Now in his second season racing for Sauber, Felipe Nasr will continue to write exclusively for F1i to provide insight in to the life of an F1 driver
Points of view
Let me put you in the F1 seat of my Sauber C35. When seated your eye level will be at around 60cm from the ground floor with some 120-degree angle of vision forward, plus a further contribution from your peripheral vision, of course.
With both rearview mirrors taking care of what you are able to see coming behind or from the sides you are done with one of the senses. Then we have the second and most important, the very significant one: the hearing. Besides keeping you alert for any change in engine, tyres, brakes and other mechanical noise alterations, your ears are your constant link to the team. Yes, your other eyes, those that are outside your low seated position and that by watching yours and your competitor’s lap times and your car’s behaviours are able to guide you through a whole grand prix.
Smell plays an important part as sometimes it is your nose that detects changes before you either can see or hear them. Taste is another sense that can be bitter or sweet depending on what the outcome of the three other senses combined bring to you at any given circuit or situation.
The whole weekend in Monaco I did struggle with some sour sounds from the engine (that finally gave up before qualifying), some pretty close sights of barriers (without touching one of them or one of the other competitors), felt the nice ultrasoft smell (and grip) of the ultrasoft tyres and kept building up a good taste in my mouth thanks to work professionally done.
Then came the race. The start from the pits, the struggle to climb up so many positions (even with an engine that I knew from other races that was past its prime) and a general feeling that, from my point of view, all the senses were working in tandem and putting on a good show for the team and sponsors.
Until… here comes the ‘on the air, over the air’ dialogue. Dialogue, no, better say monologue, because the only thing that I said was: “Why? I do not understand the necessity!” And then at the end: “Why did he do that?”
I did not say no, I did not refuse any order, I just kept my head down and my race plan because until that moment (having started so far back) it had proved to be the right one.
It was a pity to be hit by your own team mate in a hasty decision or perhaps a faulty point of view from him and his “eyes” in the pits. With 30 laps still to the end of the race my senses tell me that the taste in my mouth would be a lot different now. But, as the popular saying goes, there are always three versions to the same story: Yours, mine and the truth.
Be sure to come back here for it the week after the Canadian Grand Prix!