Q: “I have a question about memory. I’m one of those drivers that can’t really remember what I did in the last corner, let alone what I did one or two sessions ago. What can I do to be able to retain that information so when I look at the data, I can assign my actions to the outcome of that sector or lap?”
A: First of all, you’re not alone. Many drivers have a problem remembering what happened on the track.
I’ve coached drivers to improve their ability to recall what happened, and be able to report it when they sit down with an engineer or while reviewing data and video. The simplest and most effective way I’ve used is to have a list of questions that will be asked after each and every track session, and know that when you come off the track you’ll have to answer them. If you plant these questions in your mind, your brain will keep track of them while driving, and you’ll remember more when you come in.
This will not happen overnight. In fact, it will take a bit of time for your brain to get used to the process, but it will make a difference.
A few questions to ask yourself each and every time you come off the track are:
- “If I could have the car do one thing better, handling-wise, what would that be?”
- “If I had to find half a second of lap time, where would I first look for it – what would I do?”
- “What is the one thing I could improve with my driving?”
From there, I’d get more specific to your own driving and car. If your goal is to focus on your car’s handling, ask more detailed questions about what it’s doing, where, and what you’re doing with the controls when it does that. If your goal is to focus more on your driving, ask questions more specific to that, such as where can I brake later, brake lighter, release the brakes sooner or more smoothly, where should I turn into each corner, how can I spend more time at full throttle?
Again, if you get in the habit of asking yourself these questions every single time you come off the track, you’ll be priming your brain to answer them. And soon you’ll find it easier to remember what happened on track.
Finally, I answered another version of this same question a while ago, so check out that Q&A at https://speedsecrets.com/ask-ross/how-can-i-get-better-at-remembering-what-i-felt-when-driving-on-track/.