Formula 1

The Man Who Coaches F1 Drivers How To Go Faster Uses A Vauxhall Astra

If these F1 drivers want to get any better, they need to learn how to use their skills to turn an Astra into a track car.

Sneer at that old geezer in a Vauxhall Astra (when you’re abroad, not in the US obviously) all you want, but chances are he knows how to drive it like a maestro and can outwit you in every corner, at every apex, and definitely on the full-throttle exits. How do we know his credentials? Because this guy is none other than Rob Wilson, a man who earns his paycheck by teaching Formula 1 drivers and the occasional Top Gear celeb on how to drive even faster.

It’s a strange thought to picture a driver at the at the top of the Formula 1 leaderboards, Lewis Hamilton for example, being coached by some old guy on how he can improve his racing game. Isn’t the whole point of being the best to make it so you’re the one being paid to dispense advice?

Maybe so, but Wilson has the versatility that many F1 drivers lack. He’s done it all, from Indy car racing to Formula 3 to Nascar. What he’s learned is that he needs to take these drivers, who are accustomed to multimillion dollar F1 car technology, back to the basics. To do that, he conducts his one-man racing school from the passenger seat of a Vauxhall Astra. It’s a move akin to being a guru at the top of the mountain who trains the world’s best fighters but begins his lessons by having his trainees tend to a garden. As unexciting as the Astra seems to be, we'd love to go for a lap or two in Wilson's Vauxhall.

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