How does slipstreaming work in Formula 1

The big Formula 1 ABC: Final spurt to the checkered flag

Much has changed in Formula 1, and it was the highest railroad to once again present the most important technical terms from the premier class. Many of them are also used in other racing categories.

The first part went from A to D, from dismantling to DRS (drag reduction system), in the second part we took care of E to I, from the ECU (electronic control unit) to intermediate tires. In the third part we dealt with K for curb to Q for qualifying, now we are, to a certain extent, on the socks towards Z like checkered flag.

The moving connection between the wheels and the chassis.

Stands for "research and development", ie research and development. Formula 1 engineers often say that their R&D department did this and that.

Tire compound
Formula 1 sole supplier Pirelli uses five types of tires in Formula 1: intermediates for mixing ratios are marked in green on the flanks, rain tires are blue, the treadless (see) slicks for dry roads are white (hard mix), yellow (medium-hard) or red (soft). The Milanese have built five different compounds of the slicks for the 2020 season, from C1 (hard) to C5 (soft). Depending on the type of piste and the ambient temperature, three of these five mixes are brought to a World Championship run. Tires are made from materials as diverse as rubber, steel and textile. But the main ingredient is rubber. Tires are made from around 40 percent rubber. The tire manufacturers use both natural and man-made substances. The tire compound also contains fillers, plasticizers and chemicals. A tire can consist of more than ten rubber compounds. The different composition of the rubber compounds depends on the various requirements that are placed on the individual components of the tire. The mixing ratio is decisive for the quality of the tire.

Race steward
see steward

Resumption of the race after an interruption, be it after a (see) safety car phase or after an interruption of the race.

Roll out
First test drive of a new racing car. Often referred to as a shakedown.

Safety car
Mercedes-AMG GT R type Mercedes-AMG GT R with 585 hp, piloted by Bernd Mayländer. The German always goes on the track when the conditions are difficult (rain) or after incidents of various kinds. In unpredictable conditions, a race may begin or be restarted behind the safety car. The period of time when the guide car is on the track is known as the safety car phase.

Narrow, mostly S-shaped slope passage, which slows down the pace.

main emphasis
Also the center of mass - that point on a body, in our case a racing car, at which the forces acting on it meet. For a racing car, the lower the center of gravity, the better the cornering.

Side boxes
English “sidepods”: They flank the driver's cell between the front and rear wheels, and they house the coolers for the engine and transmission.

Set up
English term for the tuning of the racing car - how the racing car is ideally trimmed to a track using numerous adjustment options.

Seven post rig
A seven-stamp system is a (see) test stand for the chassis, which is fed with data from the racetrack. The data is transferred to shock absorbers and shakes the car as if it were actually driving on a track.

High-quality, technical device that, thanks to the appropriate software, is used to simulate the driving process - most teams have a driver's cell with a steering wheel and pedals with a canvas. The pilots prepare for their assignments in the simulator, can feel the driving behavior of the car on a certain route or virtually get to know a new track.

Treadless dry tire.

Speed ​​limiter
Is activated by a button on the steering wheel if the driver is not allowed to exceed a maximum speed of 80 km / h (rarely 60 km / h) in the pit lane.

Or wheel lane: The position of the left and right wheels to each other - not quite parallel in the direction of travel. The track describes the difference in length by which the two wheels of an axle are closer together at the front than at the rear. If the wheels are closer together at the front, one speaks of positive toe-in or toe-in, conversely, of negative toe-out or toe-out. In racing cars, changes to the lane improve handling and aerodynamics. The trick for a Formula 1 racer: The cooling of the tires on the straights can be minimized, because a tire that points slightly inward heats up more. Mercedes perfected this in winter 2020 with DAS (dual axis steering) - an ingenious system with which Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas can change the lane of their racing car while driving.

English term for a race official or a race steward. On a GP weekend, the international auto sport federation FIA always provides four commissioners who monitor compliance with the rules and punish any offenses. Someone has to come from the country of the GP organizer, someone is always a former racing driver.

Stop-and-go penalty
After an offense (such as early start, blocking an opponent, driving too fast in the pit lane and the like), the driver must come to the pits and serve this penalty there. During the period of ten seconds (less often five or twenty) you must not work on the car.

They not only show flag signals, but also clear cars and debris from the train. They usually work on a voluntary basis. Often referred to as a marshal.

Or camber - the angle between the wheel center plane and a vertical line on the roadway. In the case of a negative camber the wheel is inclined inwards, in a positive camber it is inclined outwards. Working with the camber is one of the tools of the trade for the (see) set-up.

Super license
A Formula 1 driver's license. In order to obtain this license, a driver must accumulate at least 40 points within three years. Points are awarded for good placements in numerous racing series.

From "training car", English term for the replacement vehicle. There used to be three or even four cars in the pit of a team. To save money, there are only two left today. If an emergency vehicle breaks down, the mechanics have to build a new one.

Ancient Greek for remote measurement, the transmission of measured values ​​by wireless means. Formula 1 is about the data from numerous sensors that record the driving mode. The Formula 1 regulations only allow data to be transferred from the vehicle to the pits, not the other way around. The driver on board, on the other hand, has access to a great deal of information about the condition of his racer.

The power transmission when accelerating. If the rear wheels spin too much, the drivers speak of poor traction.

Turbocharger or exhaust gas turbocharger - component for generating more engine power. And this is how it works: Part of the engine exhaust is used to drive a turbine; this turbine is connected to a compressor that compresses the air. The compressed air is fed to the internal combustion engine. In this way, a lot of power can also be obtained from low-displacement engines. In Formula 1, 1.6-liter engines and a single turbo are used. The speed limit of a Formula 1 turbo is 125,000 rpm. Modern Formula 1 drive units generate around 1000 hp.

The rear of the car tends to break away when cornering, so it slips too much over the rear axle. The opposite of (see) understeer.

Undercut, the opposite of what is known as “overcut”. During the pit stop phase, a driver pits earlier than his direct opponent to get fresh tires. He hopes to gain enough time with fast laps after his move that the opponent will be behind him after his stop. With the overcut it is exactly the opposite.

The car pushes in the curve over the front axle and steers unwillingly, opposite of (see) oversteer.

One of the most important elements of the modern GP racer to improve the car's aerodynamics. Consists of composite material with metal inserts and a protective plate for the single-seater, which is provided with titanium blocks. This plate protects the driver's cell and may only be sanded down to a certain degree; the titanium blocks create a spectacular flight of sparks. The rising end of the floor is called the diffuser, it generates most of the downforce at the rear.

The cylinder bank arrangement of an engine is combined with the number of cylinders, in Formula 1 we have V6 units. The cylinder opening angle is prescribed and is 90 degrees.

Virtual safety car phase (VSC)
Introduced in Suzuka after Jules Bianchi's serious accident in 2014. In a VSC, the distances between the pilots are frozen, they all roll around the track at a greatly reduced speed. During this time, marshals can clear away debris or broken cars.

The pilots go from their take-off positions on an induction or warm-up lap before the real take-off takes place.

Warm-up phase of the engine, vehicle or tires.

The spinning of the rear wheels. If a pilot cannot bring the power of his car to the ground ideally and the wheels spin, then there is a lack of (see) traction.

Wind tunnel
Indispensable tool for Formula 1 aerodynamics. With models on a scale of 2: 5, the latest developments are tried out to increase downforce and reduce aerodynamic drag.

English «slipstream»: A zone of reduced air resistance directly behind an enemy. The driver sits in the slipstream of his rival in order to gain a speed advantage and thus to pass him more easily. In Formula 1, this is more difficult due to the complex aerodynamics than, for example, with NASCAR touring cars in the USA. A remedy for the GP racer is the so-called DRS (drag reduction system), which reduces air resistance thanks to a flattened rear wing element.

Checkered flag
The black and white checkered flag that indicates to a pilot - the race is over. But why this pattern? Legends go back to the culture of the Indians, to horse races, to cycling in France, even to flags in shipping or on the railroad. Legend has it that in the American Midwest, a checkered tablecloth was used to indicate to participants in horse competitions - cancel, because the meal is ready! Perhaps it was in the early stages of auto racing, when people drove against each other on dusty slopes, but also just about the fact that a flag made of white and black checks is probably the easiest to recognize in all the dust.