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by Geoff Moore
Formula One racing represents the pinnacle of motorsport where every intricate detail contributes to the overall success of the car and the team. Safety features, tire design and even organization of pit crews have a far-reaching effect on our everyday lives.
One of the principal advances in technology that Formula One has inspired is the regular use of carbon fiber - famed for its strength-to-weight ratio. Carbon fiber now makes up the whole of Formula One cars' "monocoques" - the shell that safely encloses drivers. Advances from Formula One trickle down into the consumer vehicles we use every day. Anti-lock brakes, improved energy efficiency and aerodynamics all originated in Formula One.
Beyond high-performance advances in the automotive and medical industries, there are also spin-offs of F1 technology that are likely to touch our lives in more subtle ways.
The abandonment of "slicks" - tires without grooves - in Formula One for a decade led to great leaps in tire design that are now seeing application elsewhere. On one hand, F1 tire design has gone on to inspire the manufacture of incredibly effective non-slip boots. On another, the attempts to reduce the amount of rubber in contact with the track has led to the design of fishing line with a star-shaped cross-section, reducing drag on the fishing pole's guides and allowing anglers to cast further.
The sport’s investment in research and development has developed into the space age of the 21st century, impacting many aspects of people’s everyday lives all across the world.
9th–13th March 2012