Today, your favourite auto website, NaijAuto.com brings you all you need to know about the Formula One race, which includes car design, specs and set of rules that apply in Formula One competitions.
If you saw the speed at which Kimi Rainnokken collided with the wall at the British Grand Prix and was able to limp away without any life threatening injury, you will certainly appreciate the modern design of Formula One cars. The modern cars are made to be safe and strong enough to withstand impact. Although that comes at the expense of the driver’s comfort.
Fundamentally, there isn’t much difference between the Formula One car and the Toyota parked out in your garage. Both cars use the internal combustion engine and are fitted with transmissions, suspensions, wheels and brakes. But that’s all they have in common. The Formula One car was not designed for regular inner city or interstate trips but everything has been planned, designed and constructed for one purpose which is to achieve great speed.
Formula One or F1 as it is popularly referred to by fans and enthusiasts around the world is an internationally recognized auto racing sport. F1 is the highest level of single seat, open-wheel and open cockpit professional motor racing competition.
1. History of Formula one
The races began across Europe around the 1920’s. In 1946, set of rules, procedures and processes were developed by the international Federation (FIA) to guide and regulate the Formula One races.
The races began in 1950 and have continued to grow in popularity and stature especially in international circles.
A little throwback to the very first Formula Once race in 1950
The first World Driver’s Championship was held in 1950. Each Formula One team comprises of four race drivers and a team of supporting crew that are pivotal to the success of the team.
2. Formula Once racing rules
International Automotive Federation or Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is the global governing body for the sport. The name ‘Formula’ was given to the sport because of the rules that the players and cars must abide to. The main aim of this race is to determine a winner by crossing a finish line after a set number of lanes
A Formula One season consists of a series of races known as Grand Prix (GP) which is carried out in purposefully built circuits and public roads across cities in the world.
Fans of car races must be way familiar with the term Grand Prix
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Formula One World Championship Seasons are carried out over a course of one year and each race in a season is termed Grand Prix. The number of Grand Prix per year has been increasing since the race’s inaugural year where 7 races were held. Recently the races vary between 19 and 20 Grand Prix in a season.
Each Grand Prix in a season is named after the country or city hosting the races. For example, Grand Prix held in Bahrain would be named Bahrain GP and the races in Dubai are called Dubai GP.
Roads called circuits are specially built and designated as racing tracks for racing competitions. The minimum total distance of the Grand Prix is 300km for set laps and it is the standard distance used for all GP. Only the Monaco Grand Prix is about 260km.
The F1 World Championship has a maximum of 26 cars per races.
3. Formula One cars: distinctive specs and design
Generally, Formula One cars are open seated and single passenger low riding vehicles for the purpose of speed and agility. It is fitted with a front and a rear wing, an engine at the rear of the car.
A Formula One car is made up of two key parts; the chassis and the engine.
3.1. Formula One car chassis
Formula One cars are made up of carbon fibre and ultralight weight materials. Carbon fibre is chosen for its high tensile strength, extremely low weight, high temperature resistance and low thermal expansion.
The modern F1 car chassis design doesn’t differ much from the modern aircraft or vehicle. They all integrate the monocoque structure which essentially means a single body structure designed out of a single piece of material. In previous years, aluminum was the preferred material. But today, carbon composites have taken over to create strong and highly resistant cars that improve the races.
All F1 cars must be built from special material, carbon fibre, for high termperature resistance
According to British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, the seats are moulded to the driver’s specifications using laser technology.
The minimum weight of the F1 cars is 702 kg including driver and tires but excluding fuel. The minimum dimensions of the car are 180cm in Width x 95 cm in height.
3.2. Formula One car engine
The engine regulations were amended in 2014 and it was specified that all F1 cars are to be retrofitted with 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines. Before the regulations were amended, the cars were fitted with 3 litre V6 engines.
Under the hood of a Ferrari F1 racing car
Today Formula One cars are fitted with 2.4 litre V8 engines. The fuel consumed by these cars is not the regular ones you pump at your local total fueling stations. This fuel is laced with small quantities of non hydrocarbons. The fuel blend differs according to racing conditions and weather. FIA, the governing body must examine the blended fuel to ensure it meets regulatory requirements before use.
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4. Facts about Formula One team
It is easy to forget about the collective roles of the team and concentrate on the driver behind the wheel as the only member of the team. But that is not the case. The team is made up of team members that perform numerous roles towards ensuring successful Formula One races.
A Formula One team comprises of several positions, listed as below:
4.1. Team Boss
This is usually the Chief Executive Officer or Owner of the team.
4.2. Commercial Director
The commercial director is in charge of soliciting for sponsorships and ensuring the team receives maximum advertisement in order to sell tickets and gain revenues.
The success of a Formula One race is the contributions from hundreds of people
4.3. Technical Director
The technical director as the name suggests manages the technical team comprising of engineers, designers, researchers and technicians. He ensures the car is constructed for speed within the specified regulations. The chief aerodynamicist, chief designer and chief R&D Officer are subordinates of the TD.
Each Formula one team has two drivers to drive competition and bring out the best in the team.
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