There are certain skills and similarities between racing in the real world and on simulations. One of the big things the two share is the requirement for concentration and focus. Getting distracted is never a good thing, although at least the penalties are slightly less with virtual racing.
It’s why every racing driver will tend to have a pre-race ritual. It normally includes making sure everything is prepared. That includes equipment, last-minute drinks and snacks, and a final trip to empty the bladder. It’s amazing how many motorsports stars you’ll spot nipping into the public toilets in the paddock before a race. Or famously resorting to nipping trackside.
The need to focus also explains why racers tend to have specific superstitions before a race. And often it involves putting on their overalls, gloves and helmet in the same order every time. It makes sense when you realise those habits give them time to clear their mind and also reinforce the fact they’re about to go into ‘race mode’. When you watch any grid walk, you’ll see most racers will be trying to ignore everything around them as they focus on the start and first corner.
But even Formula 1 drivers can struggle. For instance at Monaco in 2009, a famous Martini advert actually had to be removed because it was causing drivers to apparently lose concentration.
During qualifying, the advert caused such disruption that Lewis Hamilton may have spun partly as a result, just metres of the billboard close to the Loews hairpin at Monaco. Certainly it’s remember by drivers like Williams Martini Racing veteran Felipe Massa “Every time you passed into that corner you had this woman looking at you. It was just a picture, but it was impossible not to look.”
The famous Martini advert featuring model Jessiqa Pace is actually being displayed again in 2017. Fortunately for the Formula 1 professionals, it’s not going to be on the approach to any corners. Instead it’ll be adorning the heliport for race fans arriving.
Quick Tips To Prep for Virtual Racing:
Being prepared and focused is just as important in sim racing. Although the phsyical punishment for losing concentration is much less, it’s still gutting to lose because you got distracted. I’ve lost a Forza league race because my television switched itself off when I forgot to reset a timer, for example.
So here are some quick tips:
- Make sure you’ve answered any calls of nature before the race start time. And you have any supplies you might need – drinks and snacks.
- Check your TV or Monitor is correctly set-up. Including removing any standby timers, and also check whether any reflections might cause problems if it’s sunny outside.
- Doublecheck controllers, batteries and headset connections. A dying controller adds unneccessary problems, and you don’t want to lose all control and wipe out half the field.
- Turn off notifications – having an Xbox Live or PSN notification tell you a friend has come online isn’t going to help when you’re about to reach your braking marker.
- Let family and housemates know – if you can persuade them not to reset the router (or go online if possible), and not to burst into your games room, that’ll help avoid potential feuds and arguments.