As the software and hardware of F1 simulators evolves, it gets closer and closer to the real thing. Which makes them all the more useful. If it can be driven more like a real car and can feel more like a real car, the feedback will be more accurate and therefore more performance can be found.
Modern F1 simulators feature real chassis, pedals, steering wheels and the drivers will often be kitted up in race suits, gloves and helmets to get as close to reality as they can. The sim hardware simulates the movements of an F1 car with impressive realism, so the drivers feel every bump, snap of oversteer or kerb.
Anthony Davidson has been driving in the F1 simulator in Brackley for over a decade. “I am always amazed by how close the data can match the real car and that didn’t really used to happen, whereas today it feels more like a real car,” he says, on how realistic modern F1 simulators are.
“The way the car behaves, the way that not just the hardware of the sim itself behaves but the software, and I say both of those have been an equal rate of development. I have seen the simulation and computational power just go off the chart and I can't imagine where it will be in another 20, 30 years. It never stops.”