Why Do F1 Cars Spark: what’s the reason behind the sparks flying off from the back of an F1 car; the Sportsrush explains it.
F1 cars spilling sparks from the bottom is a spectacular sight to watch, since the 80s, it is not a rare sight to witness as the teams have built cars in a way which propels the creation of sparks.
WTF1 put together an elaborative video stating the reason behind this phenomenon. The teams from the 1980s tried to keep the car as nearest to the ground as possible to generate the most amount of downforce in the car.
With a full tank of fuel, the cars would routinely scrape against the ground, causing a light show for anyone watching. The WTF1 video also stated that Nigel Mansell used to find bumps on the track to generate sparks so that the drivers right behind him could be distracted.
However, in 1994, the FIA regulated that a 10-millimetre skid block shall be installed to curb the constant lightning from the cars and if the block wore off more than 1 millimetres by the end of the race, then the driver was obliged to be disqualified.
Then why do F1 cars spark even after 1994?
Teams quickly found the fix against the newly imposed rule by strategically placing the pieces of metal at the bottom of each block, cars would bottom out on them instead, allowing them to run lower ride heights without fear of being disqualified.
But it caused the spillage of large chunks of metal on the track posing the risk of tyre punctures and hazards. Thus, the FIA instructed the teams to use Titanium instead of metal, although it wears fast but in a safer way.
This causes the constant sparks you regularly see these days.