Q: “At a recent track day, an instructor told me that I was sitting too far from the steering wheel, and yet it feels comfortable to me. I’ve seen other drivers sit closer to the wheel, but that looks cramped to me. Is there a rule of thumb for how far from the steering wheel I should sit?”

A: The best “rule of thumb” is this: lay the wrist of one hand over the top of the steering wheel, at the 12 o’clock position; with your wrist resting on the top of the wheel, you should still have a slight bend in your elbow without pulling your back/shoulder away from the back of the seat. If your elbow is bent too much, you’re too close; if your arm/elbow is straight, you’re too far away from the wheel.

There are always exceptions to this “rule,” but that provides a good place to start. If this requires you to move your position from what you’re used to, it may take a while to build a new habit, and for it to feel comfortable. But the only reason the way you’re sitting now feels comfortable is because you’ve driven that way for quite some time. Adjust the seat and steering wheel as I suggest, give it time, and it will not only be better for your driving, but it’ll become comfortable, too.

I’ve seen drivers improve their lap times, and be more consistent by adjusting how far they sit from the steering wheel. It’s that important to get it right.