Formula 1 – Myths and Facts

Sunday Morning, Brazilian Grand Prix, Rosberg on the lead with a furious racing from Hamilton behind.

Risky sport yelled one of my friend,

Awesome race and a fantastic finish replied a F1 fan boy.

That’s when I tried to see the race on a neutral stand. After giving a deep thought and placing all myths and facts on the table, I am amazed at the level of innovation that has come out of F1.

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Myth – F1 is consuming enormous fuel while there is a Save Fuel cry across.

Fact – Not exactly when looked at a holistic angle. The fuel used is Gasoline and to be honest the amount of fuel the race consumes could be less than the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicles used by the audience and press who come to watch and cover the race. A lot of VIP audiences come in their private helicopter to watch the race and so you could imagine the fuel consumption by them. Having said that, fact is F1 does consume fuel but fuel efficiency is an important parameter which F1 researches and innovates. But that’s not the only one parameter; there are numerous other techno stuffs that are being innovated by the F1.

Myth – F1 is one of the riskiest and unsafe sports.

Fact – Statistically the number of accidents and casualties has come down drastically in the last decade. Again, thanks to the innovation on this front. The overall wear of the driver (boot, glove, helmet and even the sponsor’s logo) is made of a material of fiber called Nomex which protects the driver from fire for at least 12 seconds (within which the rescue team can come for rescue). The cockpit of the driver is the strongest part of the car and this now fits the driver’s exact dimensions. The HANS (Head and Neck Support System), material and shape of Helmets used etc are the best safety designs of the world. Also the introduction of DRS wherein we saw an innovation in overtaking is an extraordinary one.

There are also a lot of other innovative ideas and solutions implemented to tackle F1 problems. Say for instance Fuel efficiency, F1 now has the direct injection turbo engines which considerably reduce the RPM which in turn will reduce fuel consumption by half. Another innovation is the kinetic energy recovery system which captures energy when the car is braking and stores it in a battery for the driver to use the same later on the lap.

So, my point is, technology saw the invention of satellites but missiles as well. Similarly, the concept of speed racing is dangerous but on the other hand, it has become the ground for invention in the auto world where we are seeing an ocean of ideas.

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