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Thread: I find Aryton Senna's foot work fascinating, especially the throttle

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Default I find Aryton Senna's foot work fascinating, especially the throttle

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    It really is hard to understand. Since it is always mid-corner, could it be a way to keep right at - and feel out - the car's oversteer threshold?

    One thing I had forgotten about in this video,:his car does not appear to have a limited slip rear end (see his smoking start). Maybe this is even more reason for him to more or less continuously "feel out" oversteer during his turns?

    Total speculation . . . .

    Perhaps Billy J (or others) could illuminate.
    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 05-04-2015 at 07:56 PM.

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    Coincidentally, it was 21 years ago from yesterday that Aryton Senna lost his life at Monza. . .

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    Spec Backhoe Champion redtopz's Avatar
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    When my car had mid-corner push I've done this and it seems to help get more grip to the front (and less to the rear) without having to put my foot on the brake. Not sure if that's what Senna was doing though. Like you said, maybe it had more to do with the rear end in that car.

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    Your explanation makes more sense - especially given what Richard has mentioned about understeer on the NSX>

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    Smack-Talkin' Member J. Tyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Caboose View Post
    Coincidentally, it was 21 years ago from yesterday that Aryton Senna lost his life at Monza. . .
    Imola. . .

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    I can't help but think about Dennis Anderson of Grave Digger fame with his characteristic throttle technique
    https://youtu.be/2zf_kI9BQuI
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    I'd like to point out that Senna is doing that footwork in loafers, no helmet, in a right hand drive car, which he probably isn't used to. Just a walk in the park for him. And what is that car he is driving?
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    When my car had mid-corner push I've done this and it seems to help get more grip to the front (and less to the rear) without having to put my foot on the brake.
    This is what I do as well. In fact, I've got my Miata setup for a touch of push, since this suits my driving style the best.

    I remember having an instructor follow me through the esses at Sonoma and commenting on my anything but constant throttle when coming down through them... works really well for turn eleven as well. Basically rotating the car by unloading the rear and getting right back in it.
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    Wowzas. Being an NSX owner and watching him drive a stock one like that is pretty amazing. NSX don't inherently understeer they are actually pretty neutral depending on the alignment. Weight transfer is the big key to being able to drive them fast. Add to that, this video was taken back in 89, and if all things are equal and they didn't give him a fancy set up car then it likely still has the factory suggested 6* deg toe IN in the rear. Which is insaine. Factory changed suggested spec to 4* deg in 91 after Americans were complaining about tire wear; but The reason they added so much initially is becasue the rear beam bushings are as squishy as a wet sponge and dynamically toe out under load. Rumour and mechanical wisdom assumes that the 6* was suggested so that when the bushing was compressing and toe out was occurring you'd still only be around 1* toe IN instead of a dynamic toe out. Having tracked my NSX stockish for about a year before throwing parts at it I can confirm you develop some weird sense for managing this.

    My best guess is maybe he's trying too keep the weight over the rears much as possible for the consistent grip in the longer sweepers then dabbing the throttle too keep the revs up in v-tec threshold. If you think about it that's probably the same technique he was using to spool the turbo to stay in boost in his other ride.

    another epic video is Motoharu Kurosawa at the Nurburgring. His foot work and commitment is AMAZING.


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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    I'd like to point out that Senna is doing that footwork in loafers, no helmet, in a right hand drive car, which he probably isn't used to. Just a walk in the park for him. And what is that car he is driving?
    I'd suspect he was pretty used to driving RHD cars; he started competing in the UK at what, 16 or 17 years of age? And Lotus, McLaren, even Williams were all located in England. (Not to mention WSR during his F3 days)

    Steve

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    another epic video is Motoharu Kurosawa at the Nurburgring. His foot work and commitment is AMAZING.

    [/QUOTE]

    And to think that today a production fwd hatch is 5 seconds faster:


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    Sennas throttle habits are an often discussed topic. I've read books and watched videos of experts trying to analyze and justify why he "tap-dances" the throttle. One hypothesis was to keep the turbo of his racecar spoiled up but it was then countered by the fact he was doing that in lower level formula cars that were NA.

    After thinking about it and experimenting with it in various racecars, I've come to the conclusion that it is primarily a way to keep your mid-cornering speed up and depending on how frequently or aggressive you tap the throttle, you can shift the handling balance of the car. The constant taps shifts weight forward and back, thus "rocking" the car in an unstable fashion to unload the rear in an under steering car or to load the rear in an oversteering car, depending on the throttle inputs and at what phase in the middle of the corner that they are applied.

    Between changing the balance of the car and keeping up mid corner speed are the two main advantages that I see and have experienced. I vaguely recall a comparison of Senna and Schumachers styles in a hairpin, where Senna had more of a constant radius, higher apex speed while Schumacher had more of a diamond/parabolic line, a slower apex, but higher entry speeds and earlier full throttle points. Generally speaking, I've grown to adopt the latter but this also helps to explain Sennas unique driving style.

    I'm not sure if its true, and whether right or wrong, I like to attribute these videos of Sennas driving as a major influence on Japanese driver's aggressive (and often poor) driving styles. Trying to mimic what Senna was doing but in a relatively unsuccessful degree. Its hard not to feel that way when you work with and see video of Japanese drivers who are all over the place with their inputs when behind the wheel. Maybe Senna didn't have thia Nationwide cultural impact and Japanese drivers are just crazy; but that is my hypothesis.

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    Mika H. Had a similar style also as did most of the 80's F1 stars if I recall. Schumacher brought in the smooth throttle application style to f1 which seemed to suit the modern cars and electronics better.

    This allow allowed Schumacher to carry more speed through high speed sections as he relied on fine inputs vs big changes that upset the balance of the car.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NtaV_cOGgTM
    Last edited by RobertR1; 05-07-2015 at 10:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuntman View Post
    Sennas throttle habits are an often discussed topic. I've read books and watched videos of experts trying to analyze and justify why he "tap-dances" the throttle. One hypothesis was to keep the turbo of his racecar spoiled up but it was then countered by the fact he was doing that in lower level formula cars that were NA.

    After thinking about it and experimenting with it in various racecars, I've come to the conclusion that it is primarily a way to keep your mid-cornering speed up and depending on how frequently or aggressive you tap the throttle, you can shift the handling balance of the car. The constant taps shifts weight forward and back, thus "rocking" the car in an unstable fashion to unload the rear in an under steering car or to load the rear in an oversteering car, depending on the throttle inputs and at what phase in the middle of the corner that they are applied.

    Between changing the balance of the car and keeping up mid corner speed are the two main advantages that I see and have experienced. I vaguely recall a comparison of Senna and Schumachers styles in a hairpin, where Senna had more of a constant radius, higher apex speed while Schumacher had more of a diamond/parabolic line, a slower apex, but higher entry speeds and earlier full throttle points. Generally speaking, I've grown to adopt the latter but this also helps to explain Sennas unique driving style.

    I'm not sure if its true, and whether right or wrong, I like to attribute these videos of Sennas driving as a major influence on Japanese driver's aggressive (and often poor) driving styles. Trying to mimic what Senna was doing but in a relatively unsuccessful degree. Its hard not to feel that way when you work with and see video of Japanese drivers who are all over the place with their inputs when behind the wheel. Maybe Senna didn't have thia Nationwide cultural impact and Japanese drivers are just crazy; but that is my hypothesis.
    Billy,

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    i dont think Honda uses degrees for toe in, it should be 4 or 6mm total toe in for 255/40/17

    6mm is 0.54 degrees
    4mm is 0.36 degrees

    i use 0.3 degrees on the NSX i drove for time attack

    i also think the NSX Type R would be a lot faster with new extreme performance tires nowadays
    Jaku 峠

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    Jackalope Pimpslapper Leisure Suit Louie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaku View Post
    i dont think Honda uses degrees for toe in, it should be 4 or 6mm total toe in for 255/40/17

    6mm is 0.54 degrees
    4mm is 0.36 degrees

    i use 0.3 degrees on the NSX i drove for time attack

    i also think the NSX Type R would be a lot faster with new extreme performance tires nowadays
    Ho-Lee Sh!t.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Suit Louie View Post
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgddIuoIPg

    Senna has been doing that on/off throttle style since the karting days !

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