Formula 1 (F1) race cars are aerodynamically designed open-wheel, single-seat race cars with open cockpits. Their specifications are regulated by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), and are adhered to by the racing teams of the various member nations.
For the 2010 season, Formula 1 engines have been reduced in size from 3 liter V-10s to a 2.4 liter V-8s with 32 valves. These engines can generate 800 horsepower at 18,000 rpm. The engines must be naturally aspirated without a turbocharger, supercharger or a variable intake trumpet. They also must run on commercially available fuel stored in a rubber bladder tank. Additionally, only aluminum and iron alloy engine parts are allowed.
Formula 1 cars cannot use fully automatic gearboxes; only semi-automatic sequential transmissions made of carbon fiber or titanium are allowed. Additionally, electro-hydraulic steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and clutch levers are used, and the less than 4-inch diameter carbon clutch uses a multi-plate design. Launch and traction control systems are not allowed, and the gearbox can be changed every four races.
The front and rear wings of the car must be attached directly to the chassis, not the suspension. These aerodynamically sculpted aerofoils produce extreme downforce to keep the car on the road. Finally, the nose vanes, sidepods, bargeboards and the rear diffuser create air vortices to reduce air pressure under the car, helping it stick to the ground.
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