Sparks in F1

It is quite normal to see sparks in a modern Formula F1 race. Several tracks, such as Bahrain, cause the cars to produce a lot of sparks and make the race look even more exciting and better on TV. These sparks certainly look good on screens, but the track drivers have a different opinion about them. The glow caused by the sparks can distract any driver. But what exactly is the reason behind this light show? What are the Sparks in F1? Also, there is a huge difference between the sparks created in the 80s and the sparks now. Keep reading to find out.

What Are The Sparks in F1? 

WTF1 shared an informative video that explained how the sparks in F1 are created and their evolution. Back in the 80s, creating sparks from the F1 became the trend. It was quite popular to give the viewers a show and to distract other drivers. The teams try to drive their cars as low as possible in order to generate the maximum amount of downforce. This caused the cars to scrape against the ground, and when this phenomenon took place at speed, it caused sparks. 


Nigel Mansell, a former F1 driver, has admitted that he used to find bumps in the car tracks so that he could distract other drivers with the help of the sparks. 

In 1994, FIA finally came up with a solution and mandated a 10-millimeter wooden skid block at the bottom of every F1 car. Also, if this block wore even by 1mm by the end of a race, then the team would be out of the race. One such example is the 1994 incident of Michael Schumacher. Teams figured out a solution to this problem as well, and they started mounting a piece of metal at the end of every wooden block.

Sparks in F1

Now, they can again use the depth of the ground without the fear of being disqualified. So, when this metal comes in contact with the ground, it causes the spark you see in F1. However, these metals also caused a plethora of dangerous track situations and a lot of punctures. 

Also Read: Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff Insecure About Fitting In The F1 Paddock, Struggling With Mental Health

As a result, in 2015, FIA came with another mandate to replace this metal with a piece of titanium. It wears quicker than other metals and in a lot safer manner. Not only this, but titanium also produced some spectacular sparks when run against the ground. Titanium is the reason for those brighter sparks and light show you get to see in Bahrain or on the other tracks. 

What Happened With Michael Schumacher in 1994?

Sparks Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher needs no introduction to the world of Formula 1 racing. Back in 1994, when it almost seemed like Schumacher would register his eighth win in the eleventh race, FIA disqualified his team. As we stated above, in order for the teams to be a part of the race, the skid shouldn’t wear by 1mm or more. And the plank under his cars didn’t meet the requirements, which resulted in Schumacher’s disqualification from Spa in 1994. 

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