Part two of F1 Dictionary!It’s lights out and away we go
None of the pictures are mine and credit goes out to all of the owners. If you want me to add credit - let me know and I’ll do it immediately.
What will we discuss in part two of the F1 Dictionary?
Words you sent in!
Words from Grand Prix weekends
Parts of an F1 car and knowing what’s what!
Words you sent in!
You seriously are all angels for sending in words that you find difficult! Now I can focus on that is actually needed to be explained! Below you find a list of all the words I’ll try my best to explain in the next couple of slides!
Understeer and Oversteer
Before we go into what’s what I’m painting you a (not that realistic) pictureIt’s qualifying and this car below is destined to be on pole. But before that they need to make that final corner that is coming up. Now there are 3 things that could happen: 1. they make the corner and start on pole, 2. he has understeer, 3. he has oversteer. Let’s zoom in on point 2 and 3 in the next slide.
Oversteer - When the back of the car snaps outside of the line of the car, kind of like drifting. The driver finds this easy to control, but this can cause a spin as the back ‘slides’ to the side. A thing for our driver here to remember is: When they can’t make the corner due to oversteer their ass is in the wall.
Understeer - When the front of the car doesn’t want to turn into the corner, resulting in getting off the racing line/road. A thing for our driver here to remember is: When they can’t make the corner due to understeer their face is off the track or in the wall.
Walter Röhrl has a quote on this: “Oversteer in a normal car is when the passenger is afraid, understeer is when the driver is afraid. If you can see the thing you’re gonna hit, you’ve got understeer. If you can only hear the crash, you’ve got oversteer.”
Parc Fermé & Apex
Parc Fermé is basically the car park for F1 cars. Cars are parked there after qualifying to make sure teams don’t work on the cars overnight. It’s a rule in F1 that you race with the EXACT same car as you qualified with and Parc Fermé locks the cars up to prevent the breaking of that rule.
Apex is the part of a corner drivers want to ‘hit’ in order to make their lap as smooth as butter. Our little driver (we need a name!) is back. If he follows the red line he’ll hit the apex (the red dot) in the middle of the corner and then runs wide to join the outside part of the track again. A reminder then would be: From the outside of the track (before the corner) -> to the inside of the track (mid corner) -> to the outside of the track (after the corner).
F1 cars are ‘hybrid’ cars - using both fuel and energy. ERS means the Energy Recovery System and as the name says - it helps to recover energy that could get lost in breaking or with waste heat. The MGU-K and MGU-H are part of the ERS. And I know this probably sounds difficult but let’s take it step by step. MGU stands for Motor Generator Units. The MGU has 2 roles to play in an F1 car:1. MGU-K (K = Kinetic) - This part helps to recover and harness energy from the braking system. Every time a car breaks energy gets lost and the MGU-K prevents it and gives the car more power.2. MGU-H (H = Heat) - This part helps to recover and harness energy from the waste of the car that is released through the exhaust pipe. The heat of this waste is then turned into more power to use while driving on track. All the harvest from the MGU-K and MGU-H goes into the Energy Store (ES), which the driver then can use to torpedo their car forward - going faster.
We’ve all heard that F1 cars could in theory drive upside down in a tunnel and the reason for that is downforce! You can compare downforce to a magnet. As the car moves forward (like the old Ferrari down here would) the aerodynamics push the car firmly down on the track, sucking it to the asphalt. The downforce then helps the car move through corners and helps traction (which makes the car sturdy and fast).
DRS - Drag Reduction System
At certain points on a circuit drivers can use ‘DRS’, a system the FIA brought in to make the cars slightly more compatible and make them go slightly quicker. But why do they have these and what does it do?Let’s start with the basics. Every F1 car has aerodynamic parts, parts that manipulate airflow around the car. Air causes friction and makes the car slower. So F1 cars have all these bits that help move the airflow to the sides so the car isn’t held back by the air (I’ll explain this segment globally in Part 3 of the PPT). Pictured below you’ll see the airflow when DRS is closed - The blue lines stand for the air around a car (don’t judge, I know it’s ugly haha):
When the rear wing is closed the air ‘hits’ it and gets pushed up. But still that initial hit of air makes the car slower. F1 cars are very sensitive to air, drag and just pressures from the outside. When they get into the DRS segment of the track, the rear wing opens meaning that the air doesn’t hit anything anymore and making the car faster. The airflow is now not blocked and moves through the car flawlessly. In a race DRS can only be used when the driver behind is within 1 second of the person in front. They open the rear wing, giving them more speed so that they are able to fight the car in front better and faster.
No DRS, air hits the rear wing.
DRS activated, air flows through the rear wing.
Words you sent in!
HALFWAY THROUGH! Let’s take a quick breather before we finish this first part strong! Has this sparked some other things you want explained? Sent them in!
Blistering & Marbles
Picture this - Our little friendly driver (still in need of a name) has been driving around the track on C4 tyres for about 15 laps. With every lap his tyre degraded a bit, because asphalt is not smooth. When a tyre keeps heating up and eventually overheats. - the rubber starts to soften and break off. This caused spots or lines on the tires that make the tyres weaker and weaker with every lap. If a blister becomes really bad the tyre could explode. Blistering could occur when using a bad compound on the track, the tyre pressure is too high or the car isn’t set up well.
The part of the tyre that degrades each lap flings of the tyres onto the circuit which then is called marbles! You could say that marbles are little pieces of the rubber from the tyres that ends up on the circuit. They are extremely slippery so during a race you should avoid them at all costs! After a race, when the cars slow down, they often drive over the marbles to ‘stick them back on’ - to make the car a bit heavier when they are weighted.
Marbles on track during a race
An example for blistering
Credit: Vladimir Rys
VSC - Virtual Safety Car
I can see why this causes confusion. We have a safety car on track when an accident happens, but why is there a Virtual Safety Car? The rule is pretty simple: “When there is something on track that can be resolved in a matter of minutes (a piece of debris or something thrown on track) the VSC is deployed. Drivers have to slow down (to 30% of the speed they normally have), but the gaps in between them stay. The field doesn’t get bunched up like it would with a Safety Car. But in reality this does happen because if you’re in a faster part of the circuit you can go faster and could slim down the gap to person in front who was in the slower part of the circuit. Think of it this way: With a real safety car the pace is determined by the safety car, the drivers drive around in a little train. With the virtual safety car the drivers have to constantly be aware of their speed and determine their pace for themselves.
Chassis & Sausage Kerbs
The chassis is difficult to explain but I found a good quote that will help us: “If the engine is the heart of the car, the chassis is the spine.”. The chassis is the strongest part of the car (it has to be) and forms the frame of said car. Every part of an F1 car is bolted or attached to the chassis - for example the engine and suspension (the parts that connect the wheels to the car) are attached to it. It forms the bottom of the car, the base of the car and without you wouldn’t have a car.
On a racetrack we need something to stop drivers for seeking the absolute limits of the track - sausage kerbs. They look like little yellow ramps and can be placed vertical to the track or horizontal. They are higher than the actual red and white kerbs that lay on the track in all the corners/braking zones.
Credit: AFP OR LICENSORS
Chicane & Box
The chicane is basically a corner to slow the drivers down and is often found at the end of a straight - which makes it the perfect place to get past the driver you are battling. In F1 it’s often in the shape of an S with a quick left to right. They are tight, quick corners but unforgiving. One of the most famous ones is the ‘Singapore Sling’ which sadly isn’t with us anymore. As far as my knowledge goes every track has at least one chicane or something to resemble it.
Picture this - Our little friendly driver (that needs a name) kept driving with those C4 tyres for now a total of 20 laps and they desperately need them changed. Their race engineer will then call ‘BOX BOX’ through the radio to signal for the driver to come into the pits. Box basically means coming in for new tyres (or something else pit related) and is a word that is easier to get while drivers are going around the track. It has a distinctive sound and pit could for example be confused with fit, while box really doesn’t have a word that could resemble it!
2. Words from a Grand Prix weekend
Disclaimer: This part