The Features of F1 Cars

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Motorsport

Basically, there is no difference between F1 cars and your Chevrolet that you park daily in your garage. They both use engines with internal combustion and have suspensions, transmissions, brakes and wheels. But, that is it, the similarities end here. Formula One cars are not designed for relaxed drives or cruises down the interstate. All their features are modified so that the Formula One cars can be extremely fast cars.

F1 cars easily reach speeds of around 200 mph; however, during a formula One race, the speeds of these cars are in general lower than 200 mph. In 2006, during the Hungarian Grand Prix, the average speed of the winner was101.769 mph, and in 2006, during the Italian Grand Prix, the average speed of the winner was 152.749 mph.

The chassis represents the heart of the F1 cars. The chassis is the part of the car on which everything is attached and secured. The Formula One cars have monocoque construction, as almost all modern cars and airplanes. Monocoque means in French “single shell”, which makes reference to the manufacturing process of the entire body, using only a single piece of material. In the past, aluminum was used for this, but nowadays it is used a stronger composite, such as spun carbon fibers, fixed in resin or carbon fiber coated over aluminum mesh. By using these materials, the car is light weighted and can resist the downward-acting forces that are created while the car moves through the air. The monocoque integrates the cockpit, which is a strong, protected cell that shelters only a single driver. The cockpits of road-ready cars can show modifications, unlike the Formula one car which must comply with very severe technical regulations, such as: having a flat floor and meeting the requirements regarding the minimum size. However, the seat of the driver is made in order to meet the precise measurements of the driver, therefore his movement inside the cockpit is limited as the car moves on the track.

In the years prior 2006, F1 cars had enormous three-liter V10 engines. After 2006, the rules were changed and thus the formula One cars use 2.4-liter V8 engines. Even if the power of the engine was reduced as the rules changed, a F1 car can still deliver almost 900 horsepower. To better understand the power of the engine, we will state that a Volkswagen Jetta has a 2.5-liter engine that produces only 150 horsepower. Obviously, the engine of a Volkswagen Jetta is likely to last at least approximately 100,000 miles, while the engine of a Formula One car must be rebuilt after approximately 500 miles. This needs to be done because generating all that power means that the engine runs at extremely high revolution rates, almost 19,000 revolutions per minute, which produces a huge amount of heat and puts a lot of stress on the moving parts, as well.

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