What is better, using strict braking points or just hitting the brake when it feels right?
My answer….Whichever you prefer!
Here are the pros and cons of using strict braking points vs braking by instinct.
Using strict braking points.
- You always know it’s going to work which inspires confidence
- You can adjust the braking point by small amounts and experiment with the outcome
- You can communicate with your data engineer (could be you mum!) about exact points on the track…. Data folk like exactness
- It makes perfect rational sense to use braking points
- When someone says you need to brake later, you have an reference point to either try it or argue that you do brake as late as they as you should
- Conditions change, you’ll need to have a different braking point for each condition or know how to adjust according to your braking point
- Novel situations mean you lose your reference point and have to brake safely to ensure you make the corner (overtaking or driving in a close pack)
- You might be slow to react to a track improving and adjusting braking point a lap or two later than optimum
Braking by instinct
- You can ignore braking points and focus on the next point so looking further down the road
- Instinct brakers tend to adjust very quickly to grip changes, braking later according to the grip they feel over a lap
- Ignoring braking point frees up mental processing power for everything else that makes you fast
- Overtaking and situations that you have to throw yourself into are easier if you can just do it and not worry by about correct braking point
- Instinct brakers can find themselves a slave to whatever mood they are in, how they feel can determine where they brake sometimes to detriment of performance
- When braking point is open there is no base point to rely on, so when something isn’t feeling right it’s hard to get confident
- It’s hard to talk to your team about where you brake if you decide on the fly, so it can get frustrating in the pit
- When someone says you need to brake later, or earlier it can seem like a vague and useless piece if information
Which one are you? Most drivers know which option appeals to them….. And all the cons can be improved and worked on when you understand them.