T – Z

Tear-off strips

Occasionally you’ll see a piece of plastic fly away from a car during a race or in the pits; these are transparent strips that the drivers pull off when their visors become dirty. In twilight races the strips can be tinted so as the light fades they can revert to a clear visor.

The driver will pull the blue tag to take the strip off

Telemetry

A real time way of monitoring the data output from the car’s engine and chassis, the team can then make strategy decisions for the race. If you get a shot of the pit wall on your screen, you’ll see a bank of computer screen, this is what they’re analysing. See also: Pit Wall.

Team Orders:

You may be aware of some infamous examples and have your own opinions about them, but they’re back in 2011 whether you like it or not. They’ve gotten a bad reputation as when they’re implemented by a team it usually ends up with one driver losing out so his teammate can win. The FIA now ask teams to be sensible when implementing them (i.e. don’t make it obvious) but this is a tall order; and will inevitably end in controversy.

Tyres

Pirelli are the current supplier. The colour coding for each type is as follows; Dry weather: Hard – Silver, Medium – White, Soft – Yellow, Super-soft – Red. Full Wets – Blue and Intermediates – Green. Intermediates and full-wets have grooves in them to displace the water, and this is why you’ll hear commentators talking about the track drying out the longer the drivers are out there. And with regards to the top 10 qualifiers, they must start the race with the tyres used to set their grid (fastest) time. Drivers will still be expected to use at least 1 set of each type of the dry-weather compounds, however a degradation is much higher, 2-3+ pitstops will be common.

Tyre warmer

Does exactly what it says on the tin, it keeps the tyres warm before they’re fitted onto the car to get them as close to the optimum temperature as possible. You’ll see the teams rip these off at the last possible second before the cars hit the grid.

A tire warmer in use

Understeer

Where the front end of the car resists turning into the corner and goes wide as the driver aims for the apex. See also: Oversteer.

Undertray

A separate floor underneath the car that is attached to the underside of the monocoque.

Wheel Nut

Ever seen a wheel come off a F1 car? An incorrectly fitted wheel but is most likely the reason. They have to be fitted precisely; too tight and it’ll take too long to come off during a pit stop, too loose and it will simply fall off. They are fitted using a torque wrench before the race; but during, the mechanics use a pneumatic gun with the equivalent torque of a Porsche Turbo (enough to break your wrist). Engineered for a specific side of the car; they are threaded left or right to resist the forces that try to loosen them during a race.

Yeah…no…absolutely:

A rather vague answer to a question, it is technically an affirmative answer. Maybe.

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