Formula 1 Formula 1 Racing General Information Racing Strategies Chassis Aerodynamics Construction Brakes Wheels and Tires Safety Safety Features of the Car Safety Devices of the Drivers Powertrain Engine Technology Materials Transmission: Technology Cockpit Instruments Switches: Displays and lights: Steering wheel and pedals: Conclusion References Car Specifications and Performance Figures Comparison with a passenger vehicle: APPENDICES A Technical Specification -Williams Renault FW19 Formula 1 Racing Car B Technical Specifications -Renault V10 RS9 Engine Summary Formula 1 racing has become the second most watched sporting event in the world. Many of the spectators do not know realize how much research and testing goes into a Formula 1 racing car. Many people are unaware of how technical and computerized these cars are. These cars are made of new space age materials and test new types of systems on the car. A Formula 1 car is one of the safest cars in the world. The cars are constantly being used to test out new safety features and improving the existing ones.
The engines are used to test new computer systems that control vital functions. There are many aspects of Formula 1 that go not behind scenes. These might just be more interesting that watching the Formula 1 cars race. The Technology Behind Formula 1 Racing INTRODUCTION The sport of Formula 1 racing is one of the most technical and advanced sports in the world. Formula 1 racing cars utilize new technology to constantly improve in the areas of performance and safety.
This sport is responsible for the development of safety features that you would find today on a commercial passenger vehicle. Formula 1 racing is an international sport that is followed by millions throughout the world. Each year about 10 different race teams and 20 racing cars compete for the Formula 1 World Championship and Constructors Championship. The chassis of the current Formula 1 cars is made of aluminum tubing and composite material of carbon-fiber and aluminum honeycomb. It supports four wheels, the brakes, suspension and a rear mounted engine.
The chassis contains many safety features. Over the years the safety of Formula 1 cars has increased and as a result, todays cars are superior to previous models in the 1980’s. Formula 1 cars contain safety features such as a roll bar, puncture proof fuel cell and a five point safety belt. The drivers wear fire proof clothing to protect them in case of a fire. A Formula 1 racing car has many onboard computers to control everything from brakes to the engine. There are also many restrictions on minimum lengths and weights. Formula 1 racing remains one of the most technical and computerized sports in the world.
This is a report which provides information on Formula 1 racing in general as well as the chassis, safety features, engines and electronics in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car. General Information on Formula 1 Racing Formula 1 racing is an international sport with races called Grand Prixs being held throughout the world. These are held in Canada, Japan, Australia and many of the European countries. The drivers are also from many different countries. Formula 1 races are held on race tracks that are called “street courses” because there are both left and right turns. These tracks have an average length of six kilometers and it takes a Formula 1 car about two minutes to do a lap for an average speed of 300 km/h.
Most of these tracks have long straight sections and tight turns. A Formula car must have an open-wheel design (Fig. 1-1). This means that the wheels cannot be covered by sheet metal. The engine is mounted behind the driver, and it powers only the rear wheels.
A Formula 1 racing team consists of two race cars with crews and drivers for each car. These teams are responsible for designing the chassis of the car. A separate company makes the engines. For example, Jacques Villeniuve’s team is Williams and his teammate is Heinz-Harold Frentzen. The Renault company that supplies the engines for Team Williams. Each year the teams compete for the Drivers World Championship and the Constructors Championship.
Usually there are about 17 races per year. In each race the teams have an opportunity to receive points for each of the championships. The first six positions of each race are awarded points; these points are given to each driver and team with the winner of the race receiving the most points. The driver with the most points at the end of the year is declared the world champion and the team with the most points wins the constructors championship. (Wilkinson, 1996) In order to win a race, each team and driver develops a race strategy.
One factor in a race strategy, would determine when the driver would come in for a pit stop. During a race, the cars will require at least two pit stops for tires and fuel. The teams must determine how much fuel they need for the race. More fuel means more weight and therefore will slow the car. A Formula 1 car can be refueled and receive a complete tire change in about 7 seconds.
In order to produce the fastest lap times the driver must follow a race line. A race line is the straightest way around the track; a driver makes a race line by “apexing” turns. Apexing is when the driver comes into the turn on the outside of the track. When the driver enters the turn he steers to the inside of the turn. When the driver reaches the inside of the turn, he accelerates out of the turn and swing, wide to the outside of the track. ” Sometimes two- to three-tenths of a second per lap can make all the difference.” (Andretti, 1996) In Formula 1, drivers try to pass each other.
One way they do this is by out braking the other driver. As they approach the turn they try to brake as late as possible. The driver who brakes last will usually pass his competitor. However, he is risking entering the turn at too high a speed and crashing. Another method that Formula 1 drivers use to pass is called drafting or slip screening. This occurs when a driver follows another driver closely and is able to build speed to pass him. This occurs because the driver in front clears all the air out of the way for the driver behind him. This, in turn, allows the car following to build speed because there is reduced drag.
(Newman, 1994) Figure 1-1: Jaques Villenuve in his Williams Renault FW19 Formula 1 Racing Car The Chassis Components of a Formula 1 Racing Car Aerodynamics The aerodynamics of a Formula 1 car is very important to its performance and handling. Due to it extreme high speeds, the car must be very streamlined. All the corners are rounded to get the least amount of drag. These cars are wind tunnel tested to determine the best shape. In Formula 1 racing, the cars have to make many turns at high speeds.
In order to make a Formula 1 car corner well, it must have downforce. Downforce helps to keep the car glued to the track and it will help prevent the car from skidding off. A Formula 1 car produces downforce by its front and rear wings. These are similar to airplane wings that are turned upside down so they will produce lift in the negative direction. This keeps the car pressed on the ground.
The race teams can adjust the angles of the wings to increase or decrease downforce. The more downforce the car has, the better the corning ability, but acceleration will decrease. In order to do well in a Grand Prix, a race team must adjust the wings to fit the characteristics of the track. In wet weather, the teams will run with greater downforce. The greater downforce is necessary because the cars need more traction.
(Newman, 1994) Figure 2-1: Model of Aerodynamics Chassis Construction The chassis of a Formula 1 car is made of many new materials. The frame is made of aluminum tubing while the side panels are made of a composite of aluminum honeycomb and carbon-fiber. Aluminum honeycomb is aluminum with holes in it. Carbon-fiber is twice as light and strong as aluminum. The front nose of the car is made of Nomex honeycomb.
It is twice as light as aluminum but not as strong. These materials are now being used in cars and mountain bicycles to save weight. (Ferrari Racing, 1997) Figure: 2-2: Carbon-Fiber Strip Brakes Formula 1 racing requires a great deal of braking power. Typically, a Formula 1 car will have to use its brakes 12 times per lap or 900 times a race. On average, Formula 1 cars have to slow down from 280 Km/h to make a turn at 160 km/h, which puts tremendous stress on the braking system. If Formula 1 cars had brakes like a commercial passenger vehicle, they would wear out in a lap.
A Formula 1 racing car use a four wheel disc brake system which means that each wheel has a disc brake to help it stop. A disc brake consists of a rotor (Fig. 2-4), caliper and brake pads. When the driver hits the brake pedal, the caliper which contains the brake pads squeezes the rotor from either side and slows the car. The car is slowed down because there is friction between the pads and the rotor.
This friction causes the brakes to become very hot. When disc brakes get hot, they do not function very well. To help reduce this problem, Formula 1 teams now use carbon brake pads. The new carbon pads wear less and work better at higher temperatures. These carbon brakes work most effectively at temperatures of 350-500 degrees Celsius.
(Fig. 2-3) To keep these brakes cool, Formula 1 cars have brake cooling ducts that channel air over the pads and rotors. These cooling ducts are made of carbon fiber to save weight. Formula 1 cars employ dual circuit brakes. Dual circuit brakes allow the front and rear brakes to work independently of each other. This system allows the driver to adjust how much braking force goes to the front and back.
The driver can adjust the brake balance in the cockpit of the car while moving. Formula 1 racing is responsible for improving the effectiveness and durability of the brakes that you would find on the commercial passenger vehicle. (Williams Racing, 1997) Figure 2-3: Glowing Hot Rotor Figure 2-4: Brake Rotor and Caliper (Ferrari Racing, 1997) Wheels and Tires One of the most important parts of a Formula 1 car are the tires. The tires are the only contact with the track. They are responsible for the handling of the car.
Formula 1 cars use two types of tires depending on the weather. In dry weather, the cars use a dry weather slick (Fig. 2-6). The slick has no treads on it and it has a smooth surface. When this tire gets hot due to the friction of the track, it becomes sticky and that helps to grip the track. This gives Formula 1 cars superior corning ability.
The rubber of these slick tires are rated from “A” (hard) to “D” (very soft). The harder the tires, the less it wears but it is not as sticky. A very soft tire would be used for qualifying because the tire only has to last for one or two laps. A dry weather slick can be damaged by braking too hard. If the tire locks when braking, the rubber will instantly overheat and stick to the track, causing a “flat spot” on the tire. Such a tire will not be round, causing it to slow the car down.
For optimum performance, the tire temperature should be around 100 degree Celsius. In wet weather the cars will use a wet weather tire. This tire has grooves that force water out from beneath the tire so it can grip the track better. This wet weather tire can clear up to 26 liters of water a second. These tires do not have the performance of a dry weather slick. The lap times of the cars will be slower and they will not be able to corner or accelerate as fast in wet conditions.
The tire sizes on a Formula 1 car are provided in the following figures: Figure 2-5: Tire Sizes Figure 2-6: Dry Weather Slick (Renault Racing, 1997) Safety In Formula 1 Racing Safety Features Found in a Formula 1 Racing Car In the past few years, the cars of Formula 1 have been going faster and crashing harder than ever before. The safety features on a Formula 1 car are very complex and are constantly being improved. Many safety features on a commercial passenger vehicle have been tested and first used in Formula 1.The new Formula 1 cars are now safer than they have ever been. Like most race cars, a Formula 1 car has a roll bar. This will prevent the driver from being crushed in an event of a roll over. The roll bar on a Formula 1 car is located behind the driver, where the air intake for the engine is placed.
Another safety feature of Formula 1 is th …