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Hitting the virtual circuit with former Formula E champ Sébastien Buemi – Video



While the Coronavirus has shut down most global forms of real world motorsport series like Formula E have made the shift online to sim racing ahead of the all electric series making a virtual stop in a virtual Monaco.
I went online with Nissan advanced driver Sebastian Glenny, one of the most successful Formula E competitors of all time to get some tips on how to drive this track.
And our factor to In the chat about formula ease entry into the world of sim racing.
Are you already on the tripod?
I am coming out right behind it.
So tell one is quite narrow, I think obviously second year.
its a bit nice stuff to drive functionality in it in this same when you downshift, you tend to lock a lot.
I’m sure you found out.>> I may have spun the car a few times during that yes.>>So it’s not easier So that’s why you need to try to downshift if you want to downshift downshift very late, nearly before you go back on power
Mmh okay.
comes to not look very realistic and nobody has 20 years anymore.
We have only one year so.
Importantly me I just put it that in the house gas service via the rest of the corners.
I try not to downshift.
And when do you upshift do you run it all the way up to the rev limiter.
No, I try to shift earlier because I feel that there is more talk basically Like a type of shift quite to be done.
And what’s this setup for the track like for you?
Was it a little bit disorienting The first time you came here, you know, not running up the hill and going through the full course like you’re used to.
Yeah, I think for the first gen generation was nice last year, it was a bit of a shame that we didn’t get to the big clock.
You think it would have been nice But yeah, right now it’s scared of the comparison with Formula One in general.
You know, so why do you try not to drive with the same?
The same circuit?
And how about going through this swimming pool chicane how much curbing Are you taking there?
How much do you get the car in the air?
Are you trying to keep everything on the ground?
Keep it on the ground, but I’m using the car quite a bit this Porsche just because otherwise you need to downshift a lot.
You need to slow down a lot.
Do you mind that slow enough for a second?
So I’m gonna behind you again.
So you’re driving with You don’t have this fee.
Is it good?
Here we go.
Okay, I got you.
Yeah, I tend to prefer virtual reality because it means I can look through the corners into the apex.
That to me makes a big difference.
So yeah, I tend to like VR.
It’s obviously not very good if you’re gonna be in the game for a long, time.
Yeah, it does allow me to, you know, spot the apex, especially if I’m doing like a rally game which I tend to do a fair bit of, you know, it’s really, really important to be able to look up to the road and being able to do that in a virtual reality headset is much, much easier.
Okay.>> How about this corner?
I’ve struggled here a lot.
Are you trying to get the car to rotate and slide a little bit here?
In fact, it just blew that corner completely.
Getting around here quickly.
And I think the good guys, they slide it.
Me, every time I try that either I do too much or I don’t do enough and then I end up basically spilling it.
Yeah, I did a little bit of that too.
And try not to.
Slightly added to counter.>> Yeah how much do these tires work with sliding and they are more of a streetlight compound which you’d think would give him more of a, a more gentle slip angle is that something that you can utilize.>> In the race you don’t want to slide too much just because
Every time you slide a lot to basically overheat the tires.
And the next corner the guy is going to be filling up.
It’s not going to pay up to slide but in in here, I’ve seen that you can basically slide a bit more.
And tell me about the regenerate of the system and how do you balance that with Working the brake balance of the car that’s one area where I’ve definitely struggled trying to get the car to feel balanced because having the the region on the rear in addition to working the brake balance has been something I can’t quite get my head around
Yeah, so depending on how much detail you have to adjust that lead by the surgeon.
If you’d like to look a feature vehicle for one on the white balance And if you’d like less, then you can go down on the region.
And for something that you’re adjusting over the course of a given race usually
So here, obviously I’m still experimenting.
So I’m gonna see what what feels the best And it’s time for something that you need to normally be aware of and deal with or is it other than he did?
Are they usually pretty solid in the game?
I’ve tried to see that much.
To be honest.
Maybe the good guys didn’t see this, but the difference
Is additi depending on the risk it can be also.
How do the developers do when it comes to the sound of the sound about like what you’d expect in the real world?
Yeah, the sound is amazing.
It sounds like that.
And this must have been a big adjustment for you.
Again, coming from a normal, very loud race car to be able to Hear the tires and even hear the wind.
[INAUDIBLE] you get used to that very quickly.
It’s amazing how quickly you get used to that.
Is there something that you rely on now and you listen for the tires?
Do you listen for the feedback from the car differently?
Yeah, yeah you do listen.
You do listen a lot.
Then they’re You see each Gods it’s as its own characteristic, but to be honest, it’s quite interesting to be able to hear sometimes hear issues before we would normally.
What do you do before qualifying Do you listen to a certain set of music a playlist you just try to be quiet I chat with the mechanics I feel like it’s kind of making me stay calm and also thinking about something else and not focusing only about what they’re gonna do.
Because it’s it’s easy to think too much about it.
When you go crazy and you mess it up We got no mechanics here today I’m sorry to say.
Yeah, exactly.
So something tells me though you’ll be okay getting on pole though.
It’s not easy.
I’m finding out.
[LAUGH] Alright, so it looks like low 53 for you and a mid 54 for me high mid, so about a second and a half off.
Not great, not too bad, I guess.
Yeah, to be honest the last three, I don’t know if I’ve done that Martin.
I don’t know who’s done that he.
Anyway, I’ve been struggling with increased density things of that.
So you might have a good chance
Well, we’ll find out here real soon [LAUGH] Is it okay to ask difficult questions and distracted.
Sebastian was not one to be distracted clocking in at 53.137 fastest lap.
I followed up with a 54.7.
Good job.
Thank you very much.
I guess the one lap is not easy.
One and a half seconds we earn a pro.>> I was pretty happy with that.
But now it was time for the race.>> Any tips for the launch semester How do you launch from the ego?
You got no clutch you got no traction control.
How does this work?
Yeah, so I’m staying in Utah and then I basically go to first gear when it starts you know, I can Potter and then when it starts I go to first gear.
Good luck Rania.
[SOUND] Get the line though.
Ran wide.
Not a good start for you.
Very nice cold tires.
[SOUND] All right, thank you.
How are you getting smaller already?
So which of these boats is yours?
I wish [LAUGH]
I got a good start but then immediately put the car in the wall cold tires always got to remember the cold tires.
After that it was just a question of washing smashing gets smaller and smaller and smaller in the distance.
He had mentioned making few mistakes and I tried to keep this clean as I could This car is just so much fun to slide around.
I couldn’t resist having a little bit of fun in the outer corners.
At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter a professional like Sebastian was always going to beat a rookie like me.
There it is.
So I suppose we go back to the pits.
Yeah, I think so.
How much time do you normally spend sim racing?
Are you someone who does a lot of sim racing on your own or is this kind of new to you?
To be honest, I do a lot of simulator for the team in Lamans or for RedBull which allows Even I was just determined for [INAUDIBLE].
So in those kind of thing that I do a lot, but at all to be honest, I didn’t do anything before.
Now I got the same for from formula E. So I’m trying to do a bit but this week I didn’t do much so
I [UNKNOWN] where I qualified more or less 23rd out of 24th, but I qualified much better in the second race there in Leicester, and I finished tenth, but [UNKNOWN] to get a point.
And this week I didn’t get much practice, because I was in Germany, but to be honest, but I’m here try to have something like an hour or day, more or less.
How does this compare to the you know, the big professional sim rigs that you’re doing with the teams that you mentioned before?
To be honest, it’s quite hard, but it’s a nice game not because compared to other sports, you still get to drive more or less like you would do in analogy were any other schools whether football or tennis.
Just count Not gonna happen.
And I get to have a ball inside your office but honestly, it’s not bad.
It’s improving.
Obviously a lot.
The graphics are pretty impressive.
But then obviously the feedback of the we’ll have the fact that the simulators obviously not moving, those kind of things, obviously you will never really get to the But what about the competition though?
I mean, having the real drivers that you’re normally racing against in the real world but now doing it in the virtual world.
That should be the competition is still gonna be really strong, and really, really challenging, right?
Initially to get more like yeah, I’m gonna turn up, and it’s time to practice is fine and then once you are in it.
You don’t want to be behind the wheel.
So you try the best you can.
Obviously everyone is practicing a lot.
So that’s making it very competitive.
So yeah, again whether you race on the vhl world or in reality or in the go kart or the formula you want to do whatever you know And how about your personal fitness and everything else are you having to work a little bit harder now given that there’s no actual racing going on, is it harder to keep that edge that you need?.
Yeah, I’ve been training very hard the last six, seven weeks now I’ve been I’ve been flat out in the fitness side, much more than what I normally Get to do just because travelling too much.
But yeah, it’s been kind of nice to get into a rhythm and get the opportunity to train and sleep and, you know, kind of do it day by day after day.
It’s been kind of nice.
And so how are you looking forward to the season?
I mean, how do you feel going into the races now?
It seems again, you’re struggling a little bit from time to practice.
Do you think you’ll kind of get the groove and come up and excel like you normally do in the real world?
To be honest, I would need to spend more time to clear the slate maybe I don’t know if I have good talent for the virtual world, but I need to spend more time that’s yeah.
I spent a lot of time on the previous track and I got to see improved a lot.
Now for Monaco is not going to be much so we’ll see where I get to.
But yeah, it’s difficult to divide your time because slowly in Europe, things are starting slowly.
So we’re gonna travel to the factory and spend time there so it’s
I’m gonna do the best I can but obviously [INAUDIBLE]
Yeah it really is amazing how much time the dedicated sim racing pro spend doing this.
I’ve been lucky enough to talk to a bunch of them in the past few weeks because there’s so much interest in sim racing right now.
And many of them are spending upwards of six, seven, eight hours a day, sitting in the chair looking at the sim and driving and That kinda blows my mind the idea that you could really sit here for eight hours a day driving.
Sounds kinda exhausting to me.
Yeah, exactly.
So I’m definitely not doing that you know, since I’ve not been in is the first time I mean since Saturday just because I’ve been away but the other you cannot compensate the hours you spend in us.
So it’s, you know.
You’re one of the most successful formula drivers of all time, if not the most successful.
How is the evolution of the series been for you?
You’ve been there for quite a while now.
How’s the car change?
How’s the feel of the driving changed and how is the sport evolved?
It’s been evolving very well, you know, obviously was very important to establish it’s there to make sure it would survive because we’ve seen so many championships collapsing after 1,2,3 years.
And I think we came over that too and now with all the manufacturers involved and we see the level as important The cars are getting better.
We have now the gentle couch here because of the two car scenario in the races.
So all good stuff coming up.
Basically I think we are still far from what we want to achieve.
So families working very hard and try to continue to improve and basically grow
But I think it keeps getting better yeah we’ve never had like deep after a few years it’s always important I think if we continue like that at some point it’s it’s gonna be amazing.
And we’ve been lucky to drive a lot of different amazing cars, Formula One endurance cars Lamar, everything like that.
How does the formula a car feel?
You know what kind of technique Do you need to get the most out of that car versus the other things that you’ve driven before?
So basically everything is a bit different and formulated just before the race on the CD circuit so that that over already makes it a bit different because you don’t want to damage to car if you want to get the limit.
On a normal racetrack, we can rewire the grass or in the runoff, it’s fine, there it’s not fine at all.
Then you have the format of the weekend.
everything’s happening on one day, there’s only one lap qualifying.
So all those small things, are making very difficult And clearly in way in Formula One, it’s all it’s all about getting the maximum out of the car in the situation and allowed, where he it’s more about making sure you don’t do mistakes.
You know, the guy that wins the race is not the guy that didn’t do any mistake is the guy that did the least mistakes.
Get you have to adapt and formulate a lot more.
And I think so far it’s been cool because it made the races very entertaining just because we never know what’s going to happen.
You have only one lucky qualified you have the qualifying groups also that makes it difficult because the leaders are going in the first group when most of the time the track is worse.
So all those things together be completely mixed situation non stop, which is not at all the case in Formula 141 you get so many laps in qualifying that it’s kind of difficult to not get it right.
And then obviously the fastest startup performed, and that’s more or less it.
We’re here.
It’s really hard.
You can look at a glance at the last race you Couldn’t do the lab because they wanted to put themselves on the limit with the timing, you have to stop last.
Or you have many good games that starts at the back.
And then in the race, it makes it very interesting.
And then with the car so if you’ve got a car that’s pretty heavy, but it has a lot of torque, but not a lot of horsepower and not a lot of grip, what’s it like to drive and what kind of technique Do you need to use to get the most out of the car itself.
You need to be constantly in control.
You need to slide as little as you can, but you need to meet the needs.
It’s all about driving a little bit under the 100%.
Just because otherwise if you lock up because you don’t have slick tires, it’s very difficult to unlock the tires so you tend to run wide and then basically you try to get a few hundred.
Last a second.
So it’s all about managing the risk taken.
And the fact that it’s sliding a lot because you don’t have slick tires and quite a lot of thought process to race in city centers.
The risk level, the risk management is more or less everything qualified.
And on top of that, you only have one lap.
So if you, if you don’t put it together, your weekend is.
Half gone and clearly the technique is is about trying to get as close as possible to the limit without obviously making mistakes and trying to slide but not too much.
Yeah, getting the counter control.<< Well, that was my race against the basketball be no surprise that he absolutely clobbered named despite the fact that he hasn’t had as much time to practice as he wanted to.
There’s a lot of fun I actually learned a lot about what it’s like to drive a car.
I’ve driven one myself, but obviously not with the degree of skill that he has.
And essentially to get us thoughts on what it’s like to drive in the game like our factor to versus the real simulators that he uses, and of course, the real car itself, looking forward to seeing how it does this season, and everybody else Of course.
In this new and brave world of sim racing, and I hope you enjoyed the race as much as I did.

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