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Transition of Regulation and Technology in Formula One

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review F1 Special (The third Era Activities)

Summary

The Formula One regulations are established with consideration of fairness, competition, safety, sustainability, and entertainment value.
In order to ensure free technological competition, the technical rules of Formula One, under which constructors are obliged to compete using original vehicles, are essentially free, other than specifying minimum basic items.
From the beginning of the 1990s to 2009, despite continuous changes in the regulations to increase vehicle performance control and safety, lap times improved almost every year due to the development of technologies that exceeded regulation stipulations. As a result of these battles, the letter count of the Formula One technical regulations has increased more than three-fold over 19 years.
Detailed technological development spanning a broad range of elements and involving the use of computers, in addition to a comprehensive management approach that brings these elements together, are essential to the Formula One of the 2000s. In recent years in particular, Formula One has responded to rapid social change, for example with measures to cut costs in line with worsening global economic conditions, and the development of environmental technologies, as exemplified by responses to global warming, in addition to measures to highlight competition – the essence of Formula One racing – and to increase the spectacular nature of the races. This is a period in which Formula One is reflecting upon the very meaning of its existence.

Reference

(1) Tanaka, H.: The Transition of Regulation and Technology in Formula One (20074177), JSAE SYMPOSIUM, No. 22-06, p. 32-41 (2007)
(2) Shirai, H.: Evolution of F-1 Regulation, Honda R&D Technical Review, F-1 Special, p. 6-9 (1993)
(3) Fujita, H., Horiuchi, Y., Kubonoya, H., Baba, J., Sasaki, K: Development of Electric Power Steering System for F-1 Race Car, Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 45-50
(4) Tanaka, H.: Safety Technology in Formula One Racing, Journal of Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Vol. 109, No. 1048, p. 148-149 (2006)

Author (organization or company)

Hiromasa TANAKA(Automobile R&D Center)

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