Formula One – Car Design, Specs, Rules
A Formula One car is an open-wheel, open-cockpit, single-seat racing car for the purpose of being used in Formula One competitions. It is equipped with two wings (front and rear) plus an engine, which is located behind the driver.
The F1 races are conducted on specifically built racing tracks called ‘circuits’. Sometimes they are conducted on closed public roads as well.
Every F1 car is composed of two main components − the chassis and the engine.
Chassis − Formula One cars these days are made from carbon fiber and ultra-lightweight components. The weight must be not less than 702 kg or 1548 lbs, including the driver and tires, but excluding the fuel.
The dimensions of a Formula One car must be maximum 180 cm (width) × 95cm (height); there is no specified number for maximum length, but all cars tend to be of almost the same length.
Engine − According to regulation changes in 2014, all F1 cars must deploy 1.6 liter turbocharged V6 engines.
Semi-automatic sequential carbon titanium gearboxes are used by F1 cars presently, with 8 forward gears and 1 reverse gear, with rear-wheel drive.
The steering wheel of an F1 car is equipped to perform many functions like changing gears, changing brake pressure, calling the radio, fuel adjustment, and so on.
The fuel used by Formula One cars is a tightly controlled mixture of ordinary petrol, and can only contain commercial gasoline compounds rather than alcohol compounds.
Formula One cars have been using smooth thread, slick tires since 2009. The tire dimensions of an F1 car are −
- Front Tire − 245mm (width)
- Rear Tires − 355mm and 380mm (width)
Formula One cars use disc brakes with a rotor and caliper at each tire.
Speed and Performance
All F1 cars can accelerate from 0 to 100 mph (160 kmph) and decelerate back to 0 in under 5 seconds. F1 cars have reached top speeds of about 300 kmph or 185 mph on an average.
However, some cars, without fully complying with F1 standards have attained speed of 400 kmph or more. These numbers are mostly same for all F1 cars but slight variations may be there due to the gears and aerodynamics configuration.