Speak the Language: F1 Edition

New to F1? Here are some terms to know when watching…

Drag: A world with no drag? Yes please!

What is it…?

Drag is the friction forced on a car from following another. All the dirty air coming off the car leading you messes with the aerodynamics of yours. This makes it hard to pass and get-up to speed. Thankfully, there is a solution…

Slipstream: We LOVE a good slipstream!

What is it…?

If you’re following a car and can get up behind the rear, there is magic. You can avoid drag by hiding from the dirty air. This allows for you to get up to speed and slingshot yourself around your competitor. To help make this happen F1 has…

DRS (Drag Reduction System): Okay, okay, without getting too technical…

When drivers are moving through corners the leading car has the advantage (clean air) and competitors can’t pass easily. The leading car can then pulls away…

What is it…?

To provide an opportunity for the cars further back to pass there are DRS zones. These allow the driver following to take advantage of a slipstream and enables easier passing if they are within a second of the car they want to pass. It reduces the drag the following car faces through adjustable bodywork on the car.


What is it…?

Simply, the people who make sure teams and drivers are following the rules.

Prime Tyre: The tyres used in F1 are a technical anomaly themselves.

What is it…?

The variety of tyre compounds in F1 seems endless. There could be a whole post talking about the different tyre compounds, but it still wouldn’t do Pirelli justice. The prime tire is the one that is best suited, best designed for the track where the race is taking place. Each track has its own personality so tyres need to be designed to suit it.   

Tyre Degradation: Can make for some great racing…

What is it…?

As a race progresses a driver’s tyres loose grip and quite literally begin to peel apart. This means the cars can’t maintain the performance they desire.

Lock-Up: Big oof!

What is it…?

When a driver brakes suddenly/harshly a tyre(s) stops rotating while all others keep going. You’ll know it’s a lock-up when you see a small puff of smoke coming from the car.

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