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Report on

Formula One Racing Car

Sakriwala Taha Salman

Department of Mechanical Engineering

R. C. Patel Institute of Technology, Shirpur
Maharashtra State, India
Report on

Formula One Racing Car

In partial fulfilment of requirement for degree of
Bachelor of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Submitted By

Sakriwala Taha Salman

Under the Guidance of

Prof. H. K. Wagh

Department of Mechanical Engineering

R. C.Patel Institute of Technology, Shirpur
Maharashtra State, India
Shirpur Education Society’s

R. C. Patel Institute of Technology,

Shirpur, Maharashtra, India

This is to certify that the Seminar entitled Formula One Racing
Car Technologies has been completed by: Sakriwala Taha Salman
Under the guidance of Prof. H. K. Wagh in partial fulfilment of the
requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical
Engineering of K. B. C. North Maharashtra Univercity, Jalgaon dur-
ing the academic year 2018-2019.

Place: Shirpur

Prof. H. K. Wagh
Seminar Guide Seminar Coordinator

Prof. P. L. Sarode Prof. Dr. J. B. Patil

Head of Department Principal
The Seminar report entitled “Formula One Racing Car Tech-
nologies” by: Sakriwala Taha Salman is approved for the partial ful-
filment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering
in Mechanical Engineering of K. B. C. North Maharashtra Univercity,
Jalgaon during the academic year 2018-2019.

Prof. H. K. Wagh
Seminar Guide Seminar Coordinator

Prof. P. L. Sarode Prof. Dr. J. B. Patil

Head of Department Principal


1] Prof.

2] Prof.

I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude towards the Department

of Mechanical engineering R. C. Patel Institute of Technology, Shirpur that gave me
an opportunity for presentation of my seminar in their esteemed organization.
It is a privilege for me to have been associated with Prof. H. K. Wagh, my guide
during seminar work. I have been greatly benefited by his valuable suggestion and
ideas. It is with great pleasure that I express my deep sense of gratitude to him for
his valuable guidance, constant encouragement and patience throughout this work.
I express my gratitude to Prof. P. L. Sarode Head of Department, Mechani-
cal Engineering for his constant encouragement, co-operation and support and also
thankful to all people who have contributed in their own way in making this seminar
work success.
I am thankful to Prof. Dr. J. B. Patil, Principal, R. C. Patel Institute of Technol-
ogy, Shirpur for the support and encouragement. I take this opportunity to thank
all the classmates for their company during the course work and for useful discussion
we had with them.
Under these responsible and talented personalities I was efficiently able to complete
my seminar work in time with success.

Sakriwala Taha Salman


The modern era of Formula One (F1) Grand Prix racing began in 1950, but
the roots of F1 trace back to the pioneering road races in France in the 1890s.
At the birth of racing, cars were upright and heavy, roads were tarred with sand
or wood, reliability was problematic, drivers were accompanied by mechanics, and
races – usually on public roads from town to town – were impossibly long by modern
standards. The first proper motor race, staged way back in 1895, was that between
the cities of Paris and Bordeaux and the distance between them was 1,200 km.
In 1908, the Targa Florio in Sicily saw the appearance of “pits”, shallow em-
placements dug by the side of the track, where mechanics could labour with the
detachable rims on early GP car tires. In 1914, the massive 4 liter Mercedes of
Daimler-Benz dominated the French Grand Prix at Lyons – 20 laps of a 23.3-mile
circuit – taking the first three places and introducing control of drivers by signal
from the pits. After this, the Italian racing car manufacturers (like Bugatti and Fiat)
dominated for more than a decade. But the great depression of 1930 led to lack of fi-
nances and henceforth, a lack of interest in car racing. In 1934, the balance of power
in racing would begin to shift from Italy to Germany, with the emergence of factory
teams from Auto Union (now Audi) and Mercedes-Benz, behind massive financial
support from the Third Reich government on orders from Adolph Hitler. These
powerful and beautiful German machines introduced aerodynamics into Grand Prix
car design and ran on exotic, secret fuel brews.

List of Figures iii

1 Introduction 1
1.1 The History of F1 Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2 How Formula One Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 The Evolution of Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.4 Formula One car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.5 Formula One tyres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.6 Formula One engines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

2 Literature Review 5

3 Theory 9
3.1 Designing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.2 Comparison Of Different F1 Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

4 Basic Parameters 15
4.1 Steering wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.2 Fuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.3 Tyres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.4 Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

5 Aerodynamics 20
5.1 Wings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
5.2 Ground effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.3 Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

6 Performance 27
6.1 Acceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
6.2 Deceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
6.3 Lateral acceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
6.4 Top speeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

7 Engine 33
7.1 What makes these engines different from all others? . . . . . . . . . . 34
7.2 Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36


References 38

List of Figures

3.1 Nose Cone Of Different F1 Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

3.2 Dimensions Of Nose Cone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3 Comparison Of Different F1 Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

4.1 McLaren Honda’s 2016 Formula 1 Steering Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . 15

4.2 Formula One Braking System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

5.1 Aerodynamics in Formula One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

6.1 Mechanism While Acceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

7.1 Mercedes-Benz engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Chapter 1


The sport of Formula 1 (F1) has been a proving ground for race fanatics and en-
gineers for more than half a century. With every driver wanting to go faster and
beat the previous best time, research and innovation in the engineering of the car
are really essential. Due to the marginal gains that can be obtained by engine and
mechanical changes to the car, aerodynamics of a F1 car has become one of the
major aspects of performance gain. Thus, it is a key element to success in the sport,
resulting in teams spending millions of dollars on research and development in this
area every year. A Formula 1 car is an open-wheeled rear-wheel drive vehicle, the
design of which is regulated and governed by strict set of rules. According to Willem
Toet (Toet, 2013), the key attributes of a current F1 car are:

• A top speed of up to 350kph (217.5mph), depending on the circuit.

• Acceleration of 2.6 secs for speed range of 0 – 100kph (0 – 62.14mph).

• Deceleration from 200 – 0kph (124.27 – 0mph) in about 2.0 secs.

• Loads of 5g in braking (longitudinal acceleration) and 4g in cornering (lateral


• No movable aerodynamic components of bodywork, except F1 body regulated

DRS system.

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The cars are optimized for each and every circuit, starting from a base design at
the start of the season. The base design changes every year in order to comply with
the new sets of rules and regulations imposed. The rate of evolution of the car over
a season is so high, that the end of the season car is normally a full second faster
than the base design at the start of the season (Toet, 2013). This evolution, over
a cycle, is generally brought about by the optimization of aerodynamics, tires, and
suspension of the car.

1.1 The History of F1 Racing

If you are heading to Montreal to watch the Grand Prix (FYI: here’s the F1 Weekend
Schedule), you might be intrigued by the story behind F1 and how it came into being.
The racing series wasn’t always as big and widespread as it is today. In fact, like
many things, the build up to its current popularity took many years and a series of
trials that, for some, didn’t go as expected.
Let’s take a glimpse into the story behind this racing event and how it all began,
starting with roots that take us across the Atlantic Ocean in a post-World War I

1.2 How Formula One Started

The roots of F1 racing go back to the European Grand Prix championships which
took place in the 1920s and 1930s. It was in 1946 when the rules were standardized
by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.
The name Formula One refers to the set of rules to which all participants must
comply. This was originally known as Formula A. The first world championship race
was held in 1950 at Silverstone and the first F1 race took place a month before that
at Pau.
In the early years of racing there were around 20 races held from late Spring
to early Autumn in Europe, although not all of these races were considered to be

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significant. Most of the competitive cars that took part came from Italy and the
Alfa Romeo team dominated most races before 1950.

1.3 The Evolution of Racing

The Formula One racing events changed a lot throughout the years. In 1958 they
were shortened from around 300 miles to 200 miles and the cars were required to use
Avgas instead of other fuel mixtures with methanol as their primary component.
Also in 1958 there was the introduction of a championship for car constructors.
Points were allocated on an 8,6,4,3,2,1 basis for the first 6 cars in the race.
1958 was also the year of the first victory for a car with the engine mounted
behind the driver, a Cooper driven by Stirling Moss in the Argentine Grand Prix.
Other changes happened in 1961 when, in an attempt to slow down speeds, Formula
One was downgraded to 1.5 litre non-supercharged engines only. This would remain
that way for the next five years.
In 1962 the Lotus team had a technological breakthrough – the aluminium sheet
monocoque chassis that replaced the traditional spaceframe design. This made the
car and the engine more reliable, which was the beginning of the Lotus Era. Jim
Clark won the Formula One title twice in three years.
The 1965 Mexican Grand Prix was the first victory by a Japanese car and the
last race of the 1.5 litre Formula One. It was also the first and only win by a car
that was powered by a transverse engine.
In 1966 Formula One changed the engine rules again, allowing engines of 3.0
litres. Another significant event is the 1968 Germany Formula One where World
Champion Jim Clark died – a terrible tragedy that led to the tightening of safety
regulations to prevent it happening again.
Over the years since then Formula One has continued to evolve, as car technology
has developed and the sport has gathered fans from all over the world. These days
races are held all over the world from Asia to Europe to North America. The
Canadian Grand Prix has grown into one of the most exciting tracks with many

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memorable moments over the years. Any true Grand Prix fan has either been or
tried to go to the Montreal Grand Prix, which boasts one of the largest crowds and
some of the most exciting events to be experienced annually.

1.4 Formula One car

A Formula One car is a single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel racing car with sub-
stantial front and rear wings, and an engine positioned behind the driver, intended
to be used in competition at Formula One racing events. The regulations governing
the cars are unique to the championship. The Formula One regulations specify that
cars must be constructed by the racing teams themselves, though the design and
manufacture can be outsourced.

1.5 Formula One tyres

Formula One tyres play a significant role in the performance of a Formula One car.
The tyres have undergone major changes throughout the history of Formula One,
with different manufacturers and specifications used in the sport.

1.6 Formula One engines

Since its inception in 1947, Formula One has used a variety of engine regulations.
”Formulas” limiting engine capacity had been used in Grand Prix racing on a regular
basis since after World War I. The engine formulae are divided according to era.

Formula One Racing Car Technologies 4

Chapter 2

Literature Review

1. P. Berel et al.[1] Design and Develop Manufacturing Methodology for

Formula one Nose Car.
The company McLaren has manufactured the first chassis made of reinforced com-
posite materials Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) in 1981 when they also attended
the F1 World Championship. The new race car was considered revolutionary re-
garding the form and its performances were significantly higher than the previous
versions. This success has decisively changed the automobile industry. After this
success all the teams participating in the F1 championship have begun using these
materials in building their cars. These materials are used successfully nowadays
and are very difficult to replace with other materials due to the physico-mechanical
properties they have. Various authors have treated this field in their articles. 2.
Unmukt R. Bhatnagar[2] has Designed and Developed Formula One Race
Car Performane Improvement By Optimization Of The Aerodynamic Re-
lationship Between The Front and Rear Wings.
The sport of Formula 1 (F1) has been a proving ground for race fanatics and engi-
neers for more than half a century. With every driver wanting to go faster and beat
the previous best time, research and innovation in engineering of the car is really es-
sential. Although higher speeds are the main criterion for determining the Formula
1 car’s aerodynamic setup, post the San Marino Grand Prix of 1994, the engineer-
ing research and development has also targeted for driver’s safety. The governing

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body of Formula 1, i.e. Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has made

significant rule changes since this time, primarily targeting car safety and speed.
AeroLap is used. For simulation, the Sepang F1 race track, which annually hosts
the Malaysian Grand Prix (GP), is selected. This track provides a perfect conun-
drum of whether to design the car for high downforce or low drag configuration, as
it contains fast-turning corners and long straights. The optimization is performed
for a given F1 car setup used for the 2010 season, with the aerodynamic loads acting
on both the front and rear wings as well as the racing line being optimized. First,
an optimum racing line is derived for this particular race track using CMA-ES. It is
observed that the lap time is reduced by a margin between 0.542 to 1.699 seconds
when compared with the best lap time for the actual race during the 2010 Malaysian
GP. For this racing line, the optimum values of the aerodynamic loads in the form
of lift and drag coefficients for the front and rear wings are calculated.
3. Shubham R. Ugle, Shweta D. Kate, Dhananjay R. Dolas Published
research paper on Formula One Safety Shubham R. Ugle et al.[3] has Designed
and Developed Formula One Safety
This paper aims at defining and decoding the various safety measures, precisely
focusing on the evolution of safety on Formula One racing track and the usage of
different color flags and their significance used during the race for signaling the
drivers [24]. The first race season of Formula One was held in 1950, it was a seven
race series which started on 13th May and completed on 3rd September. Back then
the safety precautions were not as good as they are today. Over the past few decades
the races have seen a great improvement considering safety to be the first priority.
Advancement in science and technology has led to the decrease in deaths or critical
injuries to the drivers during the racing. Safety equipment used by the drivers and
the pit crew also ensure the safety. A study was carried out by Australian Grand
Prix Medical Centre in the year 2011 which shows the reasons due to which the
patients were admitted in the center. So to prevent critical accidents various tech-
niques and safety measures are implemented. It is crucial to follow the guidelines
stated by FIA not only by the drivers but also for the pit crew

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4. Watkins E.[4] has Designed and Developed The Physiology and Pathol-
ogy of Formula One Grand Prix Motor Racing
The emotional and physical stresses experienced by a Formula One driver are sum-
marized in Figure 14.1, published by Bertrand et al. in 1983.1 These include the
muscular exercise involved in the physical effort of driving the car, and withstanding
the G forces during acceleration and cornering, the latter up to 4G. Thus, the neck
and shoulder muscles in a 4G corner would need to be controlling a head and helmet
mass of approximately 6.5 kg, which would produce a load at 4G of 26 kg. Building
up the shoulder and neck muscles by heavy exercise is an important part of train-
ing for race drivers. However, the most dramatic effects of the stresses are on the
cardiovascular system. In addition to muscular physical effort and G forces, there
are added burdens on the heart rate from vibration, thermal loads, and emotion,
leading to pulse rates of up to 200 beats per minute (bpm). Figure 14.2 shows the
effect of increasing speed on the pulse rate of two drivers (Villeneuve and Pironi)
and also demonstrates individual differences arising from personality and training—
Villeneuve being the cooler and more composed of the two. Figures 14.3 and 14.4
show the stress of these two drivers in practice in Monaco, there being a drive on
the heart on entering the circuit and relief on leaving it. Clearly, in Villeneuve’s
case, an incident between laps in the motor home accelerated his pulse!

Formula One Racing Car Technologies 7

Chapter 3


Aerodynamics is the study of airflow over and around an object, and thus an intrinsic
consideration in racing car design. To be quick, a car has to be able to overcome
drag (the resistance experienced as it travels forward) and it attempts to do this
be presenting the smallest frontal area possible. However, that same car also needs
to be able to go around corners and this presents a differing set of aerodynamic
needs, namely downforce, which is the force harnessed from the airflow over a car
that presses it down onto the track.
The simplest inventions are often the best, and never has the role of aerodynamics
proved as dramatic as when aerofoil wings burst onto the Grand Prix scene in the
late 1960s. These were added in an attempt to provide downforce that gave cars
superior traction, and thus made them less likely to spin when being driven around
a corner, enabling them to turn at greater speed.
The designers who applied aerofoil weren’t striking new ground, for the technique
had long been harnessed in aviation. However, whereas aeroplanes use their wings
to gain lift, the Formula 1 designers wanted the reverse, that is to say negative lift,
also known as a downforce. This was attained by fitting an aeroplane wing shape
upside down. Seen in profile, an aerofoil leads with its fat edge, but differs from an
aeroplane wing in that the trailing edge curves up to the rear, with the airflow over
this helping to force the wing downwards.
However, engineers are always faced with a trade-off between maximum down-

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force and minimum drag, and it’s something that varies from circuit to circuit. The
need for downforce is at its greatest at circuits with many corners, such as Monaco,
and the need is least at those with the longest straights such as Monza. However
Monza circuit is now replaced by a different circuit this year.
Lotus boss, Colin Chapman, took matters a stage further by mounting the rear
aerofoil onto the rear suspension of his cars, making the harnessing of downforce all
the more effective, as it produced 180 kg of extra downforce, which is the equivalent
of more than two adult males. So, it wasn’t surprising that suspension has to be
toughened up after a number of breakages.
The slick tires arrived in 1971, with their superior grip meaning that less down-
force was required, giving the designers yet another variable to accommodate. Typ-
ically, it was Chapman who came up with the next breakthrough in 1977. Although
he didn’t invent ground effect – a concept that created a vacuum under the cars that
sucked them down to the track and provided extra downforce without extra drag –
he was the one to introduce it to Formula 1.
Chapman and his design team found that by putting side pods onto the car and
shaping their undersides like aerofoil, then sealing the side pod edges to the track
surface with moveable skirts, and thus preventing air flowing in from the sides, this
would produce an area of low pressure by accelerating the air through a venture at
the rear. Sucked down by this low pressure, a car would experience a huge amount
of extra downforce, which saw the Lotus 78 setting new standards in aerodynamic
Mario Andretti used a Lotus 79 – a car developed from the 78 that he often
described as “being painted to the road” – to dominate the 1978 World Champi-
onship. By 1980, the downforce generated had blossomed to the equivalent of double
the car’s weight. On top of this gain, the faster the cars were driven, the greater
amount of downforce their ground effect found them. With downforce increasing as
the square of speed, if a car’s speed doubles, then its downforce quadruples. Put
another way, a Formula 1 car could run through a tunnel upside down, held to the
roof of the tunnel, thanks to its inverted wings holding it there.

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Then ground effects were banned for 1983 and a rule was introduced stating
that all cars should have flat bottoms, again altering the emphasis on front and
rear wings. So, as Formula 1 entered the 21st century, the designers were poised
at their computers dreaming up ways in which they can change their aerofoil to
achieve more for less. That is to say more downforce for less drag, the eternal quest
for aerodynamicists.

3.1 Designing
The difference between Ferrari and McLaren is so remarkable, that one may raise
some question about the aerodynamics. It is very remarkable that in comparison
some cars chose to have a raised nose cone while others a lowered nose cone. Ferrari is
one of the example which choose to keep a lowered nose cone. Here’s an explanation.

Figure 3.1: Nose Cone Of Different F1 Cars

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Figure 3.2: Dimensions Of Nose Cone

McLaren for example had raised the nose corn. All the changes to the F1 nose
parts are due to the regulation change about the front wing, which is placed 5cm
higher above the ground .with it ,there has been lost a lot of downforce on the front
wheels .Although it might seems very strange that McLaren raised the nose corn
for this ,but it makes a lot of sense .As most teams heightened up the nose corn ,it
is the most striking ,also because Newey can be seen as a reference .The reason for
it is the air flowing under the nose .Of course ,the upper air flowing over the nose
generates now less downforce ,but Newey certainly thought it wouldn’t have a very
high impact on itself. So the air under the nose is pushed(over the front wing) or
pulled(for air coming under the front wing) to higher levels. As the air has a lot
more room under the nose in the center of the car , it can be directed to the sidepods
smoothly ,it causes a lot less resistance. This can be seen in figure 3.2
Ferrari on the contrary have opted for a completed other tactic . They did not
feel maintaining the front wing efficiency as a priority ,although downforce on the
front wheel is very important .So the most appropriate solution is the lower nose
cone .Exactly what Ferrari did, though with some changes. Thanks to the low nose
top ,much air that would not have any effect of the front wheel is very important
.So the most appropriate solution is the lower nose cone .Exactly what Ferrari did
through with some changes .Thanks to the low nose top ,much air that would not
have any affect of the frontwing is now flowing over the nose ,with a lot of downforce
as result. The underside of the nose, which seemed to be the most difficult problem
with other teams, is solved with a curve. Passing the front wing, and going 30 cm

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further ,the nose cone at that height could also be the one of a high nose .Once air
has passed under the low nose top ,it can be pushed up by the front wing ,without
an obstacle. Once the airflow has passed this stadium, lots of downforce has been
generated, and the air is guided to the sidepods exactly the same way as with high
nose cones. This might be the ingenious design of Ferrari, in which all other teams

3.2 Comparison Of Different F1 Cars

Figure 3.3: Comparison Of Different F1 Cars

About a third of the car’s total downforce can come from the rear wing assembly.
The rear wings are the ones that are varied the most from track to track. As the rear
wings of the car create the most drag the teams tailor the rear aerodynamic load
to suit a particular track configuration. As air flow over the wing, it is disturbed
by the shape, causing a drag force. Although this force is usually less than the lift
or downforce, it can seriously limit top speed and causes the engine to use more
fuel to get the car through the air. From the year 2009, the FIA regulations have
changed concerning the rear wing. What FIA wanted was to reduce the wake and
aerodynamic sensitivity of the car and to increase the ability of overtaking and
slipstreaming. The solution is by using a High, Squat rear wing. Looking at the

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cars from only 5 years ago, the also had only 3 or even less flaps. The only effect
that might come with this regulation change is at high downforce circuits, there will
be a little more air resistance to produce the same downforce and overtaking would
be much easier. Perhaps the most interesting change, however, is the introduction
of ‘moveable aerodynamics’, with the driver now able to make limited adjustments
to the front wing from the cockpit during a race. However, the rear wings can
be changed after each race according to the situation and within the specifications
mentioned in F1 regulations.Figure 3.3 shows cars using different wings for different

Formula One Racing Car Technologies 13

Chapter 4

Basic Parameters

4.1 Steering wheel

Figure 4.1: McLaren Honda’s 2016 Formula 1 Steering Wheel

The driver has the ability to fine-tune many elements of the race car from within
the machine using the steering wheel. The wheel can be used to change gears, apply
rev. limiter, adjust fuel/air mix, change brake pressure, and call the radio. Data

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such as engine rpm, lap times, speed, and gear are displayed on an LCD screen as
shown in figure 4.1. The wheel hub will also incorporate gear change paddles and a
row of LED shift lights. The wheel alone can cost about $50,000, and with carbon
fibre construction, weighs in at 1.3 kilograms. In the 2014 season, certain teams
such as Mercedes have chosen to use larger LCDs on their wheels which allow the
driver to see additional information such as fuel flow and torque delivery. They are
also more customizable owing to the possibility of using much different software.

4.2 Fuel
The fuel used in F1 cars is fairly similar to ordinary petrol, albeit with a far more
tightly controlled mix. Formula One fuel can only contain compounds that are
found in commercial gasoline (such as octane), in contrast to alcohol-based fuels
used in American open-wheel racing. Blends are tuned for maximum performance
in given weather conditions or different circuits. During the period when teams were
limited to a specific volume of fuel during a race, exotic high-density fuel blends were
used which were actually more dense than water, since the energy content of a fuel
depends on its mass density.
To make sure that the teams and fuel suppliers are not violating the fuel reg-
ulations, the FIA requires Elf, Shell, Mobil, Petronas and the other fuel teams to
submit a sample of the fuel they are providing for a race. At any time, FIA inspec-
tors can request a sample from the fueling rig to compare the ”fingerprint” of what
is in the car during the race with what was submitted. The teams usually abide
by this rule, but in 1997, Mika Häkkinen was stripped of his third-place finish at
Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium after the FIA determined that his fuel was not the
correct formula, as well as in 1976, both McLaren and Penske cars were forced to
the rear of the Italian Grand Prix after the octane number of the mixture was found
to be too high.

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4.3 Tyres
Tyres can be no wider than 355 and 380 mm (14.0 and 15.0 in) at the rear, front
tyre width reduced from 270 mm to 245 mm for the 2010 season. Unlike the fuel,
the tyres bear only a superficial resemblance to a normal road tyre. Whereas a
roadcar tyre has a useful life of up to 80,000 km (50,000 mi), a Formula One tyre
does not even last the whole race distance (a little over 300 km (190 mi)); they are
usually changed two or three times per race, depending on the track. This is the
result of a drive to maximize the road-holding ability, leading to the use of very soft
compounds (to ensure that the tyre surface conforms to the road surface as closely
as possible).
Since the start of the 2007 season, F1 had a sole tyre supplier. From 2007 to
2010, this was Bridgestone, but 2011 saw the reintroduction of Pirelli into the sport,
following the departure of Bridgestone. Nine compounds of F1 tyre exist; 7 are
dry weather compounds (superhard, hard, medium, soft, super-soft, ultra soft and
hypersoft) while 2 are wet compounds (intermediates for damp surfaces with no
standing water and full wets for surfaces with standing water). Three of the dry
weather compounds (generally a harder and softer compound) are brought to each
race, plus both wet weather compounds. The harder tyres are more durable but
give less grip, and the softer tyres the opposite. In 2009, the slick tyres returned
as a part of revisions to the rules for the 2009 season; slicks have no grooves and
give up to 18 percentage more contact with the track. In the Bridgestone years, a
green band on the sidewall of the softer compound was painted to allow spectators
to distinguish which tyre a driver is on. With Pirelli tyres, the colour of the text
and the ring on the sidewall varies with the compounds. Generally, the three dry
compounds brought to the track are of consecutive specifications.

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4.4 Brakes
Disc brakes consist of a rotor and caliper at each wheel. Carbon composite rotors
(introduced by the Brabham team in 1976) are used instead of steel or cast iron
because of their superior frictional, thermal, and anti-warping properties, as well as
significant weight savings. These brakes are designed and manufactured to work in
extreme temperatures, up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1800 F). The driver can control
brake force distribution fore and aft to compensate for changes in track conditions
or fuel load. Regulations specify this control must be mechanical, not electronic,
thus it is typically operated by a lever inside the cockpit as opposed to a control on
the steering wheel.
An average F1 car can decelerate from 100 to 0 km/h (62 to 0 mph) in about
15 meters (48 ft), compared with a 2009 BMW M3, which needs 31 meters (102
ft). When braking from higher speeds, aerodynamic downforce enables tremendous
deceleration: 4.5 G’s to 5.0 G’s (44 to 49 m/s2), and up to 5.5 G’s (54 m/s2) at
the high-speed circuits such as the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Canadian GP) and the
Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italian GP). This contrasts with 1.0 G’s to 1.5 G’s
(10 to 15 m/s2) for the best sports cars (the Bugatti Veyron is claimed to be able
to brake at 1.3 g). An F1 car can brake from 200 km/h (124 mph) to a complete
stop in just 2.9 seconds, using only 65 metres (213 ft). the figure for the same can
be seen in figure 4.2

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Figure 4.2: Formula One Braking System

Formula One Racing Car Technologies 18

Chapter 5


Aerodynamics have become key to success in the sport and teams spend tens of
millions of dollars on research and development in the field each year.
The aerodynamic designer has two primary concerns: the creation of downforce,
to help push the car’s tyres onto the track and improve cornering forces; and min-
imising the drag that gets caused by turbulence and acts to slow the car down.

Figure 5.1: Aerodynamics in Formula One

Several teams started to experiment with the now familiar wings in the late 1960s.
Race car wings operate on the same principle as aircraft wings, but are configured
to cause a downward force rather than an upward one. A modern Formula One
car is capable of developing 6 G’s of lateral cornering force thanks to aerodynamic

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downforce. The aerodynamic downforce allowing this, is typically greater than the
weight of the car. That means that, theoretically, at high speeds they could drive
on the upside down surface of a suitable structure; e.g. on the ceiling.
Early experiments with movable wings and high mountings led to some spectac-
ular accidents, and for the 1970 season, regulations were introduced to limit the size
and location of wings. Having evolved over time, similar rules are still used today.
In the late 1960s, Jim Hall of Chaparral, first introduced ”ground effect” down-
force to auto racing. In the mid 1970s, Lotus engineers found out that the entire
car could be made to act like a giant wing by the creation of an airfoil surface on its
underside which would cause air moving relative to the car to push it to the road.
Applying another idea of Jim Hall’s from his Chaparral 2J sports racer, Gordon
Murray designed the Brabham BT46B, which used a separately-powered fan system
to extract air from the skirted area under the car, creating enormous downforce.
After technical challenges from other teams, it was withdrawn after a single race.
Rule changes then followed to limit the benefits of ’ground effects’ – firstly a ban on
the skirts used to contain the low pressure area, later a requirement for a ’stepped
The McLaren MP4-21’s rear engine cover designed to direct airflow towards the
rear wing Despite the full-sized wind tunnels and vast computing power used by
the aerodynamic departments of most teams, the fundamental principles of Formula
One aerodynamics still apply: to create the maximum amount of downforce for the
minimal amount of drag. The primary wings mounted on the front and rear are fitted
with different profiles depending on the downforce requirements of a particular track.
Tight, slow circuits like Monaco require very aggressive wing profiles – cars run two
separate ’blades’ of ’elements’ on the rear wings (two is the maximum permitted).
In contrast, high-speed circuits like Monza see the cars stripped of as much wing as
possible, to reduce drag and increase speed on the long straights.
Every single surface of a modern Formula One car, from the shape of the sus-
pension links to that of the driver’s helmet – has its aerodynamic effects considered.
Disrupted air, where the flow ’separates’ from the body, creates turbulence which

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creates drag – which slows the car down. Almost as much effort has been spent
reducing drag as increasing downforce – from the vertical end-plates fitted to wings
to prevent vortices forming to the diffuser plates mounted low at the back, which
help to re-equalise pressure of the faster-flowing air that has passed under the car
and would otherwise create a low-pressure ’balloon’ dragging at the back. Despite
this, designers can’t make their cars too ’slippery’, as a good supply of airflow has
to be ensured to help dissipate the vast amounts of heat produced by the engine
and brakes.
A modern-day Ferrari Formula One car being tested by Fernando Alonso at Jerez
In recent years, most Formula One teams have tried to emulate Ferrari’s ’narrow
waist’ design, where the rear of the car is made as narrow and low as possible. This
reduces drag and maximises the amount of air available to the rear wing. The ’barge
boards’ fitted to the sides of cars have also helped to shape the flow of the air and
minimise the amount of turbulence.
Revised regulations introduced in 2005 forced the aerodynamicists to be even
more ingenious. In a bid to cut speeds, the FIA reduced downforce by raising
the front wing, bringing the rear wing forward, and modifying the rear diffuser
profile. The designers quickly regained much of this loss, with a variety of intricate
and novel solutions such as the ’horn’ winglets first seen on the McLaren MP4-20.
Most of those innovations were effectively outlawed under even more stringent aero
regulations imposed by the FIA for 2009. The changes were designed to promote
overtaking by making it easier for a car to closely follow another. The new rules took
the cars into another new era, with lower and wider front wings, taller and narrower
rear wings, and generally much ’cleaner’ bodywork. Perhaps the most interesting
change, however, was the introduction of ’moveable aerodynamics’, with the driver
able to make limited adjustments to the front wing from the cockpit during a race.
That was usurped for 2011 by the new DRS (Drag Reduction System) rear wing
system. This too allows drivers to make adjustments, but the system’s availability
is electronically governed – originally it could be used at any time in practice and
qualifying (unless a driver is on wet-weather tyres), but during the race, it could

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only be activated when a driver is less than one second behind another car at pre-
determined points on the track. (From 2013 DRS is available only at the pre-
determined points during all sessions). The system is then deactivated once the
driver brakes. The system ”stalls” the rear wing by opening a flap, which leaves
a 50mm horizontal gap in the wing, thus massively reducing drag and allowing
higher top speeds. However, this also reduces downforce so it is normally used
on longer straight track sections or sections which do not require high downforce.
The system was introduced to promote more overtaking and is often the reason for
overtaking on straights or at the end of straights where overtaking is encouraged
in the following corner(s). However, the reception of the DRS system has differed
among drivers, fans, and specialists. Former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica has
been quoted of saying he ”has not seen any overtaking moves in Formula 1 for two
years”, suggesting that the DRS is an unnatural way to pass cars on track as it does
not actually require driver skill to successfully overtake a competitor, therefore, it
would not be overtaking.
The rear wing of a modern Formula One car, with three aerodynamic elements
(1, 2, 3). The rows of holes for adjustment of the angle of attack (4) and installation
of another element (5) are visible on the wing’s endplate. The use of aerodynamics
to increase the cars’ grip was pioneered in Formula One in the 1968 season by Lotus,
Ferrari and Brabham. At first Lotus introduced modest front wings and a spoiler on
Graham Hill’s Lotus 49B at the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix, then Brabham and Ferrari
went one better at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix with full width wings mounted on
struts high above the driver.

5.1 Wings
Early designs linked wings directly to the suspension, but several accidents led to
rules stating that wings must be fixed rigidly to the chassis. The cars’ aerodynamics
are designed to provide maximum downforce with a minimum of drag; every part
of the bodywork is designed with this aim in mind. Like most open-wheel cars they

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feature large front and rear aerofoils, but they are far more developed than Amer-
ican open-wheel racers, which depend more on suspension tuning; for instance, the
nose is raised above the centre of the front aerofoil, allowing its entire width to
provide downforce. The front and rear wings are highly sculpted and extremely fine
’tuned’, along with the rest of the body such as the turning vanes beneath the nose,
bargeboards, sidepods, underbody, and the rear diffuser. They also feature aerody-
namic appendages that direct the airflow. Such an extreme level of aerodynamic
development means that an F1 car produces much more downforce than any other
open-wheel formula; Indycars, for example, produce downforce equal to their weight
(that is, a downforce:weight ratio of 1:1) at 190 km/h (118 mph), while an F1 car
achieves the same at 125 to 130 km/h (78 to 81 mph), and at 190 km/h (118 mph)
the ratio is roughly 2:1.
A low downforce spec. front wing on the Renault R30 F1 car. Front wings heavily
influence the cornering speed and handling of a car, and are regularly changed
depending on the downforce requirements of a circuit. The bargeboards in particular
are designed, shaped, configured, adjusted and positioned not to create downforce
directly, as with a conventional wing or underbody venturi, but to create vortices
from the air spillage at their edges. The use of vortices is a significant feature of the
latest breeds of F1 cars. Since a vortex is a rotating fluid that creates a low pressure
zone at its centre, creating vortices lowers the overall local pressure of the air.
Since low pressure is what is desired under the car, as it allows normal atmospheric
pressure to press the car down from the top; by creating vortices, downforce can be
augmented while still staying within the rules prohibiting ground effects.[dubious –
The F1 cars for the 2009 season came under much questioning due to the design of
the rear diffusers of the Williams, Toyota and the Brawn GP cars raced by Jenson
Button and Rubens Barrichello, dubbed double diffusers. Appeals from many of
the teams were heard by the FIA, which met in Paris, before the 2009 Chinese
Grand Prix and the use of such diffusers was declared as legal. Brawn GP boss
Ross Brawn claimed the double diffuser design as ”an innovative approach of an

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existing idea”. These were subsequently banned for the 2011 season. Another
controversy of the 2010 and ’11 seasons was the front wing of the Red Bull cars.
Several teams protested claiming the wing was breaking regulations. Footage from
high speed sections of circuits showed the Red Bull front wing bending on the
outsides subsequently creating greater downforce. Tests were held on the Red Bull
front wing and the FIA could find no way that the wing was breaking any regulation.
Since the start of the 2011 season, cars have been allowed to run with an ad-
justable rear wing, more commonly known as DRS (drag reduction system), a system
to combat the problem of turbulent air when overtaking. On the straights of a track,
drivers can deploy DRS, which opens the rear wing, reduces the drag of the car, al-
lowing it to move faster. As soon as the driver touches the brake, the rear wing
shuts again. In free practice and qualifying, a driver may use it whenever he wishes
to, but in the race, it can only be used if the driver is 1 second, or less, behind
another driver at the DRS detection zone on the race track, at which point it can
be activated in the activation zone until the driver brakes.

5.2 Ground effect

F1 regulations heavily limit the use of ground effect aerodynamics which are a highly
efficient means of creating downforce with a small drag penalty. The underside of
the vehicle, the undertray, must be flat between the axles. A 10 thick wooden plank
or skid block runs down the middle of the car to prevent the cars from running low
enough to contact the track surface; this skid block is measured before and after a
race. Should the plank be less than 9 mm thick after the race, the car is disqualified.
A substantial amount of downforce is provided by using a rear diffuser which
rises from the undertray at the rear axle to the actual rear of the bodywork. The
limitations on ground effects, limited size of the wings (requiring use at high angles of
attack to create sufficient downforce), and vortices created by open wheels lead to a
high aerodynamic drag coefficient (about 1 according to Minardi’s technical director
Gabriele Tredozi; compare with the average modern saloon car, which has a Cd value

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between 0.25 and 0.35), so that, despite the enormous power output of the engines,
the top speed of these cars is less than that of World War II vintage Mercedes-Benz
and Auto Union Silver Arrows racers. However, this drag is more than compensated
for by the ability to corner at extremely high speed. The aerodynamics are adjusted
for each track; with a low drag configuration for tracks where high speed is more
important like Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and a high traction configuration for
tracks where cornering is more important, like the Circuit de Monaco.

5.3 Regulations
With the 2009 regulations, the FIA rid F1 cars of small winglets and other parts of
the car (minus the front and rear wing) used to manipulate the airflow of the car
in order to decrease drag and increase downforce. As it is now, the front wing is
shaped specifically to push air towards all the winglets and bargeboards so that the
airflow is smooth. Should these be removed, various parts of the car will cause great
drag when the front wing is unable to shape the air past the body of the car. The
regulations which came into effect in 2009 have reduced the width of the rear wing
by 25 cm, and standardised the centre section of the front wing to prevent teams
developing the front wing.

Formula One Racing Car Technologies 25

Chapter 6


Every F1 car on the grid is capable of going from 0 to 160 km/h (100 mph) and
back to 0 in less than five seconds. During a demonstration at the Silverstone circuit
in Britain, an F1 McLaren-Mercedes car driven by David Coulthard gave a pair of
Mercedes-Benz street cars a head start of seventy seconds, and was able to beat the
cars to the finish line from a standing start, a distance of only 3.2 miles (5.2 km).
As well as being fast in a straight line, F1 cars have outstanding cornering ability.
Grand Prix cars can negotiate corners at significantly higher speeds than other racing
cars because of the intense levels of grip and downforce. Cornering speed is so high
that Formula One drivers have strength training routines just for the neck muscles.
Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya claimed to be able to perform 300 repetitions
of 50 lb (23 kg) with his neck.

6.1 Acceleration
The 2016 F1 cars have a power-to-weight ratio of 1,400 hp/t (1.05 kW/kg). Theo-
retically this would allow the car to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 1 second.
However the massive power cannot be converted to motion at low speeds due to
traction loss and the usual figure is 2.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph). After
about 130 km/h (80 mph) traction loss is minimal due to the combined effect of
the car moving faster and the downforce, hence continuing to accelerate the car at

RCPIT, Shirpur Department of Mechanical engineering

a very high rate. The figures are (for the 2016 Mercedes W07):
0 to 100 km/h (62 mph): 2.4 seconds 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph): 4.4 seconds 0 to
300 km/h (186 mph): 8.4 seconds The acceleration figure is usually 1.45 G’s (14.2
m/s2) up to 200 km/h (124 mph), which means the driver is pushed by the seat
with a force whose acceleration is 1.45 times that of Earth’s gravity.
There are also boost systems known as kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS).
These devices recover the kinetic energy created by the car’s braking process. They
store that energy and convert it into power that can be called upon to boost ac-
celeration. KERS typically adds 80 hp (60 kW) and weighs 35 kg (77 lb). There
are principally two types of systems: electrical and mechanical flywheel. Electrical
systems use a motor-generator incorporated in the car’s transmission which converts
mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa. Once the energy has been
harnessed, it is stored in a battery and released at will. Mechanical systems capture
braking energy and use it to turn a small flywheel which can spin at up to 80,000
rpm. When extra power is required, the flywheel is connected to the car’s rear
wheels. In contrast to an electrical KERS, the mechanical energy does not change
state and is therefore more efficient. There is one other option available, hydraulic
KERS, where braking energy is used to accumulate hydraulic pressure which is then
sent to the wheels when required.

Figure 6.1: Mechanism While Acceleration

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6.2 Deceleration
The carbon brakes in combination with tyre technology and the car’s aerodynamics
produce truly remarkable braking forces. The deceleration force under braking is
usually 4 G’s (39 m/s2), and can be as high as 5–6 G’s when braking from extreme
speeds, for instance at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit or at Indianapolis. In 2007,
Martin Brundle, a former Grand Prix driver, tested the Williams Toyota FW29
Formula 1 car, and stated that under heavy braking he felt like his lungs were hitting
the inside of his ribcage, forcing him to exhale involuntarily. Here the aerodynamic
drag actually helps, and can contribute as much as 1.0 G’s of braking force, which is
the equivalent of the brakes on most road sports cars. In other words, if the throttle
is let go, the F1 car will slow down under drag at the same rate as most sports cars
do with braking, at least at speeds above 250 km/h (160 mph).
There are three companies who manufacture brakes for Formula One. They
are Hitco (based in the US, part of the SGL Carbon Group), Brembo in Italy and
Carbone Industrie of France. Whilst Hitco manufacture their own carbon/carbon,
Brembo sources theirs from Honeywell, and Carbone Industrie purchases their car-
bon from Messier Bugatti.
Carbon/carbon is a short name for carbon fibre reinforced carbon. This means
carbon fibres strengthening a matrix of carbon, which is added to the fibres by way
of matrix deposition (CVI or CVD) or by pyrolysis of a resin binder.
F1 brakes are 278 mm (10.9 in) in diameter and a maximum of 28 mm (1.1 in)
thick. The carbon/carbon brake pads are actuated by 6-piston opposed callipers
provided by Akebono, AP Racing or Brembo. The callipers are aluminium alloy
bodied with titanium pistons. The regulations limit the modulus of the calliper
material to 80 GPa in order to prevent teams using exotic, high specific stiffness
materials, for example, beryllium. Titanium pistons save weight, and also have a
low thermal conductivity, reducing the heat flow into the brake fluid.

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6.3 Lateral acceleration

The aerodynamic forces of a Formula 1 car can produce as much as three times
the car’s weight in downforce. In fact, at a speed of just 130 km/h (81 mph), the
downforce is equal in magnitude to the weight of the car. At low speeds, the car
can turn at 2.0 G’s. At 210 km/h (130 mph) already the lateral force is 3.0 G’s, as
evidenced by the famous esses (turns 3 and 4) at the Suzuka circuit. Higher-speed
corners such as Blanchimont (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps) and Copse (Silverstone
Circuit) are taken at above 5.0 G’s, and 6.0 G’s has been recorded at Suzuka’s 130-
R corner.This contrasts with a maximum for high performance road cars such as
Enzo Ferrari of 1.5 G’s or Koenigsegg One:1 of above 1.7 G’s for the Circuit de
The large downforce allows an F1 car to corner at very high speeds. As an
example of the extreme cornering speeds; the Blanchimont and Eau Rouge corners
at Spa-Francorchamps are taken flat-out at above 300 km/h (190 mph), whereas
the race-spec touring cars can only do so at 150–160 km/h (note that lateral force
increases with the square of the speed). A newer and perhaps even more extreme
example is the Turn 8 at the Istanbul Park circuit, a 190 relatively tight 4-apex
corner, in which the cars maintain speeds between 265 and 285 km/h (165 and
177 mph) (in 2006) and experience between 4.5 G’s and 5.5 G’s for 7 seconds—the
longest sustained hard cornering in Formula 1.

6.4 Top speeds

Top speeds are in practice limited by the longest straight at the track and by the
need to balance the car’s aerodynamic configuration between high straight line speed
(low aerodynamic drag) and high cornering speed (high downforce) to achieve the
fastest lap time.During the 2006 season, the top speeds of Formula 1 cars were
a little over 300 km/h (185 mph) at high-downforce tracks such as Albert Park,
Australia and Sepang, Malaysia. These speeds were down by some 10 km/h (6

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mph) from the 2005 speeds, and 15 km/h (9 mph) from the 2004 speeds, due to
the recent performance restrictions (see below). On low-downforce circuits greater
top speeds were registered: at Gilles-Villeneuve (Canada) 325 km/h (203 mph), at
Indianapolis (USA) 335 km/h (210 mph), and at Monza (Italy) 360 km/h (225 mph).
In testing one month prior to the 2005 Italian Grand Prix, Juan Pablo Montoya of
the McLaren-Mercedes F1 team recorded a record top speed of 372.6 km/h (231.5
mph), which got officially recognised by the FIA as the fastest speed ever achieved by
an F1 car, even though it was not set during an officially sanctioned session during
a race weekend. In the 2005 Italian GP Kimi Räikkönen of McLaren-Mercedes
was recorded at 370.1 km/h (229.9 mph). This record was broken at the 2016
Mexican Grand Prix by Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, whose top speed in race
conditions was 372.54 km/h (231.48 mph). However, even though this information
was shown in FIA’s official monitors, the FIA is yet to accept it as an official record.
Bottas had previously set an even higher record top speed during qualifying for the
2016 European Grand Prix, recording a speed of 378.035 km/h (234.9 mph), albeit
through the use of slipstream drafting. This top speed is yet to be confirmed by
any official method as currently the only source of this information is the Williams
team’s Twitter post, while the FIA’s official speed trap data measured Bottas’s
speed at 366.1 kmh in that instance. At the moment Montoya’s speed of 372.6 kmh
(231.5 mph) is still regarded as the official record, even though it was not set during
a sanctioned session.
Away from the track, the BAR Honda team used a modified BAR 007 car, which
they claim complied with FIA Formula One regulations, to set an unofficial speed
record of 413 km/h (257 mph) on a one way straight line run on 6 November 2005
during a shakedown ahead of their Bonneville 400 record attempt. The car was
optimised for top speed with only enough downforce to prevent it from leaving the
ground. The car, badged as a Honda following their takeover of BAR at the end
of 2005, set an FIA ratified record of 400 km/h (249 mph) on a one way run on 21
July 2006 at Bonneville Speedway. On this occasion the car did not fully meet FIA
Formula One regulations, as it used a moveable aerodynamic rudder for stability

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control, breaching article 3.15 of the 2006 Formula One technical regulations which
states that any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must
be rigidly secured.

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Chapter 7


The formula one (F1) engine is the most complex part of the whole car. With an
amazing horsepower production and about 1000 moving parts, this sort of engine
makes the greatest cost on a F1 car. Incredible revolutions of about 17,000 rpm and
extreme high temperatures make it very hard to make that engine reliable. This
bullets shows current FIA limitations concerning an engine.

• Only 4-stroke engines with reciprocating pistons are permitted.

• Engine capacity must not exceed 2400 cc.

• Crankshaft rotational speed must not exceed 18,000rpm

• All engines must have 8 cylinders arranged in a 90o “V” configuration and the
normal section of each cylinder must be circular.

• Supercharging is forbidden.

• Engines must have two inlet and two exhaust valves per cylinder.

At the moment, all engines have 10 cylinders and they produce about 750 to 850
bhp. These are made from forged aluminium alloy, and they must have no more
than four valves per cylinder. Some other parts are made from ceramics because of
their very light weight and because they are very strong in the direction they need

RCPIT, Shirpur Department of Mechanical engineering

Figure 7.1: Mercedes-Benz engine

to be. This very low weight ratio is important to reduce the fuel consumption and
increase the engine performance.
The 1998 Mercedes-Benz engine was possibly one of the most revolutionary en-
gines ever built. Ford started this year by producing an engine that weighted at
least 25kg less than any other engine. The stiffness of the engine is also very im-
portant because it’s the only connection with the rear wheels and the chassis. The
engine must be able to take the huge cornering loads and aerodynamic forces from
the large rear wing. The above picture (fig 7.1) shows the Mercedes-Benz engine
built by Ilmor engineering and the latest Renault engine.

7.1 What makes these engines different from all

There are many differences between racing and road car engines that contribute to
the large power difference. F1 engines are designed to revolve at much higher speed
than the road units. These extreme high revolutions make it impossible for this
kind of engine to work as long as a normal car engine. An increase of 50 percentage

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on revs does not necessarily mean an increase of power with 50 percentage. From
a certain point, e.g. 16,500 revs/min, The internal friction is that high that engine
power doesn’t increase with a higher rev and even maybe decreases. That shows the
importance of the materials that are used. An increase of revs means an increase
of internal resistance of material within the engine. Lesser the weight of these
materials, lesser would be the power used only for the movement of engine parts.
Exotic materials such as ceramics may be used to reduce the weight and strength
of the engine. Because of the very high cost of the materials like these ceramics and
carbon fiber, they are not used in usual cars. Most usual car engines are made from
steel or aluminium. Another deciding point trying to reach a maximum of power out
of an engine is the exhaust. The minor change of length or form of an exhaust can
influence the horsepower drastically. Exhaust are important to remove the waste
gases from the engine. The faster these gases are moved away from the engine, the
faster some kind of vacuum comes in the engine and the more air is sucked into it.
This causes a faster cool down or more power from the engine with the same fuel
Automatic changed length of height from the exhaust could make so quite a
big power advance. Unfortunately, these types of advanced exhausts are completely
forbidden by the FIA. Just above the driver’s head there is a large opening that
supplies the engine with air. It is commonly thought that the purpose of this is
to ‘ram’ air into the engine like a supercharger, but the air-box does the opposite.
Between the air-box and the engine there is a carbon-fibre duct that gradually widens
out as it approaches the engine. As the volume increases, it makes the air flow slow
down, raising the pressure pressure of the air which pushes it into the engine. The
shape of this must be carefully designed to both fill all cylinders equally and not
harm the exterior aerodynamics of the engine cover.

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7.2 Transmission
An amazing engine may be one thing, but how do you put all the power on the
ground without wasting it by wheel spin is another. The transmission is made the
same way and with the same principle as a normal transmission but there are some
capital differences. The weight for example, the height from the ground and the size
are the most logical. But thinking that a transmission can be as hot as 1000C when
the power is brought to the wheels at the start of each race is certainly very important
for the engineers. Each team builds their own gearbox, either independently or in
partnership with companies such as X-track. The regulations state the cars must
have at least 4 and no more than 7 forward gears as well as a reverse gear. Most
cars have 6 forward gears, some having a 7-speed gearbox. Continuously Variable
Transmission (CVT) systems are not allowed and cars may have no more than two
driven wheels. Transmissions may not feature traction control systems, nor devices
that help the driver to hold the clutch at a specific point to aid getaway at the start
of the race.
Because the gearbox carries together with the engine the whole rear car weight,
it has to be very solid and strong, and so it is normally made from fully-stressed
magnesium or new since 1998, introduced by Stewart and Arrows, from carbon
fibre, which is much lighter. Gear cogs or ratios must be made of steel and are
used only for one race, and are replaced regularly during the weekend to prevent
failure, as they are subjected to very high degrees of stress. The gearbox is linked
directly to the clutch, made from carbon fibre. Two manufacturers, AP racing and
Sachs produce F1 clutches, which must be able to tolerate temperatures as 500
degrees. The clutch is electro-dynamically operated and can weigh as little as 1.5
kg. A computer, taking between 20-40 milliseconds, controls each gear change. The
drivers do not manually use the clutch apart from moving off from standstill, and
when changing up the gears, they simply press a lever behind the wheel to move to
the next ratio.

Formula One Racing Car Technologies 35

Chapter 8


As Formula One racing enters the new era, the focus has now shifted from achieve-
ment of high speed and acceleration levels to enhancement of driver safety. The
sport’s governing body, FIA has already taken measured steps to slow down the
car, and also reduce inclination towards the technologies so that races can be won
merely on the basis of driver’s skills. This being easily the most money-generating
sport, every year more and more teams are attempting to get into it in spite of the
high initial costs involved. Thus the global appeal for this sport is enormous, with
the sport now having spread its tentacles from Europe to almost every nook and
corner of the world including India. With the introduction of newer technologies
like traction control and semi-automatic gearboxes, along with the use of diffusers
and slick tyres, the sport has become more attractive than ever.


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[2] Bere, P., Neamt, u, C., Methodology to evaluate the form deviations for Formula
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[3] Shubham R. Ugle, Shweta D. Kate, Dhananjay R., Formula one

Safety,International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology,
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[4] Watkins E., “The Physiology and Pathology of Formula One Grand Prix Motor
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