Chapter 7 – The basic rule
The basic rule – the steering wheel at 60kph (40mph) and more
We saw earlier that the right-hand side of your brain commands the left-hand side of your body and vice versa.
This explains why, with the aim of achieving the best possible equilibrium between your brain, your movements and your vehicle, you must always remember this simple rule.
On normal roads, on high-speed roads and especially on mountain roads, never push on your steering wheel in the direction in which you wish to go.
This method of practicing driving on the road will systematically hinder you from taking control of various conflict situations and will considerably limit your capacity for adaptation in the face of danger: car in an under steer or over steer situation and many other cases.
Instead, pull on it with the other hand
Relaxation and anticipation of the next situation
Especially if you drive at more than 60 kph (37 mph) and are looking exactly in the direction in which you wish to go.
This technique will enable you, when taking bends, to try to lean psychologically and physically on the wheels of your car on the road in a manner that is simple, logical and as precise as possible.
This is because, once you start to go into a bend, depending on your speed and the sharpness of the curve, your vehicle rises on the side to which you are trying to turn the car. The car therefore starts to lose grip on the road on this side.
The fact of pushing on your steering wheel means that you are bound, in this case, to lose some of the symbiosis between driver and vehicle and between vehicle and driver.
In so doing, you break the line of exchange of the following information.
People who apply the technique of «pulling on the steering wheel to change direction» will rapidly become aware of having greater confidence in their vehicle, as well as a very high degree of transmission of information between driver and vehicle and between vehicle and driver.
This technique makes it possible gradually and precisely to correct the tendency for the vehicle to rise on one side (centrifugal force).
Some other people who had doubts about the road holding of their vehicle will notice that following the application of this technique the road holding improves considerably. However it is not the vehicle that is holding the road better, but the driver that is making it hold the road better. Obviously, this new capacity to master your vehicle must not lead you to enter bends at a higher speed – especially when you have no visibility on the exit from the bend – and external events that may occur while you are in the bend.
In that case, why do the Formula 1 drivers not systematically apply this rule on racing circuits? Because, unlike passenger and sports car drivers, they have hardly any need to.
They are placed in the center of the car and therefore achieve from the start the symbiosis we have discussed several times: mind / psychology / equipment /vehicle, as a result of this specific position in the car their steering wheels are practically square, obliging them to put their hand in the optimum and best-balanced position of «quarter past nine». Here again, the balance between driver and vehicle and between vehicle and driver is at its peak.
The steering of this type of car is direct and the drivers have absolutely no need to make several turns of the wheel to steer their wheels unlike passenger cars or sports cars. They therefore remain in all circumstances with both hands on the steering wheel, even in extreme situations.
the racing car’s tires, suspension and overall design are programmed in such a way that the phenomenon of the lifting of the side of the vehicle on the inside of the bend is practically non-existent. In other words, the technology incorporated into the equipment replaces what would have to be done intellectually in other circumstances.
And, finally, Formula 1 racing is an extreme sport, on special circuits, between professionals, with situations that are constantly repeated.
This bears no resemblance to driving on the road by Mr. and Mrs. Everyman and in continually changing configurations.