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Formula One (F1) car racing

Updated on February 8, 2014

Formula One or F1 as it is often called, to most people come across as a flamboyant dream that encompasses sheer thrill, exhilaration and mind-boggling competition. This is one of the most technologically advanced and restricted race championships and yet the highest level of auto-car racing approved by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body of world auto racing. In fact the only other race that comes close to F1 in terms of driving difficulty levels is the Le-Mans-24 hour world championship race and the technological peer to F1 can be non other then the American Space Program.

Technically speaking, a Formula One car in its present avatar is a single-seater, open cockpit, open wheel race car with substantial front and rear wings, and an engine positioned behind the driver. The rules governing the sport are extravagantly exhaustive and apply to design, fuel, components and even driver weights. The Formula One season contains a sequence of races which is known as Grand Prix and the result of every race are evaluated jointly to declare the yearly World Championships, one for the constructors and one for the racing drivers. The performance of the cars is highly based on the application of concepts of Aerodynamics, suspension, Electronics and wheels. The formula has seen many changes, up-gradations and evolutions through out the entire history and development of it as a sport.

The history, evolution and development of F1

What hides behind the glitz and glamor of the race circuits is the other race going on between the regulatory body viz. FIA and the engineers of various contesting teams. Just to give an idea to which engineers are willing to innovate, I would like to claim that a Formula one car can race along the ceiling, defying gravity even at a measly speed of 120 kmph due to the enormous down-force produced, in spite of heavy regulation imposed on down-force argumentation and other such aerodynamic aid providing mechanisms. This mad, often fanatic race, for gaining speed also comes with its fair share of liabilities, namely driver deaths. It is no surprise that the world's top automotive companies are usual candidates hogging the lime light when it comes to Constructor' Championship. Billions are spent in wind tunnel testing and engine up-gradation. It might seem unseemly to effectively watch speed maniacs race around in their funny cars, literally burning away such large amounts of money but it would be imprudent to not consider that, what is an innovative circuit technology today, is effectively an irreplaceable road-technology tomorrow. But the F1 fraternity has been trying to lose its rich-boy image incorporating severe funding regulations and restricting spending on engines, fuel and wheels, not to mention its attempts at developing more Eco-friendly as well as pocket friendly technologies for acceleration. The KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is a glowing tribute to this effect.


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    • itsmonkeyboy profile image

      itsmonkeyboy 6 years ago from London, UK

      Great hub and very informative. I love F1 and over the years it has brought us so much as 'normal' road users from active suspension to KERS as you mentioned above. It has created safer, more comfortable and more efficient road driving. And it's created years of great racing! With the last couple of years being some of the best racing we've seen for a long time (apart from Vettel running away with the championship in 2011 of course!). I'm looking forward to the next race already.