I Formula 1, in part because I love excellence and Formula 1 is best in class when it comes to motorsports auto racing. Best in class because automobile manufacturers pour unlimited resources into showcasing their brand and capabilities. Best in class because of the deep engineering bench strength which plays at least as important a role in the sport than the driver and driving skill does. Some would argue, more so, unfortunately. Best in class because a Formula 1 car is basically designed as if it was an upside down fighter jet. Best in class because they are unbelievably beautiful.
Where as fighter jets are designed to rise high and fly fast, Formula 1 cars are designed — using much of the same engineering processes and wing architecture — to stick to the ground, and drive fast. Or said more plainly, the faster you drive, the safer in principle you are. the faster you drive in an Formula 1 car, unlike almost any other type of race car, the better the car behaves; because the aero-design causes the car to ‘stick’ to the track. And this is also why in the short term, I have designed to avoid Formula 1 cars, as I train on my racing simulator.
Formula 1 driving, I have come to the conclusion, simply makes you feel more capable than you really are. The technology and the aero-design can make you feel as if you are a better driver than you really are. Which is precisely why, while I am working on my professional racing license in open wheel Formula 4 cars, I have decided spend the bulk of my time focused on learning how to drive well GT3 cars. On GT3 cars, I know that the skill is mine, and when I take a corner at speed, that this was really me — and not a computer, or jet design.
Call it delayed gratification, but I actually believe that approaching motorsports race and driver raining in this way will actually make me a better and more technical driver, it will make me appreciate high speed, aero-aided, open wheel driving that more when I get there.
I love Formula 1 to avoid it in the short term. That said, any and all forms of motorsport are amazing – so no real loss here.
John Hope Bryant