Formula One is the absolute pinnacle of motorsport and, by extension, the motor car itself. Yet, viewed in profile – wings and all – you'd be forgiven for thinking they're more closely related to aviation. And when it comes to aerodynamic addenda, you'd be right. But I’m here to tell you that there is indeed a trickle-down effect.
Now motor racing in general has led to some useful innovations – hell, you can thank the Indy 500 for the invention of the rear-view mirror. And tyre technology in general has developed exponentially thanks to the pursuit of podium finishes. Still, nothing accelerates innovation like F1. So here are just six pieces of your favourite tech formulated for the track.
It comes down to that spark again – and would you believe that instead of meticulously squirting our 95 unleaded into our cylinders, we used to rely on gratuitous carburetors. I say gratuitous because if injectors ‘injected’, carburetors would pour expensive fuel down your car’s throat. Fuel injection made the process much more efficient and as a result represented a great improvement in fuel consumption. Despite being around since the 1920s, fuel injection was truly refined by the Mercedes-Benz F1 team. Of course, both fuel injection and turbocharging meant harnessing electronics and computers on a whole new level.
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September - October 2020