How this book is different from other books you might have read. Why we think it is needed, and what you will get out of it.
CHAPTER 1: OBSERVING THE RACING DRIVER
Physiological and psychological processes behind the skills needed get introduced through concrete examples. Expert-level race driving and everyday driving compared.
CHAPTER 2: ANALYSING THE COMPLEX SKILL
We divide the driving task into three levels – navigation, guidance, and control – which will be the focus of the next three chapters.
CHAPTER 3: THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE (NAVIGATION)
What is it to know a circuit? How is that knowledge acquired? What are “reference points” and how are they used? Looking at racing from the viewpoint of cognitive psychology of expertise throws up some Interesting (and surprising) parallels to expertise in chess.
Seven “laws” of expertise.
CHAPTER 4: THE POWER OF FORESIGHT (GUIDANCE)
Visual strategies of a racing driver. What does it mean to “get your eye in”, from the point of view of how your eyes and brain work? And why the expert, literally, sees so much more than the novice.
CHAPTER 5: POWER WOULD BE NOTHING WITHOUT IT (CONTROL)
The way a human athlete works is different from a metronomically precise but rigid and non-adaptive machine. The concept of feedback in control theory – and how it relates to driver perception and “feel”.
CHAPTER 6: A FIRST LOOK INSIDE
Why “good reflexes” cannot be enough to form the basis of a racing driver’s skill. How perception works, and why it works the way it does. The elusive goal of “smooth” control – a key ingredient of performance, but hard to define.
CHAPTER 7: ANALYSING THE COMPLEX BRAIN
Deep dive into nitty-gritty brain science. What are the brain networks used in driving? What is different about expert racing drivers’ brains? “Brain activation” gets defined…and you find that in brain scanning “Brain Activation” and “Brain Activity” are two completely different things. (What!?)
Seven “laws” of brain design.
CHAPTER 8: THE RACER’S BRAIN IN ACTION
A unified view of “the predictive brain” and how it makes expert performance possible. Some of the intangibles like “being one with the car” get explained.
CHAPTER 9: BEYOND THIS PRESENT HORIZON
Overview of current state in the scientific understanding of the racing driver… and a vision for the future. The science and the art of motor racing, from a brain-based point of view.
SCIENTIFIC END NOTES