F430 CST kicked in! - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-16-2013, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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CST kicked in!

Hi all. Took the F430 out last week. The city is doing something silly to our street and has gravel all over it! they came through once with the sweeper and sucked up some of the gravel but did not get all of it. i tried to tell them that my kids can't rollerblade safely on the street with all them little rocks (more like i dont like it hittig my Fcar!) but they would not tell me when they are coming back to do more clean up! anyhow as i drove through and collected some dust and slight gravel on my tires, i came to my usual stop sign where i have to turn left. I decided to turn left and just give it a little more juice than usual 4-5K RPMs (i've been babying my car yes yes) and as i took off, the butt swung out just a little bit and the CST lighted up on my dash. "that was cool" i said to myself. the system was trying to protect me from whipping a donut in the middle of the road i think. I'm attributing this from perhaps the tires collecting dust and or sand from the road leading up the stop. This was the first time this has happened so i wanted to share with you guys. i still felt totally in control of the car when this happened so yes, i'm impressed. Now if CST was OFF, i'mnot sure i would have been ready to counter the tail spinning.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 12:53 AM
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Dear Cheng,

Welcome to the world of Ferrari. You've just taken your first step.

The fact that it came as a surprise is an indication that you don't know how to drive your F430 quite well enough yet. That's not meant as an insult, we all have to learn to drive high performance vehicles well. Personally, I do not think that it was the dust on your tyres but it was the increased revs that you used. Based on your description I would say that you gave lots of throttle whilst steering at the same time. This is, unless you are deliberately provoking the car, a potential recipe for disaster. I was almost t-boned by an F430 once - it was in front of me on the track, the driver floored it whilst still in the corner, lost control, went off the track, overcorrected, and came back onto the track heading straight for me....

It is very important to realise several things:

1. The F430 has a peaky engine. There is a huge difference in power over the rev range. At your normal 4k revs it delivers 140bhp. At 6k it delivers 280bhp, at 8k 380bhp.... So you effectively doubled the horsepower that you normally use. Then it comes at no surprise that the car began to slide in a sharp turn from standstill.
2. Ferraris have quick steering. Don't make large corrections as the car begins to slide, you will probably overcorrect a slide and then have a big, uncatcheable one the other way. Also, don't turn in a sharp corner and push the throttle.
3. It is all about the pendulum effect. Learn to feel it - after a while it becomes second nature. If the car has a big weight transfer (let's say coming from an on-ramp, you want to quickly go to the fast lane to overtake some cars - the weight is then pushed from the right side of the car to the left side), then you can't use a lot of power because the tyres are not all supporting the car equally. This is I think the most common cause of crashing a V8 Ferrari.

The golden rule is: wound-up steering = light throttle, no steering = heavy throttle. As you come out of a corner, increase the throttle as you unwind the steering wheel. As you get close to straightening the car out, you can increase more and more. Personally, I like a very light touch, holding the steering wheel with my fingertips, making quick, small corrections with both steering wheel and throttle, always trying to find the ultimate balance between grip and power. It took me a few years to get to that point, though.

At the risk of sounding like a pedantic person, IMHO it is NOT cool when you see the CST light up when you were not expecting it. You should aim to be in control of your car without the aids. If they help out, fine, but do not expect them to save your ass - quite often there are situations when the CST takes the wrong action, although the more modern your car is, the fewer those situations are.

Taking some driving courses with your own car on track is highly recommended. Not to set lap times but to get to know what the car does at which type of corner with which type of throttle and steering input. It is HUGE fun to become a better driver and to extract more performance from your amazing car. But you need to take slow steps, your car is expensive and you don't want to overstretch yourself.

V8 Ferraris are very often crashed, much more so than V12's, and personally I think it is because the quick onset of the power delivery. It comes as a surprise to people how quickly the car overpowers the tyres in a corner, or even getting out of an on-ramp. Please don't become a statistic, but also try and become master of your car. They are so much better than you think they are when you're just starting out.


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post #3 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 02:18 AM
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This is an excellent lesson Onno You gave the most important basics of handling a V8! Thanks very much for sharing. I'm sure these basics will be useful to many owners.
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenglo1 View Post
Hi all. Took the F430 out last week. The city is doing something silly to our street and has gravel all over it! they came through once with the sweeper and sucked up some of the gravel but did not get all of it. i tried to tell them that my kids can't rollerblade safely on the street with all them little rocks (more like i dont like it hittig my Fcar!) but they would not tell me when they are coming back to do more clean up! anyhow as i drove through and collected some dust and slight gravel on my tires, i came to my usual stop sign where i have to turn left. I decided to turn left and just give it a little more juice than usual 4-5K RPMs (i've been babying my car yes yes) and as i took off, the butt swung out just a little bit and the CST lighted up on my dash. "that was cool" i said to myself. the system was trying to protect me from whipping a donut in the middle of the road i think. I'm attributing this from perhaps the tires collecting dust and or sand from the road leading up the stop. This was the first time this has happened so i wanted to share with you guys. i still felt totally in control of the car when this happened so yes, i'm impressed. Now if CST was OFF, i'mnot sure i would have been ready to counter the tail spinning.
sounds that this 430 needs some appropriate treatment...
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 03:53 AM
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Cheng, be also aware that in this rpm range, not only your starts delivering more power, it delivers also 100% of its torque. The combination of both will easily make your car loosing grip in the 4/5 rpm range. Happy learning
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 04:42 AM
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Here's what happens (see video link at end of post) when you don't take into account the weight transfer, the power as the engine comes on cam, and how the slow but overreacted steering input influences the car in the wrong way. The driver is taken by complete surprise but the car actually acts completely predictably.

Errors made:

1. Greasy, wet road, not taken into account
2. Quick lane change - unsettles the weight balance
3. Way too much power at the same time the car is unsettled. 1 and 2 together start the slide
4. Steering to compensate the oversteer is started too late because the driver did not expect the slide at all
5. Power is not reduced. You should not lift off sharply (that generates a spin), but if you're trying to regain control, you should certainly not keep your foot buried. Try to slowly reduce it until the car starts finding grip again.

It sounds like it was really stupid, but it is very easy to crash a Ferrari in this way, and most owners don't realise they could make this mistake at any time because they don't have the skills to avoid it if it should happen.

Everything should about smart use of the controls around the limit. Don't do anything rash. If you go only a little over the limit, it is easy to get it back. Unless I'm in a straight line, my throttle change can usually be measured in fractions of an inch.


Onno

2013 Ferrari 458 Crash in Italian Highway - Ferrari 458 Italia Incidente in autostrada - YouTube



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post #7 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 04:47 AM
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One thing to realise here, as well: it is not necessarily true that the driver of the 458 did not have his traction control on. I know I can provoke my 458 even in the WET setting on a greasy road if I'm very hamfisted.

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post #8 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 05:37 AM
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Onno, very good explanation and spoken like a good driving instructor. Thanks for posting, I found your advice to be helpful as well.

I'm of the opinion that getting some track time in a go-kart is very helping in learning the basics of weight transfer.

I think my limited karting experience has helped me to better harness the ponies.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 12:07 PM
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Karting is great. Lots of fun as well as good for treaching you vehicle dynamics.

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post #10 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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Onno, perhaps you could do 458 youtube clips of how to drive a 458/V8 lol.

speeding in the rain or using too much power is always a head scratcher.

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post #11 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 08:02 PM
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I went to Las Vegas last week and while I was their I signed up for exotics racing. I did 7 laps in a F430 just like mine. I thought I had a handle on my car but that 7 laps taught me a lot. You have an instructor next to you and everything I Onno said I was told by the instructor as well. I highly recommend trying it!

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post #12 of 20 Old 07-17-2013, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Onno and Stef! i'm going to read and re-read your posts so i can review. my local inde rents out a track here for us to get lessons with instructors. i will sign up for sure and get back to you. i would be doing it more for learning to drive my car properly and to know its limits vs getting low track times. i was hesitant in posting this thread but now i'm glad i did. Thanks again.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 02:20 AM
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Excellent stuff, Cheng.

I can't tell you how much satisfaction you get from truly knowing how to drive your car in all circumstances. The more you get it, the more addictive these cars become. You only then realise exactly how good they are and what they can do.

But I can't stress enough that it's easy to get cocky when you (think you) get the hang of things. The 550 is a beautiful car to drift and when I had driven my first Ferrari about 5,000 miles I clipped a sign post when I lost a beautiful slide on a greasy patch. Since then I've stopped drifting on public roads, because you can't predict the road conditions all the time. I do drive close to the limit now and again but always with a good safety margin. The idea is that you know what to do and how to do it and you're not afraid of it, but don't go seeking it out all the time as we all make a mistake sooner or later. So explore the limit, but do it safely and be responsible. Big slides look cool until they go wrong....and if they do go wrong you can't predict where your car is going to end up - more likely than not in the way of oncoming traffic...


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post #14 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
Excellent stuff, Cheng.

I can't tell you how much satisfaction you get from truly knowing how to drive your car in all circumstances. The more you get it, the more addictive these cars become. You only then realise exactly how good they are and what they can do.

But I can't stress enough that it's easy to get cocky when you (think you) get the hang of things. The 550 is a beautiful car to drift and when I had driven my first Ferrari about 5,000 miles I clipped a sign post when I lost a beautiful slide on a greasy patch. Since then I've stopped drifting on public roads, because you can't predict the road conditions all the time. I do drive close to the limit now and again but always with a good safety margin. The idea is that you know what to do and how to do it and you're not afraid of it, but don't go seeking it out all the time as we all make a mistake sooner or later. So explore the limit, but do it safely and be responsible. Big slides look cool until they go wrong....and if they do go wrong you can't predict where your car is going to end up - more likely than not in the way of oncoming traffic...


Onno
Onno , which driving schools are good in europe in your opinion?

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post #15 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 05:33 AM
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Onno , which driving schools are good in europe in your opinion?
I have limited experience with driving schools, primarily I've done the Dutch Ferrari Club instruction days and discovered a lot on my own. Doing courses has been high on my priority list because I know you learn a lot, but it is hard to find the time.

I have heard great stories about the Pilota courses organised at Fiorano. They really are good, but there are 2 downsides: they are very expensive, and they will not let you do an advanced course without the basic course, you have to do everything with them. But - you get to learn in the latest Ferrari toys on the legendary Fiorano circuit. Worth something.

Prodrive Race and Rally is excellent (in Holland).

And I've heard some good stories about RSR Nurburg at the Nurburgring.

I do know a very good Italian Ferrari instructor and racing driver, who is one of the Ferrari factory instructors. I can ask him for tips if you want. He is an independent, I'm sure he knows things outside the factory courses.


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post #16 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 07:47 AM
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One of the good driving schools to begin with is with less powerfull cars but on a track made of wet soil. In these conditions you are close to the level of snow grip and with few power and low speeds, you'll learn very fast the basics of the physic laws. That's how I started to learn driving: the right position of your body, left leg (very important) on LHS cars, hands on the steering wheel, and looking in the right direction where you want the car to go. I did many basic driving schools to keep on repeating these basics up to the point you start applying them naturally all the time. Then you can start progressing with higher level driving schools and learn how to keep your car under control at all time and place your car exactly where you want it, not what the car wants It requires a lot of practice to reeducate human reflexes
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 08:24 AM
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Onno, perhaps you could do 458 youtube clips of how to drive a 458/V8 lol.
I had the pleasure of accompanying Onno in the 458. Around Spa. In the wet. If Onno has clips of this drive, it would make excellent viewing! The way Onno and the 458 danced in the rain together was a joy to witness. Even as a passenger I could feel that the 458 was providing a lot of feedback to the driver and Onno was in tune with that feedback as we made rapid and reassuring progress. We were catching a 599 GTO in front of us pretty quickly...

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post #18 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 08:29 AM
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Karting is great. Lots of fun as well as good for teaching you vehicle dynamics.

Onno
Cheng, perhaps you should checkout the Bondurant driving school in Phoenix, AZ area. Bob once drove for Ferrari. I took the shifter kart course, very educational and load of fun! He's in his 80s now and came out to greet and speak w/us for a good 45 minutes. Very nice guy and a great team of instructors.

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post #19 of 20 Old 07-18-2013, 09:48 AM
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If Onno has clips of this drive, it would make excellent viewing!
I was wondering where I left those, I did have the old VBox on, and I have found the clips. Considering that I didn't know Spa and had never tracked my 458, let alone in the wet, I was wondering if I indeed had any speed. It turns out I was about 10 seconds faster than this guy in a 911GTS, who I think drives quite well in similar circumstances:

Wet Lap in Spa Francorchamps - YouTube

It looks quite slow and undramatic, but it is hard to explain how slippery Spa is when it is that wet.

I'll need to convert and edit my own video and upload it, I'll see if I can get that arranged.



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post #20 of 20 Old 07-22-2013, 10:18 AM
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Here's what happens (see video link at end of post) when you don't take into account the weight transfer, the power as the engine comes on cam, and how the slow but overreacted steering input influences the car in the wrong way. The driver is taken by complete surprise but the car actually acts completely predictably.

Errors made:

1. Greasy, wet road, not taken into account
2. Quick lane change - unsettles the weight balance
3. Way too much power at the same time the car is unsettled. 1 and 2 together start the slide
4. Steering to compensate the oversteer is started too late because the driver did not expect the slide at all
5. Power is not reduced. You should not lift off sharply (that generates a spin), but if you're trying to regain control, you should certainly not keep your foot buried. Try to slowly reduce it until the car starts finding grip again.

It sounds like it was really stupid, but it is very easy to crash a Ferrari in this way, and most owners don't realise they could make this mistake at any time because they don't have the skills to avoid it if it should happen.

Everything should about smart use of the controls around the limit. Don't do anything rash. If you go only a little over the limit, it is easy to get it back. Unless I'm in a straight line, my throttle change can usually be measured in fractions of an inch.


Onno

2013 Ferrari 458 Crash in Italian Highway - Ferrari 458 Italia Incidente in autostrada - YouTube
It's amazing how something as seemingly innocuous as a lane change can so quickly turn to a disaster. There is a tremendous lesson to be learned here.
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