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Video: Does the Perfect lap exist? The engineers' take

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Video: Does the Perfect lap exist? The engineers' take
Nov 6, 2013, 11:09 AM

F1 is all about the interaction of man and machine in search of the maximum performance.

F1 is all about the interaction of man and machine in search of the maximum performance.

We have been running a discussion on the concept of the Perfect Lap recently, which was inspired by a video shoot I took part in recently with some of the McLaren people. They are exploring the notion, with the help of one of their partners SAP, of how man and machine combine and it's a fascinating subject in light of the example we have this year in F1 and what lies ahead next year, as the recebt post on Alain Prost underlined.

Take a look:

McLaren also ran a blog post by my old colleague Alan Henry, who recalled the ultimate perfect lap by Ayrton Senna at Monaco in 1988. This was a lap that was mentioned by a number of readers in our recent poll on JA on F1.

To quote a section from it: 'Senna's pole lap was a staggering 1.5 seconds quicker than Alain, a double world champion already, could manage.

"And, remember, we were using race tyres for much of qualifying, which meant we could manage more than a single-lap run," Ayrton told my dear old friend, the late Denis Jenkinson of Motorsport magazine. "I got to the stage when at one point I was actually more than two seconds a lap faster than anybody else, including my team-mate, who was using the same car, the same tyres, the same everything.

"It wasn’t because he [Alain] was going too slow," Ayrton explained, "but because I was going too fast. I felt at one stage that the circuit was not a circuit any longer, just a tunnel of Armco barrier. But [events were unfolding] in such a way that I was over the level I considered reasonable. There was no margin, whatsoever, to anything.

"When I had that feeling," Ayrton went on, "I lifted immediately [from the throttle pedal]. Then I felt I was operating on a different level, which I didn’t quite understand. So I backed off and came into the pits. I said to myself, 'Today, that was special. Don’t go out any more. You’re vulnerable.'"

Fabulous stuff!

You can read the whole post HERE
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