Formula One (Formula 1) or F1 is officially referred as the FIA Formula One World Championship. Formula One represents the highest class of single seat auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Here are some interesting facts about Formula One cars, drivers and races:
The Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1920s and 1930s. The “formula” is a set of rules which all participants’ cars must meet.
The first Formula One World Championship was won by Italian Giuseppe “Nino” Farina who was driving for the dominant Alfa Romeo team in 1950, barely defeating his Argentine teammate Juan Manuel Fangio.
Fangio won the title during 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 & 1957. His record of five World Championship titles stood for 45 years until German driver Michael Schumacher took his sixth title during 2003
Approximate 80,000 components come together to make an F1 car. The cars have to be assembled with cent per cent accuracy. If it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would go on the track with 80 components wrongly placed.
An F1 car weighs around 550 kg.
F1 car engines complete their life in about two hours of racing. Just compare this with normal engines which go on serving us faithfully for decent 20 years.
When an F1 driver puts brakes on his car he experiences huge retardation or deceleration (4.5 g to 5.5 g) It could be compared to a regular car driving through a brick wall at the speed of 300 kmph.
An F1 engine usually revs up to 18000 rpm. This means that the piston travels up and down 300 times a second. Road car engines rev up to 6000 rpm at max.
The cars can be refueled at 12 liters per second. The rig used would take just 4 seconds to fill the tank of an average road car.
Pit stop crews take only 3 seconds to refuel and change tyres.
F1 drivers have prolonged exposure to high G forces and temperatures for little over an hour. This results in an average F1 driver losing about 4 kg of weight after just one race. However he regains weight afterwards.
Before race, drivers drink lot of water to avoid dehydration. The Formula One Cockpits generate lot of heat and make drivers sweat off their weight during the race. The drivers can lose approximate 2 to 3 liters of water.
The F1 cockpits have drinking bottle installed for the drivers. The water in it also has mineral salts. The drivers can drink water from it via a pipe.
Most racing cars have their tyres filled with nitrogen. The reason being nitrogen has a more consistent pressure compared to normal air.
The brake discs in an F1 car have to withstand the operating temperature of approximately 1000 degrees Centigrade. They are made of carbon fibre which is much harder than steel and has a higher melting point.
An F1 car can accelerate from 0 to 160 kph and decelerate back to 0 in just four seconds.
Road car tyres can last 60 000 to 100 000 km. On the other hand, racing tyres are designed to last only 90 to 120 km.
The tyres lose weight during the race. In a GP each tyre loses about 0.5kg in weight due to wear.