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Engineering Report Formula 1 Braking Systems.

1216 words - 5 pages

Development of the systemOne of the main influences that has significantly shaped F1 racing as we know it today is technology. The cars are lighter, faster and more resilient than they have ever been in the history of motor racing. In the beginning race cars were simply modified cars and were extremely, heavy, bulky and unreliable, to say the least . From this we can gather that Formula 1 braking systems have come along way, causing many spectacular blow-outs and crashes along the way. In essence, modern racecars need good brakes. Good brakes will allow you to drive faster and cut corners more efficiently. High performance brakes have improved tremendously over the years with Formula 1 and GT leading the way using the latest carbon/carbon brake technology. As the world champion, Mika Hakkinen, once said " The most important thing in a sports car in not the engine but the brakes" , We can see that as Formula 1 racecars have advanced from technology and competition, their brakes have been a significant part of a race car, therefore a focal point in race car engineering.In the first F1 Grand Prix in 1950, racing cars had 4500cc engines, with no weight or other restrictions. Every year saw innovations, as cars engines, brakes and other mechanics of the racing cars were improved. However the biggest change in the evolution of brakes took place in the 1970s and 1980s. Wings, better known as aerofoils, were introduced as a significant technical development. This created 'down force', pinning cars to the track and giving better traction and cornering ability. This change alone was revolutionary and changed the face of F1 racing as well as the mechanics behind it. Cars could go faster and were less liable to spin off the track. Brakes were more relied upon to win a race, as well safely slow the car down.This became a big issue in motor racing and was no different in Formula one. F1 hit the headlines every time a driver was killed, which happened all too frequently in the 1960s. Standards for safety had not been instituted and changes gradually followed at tracks and on cars, as horrific and fatal crashes illustrated safety lapses.The F1 oversight body, FIA, began introducing safety regulations in the late 1960s, starting with rules on dual braking systems. The idea behind this is that should one circuit fail the other must remain operational. Along with this system of two hydraulic circuits, power brakes and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are not allowed. Anti- lock brakes are not allowed because the FIA said that "the anti-lock braking systems detracted from the driver's skill.""A mere 4 seconds is the amount of time it takes for a Formula One car to go from 300km/h to a complete halt. At 200 km/h, a Formula One contender requires just 2.9 seconds to stop completely, a process that will have been accomplished over 65 meters. At 100km/h, these values are just as mind-blowing: 1.4 seconds and 17 meters! Under these heavy braking periods, a driver is...

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