Clutch and Gearbox – Racing Auto Parts


Clutch Control and Electro-Hydraulics

Formula 1 cars use a semi-automatic sequential gearbox with seven forward gears and one reverse gear. The driver changes gears using paddles on the back of the steering wheel. Electro-hydraulics perform the gear change as well as the throttle control. Clutch control is also handled by electro-hydraulics. From and a standstill, the driver must operate the clutch using a lever mounted on the back of the steering wheel. The modern Formula 1 clutch is a multi-plate carbon design with a diameter of less than four inches and weighing about 2.2 pounds. This small part can handle the 900 hp these cars put out.

The Dual Clutch Transmission

The current Formula 1 cars use a seamless shift gearbox called a dual clutch transmission. These gearboxes and clutches almost entirely eliminates the short power interruption during a gear change. The time savings from the shifting time being reduced is estimated to be about five to ten seconds over a course of a race. The shorter shift times are a significant gain considering how close these races can be.



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