Formula 1 Car
A bit of history
Formula One (the "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must comply and was originally and briefly known as Formula A) can trace its roots back to the earliest days of motor racing, and emerged from the buoyant European racing scene of the inter-war years. Plans for a Formula One drivers' championship were discussed in the late 1930s but were shelved with the onset of World War Two.
1901 - The first use of the words grand prix to describe a race, the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
1904 - The formation of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), a non-profit association established to represent the interests of motoring organization and motor car users.
1906 - The first race to be given the title "Grand Prix" was held at Le Mans. From then on, the term Grand Prix became associated with major circuit races for cars. FIA was opposed to the popular usage of the "Grand Prix" title, which it wished to reserve for events counting towards its Formula One World Championship.
1933 - Starting positions on the grid were decided by qualifying times for the first time at the Monaco Grand Prix.
1935-39 -A number of meetings were held with a view to establishing a world drivers' championship; these were shelved at the outbreak of World War Two.
1946 - Formula One was agreed as a recognized formula.
1947 - World drivers' championship formalized. It was to take three more years before the first championship race, although there were races under F1 regulations from this year.
1948 - The first Formula One race was held March 29 at Pau and was won by a Maserati.
1950 - The FIA Formula One World Championship was created. The launch of the drivers' world championship with the first race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on May 13. Although there were 22 non-championship races that year, only six counted towards the title. The first seasons were run using pre-war cars like Alfa's 158. They were front engined, with narrow-treaded tires and 1.5 litre supercharged or 4.5 litre normally aspirated engines.
- Mercedes Benz made major developments until they withdrew from all motor sports in the aftermath of the 1955 disaster at Le Mans.
- In the late 1950s Cooper introduced a rear-engined car and by 1961 all manufacturers were running them.
The 1950 Championship consisted of only 7 Grands Prix.
1952 -The drivers' championship was run to Formula Two regulations because of concerns about the number of F1 cars available. This continued through the 1953 season as well, with Alberto Ascari winning the championship in both years.
1953 - Argentina hosted the first championship grand prix outside Europe.
1954 - New F1 regulations, limiting engines to 2.5 liters, resulted in the world championship being reinstated under F1 regulations.
1958 - As an added incentive for the teams, a constructors' championship was introduced. The constructors add together the points scored in every race by each car of their make (they cannot enter more than two).
- The first grand prix in Africa, Morocco.
- An era of British dominance was started in by Mike Hawthorn's championship win.
- The practice of sharing cars during a race was banned.
- Rule changes included the introduction of AvGas in place of alcohol fuels and a reduction in the length of races from 500km or three hours to 300km or two hours.
- Stirling Moss won the first race in a rear-engined F1 car. Within two years all cars featured this design
1961 - Start of 1.5-litre engine formula.
1962 - Lotus introduced a revolutionary design - a car with an aluminum-sheet monocoque chassis instead of the traditional space frame design, heralded as one of the most significant technological breakthroughs.
1966 - Start of the 3-litre engine formula.
1967 - The German Grand Prix was the first to be televised in color.
1968 - Lotus cars broke new boundaries when they were the first to carry advertising, Imperial Tobacco logos on their cars, heralding the arrival of sponsorship.
1970 - Jochen Rindt was killed during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix and later becomes the first and only posthumous F1 champion, underlining the continuing risks. 1971 - Bernie Ecclestone bought the Brabham team and so gained a seat on the Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA) and in 1978 became its president.
1973 - The pace car was used for first time during the Canadian Grand Prix.
- Lotus again were the innovators when they introduced ground-effect aerodynamics that provided enormous downforce and greatly increased cornering speeds.
- By the early 1970's the days of private entries were all but over as the costs of racing rocketed.
1976 - The first grand prix was held in Asia (Japan).
- Tyrrell introduced a six-wheel car.
- Niki Lauda won six of the first nine races this year before a horrendous crash at the German Grand Prix left him with burns so severe he was not expected to live. Almost unbelievably he was back in the cockpit six weeks later and the championship went down to the wire, James Hunt edging out the courageous Lauda in the final race. 1977 - Renault produced the first turbocharged car and speeds and power raced ahead. They were eventually banned in 1989.
1978 - Bernie Ecclestone became the president of the Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA). Until Ecclestone, circuit owners controlled many aspects of the sport; he persuaded the teams of their worth and the value of negotiating as a coordinated unit.
- The introduction of a medical car to follow cars on the formation lap of every grand prix aimed at improving reaction time in case of a first-lap accident. On its first appearance it hit the kerb and lifted off in the air.
- Lotus introduction of ground-effects technology, using side skirts and underbody design to give the car phenomenal grip, and Mario Andretti was supreme as he won six of the 16 races. But the year was again marred by a tragedy as team-mate Ronnie Peterson was killed at Monza. This was beginning of the end for the legendary Lotus team and was their last championship-winning year.
1979 - Formation of the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) as the governing body for events, and almost immediately clashed with FOCA over revenues and regulations. Matters deteriorated to the extent FOCA boycotted a race and threatened a breakaway (tactics that were turned on Ecclestone years later). In return FISA removed its sanction from races. An uneasy truce came with the 1981 Concorde Agreement.
1982 - Lotus unveiled a new system of active suspension, signalling the start of the increase of electronic driver aids.
- A driver strike took place ahead of the South African Grand Prix protesting against the introduction of driver licences.
1983 - The last non-championship F1 race was staged.
1984 - The Austrian Grand Prix was the first to feature only turbocharged cars.
1985 - The first world championship grand prix was held in Oceania (Australia).
1989 - Turbochargers were banned altogether.
1990 - Adelaide hosted the 500th grand prix.
1992 - he first appearance of the safety car at the British Grand Prix.
1993 - Michael Schumacher first race in SPA. The most dominant figure during next 2 decades, win two drivers' championships with Beneton and after that with Ferrari, five more consecutive drivers' championships and six consecutive constructors' championships. Schumacher was a brilliant driver but his habit of pushing rules and sportsmanship to the limit made him a hard to like, and that allied to his enormus success further caused problems for the sport's popularity. Viewing figures dropped and concerns grew for the sport's future given the increasing difficulty for any new entrants to make an impression.
1994 - Ayrton Senna was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix, a day after Roland Ratzenberger also lost his life in an accident during qualifying. The tragedies triggered a drive to improve safety standards and they were the last drivers to die at the wheel of an F1 car.
1998 - New regulations introduced regarding narrower tracks and grooved tires.
2002 - Team orders, legal since the championship started in 1950, were banned after several incidents in which teams openly manipulated race results, generating negative publicity, most famously by Ferrari at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.
2006 - Schumacher's retirement coincided with the sport again becoming more competitive on the track, but increasingly the headlines were dominated by behind-the-scenes politics.
2008 - The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), an organization representing the interests of the teams, was formed.
2009 - was revealed that Nelson Piquet Jnr had been ordered to crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix for the benefit of his team-mate Fernando Alonso. Renault boss Flavio Briatore was subsequently banned, but it was yet another blow Formula One could have done without.
2014 - New engine formula, from 2.4V naturaly aspirated engines rules changed to 1.6V turbocharged energy recovery models.
A modern F1 car is arguably the pinnacle of engineering excellence – a work of art created by a hand-picked team of engineers and craftsmen and craftswomen, all of whom are at the top of their profession. The essence of F1 is to provide the ultimate challenge for man and machine on the track and, by its very nature, F1 racing pushes the limits of both human and mechanical endurance. Designing great racing cars has not been the work of a single talented individual since the days of the 1920s. Individual engineers are never slow to take credit for the work of others and a healthy ego is usually the sign of a good F1 engineer, but when you stop and think about it, it takes more than that to spend the vast sums that are sunk into F1 cars. So it is not just about getting the man who can conceive a superior rear wing. It is about infrastructure, industrial capacity, perpetual innovation, about new ideas round-the-clock and instant analysis of these, using computational fluid dynamics as well as wind tunnels. It is as much about rejecting ideas as it is about finding them.
To illustrate just how competitive F1 now is, over the 20 races of the 2012 season, the average gap in qualifying between pole position and tenth place on the grid was exactly 0.7 second – remarkable when you consider the variables of track configuration
and weather conditions. Seven different winners in the first seven races made 2012 very different from theany year before. Five different teams win first five races. Eith fastest lap drivers in first ten races. 13 different drivers and 8 different constructors led at least one lap in 2012.
But mere statistics don't do justice to the challenge and engineering expertise involved in putting together a winning F1car.
A modern Formula One car is a single-seat, open cockpit, open wheel race car with substantial front and rear wings, and engine positioned behind the driver. The regulations governing the cars are unique to the F1 championship. The Formula One regulations specify that cars must be constructed by the racing teams themselves. Some elements can be outsourced, like for example engine, brake assembly, some parts of suspension, inboard computer, parts of transmission and so on.
All cars have the engine located between the driver and the rear axle. The engines are a stressed member in all cars, meaning that the engine is part of the structural support framework; being bolted to the cockpit at the front end, and transmission and rear suspension bolted at the back end of the engine. Modern F1 car has more than 5,000 different parts and wind tunnels work around the clock, testing new versions of a car, but there are an awful lot of other areas which are completely invisible to the people in the grandstands, or those watching the racing on television. And it is not just about designing better parts, it is also about testing and manufacturing them as quickly as is possible, so that good ideas go from concept to racing car with the smallest possible delay. The cars that appear at the races are forever changing. The chassis may remain the same, but many other parts are changing from week to week.
The speed of development is highlighted by the fact that the law courts now refuse to allow engineers, when they change the team, to be on "gardening leave" for more than six months because they will fall behind and their employment prospects will suffer.
The sport is regulated by the FIA.
FIA sets technical regulations for building, maintaining, and racing of cars. The sophisticated vehicles used in Formula One (F1) racing are the most technologically advanced in racing. Their design causes air to flow over and under the car (aided by body features known as wings), creating a downward force that holds the car close to the ground at high speeds. Designed for road racing, F1 cars can accelerate and brake quickly. For normal people this cars are so hostile, so lacking in any kind of comforts and so brutally fast that there is simply no way a normal guy like you or me would even complete a lap. Driving this cars have nothing even similar with driving high performance street racing cars. This is so special.
In MotoGP you can see the effort the riders are making but because the F1 boys are hidden away in the monocoque we'll never be able to convey the efforts on the body that they endure - shame!
FIA also regulates slower and less advanced single-seat cars competing in such categories as Formula Two (F2), Formula Three (F3), and the GP2 series, which was called Formula 3000 (F3000) prior to 2005.
For many years FIA had sole authority over F1 racing, but beginning in the early 1970s other governing bodies began to emerge. The Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), based in London, England, led the challenge. FOCA is made up of the companies that manufacture the cars used in F1 racing. According to an agreement first drafted in 1982 between FIA and FOCA, the latter group controls the distribution of funds generated by F1 racing, making sure that each competing team has sufficient money to race in the next competition. Formula One's commercial rights are controlled in the Formula One Group.
For much of automobile racing history there were no restrictions on technological development, so F1 cars became the most technologically advanced racing vehicles possible. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, FIA began slowing down the introductions of new materials, systems, and electronics to F1. A principal reason for these restrictions was FIA's desire to limit the car speed and improve safety. Even systems that are standard in many street cars, such as ABS antilock brakes are prohibited in F1 racing. Another factor is the desire to hold down the high costs of innovation that favor large, heavily financed racing teams over smaller, poorer ones.
Despite these regulations, F1 cars are still considered to be the ultimate in single-seat racing car construction, and F1 races are often called the most glamorous automobile racing events in the world. Accomplished F1 drivers have included Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jason Button and Lewis Hamilton of the United Kingdom; Alain Prost of France; Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel of Germany; Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikonen of Finland; Ayrton Senna of Brazil; Dan Gurney and Italian-born Mario Andretti of the United States.
Europe is Formula One's traditional centre, all of the teams are based there and around half the races take place there. However, its scope has expanded significantly in recent years and Grands Prix are now held all over the world. Events in Europe and the Americas have been dropped in favour of new ones in Bahrain, China, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore and Abu Dhabi and India being added to the schedule starting in 2011. Of the eighteen races in 2008, nine are outside Europe.
The term Grand Prix (GP), which means "grand prize" and is commonly associated with F1 racing, was originally incorporated into the names of many auto races. But beginning in 1906 at Le Mans it came to refer to the principal F1 auto race in a given nation, except in the United States, where the term continues to be used less discriminately.
After the end of World War I in 1918, when automobile racing blossomed internationally, a series of GP races in several nations became reserved for F1 competition, and an annual GP calendar was developed consisting of national races, such as the French Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix.
An annual award called the World Championship of Drivers began in 1950, with the winner determined from F1 results each year.
In 1958 an F1 Constructors' Championship competed with the World Manufacturers' Championship, a competition associated with sports-car racing. These championships are based on driver race results but reward the companies that build the race cars, rather than the drivers.