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Formula 1 Glossary: A Quick Guide to Common F1 Terms

Apr 25, 2023

Almost all domestic and international sports have their own set of lingos. And Formula 1 is no exception. As an F1 newcomer, you may feel a bit intimidated by the different F1 terms that commentators and loyal F1 use. But don't worry. Here's an F1 glossary guide that details the most commonly used F1 terms. Keep reading!

107% rule

As you’d be knowing, the Formula 1 championship makes use of a three-stage qualifying process. If it happens that a driver is unable to post a lap within 107% of the fastest Q1 time, they won't be allowed to take part in the Grand Prix.


Simply put, aerodynamics refers to the study of airflow over the car's design.


An important F1 car part that's located above the cockpit and acts as an engine car intake.


The apex is the innermost part of the driving line on the racecourse.


A term used to describe a slower car that's running at the end of the field.


Blistering refers to the damage caused to a car's tyre due to overheating.


The chassis is the base frame that supports the body and other elements of an F1 car.


The section of a Formula 1 car that accommodates the driver.


The force that pushes an F1 car down as it travels forward.


Drag is the resistance an F1 car experiences when moving forward.

Driver Matchups

This is a popular Formula 1 betting term. Here, you select two drivers and wager on who you think will finish higher in that particular race.


This is an acronym for the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. FIA is the regulatory authority for many global racing competitions.

Flat spot

A flat spot is damage caused to an F1 car's tyre due to prolonged and severe braking.


This is an acronym for the Head and Neck Support device. The HANS device reduces the likelihood of getting severe head and neck injuries and must be worn by all racers.


Grip is how well a car sticks to the ground on the racetrack.

Heat cycle

Heat cycle describes the process where a car's tyre heats up through usage and then cools down.

Jump Start

Jump Start is when a driver moves out of their grid before the five lights go off. Naturally, this earns them a penalty.


A restricted area that's home to a team's garage, technical staff and other officials.


Retirement is when a car is pulled out of a race. This usually happens due to an accident or mechanical failure.


This F1 term refers to the technical checking of F1 cars by officials. Scrutineering is done to make sure that everything is according to the race regulations.

Visor StripThis is a carbon fibre-reinforced Zylon strip. It's fitted on the top of every driver's helmet for additional safety.

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107% rule Aerodynamics Airbox Apex Backmarker Blistering Chassis Cockpit Downforce Drag Driver Matchups FIA Flat spot HANS Grip Heat cycle Jump Start Paddock Retirement Scrutineering Visor Strip