The principle of the vision method is to address your ‘direct vision’ to the key corner coordinates at the right time and in the right order, and instead of braking a corner up into four parts (braking point, turning in point, apex and exit) we will break it up into two parts, the In (to the apex) and the Out (to the exit). The simpler the job the unconscious/autopilot has to do, the more accurate the solution will be, plus it is much less likely to get overloaded under pressure.
Positioning (using direct vision initially and then peripheral vision) – On the approach to a corner the first thing to do is to ensure that the car is accurately positioned to the white line (edge of the track). Failure to do this accurately and early enough will prevent you from having the confidence to look into the corner early as there will be concern in the back of your mind that you will drop a wheel onto the grass as you turn into the corner. Where there is a very short distance between corners (the final right at Knicker Brook) - this needs to be done totally by your peripheral vision, using your direct vision for positioning normally only happens on straights.
Looking in (direct vision) – Once you are comfortable that the car is correctly positioned vision is transferred directly to the Apex, if it can be seen – if not, vision should be in the direction of the apex (so that you are the first driver to see it). Your autopilot / unconscious combines your memory’s knowledge of the exit (the shape of the corner) with visual information from the apex with the result that you naturally brake and turn at the appropriate points, without any conscious thinking on your part.
Benefits of looking in early:
Seeing the corner early means that you give your autopilot/unconscious more time to calculate perfect entry speed.
Seeing the corner early pacifies your self-preservation instinct (especially in fast corners) you are not looking away from the corner (for a marker) or directly in front of you (where you are going now) so you know what is coming up, there is no mystery and the autopilot/unconscious permits you to enter faster.
As you can see your precise apex point your steering will be more accurate than if you had used a turning in marker (you steer to where you look!). It will also be smooth and precise rather than abrupt and reactive.
Braking markers – If you are not comfortable braking without a marker you can use your peripheral vision to see it whilst using your direct vision to look at the Apex. If this is not possible make sure you look directly to the Apex as soon as you start to brake.
Thinking about the exit – As soon as the car has turned into the corner (approx. 1/3 of the way to the Apex you need to start thinking about the exit whilst maintaining your vision on the Apex). This will allow your autopilot/unconscious to start thinking about the exit so that it can start to think about the balance of the car in relation to when to pick up the throttle. Accurate throttle application is a combination of knowing where the exit point is combined with the feeling from your senses where the limit/balance of the car is.
Transfer your vision to the exit. Thinking about the exit will naturally start you looking for the exit, as a rule of thumb this will be approximately 1/2 way to 2/3 of the way to the apex.
Seeing the exit early will enable you to make corrections to your exit line before the apex, reducing scrub that affects any correction after the apex.
Power application is more accurate based on precise knowledge of where exit is. When drivers lock onto the apex for too long they have to guess/force the throttle application.
Knowing where the exit is also pacifies the self-preservation instinct (because you know where it is!) and allows natural throttle application.
It reduces the likelihood of track limits violations especially under pressure when our ‘guessing’ is likely to be more optimistic.
At iZone we always assess our drivers vision by eye tracking when they first join us so we can see precisely when the driver is looking in and then looking for the exit. Then we can review this on a regular basis to clearly see progress being made through training and to prepare them for the specific vision points for each circuit. Contact us to arrange a session including an eye tracking assessment.