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C  Glossary


Camber (wheel)
The amount that the top of the tyre leans into, or away from the car. It's not simply a fixed angle, however, as the tyre's relationship with the road changes as the suspension moves. Ideally, you want a camber that keeps the tyre straight up and down when you are driving straight, and leans the tyre in slightly (1 to 2 degrees of negative camber) during cornering. This allows the weight of the car to lean on the outer, more loaded tyres, providing additional contact in a corner. A negative camber is generally used for the front tyres whilst the rear camber is close to zero to maximise traction. Oval circuits present a special problem and cars will typically be setup with a positive camber on the inner tyres and a negative camber for the outer ones.

Camber (track)
The angle of the track's surface relative to the horizontal across the circuit's width, most notably in banked corners.

CAD
See Computer Aided Design

CAM
Computer-Aided Manufacture

Carbon Black
A molecular structure found in all racing tyres, carbon black is a black powder substance produced by burning oils in a furnace. Carbon black provides strength and also produces the familiar black colour of tyres. There are hundreds of kinds of carbon black for use in compounds and each will produce a compound with certain properties: improved traction, heat resistance, wear and so on.

Carbon Brake Disc
Formula One racecars are equipped with brake discs manufactured of carbon fibres. This gives a fair decrease in weight over steel, but also impressively short brake distances. Carbon disks operate best above 800°C. Considering that overheating may lead to malfunction, cooling and brake ducts are crucial.

Carbon Fibre
A construction material for Formula 1 cars. The monocoque, for example, is made of epoxy resin reinforced with carbon fibre. These materials, when laminated together, give great rigidity and strength, but are very lightweight.

Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP)
CFRP covers composite materials such as carbon and Kevlar which, when combined with epoxy resins, provide high rigidity and strength and an extremely low weight. Many parts are produced from these materials, e.g. the monocoque.

Caster
The amount of tilt, forward or backward, of a tyre in relationship to the steering pivot axis. The top suspension attachment of the front wheel is typically set a little farther back than the lower attachment, creating caster. The more caster used, the more the wheel resists turning forces, providing stability. Too much caster makes it very difficult to steer, and causes the tyre camber to change significantly as the wheel is turned. Not enough caster results in the front end "wandering" or trying to turn on its own. Forward tilt is called negative caster; rearward tilt is called positive caster.

Centre of Gravity
The point around which the weight of that car is evenly distributed or balanced. For neutral handling as well as good road holding, the centre of gravity of an car should be near the centre line and as low as possible. The position between the front and rear wheels will determine how the braking and accelerative forces is spread between front-rear. For example, moving it rearwards increases traction.

Centre of Pressure
Similar to centre of gravity except based on the aerodynamic downforce rather than weight. For neutral handling, the centre of pressure should be near the middle of the car.

CFD
See Computational Fluid Dynamics

Chassis
The central part of a Formula 1 car, with the main component being the monocoque. All the other components are connected to the strong, lightweight monocoque. It is made from carbon fibre and epoxy polymer forming a composite material. These are bonded to aluminium and Nomex® honeycombs to form a sandwich panel shell structure. The moulding and binding process takes place within an autoclave at high levels of pressure and heat.

Chequered Flag
Indicates to drivers that the session has ended. During practice and qualifying sessions it is waved at the allotted time, during the race it is shown first to the winner and then to every car that crosses the line behind him.

Chicanes
A tight combination of two corners in opposite directions. They are often used to break up long, straight stretches of a circuit for safety reasons, forcing drivers to reduce their speed.

Chord
The distance between an aerofoil's leading edge and its trailing edge.

Clean Air
Usually experienced only by the car in front, the air behind the leader and the rest of the cars is turbulent and can affect the aerodynamics needed to achieve the smoothest drive.

Clerk of the Course
The person ultimately responsible for all operational on-track issues related to the running of a motor race meeting.

Cockpit
This is the driver's workplace. The cockpit must be designed so that the driver can get out easily within five seconds. The width of the cockpit must be 45 centimetres at the steering wheel and 35 centimetres at the pedals. For safety reasons, no fuel, oil or water lines may pass through the cockpit.

Composite
Non-metallic, very light mixture of various materials including Kevlar, carbon fibre and Nomex®. See also Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
This technology has permanently transformed the development processes in Formula 1. CFD makes the airflows surrounding the vehicle visible on the computer, and at the same time shows the effects of individual vehicle parts on each other and on the aerodynamics. So the engineers can simulate these effects without even having to build the parts first. That saves time and money.

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
This involves intelligent computer programmes which provide efficiency and speed and make the designers’ work much easier. Drawing boards have long been a thing of the past in modern racing factories.

Concorde Agreement
This agreement specifies the rights and obligations of the teams and the FIA. It also calls for unanimity for important decisions.

Contact Pressure
Describes the force with which the car is pressed on to the track by its aerodynamic parts, such as the front and rear wings. The contact pressure has a considerable effect on the top and cornering speeds.

Connecting Rod (Conrod)
The connecting rod in an engine connects the piston to the crankshaft. It can rotate at both ends so that its angle can change as the piston moves and the crankshaft rotates.

Crash Barrier
Safety measure at track locations where there is no space for run-off zones.

Crash Test
Mandatory stress tests for vehicle components (e.g. roll over bar, monocoque) demanded by the FIA. The front impact crash test is done at a speed of 54 km/h (33.6 mph), the lateral at 36 km/h (22.4 mph) and the rear at an impact speed of 39.6 km/h (24.6 mph). There are also loading tests for the impact structure, survival cell, gearbox and roll-over bar. Tests are carried out under the supervision of the FIA, usually at the Cranfield Impact Centre in Bedfordshire, England.

Cylinder
A cylindrical bore in the metal engine block in which the pistons move up and down and the combustion of the fuel air mixture takes place. Currently in Formula 1, the diameter of each cylinder may not exceed 98mm and engines must have 8 cylinders.

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