Formula One glossary

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V angle

Letter expressing the configuration of cylinders in an engine. V8 engines have 2 banks of 4 cylinders in a row that are placed in a V. The bottom of the V is where the crankshaft lies. Current F1 engines are all 90° V configurations as stipulated by the FIA in the sport's technical regulations.
Formula One has seen difference in width of the V angle (such as 111°, 72°), W engines, inline engines, H engines and box engines before.

V keel design

Introduced by Renault in 2005, the V keel is a alternative concept from the twin keel or single keel designs. It combines both of the advantages by using the better aerodynamic properties of a twin keel design while also allowing the lower suspension arms to be as long as possible. The V keel is a V that is attached at the bottom of the nose cone and where the lower suspension arms are connected at the bottom of the V.


An enclosed area in which the air pressure is below that of the surrounding atmospheric pressure.


A device used to either open or close an opening to allow or prevent the flow of a liquid or gas from one place to another. Mostly, valves are spoken of about an engine as they are in an engine to open or close the combustion chamber. Intake valves allow or prevent intake of air and fuel, while exhaust valves allow exhaust gasses to leave the combustion chamber. Note that all valves are closed during compression and combustion so that the combustion chamber is sealed.
Current F1 regulations require each engine to have 4 valves per cylinder, 2 of which are intake valves and 2 for exhaust.


Opening that allows passing of gasses


A fitting or device that consists of a tube constricted in the middle and flared on both ends. A fluid's velocity will increase and a fluid's pressure will decrease while passing through the constriction. Placing a tube or pipe at the constriction point creates a vacuum. Fluid or air can then be drawn in through the tube. The system is named after Italian scientist Venturi and is the basic principle of a Weber carburettor.

Vibration damper

A round weighted device attached to the front of the crankshaft to minimize the torsional vibration.


Measurement of a fluid’s resistance to flow. The common metric unit of absolute viscosity is the poise. In addition to kinematic viscosity, there are other methods for determining viscosity, including Saybolt Universal Viscosity (SUV), Saybolt Furol viscosity, Engier viscosity, and Redwood viscosity. Since viscosity varies in inversely with temperature, its value is meaningless until the temperature at which it is determined is reported.


Description of a fluid property: thick, sticky

Volumetric efficiency

A comparison between the actual volume of fuel mixture drawn in on the intake stroke and what would be drawn in if the cylinder were to be completely filled. In practice, a normally aspirated car engine does not take in an amount of an equal to the displacement, it passes only about 80% of the theoretical charge: i.e., volumetric efficiency is 80%; this can be increased by supercharging.


An area of revolving compressed air. Turbulent air is that way built up of a combination of small vortices. The most obvious examples are the vortices that are visible coming off the sides of a rear wing in humid conditions. These vortices are always there but only visible in certain conditions.

Vortex generator

Small, usually vertical wing (or winglets - the synonym for small wing) whose purpose is re-energize the boundary layer, and thus increase the overall velocity of the air stream.


(Curing) The process of cross-linking elastomer molecules to make the bulk material harder, less soluble and more durable. It is also called curing. This process is always performed during the construction of a tire, whether it be a racing tire or a road tire.