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17/11/2022

To be faster
Understeer

In understeer, the opposite of what happens in oversteer where the rear loses grip, the car tends not to close the curve.

In understeer, the opposite of what happens in oversteer where the rear loses grip, the car tends not to close the curve. This makes those behind the wheel feel rather uncomfortable. Understeer is corrected by reduce the throttle pressure, without ever braking, rebalancing the weight of the car and slightly reducing the steering with a movement that appears unnatural, given the circumstances, but which when combined, brings the car back onto its correct trajectory. If this does not happen immediately, the manoeuvre will have to be repeated and speed reduced still further.

Let’s see the movements that need to be made image by image:

  • Step 1 – The approach to the curve is always the same: braking with the car going straight, the weight of the car moves forward
  • Step 2 – Once the foot has been removed from the brake pedal, the driver navigates the corner by balancing the accelerator and looking for the best dosage. If the car feels like it’s not turning even with a lot of lock applied, then you’re understeering
  • Step 3 – To correct the understeer, reduce the throttle pressure and steering angle. Never use the brake while doing this and you should find the car will right itself and complete the corner fluidly
  • Step 4 – If this doesn’t reduce the understeer, the previous correction must be repeated. Once brought back into line, you can lighten the steering wheel and power out of the corner

 

Drawings by Massimo Grandi

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