Techniques for Changing Gears
The changing of gears in a racecar is as fundamental as braking or accelerating. It is a factor that differentiates more experienced drivers from beginners; those who know their car well can gain milliseconds with each gear change during a race.
When braking, it is necessary to change gears in order to exit a curve accelerating, without losing any time. But Ayrton Senna’s suggestion was not to do this at the beginning of the process:
When accelerating, the driver must change gears rapidly, taking advantage of the rotation intervals when the engine has more power. Whenever the rotations are higher than this interval, you should put it into a higher gear.
Making the perfect gear shift in a space of milliseconds to make a difference on the track with a manual transmission is something very few could do.
With advances in technology however, gear changing in today’s Formula 1 has come to rely on semiautomatic transmissions. This requires less expertise from drivers but the principal benefit has been in relation to safety: