F1 Simulators Are No Better Than Computer Games

According to a recent interview with Lewis Hamilton, F1 simulators are no better than computer games! Lewis says he can learn “the same amount” about current and new Formula 1 circuits by playing computer games as he can when driving in the Mercedes team’s official training simulator.

With testing time limited to a few weeks in a whole year, many drivers utilise simulators and sim racing equipment to train in and commit to memory differing circuit layouts and conditions. For some drivers, simulators have become indispensable and for others they can take them or leave them.

Nico Rosberg just recently described parts of Mercedes’ official simulation of the newest F1 fixture, the Baku street circuit as “weird”. Lewis Hamilton revealed that due to the limitations of the Mercedes simulator, he only drove eight laps in it in preparing for the Baku circuit!

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Current Formula One Triple World Champion Had This To Say About F1 Simulators:

I don’t drive the simulator a lot because it’s not at its best at the moment – we’re working on trying to make it better,” Hamilton said.

I don’t do a lot of time in simulators. When I was at McLaren we did way too much.

I could spend £100 on a PlayStation and learn the same amount.”

Lewis stated that the Mercedes simulator was of more use to their engineers than to the drivers, mainly because the driving sensations of a real F1 car cannot be accurately replicated in a simulator.

There’s a difference between driving a simulator and driving the real thing – you have no emotion,” Hamilton added.

When you get into the simulator you have to adjust yourself to the simulator, and when you get in the car you don’t adjust to it, you drive.

When you get in the simulator you have to adjust all your feelings – you don’t get the same movements, the same bumps.

You drive the same track the day before and on Monday you drive the simulator and the bumps aren’t there, the kerbs are different, the speed is different.

You don’t feel the speed, you don’t feel the physicality of it.

The engineers learn more from the fuel usage, the power usage and aerodynamics.”

A common practice amongst professional drivers in differing levels of motorsport, Lewis also revealed that he no longer participates in track walks during a grand prix weekend.

I’ve walked around circuits since Formula Renault to probably my third or fourth year in F1 and it made zero difference to my weekend,” Hamilton said.

I’ve not walked a track since 2010 and it made zero difference.

It might work for others, but for me it doesn’t.”