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Like any other action, shifting gears also has to be smooth but quick. Smooth shifting is required for the sake of speed and life spawn of the gearbox. Quick shifting is nessecary if you want to have a good lap time, and in order to minimize the period of time using one hand.


Stick shift

With a normal stick shift, there are two ways of shifting gears: The Ergonomic way of wrapping the hand vertically around the stick and pushing or pulling it into the next gear, and there is the palm grip, where the palm and wrist are placed on the stick, and a cup is formed with the fingers to move the gearshift from gear to gear. In a modern automobile, in order to avoid agressive gearshifts, the second method is the ideal one, as it allows for a shift that is both smooth and quick.

For shifting up, the heel of the palm is placed over the lever with the wrist slightly bent. The level is then guided smoothly but decisively forward, with the origin of motion being the palm, rather than the arm. Bend your wrist around to move the lever by using the gentle muscles of the palm and fingers (in similarity to steering).

For shifting down, the fingers are placed over the knob to form a cup. The lever is felt through the fingers (which are the most sensitive part of the hand) and guided by the fingers.

The technique shown here is not quite correct because the knob may slip, but it is better than gripping the knob tightly like a fighter-jet knob (or like you think a fighter-jet knob is held):

Paddle shifters

While gripping the wheel at 9:15, use the fingertips to push the paddles (shift up) or pull them (shift down). Keep the thumb holding and stabilizing the wheel. Don't use the thumb constantly to keep the wheel fixed, but use the rest of your fingers. Using a correct steering technique will allow for good access to the paddles all of the time.

Short shifting

When you put the gearbox in gear before a bend, do not squentally downshift. Instead, declutch and select the most appropriate gear (with rev-matching) at the end of the braking zone. Choose the best gear for power to accelerate out of the corner. When in doubt between two gears, the higher gear is normally the correct one.

However, if you are racing in rain, or reaching a corner with a slippery or bumpy portion on your line, you should select the higher gear. This is called "shortshifting", and is also used to save time over a gear-change during corner sets.

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