.. e puncture-proof fuel cell. This fuel cell is designed to withstand a crash by deforming; this will reduce the chance of fire in a crash. The fuel cell is covered in Kevlar which is the same material used in bullet proof vests. This makes the fuel cell very strong.
To absorb energy in a crash, the chassis is made of impact-absorbing body panels. These panels will crumple in a crash and absorb most of the energy. This same technology is now used on commercial passenger vehicles and is called a “crumple zone.” In the event of a crash, the wheels of the car are designed to break off. This will make the car slide along the ground, making it slow down more quickly. This also helps to prevent the car from tumbling or rolling.
One of the most important safety features of a Formula 1 car is the five point seat belt. It is called a five point belt because it connects to five points on the car. This belts restrains a driver’s shoulders and lap in the seat. The first application of seat belts was in Formula 1 racing; now they are a standard safety item in commercial vehicles. If there should be a fire in the car, the onboard fire extinguishers will automatically activate to extinguish any fire. The driver can also manually turn on the fire extinguishers with a switch in the cockpit of the car.
When racing in wet weather, the cars throw up a large spray of water from the tires. Each Formula 1 car has a bright red light mounted on the rear which makes it visible to drivers following behind. Another safety feature on Formula 1 cars are the rear view mirrors. These mirrors allow drivers to see cars behind them that might try to pass. This will help prevent drivers from cutting off other drivers and causing a crash.
Young, J. (1995). Figure 3-1: Formula 1 Car Crashes. Driver is able to Walk Away. (Ferrari Racing, 1997) Safety Equipment Drivers Use The most important safety device for the driver is his driving suit.
A driver suit consists of a one piece outer layer, shirt, pants, socks, racing boots and gloves all made of Nomex. Nomex is a flame-resistant cloth that will protect the driver for up to 12 seconds in a 700 degree Celsius fire. The driver wears a full face helmet. The helmet protects the driver’s head in the event of a crash. The visor of the helmet is very strong and is capable of absorbing a rock traveling at 500 km/h. This is important because these cars travel at very high speeds, and the open wheel design will throw debris at other cars. If the car does start on fire, the driver can breathe using an oxygen bottle.
This bottle is attached to the helmet by an air hose. The oxygen bottle is located behind the driver. Under the helmet the driver wears earplugs and a balaclava. Earplugs are used to protect the driver’s hearing because Formula 1 engines are very loud and can damage hearing. The earplugs are also used as a speaker so that the driver can hear his pit crew talking to him.
The balaclava is made of Nomex which will protect the driver’s face in a fire. (Young, 1995) Figure 3-2 Five Point Seat belt; Figure 3-3:Driving Gloves; 3-4: Helmet and Driving Suit (Ferrari Racing, 1997) Powertrain of a Formula 1 Racing Car Engine Technology One of the most important parts in a Formula 1 racing car is the engine and transmission. Formula 1 teams must try to find the right mix between power and reliability from their engines. A Formula 1 engine can have between 8 and 12 cylinders. The maximum displacement of a Formula 1 engine is 3 liters. Displacement is calculated by measuring the total volume in each cylinder and then multiplying it by the number of cylinders.
A commercial passenger vehicle can have a displacement between 1.0 and 5.7 liters. A Formula 1 engine produces about 700 horsepower. A normal passenger vehicle with a displacement of 3 liters produces about 140 horsepower. A Formula 1 car is able to produce so much more power because it uses many new technologies. These engines have four valves per cylinder, two valves are for the intake and two valves for the exhaust.
The four valves allow more efficient flow of fuel and exhaust gases. The camshafts are gear driven instead of belt driven to eliminate slippage. The computerized fuel injection system allows the fuel to enter the combustion chamber efficiently to produce the most power. The fuel injection system is controlled by the Engine Control Unit or ECU. This computer controls all the vital functions of the engine. The ECU will adjust the engine to ever changing conditions in atmospheric pressure and humidity. The camshaft opens and closes valves using a new system called air timing.
Air timing uses compressed air to open and close the valves; this eliminates the need for valve springs which can break. In order to keep the engine running cool, a Formula 1 engine uses dry-sump lubrication. This system pumps the oil under pressure all over the engine and transmission. Formula 1 teams also wind-tunnel test their combustion chambers to identify the best design for maximum efficiency. (Renault Racing, 1997) Materials Used In the Construction of the Engine (Renault Racing, 1997) Aluminum- Cylinder heads, sump pump, pistons Magnesium-Oil pump housing Carbon Fiber- Air box, coil shield Steel- Camshafts, crankshaft, timing gears Titanium- Connecting rods, fasteners (Renault Racing, 1997) Transmission Specifications and Technology The transmission on a Formula 1 car is very complex. The transmission or gear box is semi-automatic, which means the driver does not have to push in the clutch for shifting gears.
The only time the driver has to use a clutch is to start the car from a stop. The clutch is located on the left side of the steering wheel and is operated by fingers on the left hand. On the right side, there is the paddle which is used to switch gears using the fingers of the right hand. The driver will pull the paddle towards him to switch up a gear and move it away to downshift. The engine will automatically disengage the clutch when the gears are being changed.
This type of shifting is called sequential and is similar to a motorcycle. This means that you have to switch through all the gears when downshifting. All Formula 1 cars must also have one reverse gear. The race teams try to find the right gearing to suit each track. The racing teams must find the right match between top speed and acceleration. They do this by changing gear ratios. An example for these ratios is 3:14:1.
This means that the wheels will turn once when the driver shaft rotates 3.14 times. A 4:10:1 ratio would mean it would have better acceleration than 3:14:1, but a lower top speed at the same engine speed. (Renault Racing, 1997) Cockpit Instruments Buttons The cockpit of a Formula 1 car is very complex with many switches and buttons. There are four buttons on the steering wheel of a Formula 1 car. The first button is the engine kill switch which turns off the engine; the second is the neutral button that puts the car in neutral from on strategy adjuster, allows the driver to adjust the revolutions per minute for the engine and the shift points.
The third dial, the air/fuel mixture, adjusts the mixture of fuel and air entering the engine. (Young, J. 1995) Displays The cockpit of a Formula 1 car has many displays; the largest is the liquid-crystal display. This display shows the current gear the car is in, last complete lap time and the current lap time. On the left side of the dash is the RPM indicator for the engine’s speed.
The right side of the dash contains warning lights for the high temperature, low oil pressure and fuel pump. (Young, J 1995) Controls As in a commercial passenger vehicle, a Formula 1 car has a steering wheel and foot pedals. The stressing wheel is flat on the top so the driver can see over it. As described earlier, the clutch is located behind the wheel on the left side. The driver would only use the clutch to start the car from a stop.
The two pedals are the accelerator and brake pedals which are located on the floor and operated by the drivers feet. The accelerator is used to make the car go faster and the brake pedal is used to slow the car. (Young, J 1995) Comparison Specifications Between a Formula 1 car and a 1995 Dodge Caravan (Ferrari Racing, 1997; Dodge, 1995) Conclusion Formula 1 racing is one of the most technical and computerized sports in the world. Formula 1 racing is constantly changing and improving in the areas of chassis construction, brakes, tires, aerodynamics, safety, engine reliability and power. Formula 1 racing is in the forefront of development of safety features and technology found on a commercial passenger vehicle.
Formula 1 racing cars are the safest cars in the world. They can crash at 300 km/h and the driver can still walk away. Over time, these cars have become faster and safer. This is due to extensive research done by each race team. All the parts of the car go through many tests and modification to find the best possible design. Formula 1 also uses many computers to control many functions on the car.
In the past few years, normal passenger vehicles are using the computer to operate the engine and electronics in the vehicle. This allows the engines to run more efficiently, and this in turn is better for the environment. Formula 1 racing will continue to be the most technical and entertaining sport in the world. Bibliography Automobile racing. (1994).
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Minneapolis: Capstone Press. APPENDIX A Technical Specifications: Rothmans Williams Renault FW19 Formula 1 Racing Car Engine: Renault V10, RS9, 3 liter normally-aspirated Management System: Magneti Marelli Transmission: Six-speed Williams transverse semi-automatic Chassis: Carbon Aramid epoxy composite, manufactured by Williams Suspension: Williams. Torsion bar front, Helical coil rear with Williams-Penske dampers Cooling System: Two Secan water radiators, two IMI oil radiators Brakes: Carbone Industrie discs and pads operated by AP calipers Lubricants: Castrol Fuel: Elf Wheels: Oz; 13 x 11.5 front, 13 x 13.7 rear Tires: Goodyear Eagle radials Spark Plugs: Champion Cockpit Instrumentation: Williams digital data display Seat Belts: Five point Williams Steering Wheel: Personal Driver’s seat: Anatomically formed in carbon/epoxy composite material Extinguisher Systems: Williams, with Metron actuators and FW 100 extingishants Paint System: DuPont Front Track: 1670 millimetres Rear Track: 1600 millimetres Wheelbase: 2890 millimetres Weight: 605kg Overall car length: 4150 millimetres Figure A-1: Rothmans Williams Renault FW19 Formula 1 Car (Williams Racing, 1997) APPENDIX B Technical specifications Renault V10 RS9 Engine Engine Type: piston driven, normally-aspirated Horsepower: 700 Number of cylinders: 10 cylinders V-shape (71 degree angle) Displacement: 3 liters 2998.1 cc Cam Shafts: 4 gear driven Fuel Injection: Magneti Marelli digital injection Timing: Air Timing Number of Valves: 40 Electronic ignition: Magneti Marelli solid state Engine Length: 623mm Engine Height: 542 mm Engine Weight: 121 Kg Engine Height to Cylinders Heads : 395 mm RPM Redline: 18,000 rpm Transmission/Gearbox: Six-speed Williams transverse semi-automatic Limited slip Figure B-1: Renault V10 RS9 Engine Figure B-2: Wire Outline (Renault F1, 1997).