The Technology of F1 Cars
April 30, 2019
What are some of the most important technologies of F1 cars?
- Blown Diffuser
- Kinetic Energy Retention System (KERS)
- The Plank
Cars today are making use of dozens of innovations to keep us safe and for these machines to perform the best they can. From carbon fiber materials to steel tubes, Philippine motorists love to equip their cars with the best modifications to increase performance and make the most out of their cars.
Despite the horrid Philippine traffic, many people still prefer to modify their cars. In the world of racing, there are some interesting and truly groundbreaking technologies for vehicles, especially in F1. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting technologies of F1 cars:
To understand how a blown diffuser works, you should know what a diffuser is first. Basically, the diffuser is a shaped section of a car located under the chassis. It slopes upward and can usually be found in the rear section of a car. The diffuser aids the air passing through the underbody of the car exit faster. This, in turn, creates a low-pressure area under the vehicle which sucks the car to the ground, creating more downforce.
A blown diffuser is a simple yet effective solution to create more downforce in the diffuser area. Shaping the exit of the exhaust system into the diffuser is known as a blown diffuser. This helps create downforce by forcing the air to exit the underside of the car faster. The faster your engine speeds are, the more exhaust gasses you produce and the more downforce you’ll have.
Kinetic Energy Retention System (KERS)
In today’s modern F1 era, the ludicrously evolved race cars make use of an electrically assisted internal combustion engine known as a hybrid engine. The combination of both the electric and combustion motor makes for a combined 900+ horsepower. Around 200 of horsepower comes from the electric motor alone. The turbo-powered hybrid motors need an innovative method to keep the batteries running as they are needed for the extra power advantage.
In its early introduction, the electric motor of F1 engines can only be used to boost the car with a press of a button. Today, the electric motor is constantly used throughout the whole race without having to be activated. However, these batteries need to be charged on the fly, and the solution to this was groundbreaking. F1 engineers came up with an energy recovery system that converted kinetic energy and heat into electrical energy. The energy lost from braking and cornering is used to charge the batteries.
This F1 technology may not be as impressive as many other attachments on an F1 car, but it is one of the most interesting. Did you know that the most high-tech, road-going vehicles on the planet have a piece of rectangular wood attached to the belly of their cars? This simple slab of wood in the center of the vehicle holds the carbon fiber floor together. To prevent teams from cheating ground clearance rules, the plank is inspected after each race for scrapes and any evidence of excessive ground clearance exploitation.
There are dozens of other interesting technologies present in an F1 car; these are only a few of them. More importantly, however, is that most technological advancements that F1 cars previously innovated are now present in passenger vehicles. You may notice that cars in Philippine traffic are now equipped with disk brakes which were first used in the F1. Steel tubes in the Philippines, commonly used for roll cages and such, stem from racing, specifically the pinnacle of the sport — the F1.