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It takes a mere four seconds to bring a Formula One car to a halt from a whopping 300 km/h. Most of the pressure of this unbelievable braking is on the brake discs. That’s just one of the engineering feats relating to these cars. Let’s take a closer look at these vehicles.

o    All have to be assembled 100% correctly – a 1% error would mean the car going on the track with around 80 components wrongly placed. It takes over four days to assemble a car of this performance.

o    As opposed to your average car which will have an engine life of around 20 years or more, a Formula One car can have passed its engine life in as little as two hours when it’s on the track.

o    When new brake discs are applied to a Formula One car, it will cause deceleration as notable as if you were to try and drive a normal car through a brick wall.

o    Brake discs have to endure temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Centigrade, meaning they have to be made of carbon fibre as it has a higher melting point.

o    F1 cars weigh approximately 550kg.

o    Gear cogs have to be changed after each race due to the amount of stress they have to endure.

o    Nitrogen is the filling for racing tyres because it holds a consistent pressure as opposed to the air used for normal tyres.

o    Racing tyres are designed to last between 80 and 125km, whereas normal tyres will cover a distance of 50,000km to 110,000km.

o    0.5kg of weight is lost through tyre wear over the course of each race and tyres will reach temperatures as high as 160 degrees Centigrade.

o    The F1 car can be refuelled at 12 litres per second, which is a good thing as the pit crew sometimes have only three seconds to change tyres and refuel.

o    Teams will practise 1,000 pit stops over the course of a year.

o    An F1 driver will change gear a massive 2,800 times per Grand Prix.

o    Looking to lose weight? A Grand Prix driver will shed two kilograms in weight per race.

The wear on an F1 car is immense and this is one of the reasons why teams need big sponsors behind them in order to pick up the bill. Then again, without the driver where is the talent? The sport is about sporting skill and engineering know-how and you need both if you’re going to take the chequered flag.

Bruce Heath writes about the many wonders behind F1 on behalf of