As much as you may wish that your car was a racing car, the reality is that it is not. In fact, it is very far removed from being anything close to a Formula One car.
There may be times when you pull away from the traffic light and you move your rev counter to the red that you feel like Daniel Ricciardo or Mark Webber, but the reality is that the cars they drive in are so different to the ones that we see on the road on a daily basis that it is almost unfair to compare them to each other. How are they different? Here is a quick list of some of the more obvious differences.
Where it all happens
One of the biggest differences happens in the transmission, where the power of the engine is imparted to the wheels. This is a complicated procedure that involves a lot of moving parts, but it all comes together with the clutch kit. A Formula One vehicle has a racing clutch, and this allows for the transfer of huge amounts of power from the energy. It is a highly tuned and sensitive piece of equipment and one that makes a major difference to the overall performance of the car.
Racing cars do not have tread on their tyres, they are simply smooth, and very sticky rubber. They call the tyres ‘slicks’ and they use them when the circuit is dry. This does change if it rains and they are quick to send the cars into the pits to switch to tyres that have tread, but in dry conditions there is no tread. The drivers work hard to get the tyres hot, the theory being that you want as much tyre in contact with the road as possible and you want the tyre at its optimum performance temperature as quickly as possible.
The steering wheel
Did you know that a Formula One driver can’t get in or out of his car without taking the steering wheel off first? This is largely due to the fact that the cockpit is so small that there is not enough space to squeeze in without removing the wheel first.
As much as you like to think that your car is safe, what with its ABS and air bags and myriad other safety features, a Formula One car is next level. The technology that goes into F1 cars is incredible and the safety has improved markedly over the years. The cockpit that the driver sits in is almost indestructible with the only real point of vulnerability being the driver’s legs, which by the nature of the cars design, sit out front where the pedals are and outside the super strong, super durable cockpit bubble.
As power to weight ratio goes the F1 car is so far ahead of the average street car that it is almost a joke. Not only are the engines significantly bigger, their weight is also much lighter. This is largely because the F1 car has just one seat and that it is stripped of anything superfluous technology of the luxury variety. In other words, there is no air conditioning, no spare tyre, no electric windows. All these elements contribute greatly to the weight of an ordinary car which in turn slow it down markedly.