Formula 1 – The Knowledge 2nd Edition

The first edition of this book was groundbreaking: an entire book dedicated to F1 records and trivia, which proved hugely popular with F1 enthusiasts and fans of racing statistics. This new second edition is fully updated, with up-to-date stats, and an extended narrative including many amusing, and some serious, stories from the history of F1. There are performance records of every driver, every car constructor, and every engine make to have taken part, a detailed insight into the variety of qualifying procedures throughout the years, a summary of regulation changes since 1950 and a quick reference guide to every grand prix result. Performances are analysed by nationality, youngest/ oldest, fastest/ slowest, consecutive wins, poles, most wins at different circuits, and lots more. It’s not just focused on drivers and cars, but circuits, engines and tyres too. A comprehensive photographic section depicts the changing scene of Formula 1 since its inception in 1950. This book will be an invaluable reference book, that will both entertain and provide definitive data at your fingertips.

The Knowledge13 Until early 1973, teams could choose their own numbers. It was common, particularly in the early years for odd numbers not to be used, certain countries considering them unlucky. The last occasion of that happening was Argentina 1973. From the Belgian Grand Prix of 1973, the same car number would generally be allocated to a driver for the whole season, with the reigning world champion taking number 1 and his team-mate, number 2. The main exceptions to this rule were the occasions of the reigning champion not being active in the following season: in 1993 and 1994 the reigning world champions (Nigel Mansell, 1992 and Alain Prost, 1993) were not present, so the team for which they achieved the championship title (Williams) were allocated numbers 0 and 2. The remaining constructors would normally retain the same pair of numbers from one season to the next. Williams had famously been associated with numbers 5 and 6 and Ferrari with 27 and 28. From 1996, numbers were allocated with the reigning champion in number 1, his team-mate in number 2, and the rest of the teams numbered in order of their finishing position in the previous season’s Constructors’ Championship. From 2014, drivers pick their preferred number to use for the rest of their careers. Number 1 would continue to be reserved for the reigning world champion each season, should he wish to use it. Number 17 has been withdrawn from use, out of respect for Jules Bianchi who lost his life from injuries sustained in an accident in 17 at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher in his final title-winning season in the Ferrari F2004 at the ’04 Hungarian Grand Prix.


Here some details in a chronological order:

1978 Fuel tank capacity of 250 litres; Bulkhead protection
With effect from part-way through 1978, fuel capacity of 250 litres (55.0 gallons) to be in one single tank between the cockpit and engine (previously a maximum of 80 litres in any single tank).

Bulkhead behind driver and front roll-over bar defined – a sheet-pile wall behind the driver and a front roll-over bar.

1979 Fan-cars banned; Larger cockpit opening; Drivers’ life-support system
Fan-cars banned (only appeared once and won, the Brabham BT46B at Sweden in 1978) – the design was to substantially increase downforce.

New rules which had been put into place during 1978:
Maximum overall car length of 5 metres (16.4ft).

Larger cockpit opening: minimum length of 600mm (2.0ft); width 450mm (1.5ft), maintained over 300mm (11.8in) from the most rearward point of the seat-backrest towards the front.

A minimum of two mirrors, to provide rear visibility on both sides of the car.

Improved fire extinguishers compulsory.

Drivers’ life-support system to be provided, a medical air bottle connected to the driver’s helmet by a fireproof pipe, in case of accident.

1980 Permanent medical facilities; Fast response car; Limit to tyre usage in timed practice
Permanent medical facility required at all circuits, and to be staffed by FIA approved medics.

Fast response car mandatory at all races.

The first limit to tyre usage in timed practice (effective from Long Beach), two sets per driver, per session (no limit for untimed practice and the race) – no restriction for treaded tyres on a damp or wet track.

1981 1.5-litre turbo or 3-litre non-turbo engines; Ground-effect chassis designs limited Tyre width maximum of 18 inches; First Concorde Agreement Official times set for practice sessions; Pit lane minimum widthRace length – minimum 250km & maximum 320km or 2 hours
Maximum capacities of 1.5 litres for turbocharged and 3 litres for non-turbocharged engines.

Ban on sliding aerodynamic skirts – consistent 60mm (2.4in) ground clearance required, to limit ground-effect.

Maximum tyre and complete wheel width set at 18in (460mm) and a maximum diameter of 26in (660mm). No maximum width for wheel rims.

The Concorde Agreement created to agree financial matters between the Formula 1 authorities and the teams and television companies, and the framework for governance.

Teams must commit to competing in a certain number of races each season.

Teams must own the intellectual rights to their chassis, in order to receive financial benefits. Cars may have engines and gearboxes from independent manufacturers.

Official schedule set for practice sessions and the races themselves (there had been uniformity throughout 1980, see Appendix 3).

Twinch assis, as pioneered by Lotus (model 88) outlawed before it appeared at race.

Reinforced “Survival cell” extending 300mm (11.8in) in front of the driver’s feet required.

Minimum car weight limit increased to 585kg (1,290Ib).

Pit lane minimum width set at 10 metres (32.8ft).

Race distance to be a maximum of 320km (198.8 miles) or a duration of 2 hours, and a minimum of 250km (155.3 miles).

1982 Rigid skirts & ride height restrictions removed; Additional cockpit protection
Rigid skirts and ride height restrictions removed (it had been difficult to police).

Additional driver survival cell cockpit protection requirements featuring compulsory pedal box of 300mm (11.8in). minimum length, to protect drivers’ feet.

Minimum car weight limit reduced to 580kg (1,279lb).•Rotary, diesel and gas turbine engines banned.

1983 Ground-effect chassis outlawed; Rear bodywork dimension changes
Cars required to have a flat undertray, and side skirts banned, reducing ground-effect to near zero.

Maximum rear wing width reduced from 1,100 to 1,000mm (3.3ft), and rear overhang reduced from 800 to 600mm (2.0ft), to reduce downforce.

Maximum rear wing height increased from 900 to 1,000mm above the ground to improve drivers’ mirror visibility (roll-over bar allowed to be higher, provided it is not aerodynamically designed).

For frontal protection, the pedal box minimum length increased from 300 to 500mm (19.7in).

Cars with more than four wheels and those with four-wheel drive banned.

Minimum car weight limit further reduced to 540kg (1,191Ib).

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