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Fast Facts

Fast Facts!

There will be Twenty Grand Prix in 2011 (the most ever in one season!), taking place across 6 continents, involving 12 teams and 24 drivers, in order to find the 2011 Driver & Constructors Formula One World Champions.

The Marussia Virgin Racing F1 car is made up of around 80,000 components, if it were assembled 99.9% correctly; it would still start the race with 80 things wrong! Fortunately the Marussia Virgin Racing mechanics are amongst the best in the world.

Our MVR-02 car has over a kilometre of cable linked to about 100 sensors and actuators which monitor and control many parts of the car.

The Marussia Virgin Racing F1 car can go from stationary to 160 k/ph and back to a stand-still in around four seconds.

When Timo hits the brakes in his MVR-02 F1 car, he experiences deceleration of up to 5g (five times the force of gravity).

Timo can loose around 4kgs of weight after just one race due to the prolonged exposure to high G-forces and temperatures.

At 640kg, our Marussia Virgin Racing F1 car weighs approximately half the weight of the original Mini.

The Cosworth engine in Marussia Virgin Racing’s F1 car revs up to 18,000 rpm, with the piston travelling up and down 300 times per second. Most family road cars only rev to around 6,000rpm, less than a third of our F1 engine!

The brake discs on the Marussia Virgin Racing F1 car have an operating temperature of approximately 1,000 degrees centigrade and are not made of steel, but of carbon fibre which is much harder and so more resistant to wear and tear.

The fit of the MVR-02 cockpit is so tight that the steering wheel must be removed for Timo to get in and out of the car. A small latch behind the wheel releases it from the column. Levers or paddles for changing gear are located on the back of the steering-wheel. There is no gearstick, the clutch levers are also on the steering wheel, located below the gear paddles.

The amount of aerodynamic downforce produced by our Marussia Virgin Racing F1 car is amazing. When the car is travelling over 160k/mph it generates enough downforce to more than equal its own weight. In theory this means that it could quite happily drive upside down along the roof of a tunnel!

At a street circuit like Monaco, the downforce produced by an F1 car provides enough suction to lift manhole covers. Before the race all of the manhole covers on the streets have to be welded down to prevent this from happening.

The Pirelli P-Zero tyres on the MVR-02 don’t have air in them like normal road car tyres. Most racing tyres have nitrogen in them, as nitrogen has a more consistent pressure compared to air. Air typically contains varying amounts of water vapour in it, which affects its expansion and contraction as a function of temperature, making the tyre pressures unpredictable.

During the race the tyres lose weight. Each tyre loses about 0.5kg in weight due solely to wear.

Normal road car tyres can last 60,000–100,000km. Pirelli’s F1 tyres are so soft, thus providing the exceptional grip F1 cars enjoy, this means they are designed to last 100-150km.

A dry-weather F1 tyre reaches peak operating performance (best grip) when tread temperature is between 900C and 1200C. At top speed, an F1 tyre rotates 50 times a second.