Lewis Hamilton: Formula 1 simulators are no better than computer games

Over the past few years, race teams from every racing discipline have become dependent on racing simulators as a way to improve track performance and reduce the costs associated with conducting an on track test. The positive results of virtual testing are so impressive that simulators have become common place in the world of motorsport. Formula 1 teams are increasingly using these devices to compensate for new F1 regulations that limit the amount of track testing that is allowed in a racing season. While the overall response to the use of simulators has been favorable, 3-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton claims that simulators are about as effective as playing a video game.

Over the past few years, race teams from every racing discipline have become dependent on racing simulators as a way to improve track performance and reduce the costs associated with conducting an on track test. The positive results of virtual testing are so impressive that simulators have become common place in the world of motorsport. Formula 1 teams are increasingly using these devices to compensate for new F1 regulations that limit the amount of track testing that is allowed in a racing season. While the overall response to the use of simulators has been favorable, 3-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton claims that simulators are about as effective as playing a video game.

FORMULA1

Lewis Hamilton: Formula 1 simulators are no better than computer games

“I don’t drive the simulator a lot because it’s not at its best at the moment – we’re working on trying to make it better,” Hamilton said.

“I don’t do a lot of time in simulators. When I was at McLaren we did way too much."

"I could spend £100 on a PlayStation and learn the same amount.”

Hamilton is firmly under the opinion that a race simulator is not able to replace what is learned by actually being behind the wheel of a Formula One car under true track conditions. This belief stems from the fact that a simulator removes all of the sensory experience that suggests any element of danger.

“There’s a difference between driving a simulator and driving the real thing – you have no emotion,” Hamilton stated.

“When you get into the simulator you have to adjust yourself to the simulator, and when you get in the car you don’t adjust to it, you drive.”

“You drive the same track the day before and on Monday you drive the simulator and the bumps aren’t there, the curbs are different, the speed is different.”

“You don’t feel the speed; you don’t feel the physicality of it.”

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