Feedback Is Key For Managing Recovery
In order to shave lap-times by fractions of seconds, the dialogue between a driver and their race engineer is very important. Engineers are reliant on clear and accurate feedback in order to adjust the car’s performance accordingly.
For the Prodrive Driver Performance team, feedback from each driver is equally as important.
Following each stint, a Driver Performance trainer will be ready to help each driver as soon as they get out of the car. However this doesn’t simply mean handing the driver a drink and a cold towel and asking them how they are feeling; instead the trainer is looking for immediate feedback on two levels:
1. Physical exertion – We will ask the driver for a score out of ten in terms of how physically demanding the stint was. This may be followed-up by checking the colour of the driver’s tongue as a basic way of monitoring their hydration levels.
2. Emotional strain – The driver will also provide a score out of ten in terms of cognitive strain and fatigue caused by the relentless concentration required for fast, consistent lap-times.
The PEES scale described here is utilised in many endurance sports, including triathlon and cycling to help manage an athlete’s recovery following exercise.
This is particularly relevant in a motorsport context due to the short window of opportunity to work with a driver before they have to get back in the car for their next stint.