f1 race car on track

Heighten your observation skills

Every Formula 1TM World Champion has the habit of making things look easy. Thinking two or three steps ahead and recognising potential threats and hazards on the road before they become unavoidable is part of what keeps leading Grand Prix drivers in the race. When you’re driving this summer, pay attention to the immediate picture in front of you but be prepared for the unexpected and anticipate other road users’ actions and adjust your road position and speed accordingly. By adopting constant vigilance and avoiding the dreaded auto pilot on a familiar journey your drive will be smooth and safe.

f1 race car on track with a red sky background

Gearing up for success 

The secret of high performance driving and maximizing every drop of race fuel is driving efficiency. The best drivers generate speed on the long straights but the most competitive drivers are those that can move effortlessly up and down the gears. So, concentrate on maintaining a constant level of control. The benefit of this technique for the everyday driver is that it leads to reduced wear on brake pads meaning less visits to the pit stop (local garage!). 

 f1 race car taking corner

Corner like a pro

Firstly ascertain the angle, how sharp is it and how far away? The perfect technique is to begin braking before the corner, in what is called the ‘braking zone’. Then change into the correct gear before you begin to turn to ensure you keep the most amount of rubber on the road, giving you the best grip around the corner. As you turn you will be off the brake and then as you come out of the bend you begin to accelerate again.

Sebastian vettel fuel for thought in a shell technical lab

Fuel for thought

To be at your best personally, what we put into our bodies plays an important role, the same goes for your car.  Have you thought about trying our best performance fuel Shell V-Power? The high performance fuel contains 99% of the same types of compounds found in the Shell V-Power race fuel being used by Scuderia Ferrari in the 2016 FIA Formula OneTM World Championship. Luckily, this fuel isn’t off limits to everyday drivers wanting to ensure they get maximum performance from their car and is available at Shell forecourts nationwide, subject to availability. 

Sebastian vettel in Ferrari shirt

Stay hydrated

During the average race, Scuderia Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel loses up to 2-3 litres of water through sweat as temperatures in the cockpit reach temperatures of up to 50C. Even for the everyday motorist, driving uses fierce concentration skills and according to research by Loughborough University** drivers are twice as likely to have an accident if they are de-hydrated. Most racing drivers have fluid packs in the car to keep them sharp. As hydration is equally important when you are behind the wheel always make sure you fill up that water bottle or make a pit stop.

 birds eye view of a racing car on a f1 track

Steering you in the right direction 

If you have misjudged the road, under-steering can become a problem. Under-steer happens when you drive into a corner that when you turn the wheel the car doesn’t turn as tightly as you would like. The only way to get out of this is to reduce speed, by coming off the throttle progressively, not aggressively. Apply the brakes progressively too, unless you have ABS (Anti-Locking Brake System) then you can brake and the ABS system will assist you. 

f1 race car crossing the finish line

Know your limits

Before you try and enhance your driving technique, first take the time to understand how your car works and most importantly its size and power (or lack of it). You might feel like a Scuderia Ferrari driver but chances are your car isn’t a regular on the grid, so appreciate your car’s engine size and performance limits and drive within them, and the highway code and speed limits.

f1 driver in helmet

Keep a cool head

Formula OneTM drivers are the coolest customers on the road. Outside the cockpit there is a wealth on noise and excitement but inside is silent and serene. This is because to make the best decisions, especially when travelling at speed, the brain should not be flooded with stress hormones with the driver in fight or flight mode. Road rage is the biggest enemy so keep your head and style it out. 

By being more aware of all the different factors that can help you stay ahead on the road, you can improve your car’s performance and the effectiveness of your driving, whilst adding a little Formula OneTM sophistication behind the wheel. For more Shell Motorist information and great offers visit www.shell.co.uk/motorist/shell-motorist-app.html and download the Shell Motorist App for free. 

** Research study by Professor Ron Maughan, Sport & Exercise Link here and substantiated by Scuderia Ferrari

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