Tips From The Best
We all have karting in common and would like to be the ultimate driver on the track, so how do we improve our skills? For one we can practice and practice until we have mastered each corner and overtaking line to become the top dog on the leader board…. but can we also learn from the pros?
One thing I think we can be sure of is that anyone who is a master in their field did not get there by accident – hard work and dedication played a huge part. So, what are the pro’s top tips for consistently being the best you can be on the track?
Keep on keeping on
Lewis Hamilton has not only bagged the F1 world title this month but he has been crowned the Sports Personality of 2014, despite having a shaky start to the F1 season. So what made him carry on through the tough times? In a recent interview Lewis admitted: “Of course there have been tough races like Monaco or Spa – with Spa probably the lowest point of the season. But the following race at Monza was a boost - in my drive and feeling in the car – so that teaches me that you should never give up”. So like Lewis; take the knocks on the chin, grit your teeth and try again.
I am sure that not many drivers will admit to being superstitious when it comes to pre-race routines and regimes, but personally before a race I will always make sure I don my lucky socks and gloves. I would not race without them, so does that make me superstitious? Rumours have been circling about drivers sticking to a set routine – for example Rossi always puts the same boot and glove on first and mounts the bike from the same side before every race – and other drivers make sure they have a ‘lucky charm’ or artefact about their person during a race. It is rumoured that even Seb Vettel takes a lucky coin into his car, and we have all heard about David Coulthard’s lucky pants….. So karters, what’s your pre-race routine? If it works for you then stick with it.
Fitness is key
I think we all know how tough it is to be an F1 driver, despite, as Heikki Kovalainen says; “A lot of people think that all the drivers do is sit in the car, put the throttle down and whichever car has the most power, that’s who wins.” But as any good karter knows, track racing is extremely tough due to the G you can pull on the bends – sometimes up to 5G - so drivers have to have a combination of power, aerobic fitness and mental strength. “The neck and the aerobic condition are the two main facets for any F1 driver, so that is what we concentrate on.” Fitness is key, karters.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
So we are all agreed that to be the best you need to never give up, find a lucky regime and to make sure that your body is in tip-top condition, but I am sure that any driver worth his salt would not end his race-prep there. Jenson Button identifies familiarising himself with the track as an absolute deal-breaker; “Focus on what you are doing and run through the race in your head. I close my eyes and visualise myself driving around the circuit. In F1 it’s all or nothing: you drive out to the circuit and immediately you’re racing – you don’t have time to warm-up – so preparation is key to a good race.”
So karters, if you want to be the best of the best then take advice from the professionals – after all they are at the top of their game and know what it takes to make it as a master on the track.
All the best, Bruce