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Glossary

A glossary of terms geared toward RC F1 racing.

Aerodynamics
The study of airflow over and around an object. Aerodynamics play a crucial part in the handling of F1 cars.

Apex
The middle point of the inside line around a corner at which drivers aim their cars.

Ballast
Weights fixed around the car to maximise its balance. Depending on the rules, ballast may be added to the winning cars to help level the playing field.

Bottoming
When a car’s chassis hits the track surface. May also be known as bottoming out.

Chassis
The main part of a racing car to which the electronics and suspension are attached.

Chicane
A tight sequence of corners in alternate directions.

Compound
Compound usually refers to the carcass of the tire; basically what it’s made of. The carcass of a hard compound tire will be stiffer than the carcass of a soft compound tire.

Downforce
The aerodynamic force that is applied in a downwards direction as a car travels forwards.

Drag
The aerodynamic resistance experienced as a car travels forwards. This is usually caused by front and rear wing.

Grip
The amount of traction a car has at any given point, affecting how easy it is for the driver to keep control through corners.

Jump start
When a driver moves off his grid position before the sound of the starting tone. A jumped start could result in a driver penalty.

Marshal
A member of the racing series that is on the track to correct a crashed car. The drivers of the previous race have to fulfill their duty as marshals for the following race, ie, race 8 will marshal race 9.

Parc ferme
A designated area near the announcer where the top 3 cars can be checked for rules compliance.

Pits
An area of track separated from the racing line. Two pit stops are required during each of the 3 main events.

Pole Position
The first place on the starting grid, as awarded to the driver who recorded the fastest lap time in qualifying.

Practice
The period of time in the morning before the race. This is the time when drivers are out on the track working on the set-up of their cars in preparation for qualifying and the race.

Qualifying
The knock-out session in which the drivers compete to set the best time they can in order to determine the starting grid for the race.

Reconnaissance Lap
Laps completed before the start of the race.

Retirement
When a car has to drop out of the race because of an accident or mechanical failure.

Ride Height
The height between the track’s surface and the chassis of the car.

Scrutineering
The technical checking of cars by the officials to ensure that they comply with the regulations.

Steward
The officials at each Grand Prix appointed to make decisions.

Stop-and-Go Penalty
A penalty given that involves the driver stopping at a designated spot on the track.

Traction
The degree to which a car is able to transfer its power onto the track surface for forward progress.

Traction control
A computerised system that detects if either of a car’s driven (rear) wheels is losing traction – ie spinning. The UF1 series does not allow the use of traction control.

Tire Warmer
An electric blanket or cup that is wrapped around the tires before the car is set on the track. This helps get the tires closer to their optimum operating temperature.

Understeer
Where the front end of the car doesn’t want to turn into a corner and slides wide as the driver tries to turn in towards the apex.

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