier.'

    I agree. My point is this: when driving on a track, the driver who has all the technological aids, and no track experience without technological aids, will NOT have a true understanding of the DYNAMICS which occur while pushing the cars limits. When the car gets past the 'controlled' point, the driver will not have the knowledge base, or the necessary experience of correcting an unsettled car, which is required to correct the situation.

    It's my opinion that anyone who's track experience is solely based on cars with gizmos, does not have a true understanding of what's really taking place. That said, I carry it forward to the conclusion that their skills are inferior to those who learn without the use of technological aids.

    If the Driver, sailor, or pilot learned the basics on unaided equipment, then it is he who will benefit most from the technological aids. Hence my Schumi comment at the start of this thread.
     
  21. tracknut

    tracknut Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    31
    Folsom, CA
    Full Name:
    Dave Mills
    I suppose it depends on your goal in defining "better driver". Look at a modern jet fighter. I know virtually nothing about them, but my understanding is that there are planes that are physically impossible for a person to fly - the computer is required to make all the decisions, the pilot is doing more of "making suggestions" to the computer. Apologies if I've offended any pilots, I'm just trying to make a point here...

    So is the pilot that knows how to fly this type of plane "a better pilot"? or was Orville Wright, who knew every inch of his plane, how it was glued together, probably built the engine himself the better pilot? Dunno, but I do know who I'd want sent off in a modern war.

    Dave
     
  22. Willis360

    Willis360 F1 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2001
    3,928
    Redmond, WA
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    Willis H
    Traffic's not complicated. Just flipping for 1st, 2nd, and neutral in stop and go. Only thing to be mindful is throttle position and rev range when getting going.

    I'm close to some very nice rural backroads and they account for most of the miles on the car. Pulling downshifts going into a corner is quite fun. You just have to experience it for yourself when you have a chance.

    Why F1? It intrigued me and I just want to drive something different.
     
  23. Liquid

    Liquid Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    78
    Doylestown, PA
    I've been driving a manual transmission car for the past 6yrs. & in my opinion feel that they are over-rated. I think new technology is great & would def. choose a F1 transmission over a standard manual given the oppurtunity as a next car. I've never driven one but I would assume they are alot more fun to drive on backroads w/ lots of twisties.
     
  24. squidracing

    squidracing Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2001
    626
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Matt
    tracknut....my definition of a better driver is pretty clear. I wrote

    My point is this: when driving on a track, the driver who has ALL the technological aids, and NO track experience WITHOUT technological aids, will NOT have a TRUE UNDERSTANDING of the DYNAMICS WHICH OCCUR while pushing the cars LIMITS. When the car GETS PAST the 'controlled' point, the driver will NOT have the KNOWLEDGE BASE, or the necessary EXPERIENCE of CORRECTING an unsettled car, which is REQUIRED to correct the situation.

    A driver who has NO technological aids which 'mask' the true actions which occur when driving on the track, WILL have a true UNDERSTANDING of the DYNAMICS which OCCUR while pushing the cars limits. When the car gets past the CONTROLLED point, the driver WILL have the KNOWLEDGE BASE of what is OCCURING, and be ABLE to, through this EXACT EXPERIENCE, be ABLE to correct an UNSETTLED car.

    Orvill is not a valid comparison unless dual technologies were being used at the same time.

    I hope this helps clear that up.

    Regards
     
  25. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2001
    2,684
    East Coast
    Full Name:
    Jon K.
    Todd:

    Maybe you ought to know the credentials of the person you are ignorantly calling an idiot before doing so. I see from your profile that you just joined a few months ago. Matt has been on this forum since it’s inception.

    Considering that Matt is the chief Ferrari instructor for the Empire State Region of FCA, driven everything from 348 Challenge cars, 355 Challenge cars, and 700 hp Trans Am cars, and holds the 355 Challenge lap records at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen I hardly think you are qualified to call him an “IDIOT”. He’s owned Ferrari’s since the mid 90’s and isn’t a newcomer to F cars or performance driving.

    He’s most likely the only person on this board that I can’t dust at the track in my 355 C. I am not going to get into a big debate about traction control, PSM, ACS-T and all the other nanny gadgets that Ferrari, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes Benz put on their cars.

    Liability law in this country has necessitated the use of many of these gadgets as speeds and horsepower have risen. Think about it, in two months BMW will unveil a four door family sedan (maybe that is stretching it a bit) with a F1 derived V10 with somewhere north of 500 hp, about what F1 cars had in the 70’s and Group C LeMans cars in the 80’s. Granted the street cars weigh much more but let’s face it 500 hp is 500 hp.

    I am not sure where I stand on all this stuff on modern cars. I can see the point of making cars safer on the road and undoubtedly this is the major benefit for modern traction control systems.

    I think my views may differ partially from Matt’s where street cars are concerned as I don’t think it makes any difference to driver skill whether your car has PSM, like a 996 TT or doesn’t, like a 996 GT2. Let’s face it the threshold level at which these things come into play are rarely if ever experienced on the street. I don’t think you can make the argument that a GT2 driver can become more skillful a driver over a 996 TT driver based on street driving.

    At the track, forget about it. The only electric gadget that has a benefit is ABS and this was proved in the Challenge series where the fastest racers were quicker with ABS. I still hate the computer making any decision other than engine management. I have the ABS disconnected on my Challenge car. Early on I did flat spot a few tires but it taught me threshold braking and this has come in handy in racing where everything I race has no ABS. My traction control consists of my right and left foot and my arms.

    Lastly, I also differ in my views of what Dennis said that an average or mediocre driver can keep up with a better driver with the use of these aids and that such aids allow someone to drive faster than normal. These aids slow you down in fast driving not speed you up. On street cars these systems are made to sense early traction problems and the driver who is trying to flog the car through a corner at 10/10ths in a perfect drift with the tail loose is never going to be able to do so with a electric nanny. That system thinks you are sliding off a cliff.

    And there is not way someone with 90% of my driving skill is going to keep up in 996 TT, 360C or any other car and get the last 10% from a computer on the track.

    I think it’s best to say that these aids greatly increase the safety of streetcars and allow people to do stupid things or avoid accidents that without such devices would overtax their driving skill.

    Lastly, I will chime in about F1 traction control. Excellent article a year ago in which F1 driver Martin Brundle drove Schumacher’s first Bennetton and his last 02 Ferrari. Brundle had never driven a modern traction controlled F1 car (he briefly drove one in 1994 but that was much less advanced than today’s systems) and was somewhat less than amazed at what it provided. He said he didn’t feel that he couldn’t have matched the speed in the corners in the older car with more time in it.

    He also pointed out the general fallacy among most of us that traction control is just point and shoot. It will not save you from bad driving and it only comes into play after the apex of the corner in F1. It is not a device that saves you from mistakes before the corner and this is of course where most mistakes are made. The general perception that you can totally F*ck up a corner or go in too hot and the aid will save you is wrong in F1.

    Traction control on an F1 and on a street car are two different things, as is in my opinion, the belief that today’s F1 drivers wouldn’t be able to handle a 1000 hp F1 car from the 80’s era is just plain stupid.

    A racer is a racer. Plain and simple. Look at all the bike guys that drive and F1 car and set competitive times.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Regards,

    Jon P. Kofod
    1995 F355 Challenge #23 (for sale)
    www.flatoutracing.net
     

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