Saturday, 29 August 2015

Part Two: The A to Z of Formula 1

- F - 

Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile was founded on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organizations and motor car users. The FIA draws up the technical and racing regulations for a number of motorsports including Formula 1 and are based in Geneva. The current president is Jean Todt.

Scuderia Ferrari is a racing team under the umbrella of the Ferrari automobile organization. The team races primarily in Formula One but has competed in other series in motorsport since its formation in 1929, including sportscar racing (Endurance racing etc.). The team was founded by Enzo Ferrari, at first to race cars produced by Alfa Romeo, but by 1947 Ferrari had begun building its own cars. Ferrari is the oldest surviving and the most successful team in the history of Formula One, having competed in every world championship since 1950, the only team to do so. 

Noteworthy Important achievements outside Formula One are the World Sportscar Championship, 24 Hours of LeMans, 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Sebring, races for GT cars and racing on road courses of the Targa Florio, the Mille Miglia and the Carrera Panamericana.

As a constructor, Ferrari has a record of 16 Constructors’ Championships, the last of which was won in 2007. Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen have won a record 15 Drivers’ Championships for the Scuderia [Team]. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are the current drivers’ at Scuderia Ferrari. 

Fire Extinguisher
Formula 1 cars are required to have a fire extinguisher that spreads foam around the chassis and engine area. It must be operable both by the driver and from outside the car.

Flag signals are used to communicate messages to the drivers on the track. Now-a-days, the system is supported by a display on the steering wheel, known as the GPS marshalling system, which lights up with the relevant flag colour as the driver passes the affected sector of the circuit. 

Flat Spot
A flat spot is the area of a tyre that is worn heavily on one spot after a moment of extreme braking (lock-up) or in the course of a spin. This ruins its handling, often causing bad vibration, and may result in a driver to pit for a new set of tyres.

The contact area between the tyre and the track surface also known as a contact patch. 

Formation Lap
The lap before the start of the race when the cars are driven round from the grid to form up on the grid again for the start of the race. Sometimes referred to as the warm-up lap or parade lap.

Formula 1
The term 'Formula 1' was not introduced until after the Second World War. Formula One is the highest class of a single seater racing series that is sanctioned by the FIA. The first Formula 1 World Championship took place in 1950 under the direction of the FIA. The first race in the World Championship was the British Grand Prix on 13 May 1950, although other F1 races were regularly held until 1983. 

Formula 1 Commission
This commission consists of representatives from the teams, race organisers, engine manufacturers, sponsors, tyre manufacturers and of course the FIA. The commission decides whether changes to the regulations suggested by the FIA’s technical committee should be implemented.

Formula One Group
The Formula One Group is a group of companies responsible for the promotion of the FIA Formula One World Championship and consists of Formula One Management (FOM), Formula One Administration (FOA) and Formula One Licensing BV, which are subsidiaries of the Formula One Holdings (FOH) holding company headed by Bernie Ecclestone and investment company CVC Capital Partners. 

Formula One Teams Association (FOTA)
FOTA is a group of Formula One teams formed at a meeting in Maranello on 29 July 2008. The organisation was formed to give the teams a united voice in negotiations with the FIA and the Formula One Group regarding the future of Formula One. All current teams are members and was formed with the objective of presenting a united voice in their ongoing discussions with the FIA and the Formula One Group regarding the future of Formula 1. 

A proposed budget cap for the 2010 season led to the FIA-FOTA dispute, which saw a number of Formula One teams rejecting the new regulations and threatening to establish a new racing series. The dispute was resolved with the signing of a revised Concorde Agreement. McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, replaced Montezemolo in December 2009, and the group was involved in discussions with the FIA for future Formula One regulations. Four teams pulled out of FOTA at the end of 2011, and the association lost its purpose as the teams came to individual agreements ahead of a new Concorde Agreement in 2013. FOTA was formally dissolved in 2014.

Free Practice
During these practice sessions before a Grand Prix, the lap times are recorded, but they have no influence on the starting order or the race result. The teams use them as an opportunity to test upgrades as well as set their cars up for the respective track and completing a qualifying and race simulations on the tyres supplied by Pirelli [Tyres supplier].

Friday Practice Drivers
Teams may run up to four drivers (but still only two cars) in either Friday session.

Front Wing
Creates downward pressure (downforce) on the front area of the Formula 1 car and is an important part of the aerodynamics. Details of the front wing sometimes change for every new race – according to how much downforce is required for the respective circuits. Apart from that, the drivers make adjustments to the front wing during set up, mainly modifying the angle of the second flap. From 2014 the front wing width was reduced from 1800mm to 1650mm – less 75mm each side. 

Super unleaded fuel is used in Formula 1. Its composition must meet FIA regulations. It conforms to the strictest EU exhaust standards. Random tests at each race ensure conformity with the rules. Each team can choose its supplier freely, but it must submit a sample of the fuel used to the FIA before the season for test purposes. Fuel is limited to 100kg per race, and a maximum flow rate of 100kg/hour. Previously fuel was unlimited in both respects, but cars typically carried about 160kg per race.

- G - 

Formula One cars use semi-automatic sequential gearboxes, with regulations stating that 8 forward gears (increased from 7 since the 2014 season) and 1 reverse gear must be used, with rear-wheel drive. The gearbox is constructed of carbon titanium, as heat dissipation is important and is bolted onto the back of the engine. Full automatic gearboxes and systems such as launch control and traction control, are illegal, to keep driver skill important in controlling the car. The driver initiates gear changes using paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel and electro-hydraulics perform the actual change as well as throttle control. Clutch control is also performed electro-hydraulically, except to and from a standstill, when the driver operates the clutch using a lever mounted on the back of the steering wheel. 

Shift times for Formula One cars are in the region of 0.05 seconds. In order to keep costs low in Formula One, gearboxes must last five consecutive events and since year (2015), gearbox ratios will be fixed for full season (for 2014 they could be changed only once). Changing a gearbox before the allowed time will cause a penalty of five places drop on the grid for the first event that the new gearbox is used.

Gear Ratios
Ratios are the numbers of teeth on mating gears. Tuning the gear ratios to the track is very important. A "short gear" will result in higher torque but a lower top speed whilst a "long gear" does the opposite. If revs are not reaching the maximum at the end of the main straight the gears can be shortened. On the otherhand, setting the intermediate gears aims to give the maximum torque out of the various corners on the track. 

A physical force equivalent to one unit of gravity that is multiplied during rapid changes of direction or velocity. Drivers experience severe G-forces as they corner, accelerate and brake. Formula One drivers can experience loads of up to 5G.

Like the racing overalls, the gloves are also made of Nomex®, a fire resistant material. The closefitting gloves with suede leather palms provide the necessary sensitivity for steering. Drivers’ like the seams of the gloves on the outside to prevent irritation while racing. 

Graining is a specific type of wear on a tyre. It starts when very high side forces are exerted on the tyre, leading to high sliding. In this case small rolls of rubber move over the surface of the tyre on both the front and rear tyres. A typical outcome of graining is understeer in the front tyres. When a car slides, it can cause little bits or rubber (grains) to break away from the tyre's grooves.These then stick to the tread of the tyre, effectively separating the tyre from the track surface very slightly. Careful driving can clear the graining within a few laps, but will obviously have an effect on the driver's pace. Driving style, track conditions, car set-up, fuel load and the tyre itself all play a role in graining. In essence, the more the tyre moves about on the track surface (ie slides), the more likely graining is.

Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA)
The GPDA was founded in May 1961 and following an election by members, its inaugural Chairman was Stirling Moss. The GPDA represents the interests of Formula 1 drivers. The organisation was disbanded during the 1982 Formula One season due to the sport's changing commercial arrangements and the conflict between the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) and FIA. It was replaced by the Professional Racing Drivers Association. 

Niki Lauda and Gerhard Berger re-established the GPDA over the 1994 Monaco Grand Prix race weekend, following the events of the preceding San Marino Grand Prix, which culminated with the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, during the Sunday race and Saturday qualifying respectively. In 1996, the association was incorporated in the UK as a company limited by guarantee ("Grand Prix Drivers Association Ltd"). For the first time, the association had a formal constitution, and permanent offices in Monaco. 

Gravel Trap
A bed of gravel on the outside of corners with an aim of bringing cars to a safe stop.

Green Flag
The driver/s has passed the potential danger point and is all clear to continue. 

The formation of the cars at the start of the race as determined during the qualifying sessions. Each staggered row of two cars is separated by 16 metres. 

Grid Penalty
Demotion a given number of places down the starting grid. In the 2014/2015 F1 season, each driver will be allowed to use 4 power units (engines) and 4 components for each power unit. If the driver goes over the limit they will receive a 10 place grid penalty and a 5 place grid penalty for additional power unit components used during the season.  

It describes how well the car sticks to the ground/circuit and how this affects cornering speeds. High grip means high cornering speeds. Main factors of grip are the aerodynamics (downforce) which is created by the car and the tyres’ properties. Without grip, a car will begin to slide or skid. The amount of traction a car has at any given point, affecting how easy it is for the driver to keep control through corners.

Romain Grosjean is a French driver who was born on 17 April 1986 in Geneva, Switzerland. He dominated the 2005 French Formula Renault championship on his first attempt and joined the Renault young driver program. He was the 2007 Formula 3 Euro Series drivers' champion. In 2008 he became the inaugural GP2 Asia Series champion and came 4th in his first year in the GP2 championship. In 2009 he made his F1 debut for Renault at the European Grand Prix and came 4th again in GP2 despite missing the final 8 races. After being dropped by Renault he returned to junior formula winning the 2010 AutoGP championship on his first attempt and winning the 2011 GP2 Asia Series and GP2 Series becoming the first – and as of December 2014, only – two-time GP2 Asia champion and the only driver to hold both the GP2 Asia series and main GP2 series titles simultaneously.  

In 2012, Grosjean returned to Formula One with the Lotus F1 Team, alongside Kimi Räikkönen. He took his first podium in Formula One at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix and took his first fastest lap in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. He became the first driver since 1994 to receive a race ban after causing a multi-car pileup at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix. In 2013 he remained with Lotus, taking 6 podiums. He drove for Lotus again alongside Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in the 2014 season. This line up was continued for 2015. For the 2015 F1 season, drivers’ were required to select a permanent racing number. Romain Grosjean chose number 8. Romain Grosjean: “My wife was born the 8th of December, we started dating in 2008 and besides, to my eyes my son is the 8th wonder of the world. That’s why I picked up number 8.” 

Ground Clearance
The distance between the floor and the circuit or track.

Ground Effect
The contact force generated by an aerodynamically shaped floor. In the seventies, sills were attached to the sides of the cars to create a vacuum underneath the car that helped the car stick to the circuit. The enormous grip allowed for extremely high cornering speeds. The pure ground effect cars developed in the seventies were banned by the FIA for safety reasons and now the main source of ground force is limited to the Diffuser.

An L-shaped flap on the trailing edge of a car’s wing. Pioneered by Dan Gurney in the 1970's they increase downforce with only a relatively small increase in drag coefficient when compared to increasing the angle of the wing.

- H - 

A tight, 180-degree bend. The most famous are the Grand Hotel hairpin in Monaco, and "La Source" at Spa-Franchorchamps 

Half Black, Half White Flag
Accompanied by a car number, it warns of unsporting behaviour. May be followed by a black flag if the driver does not heed the warning.

Head and Neck Support (HANS)
Since the 2003 season, the drivers’ have been given additional head and neck protection in the form of the Head and Neck Support system (HANS). HANS consists of a carbon shoulder piece that is connected to two safety belts and the driver's helmet. In an accident, HANS is intended to prevent stretching of the vertebrae as well as preventing the driver's head from hitting the steering wheel. Short for Head and Neck Support Device, a mandatory safety device that fits over the driver's shoulders and connects to the back of the helmet to prevent excessive head and neck movement in the event of an accident.

Removable padding on the inside of the cockpit around the driver’s head and designed to absorb any potential impact. The two side pads must be at least 95 mm thick, and a thickness of between 75 and 90 mm is stipulated for the rear pad. 

Heat Cycle
A tyre that has been heated up through use and then cooled down has experienced one heat cycle. This often results in a slight hardening of the tyre compound, which can make the tyre perform at a high level for a longer period of time.

The helmet is made of carbon, polyethylene and Kevlar and weighs approximately 1.3 kilogrammes. Like the cars, it is designed in a wind tunnel to reduce drag as much as possible. Helmets are subjected to extreme deformation and fragmentation tests. Only helmets tested and authorised by the FIA may be used in races.

- I - 

Installation Lap
A lap in where drivers head out of the pits, drive around the circuit and take up their respective grid slots. 

A tyre with features somewhere between those of dry and wet weather tyres. The intermediate has more tread than dry weather tyres and less tread than wet weather models. It is used for mixed weather or light rain.

International Court of Appeal
The FIA’s Court of Appeal is composed of professional judges, and its 15 members are appointed for a three year term. In order for the court to make a legally binding decision, the presence of at least three judges is required, none of which may be of the same nationality as the parties involved. A Formula 1 team that is unwilling to accept a decision by the racing commissioners can appeal to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal. In this case, a declaration of intent must be submitted within an hour of the decision. The FIA, too, can send a decision by the commissioners to the Court of Appeal.

International Sporting Code
The International Sporting Code (ISC) is a set of rules which are valid for all motorsport events that are governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The ISC consists of 17 chapters and several appendices. It contains definitions, general principles, and regulations, as well as rules for race organizers, contenders, racers, and official referees. As the sport of motor racing is very hierarchic, the ISC also determines the rules of national racing federations.

- J - 

The J-Damper better known as the “Jounce-Damper” although technically it should be called a Jounce-Inerter, the term J-Damper was then came into effect to keep the technology secret for as long as possible. The purpose of the J-Damper is to reduce the effect of the spring and Damper oscillations and thus help the car to retain a better grip on the road.

Jump Start
A jump start occurs when a driver moves off his grid position before the five red lights have been switched off to signal the start of a race. Sensors on the grid slots detect premature movement and a jump start earns the driver a penalty which would be decided by the FIA Stewarts. 

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