Is there a quicker driver in terms of reaction time?

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    One thing that has always facinated me is how fast the reaction time is for a professional sportsperson including F1 drivers. At the very top level of sport, how quick athelete’s can react is utterly mindblowing, whether it be a 100 metre runner waiting for the gun at the start of a race, an ice hockey goalkeeper reacting to a plus 90MPH shot from another player or F1 drivers reacting to the lights at the start of each Grand Prix.

    I think it’s safe to say that in F1 or any other form of motorsport, reaction time is closely related to car control as the drivers are reacting as fast as possible to the ever changing levels of grip through a corner. Fernando Alonso has without doubt been the benchmark for me when watching out for this incredible skill, as I’ve seen an outrageous number of incredible reaction times from him through the years. I feel compelled to give a few examples.


    Can anyone top Alonso in reaction times and car control? It’s also important to say that I don’t want this thread to be about who is the best at this, but moreover to just gain a further awareness and appreciation for this amazing skill.

    Also feel free to post other examples like above from other drivers which also shows this incredible dexterity (I’m sure there’s loads). There is also a test you can do online to see how quick you can react. One which I found quite fun so I think it’s worth sharing – http://www.humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime/index.php


    Hard to say based on onboard shots. You must realise that drivers feel oversteer before you can see it.


    Dunno, but I remember Lewis and Jenson doing a PR day of physical and mental exercises for Vodafone (?) back in their teammate days and they had this reaction time game where they had to hit a series of flashing lights on a board. I don’t remember which of the two won though. Look it up on YouTube it’s a very interesting piece on the mental and physical capabilities of F1 drivers.

    Also, there might have been a video about STR drivers playing the same game, but I’m not sure.


    I don’t suppose Alonso has the fastest reactions. But I don’t understand why the OP is claiming he has then saying he doesn’t want the discussion to be about who has the fastest?

    For me Alonso’s strengths are his intensity and intelligence. But we severely lack data for this discussion: even the physiology is very complicated never mind the mental side too. F1 teams struggle to measure what they’re looking for in a driver. The light-pressing task is mainly about technique – Jenson beat Lewis easily having been told not to focus.


    I would’ve thought that for a driver to make it to F1 he would have to have insanely quick reactions. But I have to say, I’ll agree that there’s a case that Alonso is the best at it. The example that springs to my mind would be this one:

    Sadly I can’t find a better full-speed version without the lame music. But I still think his reactions were incredible.


    Well, do notice how much faster Alonso was to reacting to oversteer than Raikkonen, he corrects it much earlier:


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