The routine is always the same after any track session on a practice day or race weekend.
Once your helmet, HANS device and gloves are off and your technician has been briefed on any issues with the car (or otherwise), you take the memory card out of the onboard camera and download it onto a laptop to analyse how you got on.
Then you tuck yourself away in a quiet corner studying it frame by frame in some instances until its time for the next session where you can (hopefully) right the wrongs you saw on the camera from the last session.
This might sound a bit dull and obsessive, but my word is it effective. The cameras aren’t for producing YouTube greatest hits; they’re a real learning aid, for showing to an instructor to really interpret what’s going on and help you improve if you’re not too proud to ask for help.
It’s also not just any old footage. The camera system used in the Radical SR1, some images of which you can see above these words, displays the revs, speed, and gear of the car, plus the lap times, throttle and brake inputs and circuit location. It’s similar to what you’ll see in the Formula 1 coverage on the television, and invaluable in discecting a lap.
The beauty of the cameras is that there really is no hiding place from them. Remember that corner you thought you might have braked too early for, but doubt it did too much damage to your lap time?
Well, the camera tells the full story: your braking was too early, meaning your brain wants to get back on the power early. But if you do that on a tight corner, you’re going to have to come off the power again and maybe brake some more. In short, you’ve ruined the corner.
I’ve put the know-it-all camera footage to good use on the practice day at Snetterton ahead of round three of the Radical SR1 Cup this weekend.
I’m contesting the whole championship. In case you’ve missed any of it, well, it’s been eventful to say the least, as the links at the bottom of this page will testify.
The camera wasn’t needed to show me that for the first half of the day I simply wasn’t quick enough.
My lines and turn-in points were all over the place, and there wasn’t enough commitment through the few fast corners on the track, something that had previously never been an issue.