Spring Rates


The Spring Rate controls the transfer of weight of the car. During braking and acceleration the weight of the car shifts forward and backward. Softer front springs aid in shifting the weight to the front, thereby reducing understeer. Softer rear springs allow the weight to transfer to the rear, consequently reducing oversteer. Alternatively, to induce understeer or oversteer, do the opposite and stiffen the corresponding spring rates. Keep in mind that spring rates that are too soft produce a car that is not as responsive as one with a stiffer spring rate. So, you have to find a compromise.

In F1 car, since you want more grip at the rear during acceleration, the spring rates, if hard, resists the weight transfer to the rear, making the rear hard and want to fight back, loosing grip. So we want to make the rear take more weight during acceleration for better grip.

F1 cars have more varied requirements. And, F1 cars seem to prefer a slightly lower front spring rate to reduce understeer.

Taking in account things explained before, spring rates are adjusted according to conditions on the track, race strategy and driver preferences.

In a Forward engined car, since the driving wheels are in the front and weight goes to the back, during acceleration, we make the rear spring rates as stiff as possible to resist the front wheels from loosing too much grip by reducing weight transfer to the rear while accelerating. However, the front spring rates must not be too soft, because most of the car's weight is up the front.


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Books to read

Some useful links:

- f1technical.net, a great site with a lot of technical information’s and explanations. Site is updated daily with news from F1 word.

 - autosport.com, This site is a legend. A bible for racing lovers. News from all around the word. Unfortunately, to get access to all news, interviews and to open the site completely you should be subscribed to Autosport magazine. Anyway, great read.

James Allen on F1
- JA.F1 site (or blog) ovned by ITV Sport’s lead commentator on Formula 1 James Allen

Joe Saward blog
- joesaward is the Joe Saward official blog about Formula 1 world. Joe is an journalist, who write primarily about politics in and around motorsport, specifically on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship

Vital F1
 - vitalf1.com/ is another great site for Motor Sports fan’s like me. Site is relatively new, but great fun, with great discussion forum, Formula 1 news and forum.

 GP update
- f1.gpupdate.net, Site with fresh news from Formula 1

Planet F1
 - planetf1, another site with many different articles, news and statistics. Biased toward British teams, but anyway good read.

Gurney flap
 - gurneyflap.com, Great history site. You can learn a lot from this site. Pictures, cars and many many more. Great.

4ormula1 is a database of Formula 1 history and statistics of drivers, teams, grand prix, and all results since 1950

Racecar engineering
-Racecar Engineering, an online magazine with a lot to learn from, a lot of technical information’s and explanations

 - fia.com, La Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, representing the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. Head organisation and ruler in auto sport.

 - wikipedia.org, I don’t believe that I have to tell you anything about this site. It’s not about Formula 1 technology, but you can learn a lot about that too.

Sutton Images

grandprix photo

 - carbibles.com, a great site for normal car users. Here you can find explanations of almost everything about your car and how it works. Technical reviews and explanations of some in-car gadgets.

Dare To Be Different
- Daretobedifferent.org Susie Wolff and UK governing body of UK motorsport have joined forces to launch Dare To Be Different, a high-profile new initiative which is about increasing female participation, not just on the track but in all aspects of the sport.