I’ve never sat in a Formula One team simulator but I’ve read review from people who have. They say these machines are incredible and a real effective tool for development. That’s is only half of the truth according to Lotus F1’s Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver says he’s not that keen on simulators:
“I’ve never been a big fan of those and you never get as close to what real driving on the circuit is,” Raikkonen said. “We can probably do a lot of things to learn the circuits and stuff like that, but I don’t think this is really going to change things.”
You have to ask yourself, is this Kimi being Kimi or is there some merit to the fact that the teams have gotten excited about simulators, spent millions but the reality is never the same as pounding out miles? A technical team can develop a simulator and look at data to show how the simulated car is working but if you think about it, there are precious few humans who ACTUALLY know what it’s like to drive a Formula 1 car. Kimi is one of them and would be best positioned to tell you the difference.
It seems a necessary evil at the moment with no testing and limited funds for the teams due to economic depression. Perhaps the biggest question is the actually feel of a simulator versus the reality of driving and in that, the professional drivers would most likely say it isn’t the same but is it close enough to have a massive impact on the actually car come time to sit in it and race?