Bodywork and dimensions
The size and dimensions of Formula One cars are tightly controlled by the regulations. They must be no more than 180cm wide. The length and height of the car are effectively governed by other specific parameters.
For example, bodywork ahead of the rear wheel centre line must be a maximum of 140cm wide and bodywork behind no more than 100cm wide.
The strict regulations mean that the teams inevitably end up with very similarly sized cars. A typical car will be in the region of 463cm long, 180cm wide and 95cm high.
With the exception of the rear wing (see below), moveable bodywork is not allowed. Furthermore, any system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car's bodywork is prohibited.
Cars may be equipped with moveable rear wings which allow the driver to control the wing's angle of incidence (within specified limits) from the cockpit. However, during the race the system is electronically governed and is only available when a driver is less than one second behind another car at pre-determined points on the track. The system is then deactivated once the driver brakes. In combination with KERS, this is designed to boost overtaking.
Certain sections of bodywork, such as the front wing endplates, are required to be sufficiently thick to prevent tyre damage to other cars.
Bodywork that flexes excessively can be used to gain an aerodynamic advantage, therefore specific sections of the bodywork, such as the front wing, that must be sufficiently rigid to pass the FIAs deflection tests. These tests were made more stringent ahead of the 2013 season.
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