20 Dec 2020, 11:44 am
Taken from a discussion from the current P1 group driving Hockenheim:
I have been requested to publish my philosophy on slip streaming and the trading of slips.
I posted this turn to finish in front of Welage (see below track), when I didn't have to. I want to be clear; I am finishing in front of him for two separate long range strategic reasons that apply beyond this race.
(1) Ling is, I think, more of a threat to beat me out of the Redscape title than Welage is, so pushing Ling back to third is in my long-range interests, Welage simply benefits from this and has nothing to say about it. I think I can beat Welage this race, I still have some skill left (and the patented pinulator!), so my best odds to win the overall title seem to be to hope I finish first, of which I seem to have maybe a 60-40 chance to do AND hope that Welage finishes ahead of Ling, pushing him back, hopefully, to third place points.
The worst case, I hope, will be I finish second and Ling finishes third. 60-40 is a long way from a lock, but in order to win titles (not just a race), I go with the math and hope for the best.
(2) And, I also feel a strong obligation to give a slip back to Welage, and by doing so that also moves to affect my long-term interests in that I'm sending a message to other drivers, "if I get a slip from you, I am more than likely to give it back even when it hurts." That kind of 'silent' cooperation is totally legal. It's just an announcement of sorts of my driving style. "I'm not going to take your slip and then deny you one."
Now one could argue about Welage "giving" me anything. It's more about what he hasn't done than what he has done. He hasn't taken extra efforts to deny me a slip in this race, he just maximizes his progress down the track, with or without me. When he does this race after race, I come to expect it and I have an obligation to do the same as it benefits us both from time to time, and not always both of us in the same race.
I believe that on some tracks, this one in particular, a viable strategy is for 180 top cars, whoever they are, to trade slips, the more cars doing this the better. Trading slips moves both cars around faster each lap and allows them to catch a rabbit leader who bought the pole and has a big lead. It doesn't always work, but it's a viable strategy on some tracks.
In general, my belief is that trading slips, in the long run, is consistently better than not trading slips.
So, if I was a win-at-all-costs kind of driver, I would not have finished in front of Welage this turn and denied him a space, after I just slipped him for two spaces. But I would rather pay Welage back and hope in future races he does the same for me even if it might hurt me in this one race. There are many races in the future, so I'm going to go with my long-range math. A secondary philosophy I have is that cars who are definitely in the back of the pack should never deliberately slow each other down. It's hard enough to win from the rear as it is.
That's my philosophy. And, if you have given me a slip, even in prior races, and I have not yet returned it, please feel free to remind me before or during a race.
I am fully aware that not everyone shares my philosophy and I respect that.