With the regulations, the FIA rid F1 cars of small winglets and other parts of the car minus the front and rear wing used to manipulate the airflow of the car in order to decrease drag and increase downforce. As it is now, the front wing is shaped specifically to push air towards all the winglets and bargeboards so that the airflow is smooth. Should these be removed, various parts of the car will cause great drag when the front wing is unable to shape the air past the body of the car. The driver has the ability to fine-tune many elements of the race car from within the machine using the steering wheel.
The wheel can be used to change gears, apply rev. Data such as engine rpm, lap times, speed, and gear are displayed on an LCD screen. The wheel hub will also incorporate gear change paddles and a row of LED shift lights. In the season, certain teams such as Mercedes have chosen to use larger LCDs on their wheels which allow the driver to see additional information such as fuel flow and torque delivery.
They are also more customizable owing to the possibility of using much different software. The fuel used in F1 cars is fairly similar to ordinary petrol , albeit with a far more tightly controlled mix. Formula One fuel can only contain compounds that are found in commercial gasoline such as octane , in contrast to alcohol-based fuels used in American open-wheel racing. Blends are tuned for maximum performance in given weather conditions or different circuits. During the period when teams were limited to a specific volume of fuel during a race, exotic high-density fuel blends were used which were actually more dense than water, since the energy content of a fuel depends on its mass density.
To make sure that the teams and fuel suppliers are not violating the fuel regulations, the FIA requires Elf, Shell, Mobil, Petronas and the other fuel teams to submit a sample of the fuel they are providing for a race. At any time, FIA inspectors can request a sample from the fueling rig to compare the "fingerprint" of what is in the car during the race with what was submitted.
The season saw the re-introduction of slick tyres replacing the grooved tyres used from to Unlike the fuel, the tyres bear only a superficial resemblance to a normal road tyre. This is the result of a drive to maximize the road-holding ability, leading to the use of very soft compounds to ensure that the tyre surface conforms to the road surface as closely as possible.
Since the start of the season, F1 had a sole tyre supplier. From to , this was Bridgestone, but saw the reintroduction of Pirelli into the sport, following the departure of Bridgestone. Nine compounds of F1 tyre exist; 7 are dry weather compounds superhard, hard, medium, soft, super-soft, ultra soft and hypersoft while 2 are wet compounds intermediates for damp surfaces with no standing water and full wets for surfaces with standing water.
Three of the dry weather compounds generally a harder and softer compound are brought to each race, plus both wet weather compounds. The harder tyres are more durable but give less grip, and the softer tyres the opposite. In the Bridgestone years, a green band on the sidewall of the softer compound was painted to allow spectators to distinguish which tyre a driver is on.
With Pirelli tyres, the colour of the text and the ring on the sidewall varies with the compounds. Generally, the three dry compounds brought to the track are of consecutive specifications. Disc brakes consist of a rotor and caliper at each wheel. Carbon composite rotors introduced by the Brabham team in are used instead of steel or cast iron because of their superior frictional, thermal, and anti-warping properties, as well as significant weight savings.
The driver can control brake force distribution fore and aft to compensate for changes in track conditions or fuel load. Regulations specify this control must be mechanical, not electronic, thus it is typically operated by a lever inside the cockpit as opposed to a control on the steering wheel. When braking from higher speeds, aerodynamic downforce enables tremendous deceleration: 4. This contrasts with 1. During a demonstration at the Silverstone circuit in Britain, an F1 McLaren-Mercedes car driven by David Coulthard gave a pair of Mercedes-Benz street cars a head start of seventy seconds, and was able to beat the cars to the finish line from a standing start, a distance of only 3.
As well as being fast in a straight line, F1 cars have outstanding cornering ability. Grand Prix cars can negotiate corners at significantly higher speeds than other racing cars because of the intense levels of grip and downforce. Cornering speed is so high that Formula One drivers have strength training routines just for the neck muscles. The principal consideration for F1 designers is acceleration , and not simply top speed.
Three types of acceleration can be considered to assess a car's performance:. All three accelerations should be maximised. The way these three accelerations are obtained and their values are:.
However the massive power cannot be converted to motion at low speeds due to traction loss and the usual figure is 2. The figures are for the Mercedes W07 :  . The acceleration figure is usually 1. There are also boost systems known as kinetic energy recovery systems KERS. These devices recover the kinetic energy created by the car's braking process. They store that energy and convert it into power that can be called upon to boost acceleration. There are principally two types of systems: electrical and mechanical flywheel.
Electrical systems use a motor-generator incorporated in the car's transmission which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa. Once the energy has been harnessed, it is stored in a battery and released at will. When extra power is required, the flywheel is connected to the car's rear wheels.
Power unit and ERS
In contrast to an electrical KERS, the mechanical energy does not change state and is therefore more efficient. There is one other option available, hydraulic KERS, where braking energy is used to accumulate hydraulic pressure which is then sent to the wheels when required. The carbon brakes in combination with tyre technology and the car's aerodynamics produce truly remarkable braking forces. In , Martin Brundle , a former Grand Prix driver, tested the Williams Toyota FW29 Formula 1 car, and stated that under heavy braking he felt like his lungs were hitting the inside of his ribcage, forcing him to exhale involuntarily.
Formula 1 Engine Facts
Here the aerodynamic drag actually helps, and can contribute as much as 1. There are three companies who manufacture brakes for Formula One. This means carbon fibres strengthening a matrix of carbon, which is added to the fibres by way of matrix deposition CVI or CVD or by pyrolysis of a resin binder. The callipers are aluminium alloy bodied with titanium pistons. Titanium pistons save weight, and also have a low thermal conductivity, reducing the heat flow into the brake fluid.
The aerodynamic forces of a Formula 1 car can produce as much as three times the car's weight in downforce. At low speeds, the car can turn at 2. Since the force that creates the lateral acceleration is largely friction, and friction is proportional to the normal force applied , the large downforce allows an F1 car to corner at very high speeds. Top speeds are in practice limited by the longest straight at the track and by the need to balance the car's aerodynamic configuration between high straight line speed low aerodynamic drag and high cornering speed high downforce to achieve the fastest lap time.
This record was broken at the Mexican Grand Prix by Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, whose top speed in race conditions was Bottas had previously set an even higher record top speed during qualifying for the European Grand Prix , recording a speed of This top speed is yet to be confirmed by any official method as currently the only source of this information is the Williams team's Twitter post,  while the FIA's official speed trap data measured Bottas's speed at The car was optimised for top speed with only enough downforce to prevent it from leaving the ground.
In an effort to reduce speeds and increase driver safety, the FIA has continuously introduced new rules for F1 constructors since the s.
These rules have included the banning of such ideas as the "wing car" ground effect in ; the turbocharger in these were reintroduced for ; active suspension and ABS in ; slick tyres these were reintroduced for ; smaller front and rear wings and a reduction in engine capacity from 3. Yet despite these changes, constructors continued to extract performance gains by increasing power and aerodynamic efficiency. As a result, the pole position speed at many circuits in comparable weather conditions dropped between 1.
In , the FIA further strengthened its cost-cutting measures by stating that gearboxes are to last for 4 Grand Prix weekends, in addition to the 2 race weekend engine rule. These ECUs have placed restrictions on the use of electronic driver aids such as traction control, launch control and engine braking and are tagged to prevent modification. The emphasis being on reducing costs as well as placing the focus back onto driver skills as opposed to the so-called 'electronic gizmos' mainly controlling the cars.
Changes were made for the season to increase dependency on mechanical grip and create overtaking opportunities — resulting in the return to slick tyres, a wider and lower front wing with a standardized centre section, a narrower and taller rear wing, and the diffuser being moved backwards and made taller yet less efficient at producing downforce. Overall aerodynamic grip was dramatically reduced with the banning of complex appendages such as winglets, bargeboards and other aero devices previously used to better direct airflow over and under the cars.
Due to increasing environmental pressures from lobby groups and the like, many have called into question the relevance of Formula 1 as an innovating force towards future technological advances particularly those concerned with efficient cars. The FIA has been asked to consider how it can persuade the sport to move down a more environmentally friendly path. Therefore, in addition to the above changes outlined for the season, teams were invited to construct a KERS device, encompassing certain types of regenerative braking systems to be fitted to the cars in time for the season.
The system aims to reduce the amount of kinetic energy converted to waste heat in braking, converting it instead to a useful form such as electrical energy or energy in a flywheel to be later fed back through the engine to create a power boost. However unlike road car systems which automatically store and release energy, the energy is only released when the driver presses a button and is useful for up to 6.
It however made a return for the season , with all teams except HRT , Virgin and Lotus utilizing the device. An additional electric motor-generator unit may be connected to the turbocharger. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For a summary of the technical and sporting regulations of Formula One racing, see Formula One regulations. This article or section appears to be slanted towards recent events. Please try to keep recent events in historical perspective and add more content related to non-recent events. November Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Current season. Related articles. Drivers GP winners Polesitters Fastest laps. Champions Numbers. Constructors GP winners Champions. Seasons Grands Prix Circuits. National colours Sponsorship liveries. Racing flags Red-flagged races. Female drivers TV broadcasters. Fatalities Video games. Drivers Constructors Engines Tyres Races. Main article: Formula One engines. Main article: Formula One tyres. Retrieved 24 June Retrieved 21 January Formula One Administration Ltd. Archived from the original on 15 January Retrieved Retrieved 25 August Archived from the original on 12 April Retrieved 17 March BBC News.
Archived from the original on 6 October Retrieved 20 October Archived from the original on 22 July Archived from the original on 22 February Retrieved 24 August DA Group. Archived from the original on 20 April Sporting Regulations, Article Archived from the original on 28 February However, the introduction of a Kinetic Energy Recovery System KERS in , which captured waste energy created under braking and transformed it into electrical energy, ensured the teams had an extra 80bhp or so to play with for just over six seconds a lap. The motor generator units convert mechanical and heat energy to electrical energy and vice versa.
It also acts as a motor under acceleration, returning up to kW approximately bhp power to the drivetrain from the Energy Store. The energy can then be used to power the MGU-K and thus returned to the drivetrain or be retained in the ES for subsequent use.
The MGU-H also controls the speed of the turbo, speeding it up to prevent turbo lag or slowing it down in place of a more traditional wastegate. That means drivers have access to an additional bhp or so for approximately 33 seconds per lap. For regulatory reasons the power unit is deemed to consist of six separate elements.
These are the four ERS components, plus the internal combustion engine and the turbocharger. Should a driver use more than their permitted allocation of any one component he faces a grid penalty ranging from 10 to five places. During a race drivers may use steering wheel controls to switch to different power unit settings, or to change the rate of ERS energy harvest. Such changes are controlled and regulated by the standard electrical control unit ECU , mandatory on all F1 cars.
Unlike road cars, Formula One cars do not have their own onboard starting systems so separate starting devices have to be used to start engines in the pits and on the grid. If the car is safe, the lights - which are situated on the roll hoop and the rear tail lamp - will glow green; if not, they glow red.