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How some Formula 1 tactics make driving a bit easier

Driving vehicles these days is no less than a nightmare. It’s a constant weaving pattern on the roads where you are trying to evade the next vehicle on the road rather than drive your own vehicle. Everybody loves speed, so here I am putting together some of the few practical aspects of driving inspired by none other than the pinnacle of racing - Formula One. These tactics and methods when used in real life also would prove to be beneficial when you’re driving. The only catch here is that it’s based on my personal experience over the years and not all points are applicable when you’re driving car because over the years I have gathered this way of driving on my Activa. So what’s applicable to 2 wheelers would be true for cars, but yeah , a few points are common to driving all. 

So it’s time to take the leaf out of the Formula One racing car booklet, real life and hit the road. It does not mean that only Formula One experience and tactics would come into play. There would be few instances where you would also get a glimpse of how closely it resembles flying a fighter jet way you have to think like a fighter pilot, even on the road. So, bringing you this small, light read, without any particular order-

Tires – “There is a puncture and I am coming into the pits”. This line has been spoken over the years in F1 by the drivers. Even if it’s a puncture or a bit of loss of air pressure, it affects the racing car. Same is the case with two wheelers, wherein if you drive the vehicle, you would instantly notice a drop in the handling of the vehicle and the drive if they raise even bit of less air pressure in a tires So it's advisable to keep the tires at the correct air pressure at least once a week. Don’t try to dive into the pits at the very last moment.

Helmet – The basic safety device. The one worn in India not because of safety, but more due to saving money due to challans and all. People are apprehensive about wearing it because it feels odd to have a मटका over your head, which feels really uncomfortable and inconvenient. It takes time to get used to the helmet and once you get the hang of it. Believe me, you won’t leave home without it. It had taken me three days actually get a hang of the helmet. My jaw was pinning and even the shoulders were exhausted in the beginning but as time passed, it only felt like a second skin. Instead dead of saving money on cheap duplicates, it is better to splurge somewhere around1100 bucks to buy a branded ISI stamped helmet. They aid in driving as in adverse weather such as heavy rain, dust, you easily pull down the visor as a fighter pilot and continue driving unabated. You also don’t have to squint your eyes as you do it without helmet to focus on the road ahead. No hindrance in vision means a lot of ease in driving.

Fuel –Whether or not you like mocktails or not, don’t ever try to do that with fuel. The so-called ordinary unleaded petrol and the specialty branded petrol don’t work together well. The real advantage of increased mileage in branded fuel would only come to the forefront after you have had at least two eyes filled up the tank with that fuel. If you are refilling the tank with branded petrol and there is already unleaded in the tank, be assured that you will see a drop in the mileage for this time. It’s only when you use branded fuel for a few times that you would start noticing the increase in mileage otherwise not. Another con of branded fuel is that it is used up more in braking than unleaded. I have noticed this many times over the years that while braking a lot of fuel is used up in comparison to the unleaded one.

Watch out watch out- There is a commercial by a company with the tagline, “the streets are full of idiots”. Whether you like it or not, this is a hard reality of every Indian city, Indian road. You have got to watch out. One of the primary requirements the Indian air force looks for is to have multitasking ability and very sharp vigil sense. This is what is used while driving. You never know when some idiot would suddenly swerve in front of you at a T point, would jump the red light or the likes. You have to scan the roads like a radar may be probably some 75 m ahead of your vehicle with the constant thought to take any emergency action if the need arises. You would have animals making – across the road, people running in front jumping dividers as if their clothes are on fire…. These are the idiots which make driving so dangerous. So watch out the road in front of you.

The “ बाहर की गाडी “ - These vehicles are more of a nuisance and less of a threat. The driving style of a vehicle, in most cases 4 wheeler is alien to the traffic part in a few city just by looking at the number plate of the vehicle. If the vehicle is going too slow or too cautious, you can very well conclude that the person is from another city and is probably searching for destination. The only way to get past it is to overtake it as soon as possible. Otherwise you would be lagging behind that vehicle for may be kms.

Benchmarkers- This is a tactic used in F1, wherein you put a car between you and your pursuer , so that the one behind takes time to overtake the car you have put between you and him and in the meantime you can make a quick getaway. It has happened many times where the guys with the cars just honk unnecessarily and tried to overtake you. When you know that there is just enough space for a two wheeler to overtake the car or vehicle in front of you. In that case, make a judgement and overtake the vehicle as soon as possible and 9/10 times the car behind you would now be stuck trying to overtake the benchmarker and you can make a quick getaway. It’s all about way you overtake the car in front so that the eager followers stuck at a point with can’t overtake and he can’t trouble you with his so-called fake urgency.

No radio- Its only for F1 drivers and fighter pilots who have the facility of using radio communications while they are driving the car / flying the jet. Don’t ever try the hero gimmick of either driving with a cellphone stuck in the helmet or with the earphones on. You won’t realise that it’s really fit in in case of an accident where the shards of broken cellphone or earphones can badly damaged the ears and can lead to serious injuries or even disabilities. It’s only fighter pilots who were trained to do multiple data art once, but remember that they are up there in the sky with no traffic and you are in a very different position on the road with so many vehicles going bumper to bumper, you don’t have the luxury of clear skies and afterburners. Somethings are reserved for those who are good at it. You are not a fighter pilot, you are not driving an F1 car at the circuit…. You’re doing nothing of it, so chill out and don’t do these things. You’re not trained for this.

Overtake – This is more or less related to the benchmark. You slingshot from very close to the vehicle in front of you and overtake with increasing speed. That’s what I term as using DRS and slingshot manoeuvre. There is reflexes become accustomed to overtaking the vehicle in front with a sudden burst of acceleration. Aerodynamically also it helps ours overtaking from what you term as point blank range, distance wise would help you much easily done overtaking from say a few feet away. The chance to overtake does not mean that you necessarily overtake, come what may. If you feel that you want to be able to safely overtake the vehicle in front and make a getaway of comfortable few metres after that due to the opposing lane traffic, you can always bail out of the manoeuvre, and that’s what F1 drivers also do.

Honk that horn- What I’ve noticed over the years is the fact that people dont use horns when really needed. At blind corners use the horn or maybe even when you know that the blind spot damn dangerous for the usage of the horn at the very last moment, it’s advisable that you start blaring the horn a few metres before you approach your designated turn or blind spot. It might seem a bit rude to the others. Bart there have been instances where the approaching vehicle from the opposite side has slowed down the vehicle so that we both don’t have a head on collision. It’s also helpful in instances where you know just by observing that the vehicle or vehicles in front of you can turn any moment or even come to a stop. It’s in times like these that the horn lets them know that there is somebody behind , who is trying to tell you to be cautious with your sudden movements.

Load changes everything- What you might think is possible when driving solo won’t be true when you’re riding somebody at the pillion. The added weight throws a whole lot of new equation and affects the amount of throttle available to you, the overtaking time and speed at your disposal plus the reflexes also have to factor a lot of things. You can’t weave and overtake as you did previously. Because this time, you also have to take care that the person sitting behind you does not get hurt in this overtaking manoeuvre.

Those silent hitters – That’s what I term these so-called e rickshaws. Providing employment to the person driving those be dammed, these are one of the biggest security hazards on the road. Everybody now who does nothing substantial just buys an e rickshaw and starts plying on the road. Kids who have never probably riden a bicycle also operate these vehicles. Damn dangerous for the other people who are driving on the road. Stay clear of these people. Use benchmarks, overtaking, DRS, slingshot or whatever means necessary, but make sure that you’re not stuck behind them. Also, the bugger fact is that they don’t use headlights at night because of conservation of battery so you don’t know that they’re coming from the opposite direction, you would have no clue and they don’t care.

Fire up those missiles- Now this is a very fun thing I do. If I’m stuck in traffic where I can’t overtake with the ease or drive at my normal speed I turn into a 10-year-old and start fining those imaginary missile and machine gun from my activa and imagine explosions. This really helps me to de-stress while it creates distance between me and the various vehicles so that in the next few metres I can try all those overtaking tactics once the road is a bit clear and have a clean shot at getting away. In my imagination I’ve blown up, probably thousands of vehicles over the years while waiting for traffic lights to go green, overtake and such things.

I keep my mind radar on and I’m constantly looking at the situational awareness on the route. These are some of the few points which help you tackle can help you tackle the traffic issues a bit more easily. As said before, it’s a mix of F1 and a fighter pilot flying his jet.
How some Formula 1 tactics make driving a bit easier How some Formula 1 tactics make driving a bit easier Reviewed by Shwetabh on 10:06:00 PM Rating: 5

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