What is the formula for switching

Background: the gears

(Motorsport-Total.com) - One of the less well-known rule changes this season concerns the transmission. Last year it had to be used in four consecutive races, this season there are five races in a row. In addition, each team had to define 30 options for the gear ratio before the start of the season.

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The adjustable rear wing influences the transmission set-up for gear seven

These must meet the requirements of all 19 tracks, i.e. both in slow corners like in Monaco and on long straights like in Monza, if DRS is activated. With 64 gear changes per lap, the street circuit in Valencia has the most gear changes of any route to date. Only in Singapore is it still more frequent.

¿Pbvin | 512 | 3833 || 0 | 1pb¿ That corresponds to over 3,648 gear changes during the race in Valencia. The season average is 3,100. This means that the drivers in Valencia switch every 85 meters on average, compared to every 61 meters in Monaco and every 143 meters in Spa.

25,000 gear changes

This year a transmission has to be used in five consecutive races, last year there were only four. In the 2010 season, the mileage of a transmission was between 2,100 and 2,500 kilometers. This season this value increases to 2,600 to 3,000 kilometers. During the life cycle of five races, a transmission therefore performs more than 25,000 gear changes.

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In Monaco, the drivers change gear zoom more than 4,000 times during the race

The greatest challenges for the transmission are Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. On these routes, the drivers switch every 61 meters, 71 meters and 82 meters, respectively. The torque curve and the number of gear changes are decisive for this. In Monaco and Singapore, the drivers shift gears over 4,000 times during the race.

On slower routes, the selected gear ratio ensures a lower speed, so the gearbox has to transmit a higher torque for a longer time. At the same time, there is more driving in the lower gears, which puts more stress on the bearings. During a gear change, the transmission must also withstand torque peaks - the result: the more often the gear changes, the more the transmission is challenged.

5000 Newton meters

A transmission works at up to 130 degrees Celsius and transmits a force of around 5000 Newton meters in top gear. It weighs less than 40 kilograms and consists of more than 500 individual parts, including the transmission parts, attachment points for the suspension, the rear crash structure and a number of hydraulic components.

¿Pbvin | 512 | 3831 || 0 | 1pb¿ If you take the transmission of the torque through the gearbox as a basis, a gear change takes zero seconds. The mechanical switching process takes less than 0.05 seconds - three times as fast as the blink of an eye. At 250 kilometers per hour, a Formula 1 car would cover almost three and a half meters or around two thirds of the vehicle's length in this time.

30 gear ratios

Article 9.6.2 of the Technical Regulations states that only 30 translation options are available to all participants for the entire season, which must be registered before the first race of the season. This means that each team has 30 possible translation ratios to choose from. It doesn't mean that it can only use 30 gear ratios.

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The adjustable rear wing increases the speed by 1,000 revolutionsZoom

Within this range, the gear ratio between the race weekends can be adapted to the respective track characteristics. The team selects the 30 permitted gear ratios based on experience in the winter test drives with both drivers and the lap simulations. The same 30 gear ratios are available to every driver.

First the highest gear is set. For this purpose, various wing settings are simulated and a compromise is sought for the use of DRS. Optimization without the use of DRS could result in the driver driving too long in the rev limiter when DRS is activated. In contrast, an optimization for the use of the DRS could result in the highest gear being too long if the driver drives without the DRS switched on.

DRS influence

The use of DRS increased the top speed this year on routes with high downforce by 15 kilometers per hour. On the other hand, on courses with a medium level of downforce, such as Montreal, it remained quite similar. Using the system can also increase the speed by almost 1,000 revolutions.

The other gear ratios are selected after the route has been tested in the simulator. It is important to have sufficient torque when exiting a curve. However, if the gear ratio is too short, it is difficult to prevent the wheels from spinning at the exit of the curve or the car from reacting nervously at the entrance to the curve.

After arriving at the track, the team may adjust the planned gear ratio to the existing grip level or the wind direction. Within the 30 transmission options, the team can choose between the first and second free practice. Only two hours after the second training session does the team have to set the gear ratio for the remainder of the weekend.