I have noticed in the last couple of years that the cars have a single sided black coloured wing shaped object just behind the driver’s head, below the T-shaped camera on the top. In Renault powered cars it is on the right side, and in Merc (except Force India) and Ferrari powered cars it is on the left. What is it?
On either side, though, there’s a letter E in red, what does that mean as well?
Sorry if I sound silly, it just bothers me when I don’t understand some stuff about the cars. The OCD kicks in.
The black things are cameras: every car must have a number of cameras on their car, but for the camera directly behind the driver it isn’t specified on which side that camera must be. Therefore you see different teams installing the camera on different sides.
The letter ‘E’ stands for ‘extinguisher’ (I think): it activates the fire extinguishers which are embedded in the engine compartiment and the cockpit.
@andae23 The “E” really stands for extinguisher? If it does then thank you for clearing that up. I always thought that was just a safety signal that the car uses electrical components such as KERS.
@force-maikel That’s the yellow triangle with the lightning bolt: it has a light, and when this is green it shows that the car’s KERS system is not active and thus is is safe to touch the car. To cut off all the electrics, there is a blue triangle on the driver’s dash.
@andae23 ok thanks, I went trough some of my pics and also spotted an “N” on the ferrari near the lightning bolt. What does that stand for. It never hurts to learn.
@aish That black patch you are referring too is for the drivers head so it doesn’t constantly hits the bodywork. Some drivers complained about that a couple of years ago if my memory serves me correctly.
how can anything have a single side???
@force-maikel ‘N’ is neutral – if the car stops on track in gear, the marshalls press it, car goes into neutral and they will be able to roll the car away.
@andae23 Interesting but aren’t the drivers obligated to put the cars in neutral when they park it? Or is it only putting the steering wheel back?
@force-maikel drivers usually put the cars into neutral, but when there is a failure somewhere (stuck in gear or something) and the marshalls are unable to move it quickly (like Petrov last year in China, FP3 or so?), they have a button that puts the car in neutral.
The black wing thing is another camera, it’s just a slightly lower angle, similar to old school on board cameras from the 80s and 90s.
The E is an external trigger for the fire extinguisher, it’s required by regulations:
14.1.8 – Any triggering system having its own source of energy is permitted, provided it is possible to operate all extinguishers should the main electrical circuits of the car fail.
The driver must be able to trigger the extinguishing system manually when seated normally with his safety belts fastened and the steering wheel in place.
Furthermore, a means of triggering from the outside must be combined with the circuit breaker switch described in Article 14.2.2. They must be marked with a letter “E” in red at least 80mm tall, with a line thickness of at least 8mm, inside a white circle of at least 100mm diameter with a red edge with a line thickness of at least 4mm.
Yes thank you @davids, black wing is what I meant.
It is one sided so I thought it is strange, may affect the aerodynamics.
The camera is shaped as an airfoil, as to not upset the airflow and to minimize the turbulent wake. It doesn’t affect aerodynamics too much because of its placement. I believe the camera on the front nosecone does affect aerodynamics: therefore you see teams doing different things with it – Red Bull now have a hammerhead shark like nose, while other prefer the cameras to be placed between the front wing pillars.
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