F1 Jargon Buster

A Formula One Championship can get your adrenaline racing; Formula One cars can get your head spinning. And if that isn’t enough excitement, here is some exciting F1 jargon that will get your tongue wagging:

Clean Air: That’s the air that faces the car in the lead. Every other Formula One car gets gassed with the emissions from the car ahead of it, but the car in the lead gets clean air. A clean air environment makes for the best aerodynamic situation for the leading racer.

Baulk: When a driver tries to slow down another driver by getting in his way.

Black Flag: Black-flagged drivers have to go to their pits.

Butterflies: Refers to the induction system in the engine.

Pileup: A huge accident that involves many Formula One cars.

Flyer: Also referred to as the Flying Lap. This is a lap in which the driver drove dangerously so that he could get a better position.

Hand Grenade: A specially designed engine for the qualifying races.

Stop-Go Penalty: A 10-second penalty that is imposed when a driver flouts the Formula One Championship rules. The penalized driver must leave the race, stop in his pit area for 10 seconds, and then start racing again. He cannot get his car worked upon during this time.

Drive-Through Penalty: Another penalty for flouting the rules. The driver is required to drive through his pit lane at a limited speed (by turning on his speed limiter).

Chicane: Section of the track that is changed with the objective of slowing down Formula One cars. Chicanes enhance safety and involve using a series of alternating corners.

Armco: Safety barriers placed around the circuit.

Splash and Dash: A pit stop for a small refuel required when a small quantity of fuel (splash) is needed to finish the race (dash).

Stewards: The highest ranking officials of a formula one championship event. There are 3 Stewards in a Formula One race. They observe the race and make the penalty decisions. They also check the driver’s conduct.

Marshals: Marshals are the officials who have to ensure that the racing is safe. They have to create adequate safety for the spectators, removing Formula One cars’ debris, extinguishing flames, etc. These folks wave the flags to inform the drivers about the latest racing situation.

Paddock: Place where F1 teams place their transport vehicles. Public, and people not associated with the team, are not allowed in the Paddock area.

Parc Femme: Parc Femme means closed parking. Formula One Cars that have qualified for the event must enter Parc Femme on the race weekend. The idea behind this is to ensure that pre-race settings are not changed.

Pits: A pit is an area that hosts a racing team and its service equipment. The drivers drive into the pit for repairs, refuels, etc.

Pit Wall: The area that hosts racing team managers, owners and engineers. These folks monitor the race from the Pit Wall.

These are the terms bandied around during a Formula One Championship.

For more information please see McLaren.com