Remembering the Tricks of the Formula 1 Constructors

The 2024 Formula 1 season is in full swing. It represents the 75th anniversary in the history of racing. The Red Bull team holds first place among the drivers with Max Verstappen. But as you know, the driver, even incredibly talented, is only part of the team. In parallel, their struggle in the race of constructors is that of engineers’ teams. So far, Red Bull has also held leadership. Ferrari are right on their heels. And while the season is in full swing, we decided to remember what makes Formula 1 a royal race and keeps the attention of millions of fans around the world. Remember the ingenious, eccentric, and controversial solutions of race car engineers who, over the years, have given the sport their inventions.

The Evolution of Technology in Formula 1

Early in their history, Formula 1 cars were like unbridled beasts. They were honest four wheels with a cockpit, driven by a roaring engine. Back then, the power of the cars barely reached 400 horsepower, and the decisive factor in the race was the skill of the driver and the strength of the tires. Now, Formula 1 cars have engines with more than 1,000 horsepower. These rockets on wheels are able to accelerate to more than 300 kilometers per hour in less than 10 seconds and break from 300 to 100 in less than a second. The stress experienced by pilots when driving is comparable only to those of fighter pilots and astronauts.

F1 Races

Formula cars are the only ones in the world that can enter corners at tremendous speeds without the risk of flying off the track. All this evolution is the remarkable achievement of thousands of engineers who, with their unique and often futuristic solutions, have revolutionized the sport. If you imagine a modern Formula 1 engineer as an online paper writer, each of them is able to write more than one research paper on the subject of resistance of materials, aerodynamic vortices, and stability of carbon fiber coating in various conditions. The experience and knowledge of these people cannot be overestimated.

Aerodynamics and Car Design

Engineers have known downforce and its importance in racing since the beginning of racing. But in the late 50’s and early 60’s, the speed, science and technology of motorsport had not yet reached the level to introduce changes that would dramatically affect the aerodynamics of a car. But there’s a first time for everything. Numerous studies of the Lotus team engineers, which dominated the race in the early 70s, led to the creation of an image of the modern Formula 1 bolide. This happened in 1977. In the new Lotus 78, engineers achieved the so-called “ground effect.” The developed lift under the bottom of the bolide created additional downforce, which significantly improved handling and allowed the car to keep on the corners at colossal speeds for that time.

Another year later, the team from Switzerland brought to the races of Gordon Murray’s bolide. It was immediately called a vacuum cleaner. It looked very eccentric. Behind the rear spoiler car design team installed a huge fan that sucked the air out of the bottom of the car, creating a tremendous downforce. Niki Lauda on this car won the same first race, saying it was the easiest victory in his career. Nevertheless, FIA regulators immediately banned the innovation, and this car remains the leader in the percentage of victories. One race, one victory.

One Race, One Victory

In 1997, the world was introduced to another innovation, the Tyrrell 025 bolide. Additional side wings were installed in neb. They were installed on the car on tracks with many turns, such as Monaco. Again, a year later, the federation banned the use of innovation for safety reasons.

The last most high-profile innovation in aerodynamics bolides was the introduction of the F-Duct system in early 2010. This system consists of small holes on the front wing that significantly reduce drag and make the car more stable on the straights.

Engine Innovations

Now, Formula 1 bolides have engines with a volume of 1.6 liters. But the car moves not only because of the engine. It is part of the so-called powertrain, which consists of a V6 gasoline engine and electric components such as batteries and an electric motor. This combination not only allows for more power but also significantly improves fuel efficiency.

For example, the MGU-K energy recovery system converts braking energy into electrical energy, which powers the electric motor for additional power during acceleration. The MGU-H system also uses exhaust gas to charge the battery and improve engine performance.

Advanced Materials and Technology

Now, the majority of the car is made up of carbon fiber. It is a lightweight but extremely strong material. The chassis and suspension of the cars are made of combinations of aluminum and titanium alloys. Regulations regulate all dimensions, weight, and construction of every part. In over 50 years, from a simple brochure of regulations, the rules and restrictions in Formula 1 for the teams have grown into a thick book of over 100 pages. If you need to write a paper on Formula 1, all you need to do is to get this book and not think about who to pay for essay. It shows the evolution of making the rules more complex and adding restrictions. Engineers find loopholes in the rules every year and make innovations. The federation bans most of the innovations as the season progresses, thereby adding to the book for the following year.

Control and Telemetry

The modern telemetry system of Formula 1 bolide has more than 200 sensors that monitor all parts of the car. The innovation was the ability to adjust the parameters of the car right in the middle of the race, thanks to a huge team that monitors all the changes. Racers have repeatedly said that the car would break down and stall after just a few laps if not regulated in real-time.

Bottom line

Formula 1 is a unique race. Every car is built from scratch every season. The number of parts and rubber needed for the season limits teams and drivers. Hundreds of rules and regulations hold them back. Bolide engines get smaller, and speeds get faster. The paradox of Formula 1 is that it is incredibly satisfying to watch hundreds of people make a tiny car move at breakneck speed, overcoming the laws of physics and federation prohibitions.

Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.