Formula One is the most prestigious auto racing championship with Grand Prix events in different parts of the world. The appeal of Formula One goes beyond the fast cars that race its circuits but also includes the drama of the drivers, the cunning of the teams, and the relentless quest to overcome mechanical limitations. Formula One cars used to be simpler and often dangerous but they are now complex and safer. They, however, never fail to deliver the thrill that fans crave.
1. F1 car is made of 80,000 components
There is no doubt that every F1 car is an engineering marvel but with around 80,000 parts, it is mind-bogglingly complex. A slight error during assembly quickly turns an F1 car a death trap. Yet each F1 team designs, builds, and tests a new car every year.
2. F1 Engines live hard and die fast
An F1 car uses a 2.4L V8 engine and without a turbocharger or supercharger, it still generates 750 horsepower. To achieve this, it revs up to 18,000 RPM with its pistons moving up and down 300 times per second. A typical road car only revs up to 6,000 RPM but a F1 car idles at 5,000 RPM. It is no wonder then that F1 engines have a lifespan of two hours, just enough to complete a race.
3. F1 cars go fast enough to drive upside down
When a F1 car hits 160 km/h, it is generating enough downforce to equal its own weight. At this speed, that is fast enough to stick to the roof of a tunnel and drive upside down. The downforce generated by F1 cars is also the reason why the manhole covers on the streets of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit are welded shut.
4. F1 cars go through tyres 1000 times faster than road cars
F1 cars use tyres filled with nitrogen because it provides a more consistent pressure than air. Even then, F1 tyres only last 100 kilometres. Each tyre loses about 0.45 kg in weight after every race. In addition, the tyres get incredibly hot while racing. In fact, they need to heat up because their tyres cool down and lose grip when they slow down.
5. There is a plank in every F1 car
Yes, there is a plank of wood on the underside of every F1 car. It may sound low-tech but the plank is there to deter teams from cheating. Without the plank, an F1 car can ride low enough to have an aerodynamic advantage that not only makes it go faster but also increases the risk of a crash.
6. F1 cars are less sophisticated than road cars
An F1 car may have 80,000 parts, a complex engine, and a steering wheel with more buttons than there are fingers on both hands, but it is less sophisticated than road cars. It does not have adjustable suspensions, traction control, stability control, anti-clock brakes, climate control, or airbags.
7. F1 drivers experience more G-Force than astronauts
While accelerating, a F1 driver experiences 3G, the equivalent of three times his weight. While cornering, the pressure rises to 4G and reaches 5G when braking. By comparison, astronauts experience 3G inside a space shuttle during launch.
8. F1 drivers change gears no less than 2,500 times during a Grand Prix
An F1 driver changes gear between 2,500 and 4,000 times during a race depending on the course. An F1 gearbox can move from the 1st gear through to the 7th and back in 12 seconds.
9. F1 drivers lose weight while driving
Driving an F1 car is no picnic and drivers pay for it dearly. In a typical Grand Prix race, a driver expects to lose three litres of fluid, four kilogrammes in weight, and burn 1200 calories.
10. There are only four F1 races completed by all entrants
F1 races are hard on drivers and cars and it is quite commonplace for some to retire before the end. In fact, there are only four times in F1 history when all the entrants finished the entire race without anyone retiring. These occasions include: the 1961 Dutch Grand Prix (not even a pit stop), 2005 American Grand Prix, 2005 Italian Grand Prix, and 2011 European Grand Prix.
How to buy Formula One goods on eBay
There is a wide selection of F1 merchandise available on eBay including autographed posters, model cars, clothing, video games, DVDs, and other collectibles. You can find these items using the search tool located on any page of the website. If you have a favourite F1 team, start your search with that name as the keyword. To achieve more search results apply other filters such as category, condition, price, and delivery options. Make sure to read product descriptions carefully before finalising your purchase.