I am currently concerned about consistency.
It seems very difficult to find the point where we can do something with the same status of concentration keeping focused in every moment.
I have been thinking about this problem and what is stopping me (maybe stopping you too) to achieve a state where we can fight, we can get the apex and we can remain the calm enough without losing the focus.
I think of several factors:
Temperature: We all know about extreme conditions which a real race driver should withstand, but unfortunately we are not, so we can take advantage and drive in a perfect controlled environment. I usually want to start a race in a lightly fresh environment, because I know after 4 or 5 laps of maximum concentration I going to start sweating and warming up. Hot is playing against you. It makes to lose your mind slowly without notice of this happening.
Gloves: I don’t want to waste good points due to the fact I am sweating or not being comfortable enough with the steering wheel on my hands. I need to be focus in what my hands feel and my eyes see. Something with grip to grab the wheel but light enough to not be sweating after those first 5 laps. Some people needs to feel the wheel, using fingerless gloves.
Shoes: Depends on your pedals. Brake stiffness makes a wide range of choices. People who want to race on socks to get more sensitivity or people with modded pedals or pro pedals with enough stiffness to demand a thick sole. I have friends racing with thinner soles to feel the pedals better. It is up to you and your soles.
Glasses, hair, eyelash, eyebrows: Anything disturbing your vision is compromising your consistency. Maybe you can keep out these things for a while, but sometime during the race you are going to need to take a brake in that straight and you are going to mess your mind with that little spot, stain or whatever thats in the middle of your sight.
Pains: Back, handpads, forearms, sole, calfs, etc. Maybe an out of training state can be the origin of these little pains disturbing you at the decisive moment in the race. Check the specific existing training for drivers on the net to boost some of this muscles. Do some stretching before the race, only to be the sure that your muscles stay relaxed before the start. If these pains become greater of even a chronic trouble, maybe you are not driving in the right position.
Software and Hardware: Everything on these both has to be perfect before the race. Networking, GPU temp, FFB, frames, input lag, setup, fuel, FOV, pit stops… Everything. Spare your time achieving the perfect equipment within your reach.
Natural lighting: Besides sometimes a cover increase the immersion feeling, don’t forget you are watching a virtual image with no natural lighting, sometimes flickering, some times saturated, etc. Screens dry your eyes and give you an extra lighting very different from the natural one. Long sessions can be stressful and prone to cause mental fatigue and headache.
External distractions: Streaming, chatting, spotting, texting or even reading others drivers messages can ruin your race. External information screens can be a source of distractions too. Try to avoid to check your external HUD more than twice per lap. You will usually don’t need it.
You can hardly control your family… 🙂
Perhaps this list seems very strict, neurotic or obsessive. Let me tell you, I did some of my best races bypassing many aspects on this list, but I am trying to reduce the failure to a minimum, with no excuses.