If you really want to get going in motorsport, but do not have your own race team hanging around yet, well, why don’t you start on the simulator?
Is the simulator really that realistic? It doesn’t seem to be like that! What about the g-forces? This is just playing games but not real motorsport!
Blaaaa, blaaaaa, blaaaaa!
I can’t hear it any longer. Racing is bloody expensive. Sure, if you can afford to crash 20 cars until you are anywhere close to being good, sure, go for it! But for all the others that do not want to crash half a million euros worth of cars, why don’t you start on a simulator.
Sure, it is not the same as in a real race car, but it’s helping you a lot to get perfect at the basics! And that is basically the only thing you need to get good at for the beginning. What do you think makes a formula one driver the better driver? Right, because they are perfect at the basics. The braking, the cornering, the consistency, they perform on the highest of levels. The simulator practice can prepare each and everyone of us perfectly for the real world of racing, even though there might be no g-forces or actual costs for damages.
Driving a race car is a skill, not an inborn superpower.
Everyone can learn it! Sure, some talent might be needed when it comes to getting into the top 5%. But for the sake of becoming an amateur race car driver, everyone can do that.
Have you ever heard about the 10000 hour rule? It basically says that you need to spend 10000 hours on something in order to become a master at that. Of course we could argue about the fact, that the quality of those hours is important as well. But generally speaking, the more time you spend on something the better you become.
Therefore, according to this theory, the only way for you in order to become world class at something might be to get through these hours.
Imagine how much time it will take you to get to your 10000 hours in motorsport without a simulator. HA! You better do not calculate the costs for doing that! But what about the idea to do your first 5000 hours on a simulator?
I started sim racing five years ago and managed to reach the first 3000 hours already. Was it expensive? Not really! With an investment of around 3000€ for the equipment and the costs for electricity, lets say 1000€ the 3000 hours are getting pretty much inexpensive.
4000 € / 3000h = 1,33 €/h
Imagine I would have done these hours in the real world! OH MY GOD! That would be a lot of money! Therefore, be a realist. Racing is expensive! Start slowly and move your way up to wherever you want to go!
In racing the experience matters. Depending on the type of racing you want to do, the skillset can be completely different. From endurance racing, to hill climbing. Sure, you need to handle a car in every discipline, but the way of handling might be different. From the drift sport, to sprint series, from endurance racing to slalom courses.
5 years ago, I thought that I was a good driver already. Today I know, that I was not! You think that you are a good driver? Really? 😂
But only participating in the virtual world? No, of course not! You should also get some real life driving time. Why don’t you go on the kart track for example? You can learn the basics, be relatively safe and it doesn’t cost you a ton of money. But sure, depending on the amount of money you can afford to spend, there are other options as well.
For me personally, it helped a lot to drive a formula student car for a few test days. You instantly get a better feeling for what is racing all about.
Looking at my skills today and where I want to go with my racing hobby, I guess I need to improve by another 50% or so percent. Sure, if someone might sit in my car while driving fast, they do not see any chance how an improvement of 50% might be even physically possible. But it is of course not only about being faster. It is also about being consistent, dealing with other race cars, constantly changing weather conditions, different tires, the complete setup work and so on and so forth.
Racing is not just sitting in a car and turning the wheel. Racing is so much more than that! Sure, the simulator will not teach you anything. But it will be the perfect start into the world of motorsport.
See you next time!