Revealed: What Goes Inside a Formula One Cockpit?

Published 11/17/2019, 5:51 AM EST

The cockpit of a Formula One driver is practically his office, a very high-speed one too. So, one burning question is, ‘What goes on inside a Formula One cockpit during a race weekend’? For practically every driver, whatever they do in the cockpit will largely be the same.

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First and foremost, it the seating position of the driver inside the car once they step inside. Unlike a regular car, where the driver is seated upright, F1 drivers have to practically lie down on their backs. Their seat also comprises of a body-molded carbon-fibre shell and the monitors that are normally placed in front of them in the garage, displays the track action and the driver’s gameplan for the session.

This includes, the session, the tyres to be run and the temperature. Finally, in the case of practice and qualifying it also displays instructions for the out lap, the timed lap and the in lap.

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Recently, Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen gave Sky Sports a tour of his cockpit. The Dane showed bits and bobs like the power switch, the steering wheel and how to attach it. He also explained that shifting gears requires a paddle for upshift and downshift.

Another difference between the regular car and the Formula One car is the location of the clutch. Usually, the clutch is situated on the pedals and operated by foot, but in an F1 car, it is on the steering wheel. Magnussen also showed a switch that helps adjust the brake balance of the car.

Speaking of pedals, in an F1 car, there are only two of them, for the throttle and the brake respectively. Magnussen also explained that when leaving the pit lane, only a little bit of throttle is needed. At the start, only 20% of the throttle is needed, at least according to the Haas driver.

Meanwhile, the brake is usually a bit stronger compared to a regular car and is much better at stopping a speeding F1 car.

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Dhruv George

13580 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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