Formula One glossary


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Wake
This is the turbulent disturbed air behind an object where the total pressure is low.
Wankel engine
A rotary internal combustion engine invented by Felix Wankel (1902-1988). It consists of an equilateral triangular member with curved sides orbiting about an eccentric on a shaft inside a stationary housing whose inner working surface is in the shape of an epitrochoid. The rotor is in sliding contact with the eccentric and imparts power to the eccentric shaft as a connecting rod does to a crankshaft. With one-third of a rotor revolution per shaft revolution and a power impulse for each of the three rotor sides, the Wankel generates one power impulse per revolution per rotor - twice that of what the four-cycle piston engine produces. Thus it has become accepted practice to multiply the geometry displacement of the Wankel by a factor of two for comparison with otto-cycle piston engines.
The Wankel's advantages include compact size, light weight and smooth operation because there are no reciprocating parts. Its drawbacks include relatively high exhaust emission, possible sealing problems and low fuel economy. Mazda, however, has made significant improvements in all three areas.
Wear
The progressive loss of substance from the operating surface of a body occurring as a result of relative motion at the surface; rubbing away
Weathering
The change in appearance of paint caused by exposure to nature. The physical disintegration and chemical decomposition of materials on exposure to atmospheric agents
Wheel aligner
A device used to check camber, caster, toe-in, etc.
Wheel banging
Wheel banging concers the wheels of two different cars making contact during a fight or an overtaking manouvre. If two oppositely spinning wheels contact, it is possible that one of the cars gets launched into the air.
Wind tunnel
Artificially created tube in which air is brought at speed. Often closed circuit, air is sped up in order to simulate real world airflow on a circuit. Currently, most teams use 66% scale models of their cars to test in their tunnels, although some can use full scale cars. Wind tunnels often offer a rolling road and the possibility to rotate the car precisely to simulate yaw. Windtunnel functionality.
Wing
In motorsport, a synonym for aerofoil. Shaped like and aircraft wing, but attached with the downside up to push the car as much as possible to the ground.
Winglet
Winglets are also known as wingtip devices. In motorsport, and specifically Formula One, the winglet designation is also often used to describe small wings attached to the car's body. Both in motorsport and aeronautics, they are designed to improve the drag to lift ratio of the moving body.
Wishbone
An older name for a suspension arm. Suspension arms used to be shaped like wishbone from a chicken or other bird. Also used to refer to a double wishbone suspension as used in F1.