F1 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Basic F1 Terms

If you are unfamiliar with Formula One, these are the basic terms you should know

Formula One, the fastest motorsports on earth has millions of fans from every corner of the planet. Indeed, Formula One is merely a tournament, but there is a lot to know about the grand sport. From the history of the teams to the technical terms used by drivers during the race, Formula One is an extensive topic with numerous branches. For these reasons, we have forged this feature which covers the basic F1 terms a new fan of the sport should know. If you are one of them, scroll down and learn the terms before the 2021 season begins (28th March is the date).

Undercut- When a driver cannot overtake the car in the front, he goes for an early pitstop and gets new tyres, hoping the new tyres will provide him with some extra bit of performance. This activity is called an undercut by the opponents.

Dirty Air- When one driver is following another driver, his car’s performance is affected because the car in the front produces vortices of air. This air hits the rear car and reduces the airflow over the wings which further reduces the downforce of the rear of the car. This air is known as dirty air.

Clean Air- When a car is being driven with no other car in the front, it enjoys an undisturbed flow of air that passes over the wings, leading to good downforce. This air is called clean air.

Bottoming- When the underside of the car hits the track because of a bump, the incident is called bottoming.

Outperforming the car- When a driver does something extraordinary in a car that is not designed to pull off the move, it is called outperforming the car. For team Toleman who did not have a magnificent car, the talented Ayrton Senna did an incredible thing at Monaco, 1984.

Polesitter- The driver who secures the pole position during the qualifying race is called the polesitter.

Box- Box is an instruction sent to the driver over the radio, which means the driver needs to enter the pitstop. The word originated from the German word Boxenstopp, which means a pit stop.

*There are several other basic F1 terms, but since we have run out of space, we have penned down the second part of this article.

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