All About F1 Race Cars - My Obsession with the Ultimate Racing Machines and the Men and Women Responsible for Making Them.
I’ve loved driving from day one, and spent most of my childhood just dreaming of the day I could finally get behind the wheel and drive off on my own. Of course I was one of those kids who got his driver’s permit on his 15th birthday and actual license on my 16th birthday. Driving allowed me to be in full control, which I found incredibly freeing.
As you might expect, I was drawn to cars that went really fast and looked cool. Car design was always important to me - I gazed longingly at the curves of the Ferraris that were easy to spot while growing up in Miami. At that time, I wasn’t really all that interested in what was under the hood. Superficial for sure, but I didn’t know better - cars were my first love.
That all changed when I got into Formula 1 racing, at the ripe age of 40. I may have been late to the game but I fell head over heels quicker than a Red Bull pitstop. I was completely blown away by these cars - if you can even call them that - inside AND out. Some liken them to ‘upside down jet fighters'* and I can’t think of a better way to describe them (unsurprisingly I also had a thing for F-16’s growing up).
FUN FACTS ABOUT F1 RACE CARS FEATURED IN MY KIDS BOOK
Allow me to share some facts I’ve come to love about these “cars”:
F1 CARS can accelerate from 0 to 100 MPH and then back to zero in 4 seconds!
The brakes on F1 race cars can heat up to 1,000 degrees Celsius, which is the same temperature as molten lava! Caliente!!!
At high speeds, the cars create so much downforce that they could, in theory, drive fully upside down (insert multiple mind blown emojis here). This one is definitely my favorite fun fact!
These F1 cars are really nothing like the cars we drive day to day. They have more in common with planes than what take on our commute to work. To drive them, you have to wear body suits and helmets, you sit in a “cockpit” and drivers withstand many G’s. Did I mention they aren’t even called drivers - in many countries they are referred to as ‘pilots’. And don't get me started on the steering wheel - so many buttons, dials and knobs!
SO WHAT - IMPLICATIONS FOR STEM EDUCATION
So what? Well, I believe that F1 racing and race cars demonstrate the true potential of science, technology, engineering and math in a way other sports can’t. You can only develop a running shoe so far. But the possibilities of evolving a race car are endless, only limited by the imagination of the people who work on them, and the rules or “formula” determined by Formula One Management and the FIA. Most of the time it’s those rules that lead to the most ingenious ideas, but that’s a topic for another post.
DEDICATED TO THE ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY OF F1
Most importantly, I want to thank and honor all the men and women who work together in teams of hundreds, if not thousands, to achieve a singular goal - building the most beautiful high performance racing machines to hit the road.
I dedicated my latest book, “All about Race Cars” to all the people in the garage, at the factory, in the front of and behind the scenes responsible for F1 race cars. The amount of planning, testing, iterating and just sheer effort that goes into each car is mind blowing, but also inspiring. My hope is that kids today would also appreciate that, and realize that there are many ways to get into the exciting world of motorsports without having to be behind the wheel.
Dedicated to the engineers, mechanics, crew and staff involved in making the most beautiful racing machines out there.
Cheers to the rockstars making these amazing racing machines. Thank you and keep up the good work!
Check out Red Racer Books presents All about Race Cars A Guide to FORMULA 1™ Race Cars. Now available in Hardcover at www.RedRacerBooks.com
Also available in Miami at Books and Books, the best independent locally owned neighborhood bookstore in Florida!
Founder and Creator of Red Racer Books
* I learned the term “upside-down jet fighters” from the book Total Dominance by Ross Braun and Adam Parr. It’s a great read if you're a F1 and strategy geek like me!
Not Affiliated with F1
Red Racer Books LLC is not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.