Glossary and useful motoring terms
Many motorsports use specific terms and those below, especially about Formula 1 single-seaters and racing, are designed to give enthusiasts and beginners an understanding of terminology commonly encountered on the track.
Rubber accumulation: It occurs due to the slow erosion of the tire surface. When the tires slide on tarmac, the surface degrades, leaving a layer of rubber on the track that builds up over the weekend and progressively improves grip. This erosion is influenced by both the tuning of the car and the abrasive properties of the asphalt.
Aerodynamics: Study of the flow of air over and around an object and an intrinsic part of the design of an Formula 1 car.
Clean air: Air that is not turbulent and therefore offers aerodynamic conditions optimal, like that experienced by a leading car.
Wings: Rigid and mobile surfaces on the racing car within a stipulated maximum width intended to increase the load aerodynamics. The wings serve to press the car down more firmly.
Front wing: Creates downward pressure on the front area of the Formula 1 car and is therefore , an important part of aerodynamics. The front wing details are sometimes changed for each race, according to the amount of downward pressure required for the respective circuits. Apart from that, pilots make adjustments to the front wing during assembly, mainly changing the angle of the second wing.
Rear spoiler: Creates downward pressure primarily on the rear axle. The rear wing is adapted to track conditions (the steeper it is, the more downforce is created). The configuration and angles of the surfaces can be further modified. These modifications are part of the set-up.
Appeal: Action taken by a team on behalf of its drivers if they feel they have been unfairly penalized by officials of race.
Apex: The midpoint of the inside line around a corner that drivers aim their cars at.
Aquaplaning: It occurs when there is more water between the tires and the road the tire can move. The car "floats" and consequently cannot be controlled by the pilot. Formula 1 races can be stopped if there is a danger of aquaplaning. In very wet conditions, the pace car is often used to keep cars on track at slower speeds.
Brake balance: Switch in the cockpit to alter the split of the car's braking power between the front wheels and rear as desired by the pilot.
Ballast: Weights fixed around the car to maximize its balance and bring it to the minimum weight limit .
Yellow flag: Indicates danger and overtaking is prohibited.
Checkered flag: The race is over. The winner is shown first, and then all cars that cross the line behind him.
Blue Flag: Displayed to drivers behind to indicate that a faster car is behind trying to overtake. The lagging car must allow the faster car to pass after seeing a maximum of three blue flags or risk being penalized.
White flag: Warns of a slow-moving vehicle on the track, such as a tow truck or pace car .
Black and White Diagonal Halves Flag: Displayed with car number to indicate behavioral warning unsportsmanlike. A black flag may follow if the pilot ignores the warning.
Red and yellow striped flag: The track is slippery. This usually warns of oil or water on the track.
Black flag: Displayed with the car number to indicate that driver should be called to the pits immediately , usually because you have broken the rules and will be disqualified.
Black flag with an orange disk: Displayed with the car number to indicate that the car has a problem mechanic and the driver must return to the pits immediately.
Red flag: The race has been stopped, usually because a car is in a dangerous position after an accident or because the conditions are not suitable for the race to be safe.
Green flag: There is no danger and the cars can proceed at race speed.
Bargeboard: A piece of bodywork mounted vertically between the front wheels and the start of the side pods to help smooth airflow around the sides of the car.
Roll bar: If a car rolls over in an accident, the roll bar, a curved structure above the driver's head, pilot made of metal or composite materials, is intended to provide the pilot with better protection against injury.
Blistering: Consequence of overheating of a tire or part of it. Excessive heat can cause the rubber to soften and pieces of the tire to break off. Blistering can be caused by choosing the wrong tire compound (for example, one that is too soft for track conditions), too high tire pressure, or a poorly set-up car.
Skid block: Plastic or wooden plate that is placed on the bottom of a racing car. It is intended to prevent a strong suction effect, limiting excessively high speeds, especially when cornering, for safety reasons. It also acts as protection for the bottom of the car.
Bodywork: Carbon fiber sections installed in the monocoque before the cars leave the pits, such as the engine cover, the upper part of the cockpit and the nose.
Bottoming: Occurs when a car's chassis hits the track surface while going through compression and reaches the bottom of your suspension travel.
Horsepower: Unit of measurement used to measure the power produced by an engine.
Air box: Air inlet behind the pilot's head. The air box channels the air necessary for the combustion process of the engine.
Gearbox: Formula 1 cars use highly automated semi-automatic sequential gearboxes with regulations stating that 8 forward gears and 1 reverse gear must be used, with rear wheel drive. The function of the gearbox is to help transmit the torque generated by the power unit to the wheels, thus extracting maximum power thanks to an electronically controlled system that is made up of the clutch, speeds, selector, differential and hydraulic system.
Black box: Electronic component that controls and records all electronic processes in Formula 1 cars. It is also the name of the data recorder that should be installed in the cars; however, not for performance tests involving a single team. The Black Box is intended to provide information on possible causes in the event of accidents, thus supporting ongoing efforts to improve safety. The box is placed in such a way that it is always accessible, without having to remove any part of the car.
Tire warmer: Electric blanket that is wrapped around the tires before they are placed in the car to cool down. closer to its optimum operating temperature.
Leca bed: Cushion of gravel on the outside of the curves designed with the aim of making cars that go out of the loop, stop.
On-board camera: Mini TV camera on board the racing car, which can be placed near the airbox , the rear view mirror or the front or rear spoiler. Provides live footage during practice, qualifying, and the race.
Change: Transmission step with a certain speed or reduction ratio. Automatic or continuous transmissions are prohibited in Formula 1.
Helmet: The helmet is made of carbon, polyethylene and Kevlar and weighs approximately 1,300 grams. Like the cars, it's designed in a wind tunnel to reduce drag as much as possible. The hulls are subjected to extreme deformation and fragmentation tests. Only helmets tested and authorized by the FIA can be used in racing.
Medical Center: Each Formula 1 race and test circuit must have a state-of-the-art emergency service facility generation with experienced medical staff.
Chassis: The main part of a racing car to which the engine and suspension are connected.
Chicana: A sequence of narrow curves in alternating directions. It is normally inserted into a circuit to slow cars down, usually just before what would have been a high-speed corner.
Qualifying: Elimination session, in which drivers compete to set the best possible time to determine the starting grid. race day departure.
Cockpit: Chassis section where the pilot sits.
International Sporting Code: FIA code that contains all the regulations that govern international races.
Fuel: Energy source that runs the car engine. Super unleaded fuel is used in Formula 1 cars. Its composition must comply with FIA regulations. From the 2008 season onwards, 5.75% of the fuel must originate from biological sources.
Compound: Part of any tire in contact with the track and therefore one of the main factors when deciding tire performance. The ideal compound is one with maximum grip, yet maintains durability and heat resistance. A typical Formula 1 compound will have more than ten ingredients: such as rubber, polymers, sulfur, carbon black, oil, and other curatives. Each of them includes a large number of derivatives, any of which can be used to a greater or lesser degree. Very small changes in the mix can alter the performance of the compound.
Tire compound: Type of rubber mixture used in the construction of a tire, which varies from soft to medium to hard, each offering a different performance and wear characteristic.
Clearance: Distance between the car floor and the track surface.
Diffuser: Rear section of the car floor or undertray where air flows under the car outlet. The design of the diffuser is critical, as it controls the rate at which the air exits. The faster your exit, the lower the air pressure under the car and therefore the more downforce the car generates.
Downforce: Aerodynamic force applied in a downward direction as the car moves forward. This is harnessed to improve a car's traction and handling when cornering.
Drag: Aerodynamic resistance experienced when the car moves forward.
DRS: The rear wings DRS (Drag Reduction System) allow the pilot to adjust the wing between two predetermined configurations from the cockpit. System availability is governed electronically. It can be used at any time in practice and qualifying (unless the driver is on wet tyres), but during the race it can only be activated when the driver is less than a second behind another car in certain areas of the race. clue. The system deactivates when the pilot brakes.
Ground effect: Contact force generated by the lower part of the body with an aerodynamic shape. In the 1970s, sills were added to the sides of the cars to create a void under the car to hold it down on the track. The resulting enormous grip allowed for extremely high turning speeds. Pure ground effect cars developed in the 1970s were banned by the FIA for safety reasons.
Control electronics: Electronic component that joins the rest of the ERS. Provides the encryption to ensure that all systems can communicate with each other and function properly.
Energy Store: Car battery. This energy store is where the energy generated by the ERS is stored, until it is needed for its implementation. It can store up to 4 megajoules of energy per lap, which is also the amount that can be deployed in one lap.
Free practice: During these practice sessions before a Grand Prix, lap times are recorded, but they do not influence the starting order or the result. Teams use them as an opportunity to get their cars ready for the respective circuit and choose the correct tires.
ERS (Energy Recovery Systems): The ERS recovers the residual energy of the car during braking, stores that energy and then makes it available to propel the car. The driver has access to the extra power for limited periods per lap, via a boost button on the steering wheel.
Fading: Technical term for the gradual loss of braking effect after relatively long use. It happens less with modern carbon brakes than with conventional steel disc brakes.
FIA: Governing body of world motor sport and the federation of the main automobile organizations in the world. Founded in 1904, based in Paris, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is a non-profit association. It brings together 245 international automobile and sports organizations from 146 countries on the five continents. Its member clubs represent millions of motorists and their families.
Carbon fiber: Building material for high-end cars Formula 1. The monocoque, for example, is made of carbon fiber reinforced epoxy resin. These materials, laminated together, give great rigidity and strength, but are very light.
Flat spot: Term given to the area of a tire that is badly worn at one point after a moment of extreme braking or during a spin. This messes up the handling, usually causing severe vibration, and can force the driver to pit to replace the set of tires.
Start formation: Each row of the starting line has two race cars, one slightly in front, with a distance of eight meters to the next row.
Brakes: The Formula 1 brakes are made of carbon. Under FIA regulations, each wheel is allowed only two brake shoes and a maximum of six pistons. Brake calipers must be made of an aluminum material with a modulus of elasticity not greater than 80Gpa.
G-Force: Physical force equivalent to a unit of gravity that is multiplied during changes of direction or speed. Riders experience severe G-forces when cornering, accelerating and braking.
Graining: When a car slides, it can cause small pieces of rubber ('grains') to break off of the tire grooves. These then stick to the tire tread, effectively separating the tire from the track surface very slightly. For the pilot, the effect is like driving on rolling balls. Driving carefully can remove graining in a few laps, but it will obviously have an effect on the rider's pace. Driving style, track conditions, car setup, fuel load and the tire itself all play a role in graining. In essence, the more the tire moves on the track surface (i.e. slides), the more likely graining is.
Grip: Amount of traction a car has at a given point, which affects the ease of the rider to maintain control when cornering.
Guardrail: Safety measure on circuits where there is no space for start areas.
Hairpin: A narrow curve of 180 degrees that can form part of a circuit.
Halo: Introduced in 2018, the halo is a strong piece of protection worn above the head of the driver in the cockpit of all Formula 1 cars. It is a three-pronged bar designed to stop or deflect large pieces of debris, guardrail or wheels from another vehicle, from entering the cockpit.
HANS (Head and Neck Support): Since the 2003 season, they have been has given riders additional head and neck protection. The head and neck support system consists of a carbon shoulder brace that connects to the seat belts and the rider's helmet. In the event of an accident, the HANS device is designed to prevent stretching of the vertebrae. In addition, it prevents the driver's head from hitting the steering wheel.
Hybrid: A modern Formula 1 engine is a hybrid engine, with two machines (one electric and one mechanical ) that generate and recover energy. There is the Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic (MGU-K), which harnesses kinetic energy when the car is braking, and the Motor Generator Unit-Heat (MGU-H), which is connected to the turbocharger and harnesses the excess of exhaust energy.
Jump start / Early departure: Occurs when a driver leaves his position on the grid before the turn off all five red lights to indicate start. Sensors detect premature movement and such a start carries a penalty.
Kerbs / Pianos: Raised edges that cover curves or chicanes on race tracks. Edges provide additional safety as riders must slow down when passing over them.
Start in motion: Occurs when the vehicles are in motion at the time the start order is given. Competitors are normally driven off the starting grid by an official car. When the official car leaves the track, the grid continues in grid order until the start signal is given, at which point the race is considered to have started.
Long stop: Occurs when the car is stopped at the moment the start command is given.
Track boundaries: Boundary between the race track and the part of the starting area in which a pilot can drive and the area beyond it in which he is not allowed. Track limits are enforced to prevent a driver from gaining an unfair advantage during the race or qualifying session.
Racing line: Also known as the ideal line, the racing line is the imaginary line on which the can drive the circuit in the shortest possible time. Due to the rubber build-up, this is usually also where the grip is best.
Control line: Line from which a car is timed. Start line: First control line, with or without timing.
Speed limiter: Cruise control function used in the Formula 1 pit lane. It is activated by pressing a button on the steering wheel. The speed is then reduced to the pit lane limit.
Lollipop: Poster on a stick that is placed in front of the car during a pit stop to instruct the rider to brake and then engage first gear.
Rear light: Decreases the risk of crashes. When using rain tires, the rear light must always be on. It consists of individual LEDs that must be placed 35 centimeters above the bottom of the car.
Marshal: Track official who supervises the safe development of the race. Marshals have various roles to play, including observing spectators to ensure they do not endanger themselves or competitors, acting as fire watches, helping to get stranded cars/drivers off the track, and using flags. to signal the state of the track to the pilots.
Medical car: Car of the responsible race doctor. Like the pace car, it is on standby at the pit lane exit during every practice session and race.
Monocoque: One-piece tube in which the cockpit is located, with the engine fixed behind it and front suspension on each side at the front.
Engine: Formula 1 cars are currently powered by a 2.4-liter V6, with turbocharged hybrid electric systems connected that mean a general power close to 1000bhp. The current engine rules were introduced in 2014, replacing older normally aspirated V8s, and these regulations will remain in place until at least 2025. In 2021, there are four manufacturers supplying these engines: Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda. .
Rain tires: In rainy weather, cars use special tires that can better displace water from the track and optimize grip.
Paddock: Closed area behind the pits where the teams keep their carriers and motorhomes. They are not open to the public.
Parc fermé: Fenced area to which the cars are driven after qualifying and the race, where no team member may touch them except under the strict supervision of the race stewards.
Pedals: Levers on both sides of the back of the steering wheel with which the driver raises or lowers the gears .
Drive-through penalty: Penalty that can be applied at the discretion of the stewards while the race is still in progress. March. The pilots must enter the pit lane, cross it complying with the speed limit, and rejoin the race without stopping.
Stop-go penalty: Penalty that implies that the driver is called to the pits and stops for a certain number of seconds. Refueling or changing tires is not allowed.
Weight: A Formula 1 car must weigh at least 740 kilograms, including the driver, but not the fuel. The construction weight of the vehicles is less. In this way, teams can achieve better weight distribution by using additional weights, thus improving handling. The FIA technical commission may, at any time, send cars to the electronic scales located at the pit lane entrance to ensure rules and regulations are followed.
Pit board: Board that is placed on the pit wall to inform the driver of his race position, the gap time between the car ahead or behind, plus the number of laps remaining in the race.
Pits: Track area separated from the start/finish line by a wall, where the cars are brought in to fit new tires and fuel during the race, or for setup changes in practice, each stopping at their respective pit garages.
Pit wall: Pit wall where the team owner, managers and engineers spend the race, usually underneath an awning to keep the sun and rain off your monitors.
Pole position: First place on the starting grid, awarded to the driver who recorded the fastest lap time in the classification.
Protest: Action filed by a team when it considers that another team or competitor has transgressed the rules.
Setup: General configuration of the vehicle for all adjustable mechanical and aerodynamic parts (wheel suspension, wings , etc.). Specifically, the term describes the various possibilities of adapting a Formula 1 car to the conditions of a particular circuit, including, among other things, modifying tires, suspension, wings, and engine and transmission settings.
Radio: The “Talk” button on the steering wheel is the radio that sends the team to the pits and is used so that the team can talk to the pilot in conversational mode.
Lowering: Reduction of gears, generally prior to curves.
Slipstream: Driving tactic in which a driver positions himself close enough to the car in front to get behind its rear wing and benefit from reduced drag. In this way, it achieves a higher top speed.
Retirement: It occurs when a car has to leave the race due to an accident or mechanical failure.
Rookie: Driver of a team in his first full season.
Safety car: Circuit safety car called from the pits to run in front of the leading car in the race in the event of a problem requiring the speed of the cars on track to be reduced.
Sectors: For timing purposes, the lap is divided into three sections, each of which is approximately a third of the turn. These sections are officially known as Sector 1, Sector 2 and Sector 3.
Sidepod: Part of the car that flanks the sides of the monocoque next to the pilot and runs back to the rear wing, where the radiators are located.
Oversteer: Occurs when the rear of the car does not want to go around a curve and tries to overtake the front when the pilot turns towards the apex. This often requires opposite lock to correct, so the rider turns the front wheels into the slide.
Steward: One of the three high-ranking officials at each Grand Prix appointed to make decisions.
Understeer: It occurs when the front of the car does not want to turn in a curve and slides widely when the pilot tries to turn towards the apex.
Tank: The fuel tank is a fiber-reinforced hull that must yield flexibly when deformed. This must meet the FIA's rigid criteria. To prevent damage, the tank is also housed inside the monocoque and is therefore encased in the survival cell, the best protected area of the car.
Telemetry: System that transmits data related to the engine and chassis to the computers in the pit garage for that engineers can monitor the behavior of the car.
Releasable strips: Transparent plastic strips that pilots place on the visor of their helmet before the start of the run and then removed when they get dirty.
Torque: Force of rotation or torsion of a motor. Torque is generally used as a measure of a motor's flexibility. An engine can be very powerful, but if it's low on torque, that power may only be available in a limited rev range, making it of limited use to the rider. An engine with more torque, even if it has less power, can turn out quicker on many tracks, as the power is available over a much wider rev range and therefore more accessible. Good torque is particularly vital on circuits with medium-low speed corners, where acceleration out of corners is essential for a good lap time.
Traction: Degree in which a car can transfer its power to the track surface for sliding.
Flame-retardant suit: The pilot wears flame-retardant underwear and a balaclava under the helmet. With this suit, a pilot can survive for 11 seconds in a temperature of 840 degrees Celsius.
Racing Suit: The drivers and pit crew wear suits that are made up of two to four layers of Nomex. Even the zipper and the thread used to sew it are made to withstand high temperatures.
Undertray: Separate car floor that is bolted to the bottom of the monocoque. Technical verification: Review of the cars by the officials to ensure that none is outside the regulations.
Steering wheel: Control center of the racing car. Built in the Electronics Department, the steering wheel isn't just for turning, its display shows car stats for the driver and features a selection of buttons to allow drivers to adjust some of the car's settings. The appearance and layout are adjusted to suit each rider.
Formation lap: Lap before the start of the race when the cars turn to get back on the grid exit. It is also known as the warm-up lap or pre-lap.
Exit zone: Exit zones are mainly created in fast corners. If a car goes off the track, it must slow down as quickly as possible without rolling over. This is why gravel traps should be as wide as possible. Gravel slows down and therefore reduces the force with which the car hits the tire barriers. The alternative: tarmac exit zones where the driver has more control over the car.