New Delhi: Do you know that approximately 80,000 components are used to make a Formula One car and these parts should be assembled with 100% percent accuracy. If it were assembled even with 99.9% perfection, a F1 car would go on the track with 80 components wrongly placed. The gearboxes of modern Formula One cars are now highly automated with drivers selecting gears via paddles fitted behind the steering wheel. Most teams run seven-speed unit transmissions - bolt directly to the back of the engine.
The cutting edge technology used in F1 car helps in producing an unprecedented combination of lightening speed and quickness for the drivers. To deliver such high performance F1 cars uses the best available technology.
A modern Formula One car is a technical masterpiece. Let’s have a look at some of the important aspects of a Formula One racing, which has gripped India with some of the high profile F1 drivers and living legends ready to zoom across and burn rubber on the newly constructed Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.
Aerodynamics: Every single surface of a modern Formula One car, from the shape of the suspension or that of the driver's helmet - has its aerodynamic effects.
Aerodynamic in a car creates downforce, which pushes car's tyres onto the track and improve cornering forces. It also minimise the drag that gets caused by turbulence and acts to slow the car down.
Brakes: F1 car brakes are the same as on a road car, they are discs clamped hydraulically by calipers which squeeze brake pads onto the rotating disc surface. Carbon fibre composite brake discs are used in F1 cars; it saves weight and is able to operate at higher temperatures than steel discs and carbon brakes have superior frictional, thermal, and anti-warping properties as well.
These brakes are designed and manufactured to work in extreme temperatures, up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. A F1 car can brake from 200 km/h to a complete stop in just 2.21 seconds, using only 65 metres.
Driver fitness: All drivers who enter Formula One need to undergo a period of conditioning to the physical demands of the sport: no other race series on earth requires so much of its drivers in terms of stamina and endurance. A F1 race can be as grueling as a 42 km marathon, therefore drivers requires up to four hours a day of intensive cardiovascular exertion.
Drivers can sweat off anything up to 3-4 kg of their body weight during the course of a race. The typical F1 driver would have a 7 percent body-fat ratio, achieved through swimming, cycling, jogging and even rollerblading. Their heartbeats are measured at an average of 170 over the course of a 90-minute race – higher than in any other sport.
F1 drivers control their diets in much the same way as track and field athletes, carefully regulating the amount of carbohydrate and protein they absorb.
Engine and Gearbox: The engine and transmission of a modern Formula One car are some of the most highly stressed pieces of machinery on the planet and the competition to have the most power on the grid is still intense.
With a standard limit of 18,000 RPM, a modern Formula One engine will consume a phenomenal 450 litres of air every second, with race fuel consumption rate is around 75 l/100 km (4 mpg). A Formula One engine is over 20 percent more efficient at turning fuel into power than most small commuter cars. Revving at such massive speeds equates to an accelerative force on the pistons of more than 8000 times gravity.
Flags: Race Marshals at various points around the circuit are issued with a number of standard flags, all used to communicate vital messages to the drivers as they race around the track. A special display in each driver’s cockpit also lights up with the relevant flag colour, as the driver passes the affected section of track.
Types of flag:
• Chequered flag: Waved at the end of the race
• Yellow flag: Warns drivers to slow down and overtaking is prohibited
• Green flag: It is waved when prohibitions imposed by yellow flags have been lifted.
• Red flag: To stop a race
• Blue flag: Warns a driver that he is about to be lapped, when race leader overtakes last or slowest car in the race.
• Yellow and red striped flag: Warns drivers of a slippery track surface, usually due to oil or water.
• Black with orange circle flag: It warns a driver that he has a mechanical problem and must return to his pit.
• Half black, half white flag: Warns of unsporting behaviour.
• Black flag: Used to signal the driver that he has been excluded from the race.
• White flag: It warns a slow moving vehicle on track.
Fuel: The fuel on which F1 runs on is surprisingly close to the composition of ordinary, commercially available petrol. Formula One fuel can only contain compounds that are found in commercial gasoline.
During a typical season a Formula One team will use over 200,000 litres of fuel for testing and racing, and these can be of anything up to 50 slightly different blends, tuned for the demands of different circuits - or even different weather conditions.
Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS): It is the system via which the excess kinetic energy retrieved during braking is harvested. This energy can then be used by the driver to propel the car forward at opportune moments. It is accessible only for limited periods during a race.
Steering Wheel: The Steering wheel is made up of carbon fibre and weighs about 1.3 kilograms. It is one of the most important equipment in a F1 car. The controls and instrumentation for F1 cars have almost entirely migrated to the steering wheel. It is used to change gears, apply rev. limiter, adjust fuel and air mixture, change brake pressure and call team radio.
Data such as engine rpm, lap times, car speed, and gear is displayed on an LCD screen mounted on it. The wheel alone can cost about USD 40,000.
Tyres: Tyres are race car’s biggest single performance variable. F1 car tyres bear only a superficial resemblance to a normal road car tyre as road car tyre has a useful life of 35,000 km, a Formula One tyre is built to last just one race distance 200 km approx.
The racing tyre is constructed from very soft rubber compounds which offer the best possible grip against the texture of the racetrack, but wear very quickly in the process.
Pirelli is F1's sole tyre supplier. Six compounds of F1 tyre exist; 4 are dry weather compounds (hard, medium, soft, and super-soft) while 2 are wet compounds (for damp surfaces and for full wets surfaces).
New Delhi: Do you know that approximately 80,000 components are used to make a Formula One car and these parts should be assembled with 100% percent accuracy. If it were assembled even with 99.9% perfection, a F1 car would go on the track with 80 components wrongly placed.
The gearboxes of modern Formula One cars are now highly automated with drivers selecting gears via paddles fitted behind the steering wheel.
Most teams run seven-speed unit transmissions - bolt directly to the back of the engine.