“It is not always possible to be the best, but it is always possible to improve your own performance.” – Jackie Stewart
WAKENING IN CATALUNYA Barcelona. We are driving on a chilly morning, on December 13, 2011. It is seven o’clock. The first rays of the sun appear on the horizon, and we are satisfied because the forecasts were correct – no rain. On the ramp, the porter asks us...
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- On June 13th in 1895, the world’s first automobile race took place. The first race took place with only a handful of cars and their top speeds were only twenty kilometers per hour. The world’s first automobile race was the brainchild of two French engineers and businessmen. The people behind the first car race were two men, who had an automobile shop in Paris. Emile Levassor and Rene Panhard came up with the idea of racing their cars, as a way of promoting their business.
- Almost everything on your car is derived from something originally developed for a race car. From your rearview mirror to your tires, it was meant to help someone go faster long before it was meant to keep you safe.
- Tons of race cars can drive upside down. The amount of downforce an open-wheeled race car produces will vary depending on what league it races in (among other things), but it’s frequently in excess of the car’s weight. In other words, once it reaches a certain speed, it can drive upside down…if it has to.
- A Formula One car’s exhaust gets hot enough to melt aluminum. It can reach 1,000 degrees celsius, whereas aluminum melts at 660 degrees. As a result, it’s made out of exotic metals so expensive that the average road car costs less than a set of F1 tailpipes.
- An F1 car pulls more Gs in cornering than the space shuttle on launch. It can hit up to five Gs in cornering, and even more under braking. The shuttle? A measly three.
- The manhole covers in Monaco have to be welded down prior to an F1 race, or the cars will literally suck them up. An F1 car at high speeds produces a huge amount of vacuum underneath its floor to keep it sucked to the ground. For a potentially loose manhole cover, that’s a very large problem. This has actually caused wrecks before.