Sunday, September 19, 2010

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Formula One Racing

Formula One racing is a sport defined by rules and regulations. It is also a sport with a long history. Like any sport with this background, Formula One racing has developed terms that are confusing or not understood by new fans. The information below highlights some of the more misunderstood terms used in Formula One racings.

In Formula One racing "clean air" does not refer to fresh or filtered air. Clean air is the term used to refer to the air encountered by the head car in a race. The turbulence caused by the cars has not yet touched this air. It offers the best aerodynamic conditions for the drivers. Clean air is a benefit of leading the race.

Near the end of a race a driver may realize he does not have enough fuel to complete the race. The driver will then "splash and dash". A splash and dash simply means that the driver enters the pits and the pit crew put only the small amount of gasoline needed to finish the race in his tank rather than to fill the tank. The driver gets a splash of gas and then dashes off for the finish.

In Formula One racing a driver may be given a "stop-go penalty". This penalty requires the driver to stop at his pit area for ten seconds and then return to the race. The vehicle may not receive fuel or tires during this stop. It is a time-out penalty with the time spent in the pit. An alternative to the stop-go is the "drive-through penalty". The drive-through penalty differs from the stop-go in that the driver need not stop in the pit area but simply drive through the pits at the appropriate speed.

"Stewards" are the three highest-ranking officials at a Formula One racing Grand Prix. They are responsible for making decisions about the race and the drivers. The "marshals" are the officials in charge of making certain the race is run safely. They are responsible for spectator safety, helping with disabled cars, dealing with fires. Formula One racing marshals are most often visible waving signal flags at the drivers.

During a Formula One racing weekend teams keep their motor homes and transporters in an area referred to as the "paddock". This area is off limits to the public. Another restricted area is the "parc ferme". Parc Ferme refers to a special fenced-off area where cars are required to be once they complete qualifying and the race. Team members are not allowed to touch the cars to prevent any changes. During a race the Formula One racing team and their equipment are located in the "pits". Drivers pull their cars into their team's area of the pit for refueling, tire changes or any other type of repair that needs to be done to the vehicle.

The "pit wall" area of the Formula One racing track provides a place for team managers, owners and engineers to monitor the race. The "chicane" may be unfamiliar to new Formula One racing fans. Chicane refers to a section of track that is designed to slow cars down using a series of corners that alternate directions. The chicane is an import safety design feature of Formula One racing tracks.

Terms used in Formula One racing are not commonly understood. An introduction to the terms and their meaning will help you understand the sport of Formula One racing.


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