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Transmission system

Lotus E20 gearbox, rear brake and rear end detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 20 April 2012

Formula One cars use semi-automatic gearboxes. The regulations stipulate they must have eight forward gears, plus reverse. Each team must nominate the eight forward gear ratios at or before the first race of the season. For 2014 only, teams are allowed to re-nominate these ratios once during the season, at which point the original nomination becomes void.

Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) systems are not allowed and cars may have no more than two driven wheels. Transmissions may not feature traction control systems, nor devices that help the driver to hold the clutch at a specific point to aid getaway at the start of the race.

For safety reasons all cars must have a means of disengaging the clutch that is operable from outside the cockpit by marshals. This control is usually situated just ahead of the cockpit opening and is marked on the car’s body by a red letter 'N' within a white circle.