Inside Alfie’s mind: Decoding throttle dynamics for ultimate track mastery

Throttle analysis

The use of the throttle has a big impact on the behavior of the car and therefore has a huge influence on lap times. The throttle isn't just about power; it molds lap times. Skillful throttle coordination grants drivers an edge, enhancing car performance and tire strategy. It boosts lap consistency and results. My focus sharpens on every time you put the pedal to the metal. I tend to divide the analysis into several stages so that you can apply my feedback on the track as easily as possible. Success is a result of theory and practice, so put my advice into use and practice as much as you can on the track to get faster lap after lap.

Start point of the acceleration

These variables all depend on when you step on the throttle after taking a corner. On the straight after a corner, there are significant differences between the top speeds of the drivers. Rather than seeking answers within the car set-up, it’s often the driver’s competence that defines this discrepancy. Whoever can get on the gas earlier will reach maximum speed before the next corner and almost certainly gain an advantage in that section. To maximize your speed, focusing on throttle starting point is paramount. Optimal acceleration entails a sequence beginning with braking and a well-chosen racing line. Essential insights on this subject are collected HERE.

The dynamics of the acceleration are basically determined by where you start, how the car is positioned in the corner, which way it is facing, what steering angle you start the acceleration at and, most importantly, what the top speed will be in the section. I analyze meticulously, accounting for varying degrees of error, and indicate the amount of recommended practice accordingly. A professional level driver, with years of experience etched into their racing DNA, can mentally go through the track while seated in a simple chair, without track layout or gear. These exercises ensure that the drivers know the track by heart. Mastery, however, demands exhaustive practice. So, after an analysis, try to incorporate my feedback to refine your skills section by section.

Reaching the local maximum

The next aspect of my analysis during acceleration is how fast you reach the local maximum. The reason for this is the various corner combinations where you can't reach 100% throttle, but I do see significant differences between drivers. My focus here revolves around the time needed to achieve this value, so I am looking at the length of acceleration. You might wonder why. While shorter intervals might seemingly guarantee better acceleration, balance is more important, hence the saying: acceleration isn’t solely “pedal to the metal”.

Seamless application of throttle is the key. The smoother the throttle curve, the easier it is to control the car and the gentler the tire’s ride. Ultimately the most important is to maximize the contact patches, the four palms of surface area that the car is in contact with the ground. To make the most of these surfaces, various techniques from the world of Formula 1 can be used.

Throttle Finesse

Addressing smooth acceleration is the next on my analysis list. In this part, I pay close attention to eliminating any sudden changes of the accelerator pedal during acceleration. Often, drivers rush to accelerate too early, triggering car instability resulting in correction and they return to less throttle position. Alternatively, cautious acceleration followed by over-braking will lead to not using the full potential of the tires. These pitfalls are apparent in throttle application curve during acceleration

A well-applied throttle will show a consistent increase after a corner without any major cracks. While vehicle setup bears some influence, incorrect throttle application defies easy remedies. These techniques can only be mastered with a lot of practice. With my help we can shorten this time to a minimum, but inevitably you will have to try to improve them lap by lap.

Pedal to the metal

The last parameter I analyze about your pedal usage is the duration of your 100% throttle engagement. While prior factors play a big role in the length of the interval, analyzing this aspect separately is vital as well. Everything comes together here. Once you get to this stage, it impacts even supposedly simpler segments, such as the straights. On twistier tracks, the impact might be muted, yet long straights after corners could cost you precious tenth due to this variation. Keep in mind, any mistakes you make after a corner can only be corrected in the next lap requiring great focus. My recommendation? Adjust corner-induced acceleration glitches to ensure a smooth transition from corner to corner, resulting in enhanced lap times.


Throttle analysis reveals a key truth: the accelerator shapes your race car's performance. Beyond power, it sculpts lap times and boosts competitiveness. From start to peak, each phase is a symphony of skill. Blend theory and practice for refined throttle finesse. Remember, mastery demands dedication. Apply insights, practice, and conquer corners with intent. The result? Faster, more consistent laps.

Use these tips and get on track!