some F1 questions | FerrariChat

some F1 questions

Discussion in 'F1' started by petefol, Feb 15, 2004.

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  1. petefol

    petefol Rookie

    Feb 15, 2004
    I'm doing a project on formula 1 racing and have a few questions. I'm looking for innovations that have originated from formula 1 and are now found in production cars. I'm also looking for a list of all the companies that race, there are 11 right? Thanks for the help.
  2. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Since 1950 when F1 started in its current form, there have been few innovations that have started actually in F1 and filtered to the road cars.

    Lets discuss innovations used on the race track and then on road cars:
    1. Materials - fancy materials such as carbon fibre. Not sure what race used this first (ie. F1 was not necessarily first, if so the McLaren Mp4 I believe had the first 100% carbox chassis).
    2. Wings - I am pretty sure sports cars used wings before F1.
    3. Slick tyres - drag racing ...
    4. disc brakes - C-type Jaguar in sportscar racing.
    5. Carbon brakes - yep I think F1 might have been first here. A few high end road cars now use them.
    6. Monocoque chassis - definitely not F1 ... even though most think the Lotus 25 was the first. This is not true as a guy at club racing level in England (I think) built the first true monocoque chassi'ed race car. Not many road cars really use monocoque constructions anyway.
    7. Gear changing via steering wheel levers - well this one you could say was F1 (and now used in high end road cars), but there had been many automatic cars that had fancy methods for changing/selecting gear ... like buttons, etc.
    8. Pneumatic valves - no road car application as yet.
    9. Active suspension - Lotus F1 I think were first ... Volvo have played with it but I know of no road car as yet.
    10. Ground effects - No real road car application, but I do think F1 was first here.
    11. Mid engine layout - Auto union was the first to race successfully I believe, pre WW2.

    In conclusion most innovations other than electronics and fancy materials occured before F1 started, ie before 1949. There were some pretty clever engines back then that better materials have moved far further since ...

  3. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Carbon fibre was used in the airline/space industry. That's where Mc Laren got the idea from.

    On the wings issue I'm not certain. I would have said it was a F1 innovation. Too bad they banned movable aerodynamic aids. Imagine the possibilities today!

    Ground effect is used to some degree eg. in the 360 and the Enzo.

    There are currently ten teams in F1, but not all car manufacturers.

    Complete cars: Ferrari, Jaguar, Toyota, Renault

    Engine manufacturers: Mercedes, BMW, Honda
  4. Etcetera

    Etcetera Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 7, 2003
    Full Name:
    Add Ford to the engine list. It's actually Cosworth (which Ford owns), but branded a Ford.

    The Teams, sorted by Chassis constructor then Engine constructor:

    Ferrari, Ferrari
    McLaren, Mercedes
    Williams, BMW
    Renault, Renault
    BAR, Honda
    Jaguar, Ford
    Sauber, Petronas (rebadged Ferrari)
    Toyota, Toyota
    Jordan, Ford
    Minardi, Ford

    F1 tech that made it onto the street:

    Carbon fiber first saw usage in F1 on Lotus. They constructed the side skirts on their downforce car out of this material. McLaren were the first to use it for the entire chassis. Road cars that use carbon fiber for the chassis are: Ferrari F-40, Ferrari F-50, Ferrari Enzo, McLaren F1, Mercedes SLR, Porsche Carrera GT...can anyone add to this list?

    Carbon Fiber disk brakes firs saw use on F1 cars. Ferrari Enzo, Mercedes SLE and Porsche GT use a hybrid type that consists of carbon fiber reinforced ceramic. These disks are also optional on the Porsche 911 line of cars.

    SMT Transmissions. Sequential Manual Transmissions (the levers). Essentially a motorcycle transmission, this was first adopted by F1. Now in use on fancy road cars everywhere (BMW M3, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc). Of primary interest is the ability of this electro-hydraulically actuated transmission is the speed in which gear changes can be performed, and the ease in which such a transmission control could be done via computer with the paddles near the steering wheel.

    I believe anti lock braking and traction control first found a home in F1.

    More later if I can think of anything.
  5. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    9 Active suspension - Q45 since 1990 has naicent active suspensions, many of the higher end cars have electronically controlled shocks, and several have hydraulic pumps that do one thing of another in dealing with suspension loads. This may be the 'useful' part of the active suspensions that were banned from F1.

    10 F355 and F360 both use ground effects -- Underbody air channels that deliver downforce. But Jim Hall and the Chapperal were first (2J)--even before wings became popular, and then there is the Alfa 35, raced once (Lauda) won, and was banned.
  6. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Are you thinking about the Brabham (with Alfa engine), that won the Swedish GP? That would be the infamous vacuum cleaner. Technically all about ground effect, but labeled as "cooling device for the engine". Banned however because of the violation against the "no moving aerodynamic parts" rule. One of the few occasions Bernie caved in immediately. Funny.
  7. JMJ575M

    JMJ575M Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2002
    Chain of Lakes Regio
    Full Name:
    J Michael Jordan
    I believe it was Jim Hall who first put a wing on one of his Chaparral Sports Racers. At least that's the first I recall.

  8. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Full Name:
    Rob Schermerhorn
    I concur.
    Agree here :)
    Yes. And currently the only manufacturer of true, 100% active (which other teams used too, like Hendrick GTP Corvette in IMSA).

    Other F1 teams had great and powerful systems too, like McLaren, but most others didn't, like Ferrari.

    As for road cars, again, only Lotus has extensive development, but no production applications. Every production application is semi-active at best, including Volvo's innovation in collaboration with Öhlins and Monroe.

    True active requires huge power to run hydraulic rams that push and pull the unsprung weight in response to sensor inputs like ride height and airspeed (note the pitot tubes), have no traditional suspension passive motion damper (shock absorber) and powerful, accurate software predicting full-vehicle dynamics and tire behavior.
    No, F40 is steel tube chassis derived from 308 series with slight door sill area carbon/Kevlar reinforcement that adds virtually nothing to bending or torsional strength (but looks very cool).

    Carbon brakes came from aerospace, then to F1.

    IMHO, there are F1 racing innovations that did trickle into production road cars, but most (other than underbody ground effect tunnels (1975 Lotus), underbody ground effect is McLaren and Chaparral Can Am c. 1966) came from aircraft/ aerospace industry. Government backed military and aviation industries have more resources and more incentive to discover new materials and applications. F1 gets these new discoveries next, albeit quickly, but not first.

    Best regards,

    Rob Schermerhorn

    BTW, petefol, welcome to Fchat, and thanks for the question, good discussion.

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