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Data Analysis Fundamentals: Throttle Application

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Throttle Application

02.44

00:00 - We've already discussed the use of some basic metrics we can derive from the throttle position.
00:06 However there's a lot more we can learn about how the driver is applying the throttle and how the car will accept throttle.
00:12 We can often also see areas where the driver is unecessarily lifting out of the throttle due to a lack of confidence.
00:20 Let's start by discussing what the driver does with the throttle through the mid part of the corner.
00:24 Once the car is turned in and reaches the apex of the corner, some amount of throttle can be used to balance the car and maintain cornering speed.
00:33 On this basis, a red flag to look out for is any extended periods where the driver is neither on the brakes nor on the throttle but rather just coasting.
00:42 This is common with novice drivers and immediately shows that they're losing potential lap time.
00:48 The usual culprits here are braking too early for the corner and bleeding off too much speed so the driver just gets off the brake and coasts into the corner.
00:57 A similar situation occurs when the driver lacks confidence or understanding of the maximum lateral G force the car can generate and coast through the apex because they think they're carrying too much speed or are at the limit of their available grip.
01:11 The way the throttle is applied will also tell you a lot about the handling balance of the car.
01:16 As the driver applies the throttle, weight will be transferred to the rear of the car.
01:20 This can then result in the car understeering wide of the desired cornering line.
01:26 The natural tendency is to lift off the throttle to transfer the weight back onto the front tyres and to scrub off some speed to allow the front to grip and reduce the understeer.
01:35 This shows up in the throttle trace by the driver initially rolling into the throttle before getting back off the throttle and then gently reapplying the throttle once grip is restablished.
01:46 If the understeer is significant, then we may end up seeing a hobby horse trend where the throttle trace of the driver is repeatedly on and off the throttle in an effort to balance the understeer and get back to full throttle at corner exit.
02:00 The confidence lift is a little harder to define without a reference lap from a more skilled driver however this is something that we will often see in a fast corner where the driver just lacks confidence to trust the car and commit.
02:13 This will be visible as a lift off the throttle in the mid corner, often followed by the driver getting back onto full throttle.
02:19 This lift may well be necessary in some instances and looking at the lateral G force channel will give us a pretty good idea if the car is in fact at the limit of grip.