- the team principal of the Williams
Racing team, explained why F1
is so challenging and why rookies from any other series have trouble managing Formula 1 cars.
F1 is called the pinnacle of motorsport, and there is a reason for it. There are essentially no other cars (no matter the series), that would be able to complete laps on the 24 circuits in the calendar as fast as F1 cars.
One of James Vowles's drivers - Logan Sargeant
, debuted in F1 during the most recent season, and it was clear he struggled a lot.
Step from any other motorsport series into this one is enormous. To put numbers on it, F2, and even IndyCar, for that matter, would be about 14 seconds behind on a lap time, so you're in a different ballpark to what you're experiencing here.
The raw speed of the car is the first aspect, but then there are problems like managing the tire temperatures, and that is where the best drivers stand out from the crowd.
"And it takes the drivers time to extract everything out of the tires. Just focusing on the tires for a second because that is the predominant item; you're trying to get all four tires within a few degrees of their optimum temperature."
Optimum temperature of the tires makes a significant difference and we often saw some drivers during the 2023 season struggle in qualifying sessions when they couldn't bring their tires to the right temperature. Vowles added:
"The window is only about four or five degrees. You're trying to focus on that whilst trying to manhandle a car at 300 kilometers an hour on a circuit. It's just a different world, and it takes quite a while."