Thursday, May 8, 2008

Formula One suspension

Suspension is demanded by the technical regulations. Technically, a Formula One car could get by without it – it would be like a big go-kart – but the drivers’ spines would take damaging punishment. The role of suspension in a Formula One car isn’t just to give the driver a smoother ride though. It is also a vital tool in adjusting the handling of the car to suit individual circuits, track conditions, or driver preference.
The suspension needs to be compliant enough to allow the driver to shave vital hundredths of a second from his lap time by cutting across kerbs, but it also must be stiff enough to withstand the huge aerodynamic loads that press the car down to the track surface. Sounds like a near-impossible demand? Hey, if it was easy, we’d be out there doing it!

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