Formula 1 Racing Essay

Formula One racing is one of the most revered sports in the world. In the auto-racing world it is second to none in class, prestige, history, and skill. The level of competition is immense and the window of entry is miniscule. This brings up one question: (what is the question? ) Formula One racing’s history dates back to the 1950s when racecars were simple front engine, drum brake cars. Compared to the cars of today, they are dinosaurs, but they were the best of their time and a wonder to many.

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* The older racecars, particularly those of the 1980s and 1990s, were much harder to drive than those of today. Today’s cars have wind tunnels, high tech onboard telemetry and enough computers to make a Best Buy store look like a quick shop. * The first racecars of Formula One were made from a minimalistic design consisting of an engine, chassis, wheels, and a gas tank.

The early F1 cars had the engine at the front of the car. They had superchargers and were limited to a mere 4. liters.

These engines could not be fueled with regular petrol because they would explode under the intense heat conditions. Alcohol was commonly added to help with the cooling process. The dominant style of the 1950s was the Alfa Romeos. Winning the first 3 world championships, the Alfa 159 was famous for bringing Manuel Fangio his 1951 title. * The 1960s were a dangerous year for F1. At this time, modern safety advancements had not yet been made. For example, drivers were still wearing helmets that did not cover their entire face. (Atlas F1).

When Jim Clark and his teammate Chapman brought the innovatively designed Lotus 29s, many other cars were out of date (Cutter 134). The race organizers laughed at this new design and called it a “toy” (cutter 134), but this new design proved potent for a few simple reasons. The Lotus used an extremely strong Monocoque frame design that effectively protected the driver. The Lotus also featured a small steering wheel, similar to those of today (Atlas F1). * The 1970`s were home to innovation in Formula One. Colin Chapman designed the lotus 72 the close wedge nose, which created more down force.

Also the radiators were tucked into the sides of the car to create a cooling system that was not mounted in front of the car. The lotus could travel 14 Km/h faster on the straight-aways then the 49C, its older brother. Atlas F1 states that the Lotus 56B had an unusual feature: instead of being powered by a conventional induction engine, it was driven by a double-shafted gas turbine manufactured by Pratt & Whitney, and was originally designed for use in ships, locomotives and helicopters. The Lotus 56B also had all wheel drive, which was new to the time. However, this created many problems for drivers.

Power lag required drivers to begin pressing the accelerator during the braking zone in order to achieve enough power to exit the corner. To soon and one would be into the wall to late and were crawling out of the corner. There were unusual circumstances in the 64 season. Jochen Rindt had won at Zandorvort and collected multiple wins along the way capturing France, England, and Germany. However, his racing career came to an end very ironically in his adopted home Austria. They had hosted the world champion chip since 1964. Engine damage ended his season prematurely.

He would never start from the grid again. In the final practice for the Italian grand prix his right front brake shaft broke. This caused him to crash into the famous Parabolla and he suffered fatal injures. However he had acquired such a points lead that no one could catch up to him So Rindt was the first and only driver to be declared world champion posthumously (Autosport. com). * In the 1980 season, a total of 20 racing teams took part in the competition for World Championship points. One of the best drivers in the 80`s and 90`s and most arguably of all time is Ayrton Senna (Autosport. com). F1. om recalls, “In 1988, when McLaren-Honda won 15 of the 16 races, Senna beat his team mate Alain Prost eight wins to seven to take his first driving title. ”

This then produced one of the greatest rivalries of all time. The Senna-Prost rivalry was fought even though they were on the same team. In 1989 at the Suzuka Gran prix Prost took out Senna in the famous chicane claiming that he turned to avoid Senna but in reality didn’t move the wheel at all. However Senna added fuel to the fire that next season if prost didn’t finish the race at Suzuka. On the first lap of the race Senna took the inside line inside of prost and never braked.

He then crashed into Prost who slid off into the Gravel trap. This secured the 1990 World Championship for Senna. Senna was known to push harder than any other driver. Even he himself pushed the car to far. He beat his rival Prost in the identical McLaren. He eventually knocked off two second off his lap, which is unheard of. Senna later said, “Suddenly, it frightened me, because I realized I was well beyond my conscious understanding. I drove back slowly to the pits and did not go out anymore that day. ” The need for driver safety rose rapidly during these years.

More specifically the best example would be the Hockenheim ring on the east corner the driver would experience 2. 7g`s. the track was then modified to reduce cornering speeds (atlasF1. com). Atlas F1 describes the competition on the 1980 season from a competitive point of view, 1980 was a disaster for the defender of the title, Jody Scheckter. The South African, who one year earlier had become the last Ferrari driver to become World Champion until 21 years later, only managed to collect two World Championship points, leaving him 19th in the final ranking of the Championship.

Adjustable spoilers were a huge innovation however, they were banned because the amount of down force they would create it would cause unsafe cornering speeds (AtlasF1. com). Turbo Engines became incredibly dominant in the 1983 season. When Ayrton Senna stepped onto the track at Monaco very few could for get the event: F1. com describes Formula One racing, where he made his debut with Toleman in 1984. At Monaco (a race he would win six times), his sensational second to Alain Prost’s McLaren – in torrential rain – was confirmation of the phenomenal talent that would take the sport by storm (F1. com).

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