Enquiry about F1 cars

  exdragon 08:31 04 Aug 2008
Locked

Just as a matter of general interest, why do so many F1 cars break down, have wheels fall off, have bits of body drop off and suchlike?

Before anyone points out the speeds at which they're driven and the distances etc, surely that's what they're supposed to do? Given the millions spent on development, wouldn't you expect to be able to get round a track without losing the back wheel?

Also, before anyone asks if my car could do it - mine can get me to Tesco's without falling apart!

It's not really a serious question, but one which I normally bring up whilst watching F1 with my other half.

  laurie53 08:39 04 Aug 2008

It's because they are driven by such poor drivers, who fail to keep within the limitations of their vehicle!

Not really a serious answer either!

  crosstrainer 08:51 04 Aug 2008

To use an analogy, it's a bit like building a top spec. PC, and then overclocking all the components to just under breaking point.

Sooner or later, something will give way. An F1 engine is so finely engineered that in order to start it, hot water and oil must be pumped around it prior to "turning it over".

The engine is effectively seized, and can not be run until the correct temperature has been reached.

Added to the mix is carbon fibre suspension components which (while strong) will break if stressed in the wrong direction. Tyres which are so accurately tuned that the slightest bit of debris can puncture them (as happened to Lewis yesterday)

In conclusion, everything is running on the "Ragged edge" and failures are inevitable.

  Esc4p3 08:54 04 Aug 2008

I don't know a technical answer, but perhaps because they are driving at the cars limit for 99% of the time, whereas us 'average' car drivers drive nowhere near the limit of our cars. Their engines are revving at 19,000rpm compared to our 3,000 - 5,000. That explanation is probably rubbish, but it makes sense to me ;-)

  exdragon 08:59 04 Aug 2008

crosstrainer - much as I hate to admit it, that's the best answer I've heard!

The statement, Fit for purpose' always springs to mind. I can quite undestand the puncture question, but wheels dropping off at every turn?

It's a bit like tennis players in a tournament - the commentator whispers in absolute awe and amazement that, 'The players have been on court for (gasp) two and a half hours!!!' For heaven's sake, it's their job, what they do all day, everyday. They don't just have a knockabout on a Saturday afternoon!

Grumpy old woman mode or what? And it isn't even 9 o'clock yet. Things can only get better!

  exdragon 09:00 04 Aug 2008

That's my point - they're supposed to be driven like that, mine isn't. Ergo, my Ka is better than Lewis Hamilton's!!

  dagbladet 09:02 04 Aug 2008

You could of course build the cars to less finely engineered tolerances, you could makee the engine castings thicker, and therefore stronger, which of course would be heavier. You could alter the geometry of the suspension so that the components are less prone to damage when stressed in the 'wrong' direction. You could then call it a Minardi or Andrea Moda.

  crosstrainer 09:04 04 Aug 2008

I don't know about better, but it's quite a bit cheaper LOL :))

  exdragon 09:06 04 Aug 2008

And I don't have to be skinny to be able to get into it...and it's easy enough to get out of, with dodgy knees!

I guess I chose well, didn't I??

  crosstrainer 09:12 04 Aug 2008

It goes over speed bumps too :)) bargain I'd say!

  Bingalau 09:56 04 Aug 2008

I sometimes look at cars like these expensive Porsche things and say to myself. "How would I get my golf clubs in that thing"? And as above I wouldn't like going over a speed bump in one even at less than 5 MPH.

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