Why are F1 drivers hot if wind is coming at them at 200-300kmph

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I was reading that F1 drivers have to withstand really high temperatures consistently during a race and don’t have A/C. How come they’re hot if there’s wind coming at them really fast throughout the entire race?

In: Physics

35 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

drivers are not exposed to the wind; with their fireproof suits and helmets the drivers are extremely well insulated to protect from injury.

Races also take place in warm climates so the 80 degree winds wouldn’t offer much reprieve.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because the track temperatures are generally speaking very warm already (sun + heat + asphalt = hot) plus the engines are spewing heat out. Doesn’t matter how fast the air is hitting you if the air itself is hot.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Also the cabins are small, they are wearing fairly thick fireproof clothes and exercising quite strenuously.

Anonymous 0 Comments

While it is true that fast winds will cool an object by aiding convection, it’s truly insignificant compared to the amount of heat those engines are giving off, plus the fact that the racers are wearing heavy protective gear in the event their car spins out, crashes, and catches fire.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The vast majority of their bodies are inside the car, with only the head sticking out. The aerodynamics of an F1 car is designed specifically to direct air in the most efficient manner possible so much of the ‘outside’ air won’t make it into the cockpit to cool the driver. Finally the driver has no exposed skin and wears multiple layers of fire retardant material to protect them in case of a catastrophic fire, [such as this one.](https://youtu.be/gCivN-b4FZI)

All of these factors to cause the drivers to get extremely hot during the race, combining with the physical and mental effort that they have to handle during a 3 hour race causes their body temp to climb to dangerous levels. It is not unusual for a driver to lose several pounds due to sweat after a race.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because they wear protective gear over their entire body, mainly a fireproof suit and helmet, none of that wind is getting through. It’s like wondering why you’re hot inside despite the fact that there’s a nice breeze outside, but meanwhile your windows are all closed.

Anonymous 0 Comments

At some point, when the outside air is hot enough, wind only makes it hotter.
You can look at motorcycle wind chill charts and see around 90°F/32°C air temperature, the temperature of the wind actually becomes hotter than the air temperature the faster you go.

[Here’s an example](https://keski.condesan-ecoandes.org/motorcycle-wind-chart/motorcycle-wind-chill-chart-motorcycle-forum.html)

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is an aerodynamic bubble around the cockpit in modern F1 cars so the air in the cockpit itself is quite stagnant and gets very hot 

Anonymous 0 Comments

As others have mentioned, its the clothing. I used to race in a cheapo local race series in texas, and the first time I just put the clothes on in the comfort of my air conditioned home, i felt an instant of panic because of how hot and stifling they are just to wear. They are thick, and they purposefully dont let air pass through them almost at all to protect you from fire.

Strangely, in the middle of a race you feel nothing, your adrenaline is so high, but when you finish the race you realize you are just pouring sweat. We used air scoops made of of dryer hose to route air through the windows a bit, but its just so hot. We used to do a 4 hour endurance race on thanksgiving day, and we would switch drivers every 45 minutes. I think i lost 10 pounds of water or more each session. Then drink as fast as you can to get as much back in as possible.

And i was racing these absolutely crappy maza 1st gen rx-7s, they were good for about 1.2g’s of lateral force at best. I cant imagine what its like fighting 3 times that like these guys.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Never mind the actual insulation and suits etc. F1 is extremely taxing on their body. It is physically quite demanding, so a lot of their sweat is actually from hard work. The g forces pushing and pulling kn the body are tough. The concentration is insane.

There is a clip of either Vettel or Hamilton from top gear talking about this.