Formula 1 cars have very complicated machinery. Made for attaining high speeds, they need technology developed specially for them. Regulations have been set by the Federation Internationale d lAutomobile or the FIA for the engines of Formula One cars. However, even in the times of today, F1 drivers have to commonly suffer the problem of engine breakdowns.
Enormous Changes in Engines
Formula 1 engines have undergone enormous changes since the inception
of the event. In the decade of 1950 the engine power output was around
100 bhp every liter, which equals the performance of a modern road car.
The turbo age of the engines declined with technology. Regulations set
in 2006 demand the usage of 2.4 liter V8 engines. This shows that
technology used in car engines has changed drastically.
Consumption of Air and Fuel
Modern engines can attain high speed but also consume large amount of
air and race fuel. 19,000 RPM Formula One engine consumes 650 liters of
air every second, with race fuel consumption around 75 liters for every
100 kilometers. Formula One cars need accelerative force on the pistons
equivalent to nearly 9000 times of earth's gravity. This enables these
cars to gain their massive speed.
Modern Formula One cars have highly automated gearboxes. This
facilitates easy selection of gears via paddles fitted behind the
steering wheel. Today's Formula One cars are equipped with seven-speed
gear boxes. The regulations don't recognize automatic transmission
systems along with gearbox-related wizardry. This is done for testing
the driver's skills. Regulations set by the FIA require the Formula One
engines to last for at least two Grand Prix weekends. Those who break
the rule have to pay a ten-place grid penalty.
Some Modern Formula One Engines
Ferrari 2.5 L4 (Type 106), Ford HB 3.5 V8, Ford Cos DFV 3.0 V8, Renault
1.5 V6T, Renault 3.0 V10, Alfa Romeo1.5 V8T.
F1 engines are tailor-made for attaining high speeds quickly. Having complicated machinery, engines of Formula 1 cars are in the process of constant development.