Five interesting F1 Facts

Five interesting F1 Facts

The Formula 1 being one of the foremost of motorsport events has a rich legacy. It is also a magic box of interesting facts. Here are five amazing things about F1.Five interesting F1 Facts

 

  1. The inaugural ‘Grand Prix’ at Silverstone was attended by the British Royalty, His Royal Highness, King George VI, his wife, Queen Elizabeth, and their daughter Princess Margaret. Lord and Lady Mountbatten were also in attendance. It remains the sole instance that the reigning royalty has attended a F1 race. It’s rumored that the Princess said, “I want one of those (cars)”, much to the chagrin of the queen.
  2. The German Grand Prix was initially held over a 22.8 km stretch at the Nordschleife circuit. It was at Nurburging, where the current German Grand Prix is also held. However the new circuit is only 5.148 km long, but of course one has to consider the laps! The last race at the Nordschleife circuit was held in 1976. The Nordschleife circuit remains a legendary circuit where many spectacular Mercedes and Ferrari models were pitted against each other. In fact, the inaugural race was indeed won by Ferrari, driven by Alberto Ascari.
  3. Most F1 cars are so fast that they can travel upside down. This is due to the phenomenon of ‘down force’. It is the opposite of what airplanes do to lift off. Aerodynamic engineering allows airplanes to cut air in such a way that it forces the plane to lift vertically upwards from the ground. This is called a ‘lift’. On the other hand, F1 cars and other racing cars are designed in such a way that they cut the air in a manner so that it ‘pushes’ the car vertically down. This keeps the car ‘grounded’ with a firmer grip, giving them the ability to make tight turns at high speed. Else they would have flown off the ground like stone from a sling. This downward thrust reaches its maximum at high velocities which provide so much ‘push’ and grip that the cars can travel upside down if they so wished. Pretty neat!
  4. F1 tires use nitrogen and not air. This is due to the fact that air contains water vapor which can expand in a non-uniform manner. Since the tires generate immense amounts of heat, water vapor can lead to tires exploding. To avoid that nitrogen is used which is neutral and expands in a regular manner. It also expands at extremely high temperatures for which nitrogen is used in most filament bulbs.
  5. F1 racing produces excessive G-forces. Sometimes it is more than a space shuttle generates at launch. These G-forces cause exacting strain on the driver especially on their necks. To withstand this drivers have to undergo strenuous exercise routines to strengthen their necks. As a result most drivers have disproportionately thicker neck muscles to withstand up to 5G forces. As a result, some of them can break walnuts by using their neck and shoulders. No wonder people go nuts about them!