Facts Formula 1

Formula 1 Slang, Properly Explained

Formula 1 is a very exciting sport that attracts a large number of viewers. However, new fans may find it hard to understand all the terms used by drivers and their teams in communication. Since the beginning of the new season is near, we decided to present you the meaning of some of the words you can hear during the race. So, let’s start.



Meaning: This term refers to a situation where a driver tries to bypass the other driver at an early stage of the race while the tires are still fresh in order to gain the advantage, before he pits. Now, one driver has an advantage in the race, but the other driver has fresh tires.
Example: “He’s going to try to use the undercut to get ahead”
What beginners think: A popular haircut


Meaning: Marbles are small parts of rubber that accumulate on the track during the race. These tiny pieces are usually very slippery and prevent proper tire contact with the track, so they can be dangerous. However, drivers sometimes use them to check that their car is not underweight.
Example: “I got onto the marbles in the hairpin, went a bit wide and got the tires dirty”
What beginners think: a small glass ball, often of various colors


Meaning: ‘Dirty air’ is a problem created by airflow. This applies to the car behind the leading one. While the first driver has an efficient airflow, the second one has reduced efficient airflow and downforce. This can be a problem with overtaking. ‘Clean air’ is the opposite of ‘dirty air’. It represents a favorable airflow that creates a good downforce.
Example: “I tried to get past but I was stuck in his dirty air. But once he pitted and I got some clean air, I could start to put in some decent laps”
What beginners think: A gastric problem


Meaning: Bottoming represents the situation when the car hit the track. The cause of this may be some unevenness on the track, but it happens that the teams build titanium skid blocks to cause sparking because it, in some way presents a spectacle for viewers.
Example: “The car had a good balance, although on my qualifying lap, it was bottoming and I lost some time”
What beginners think: Anything involving the gluteus maximus.



Meaning: Blistering represent the uneven temperature of the hot inner and cool outer part of the tire. This causes tire parts to go off as well as damage. Graining is when hot outer and cool inner part of the tire cause making small pieces of the rubber that are stacked to the tire, which later causes worse grip.
Example: “We were struggling a little more than Ferrari with the tire blistering”/ “I had a lot of graining on my tires because we went out on the soft in very cold conditions and they lost temperature”
What beginners think: graining-coloring or marking that resembles wood or marble, especially as a decorative finish for furniture or interior surfaces
Blistering-very hot


Meaning: It represents the situation when a driver highlights the possibilities of his car with his own talent and achieves an unexpected success. For example, this was the case with Ayrton Senna in 1984 or Sebastian Vettel in 2008.
Example: “Fernando Alonso outperformed his car to qualify third”
What beginners think: perform better than


Meaning: Backmaker is a driver who usually has a lower placement on the list. These drivers can cause the failure of some top drivers.
Example: “That backmarker blocked me and completely ruined my race”
What beginners think: A lower back tattoo.



Meaning: Polesitter is the driver who has won the pole position.
Example: “Polesitter Lewis Hamilton got away cleanly to hold the lead into the first corner”
What beginners think: A form of medieval torture involving sharpened sticks.


Meaning: The situation when the performance and quality of the tires drop significantly during the race. This situation often happened earlier.
Example: “In the second stint my tires fell off a cliff and I was forced to pit earlier than planned”
What beginners think: Anything to do with lemmings.


Meaning: Flatspot is when tire left a long track due to braking, which creates a flat surface on it.
Example: “Unfortunately I had to pit after I got a flatspot, which took away any chance I had of getting on the podium”
What beginners think: An unsightly facial blemish.



Meaning: This is usually used by engineers when instructing their drivers to reduce fuel consumption.
Example: “I had to lift and coast if I wanted to save fuel and make it to the end”
What beginners think: An elevator at the beach.


Meaning: There are four brakes in the car that slow down it. However, the driver can shift the brake bias to control the brake speed of the front brakes in relation to the rear brakes.
Example: “I had to move the brake bias during the race to deal with the tricky conditions”
What beginners think: The driver preferring Brembo brakes over AP.


Meaning: DRS or drag reduction system was introduced in 2011 in Formula 1 championship. It was introduced due to the aforementioned ‘dirty air’ and enabled the reduction of drag acting. It can only be used in parts of the track called DRS zones.
Example: “Lewis was quite close so he got DRS down the straight”
What beginners think: Cricket’s Decision Review System, used to check an umpire’s decision.



Meaning: Formerly, one Formula 1 car had only a motorcycle. However, today it is not the case because today’s boards have a combustion engine, motor generator unit-heat, motor generator unit-kinetic, control electronics, energy store and turbo charger.
Example: “The Mexico Grand Prix runs at high altitude, which puts a lot of strain on the power unit”
What beginners think: Watts


Meaning: The word “box” represents the command of the team so that the driver returns to the pit stop. The origin is from the German word “boxenstopp”.
Example: “Okay Lewis, so box this lap, box, box”
What beginners think: An instruction to punch someone in the head.


Meaning: Drivers constantly hear words “green track”, especially during the first day of the Grand Prix. This means that the track is not used and it is clean, or that it is not driven on it so that there are no small parts of the rubber on it.
Example: “The track was a bit green this morning, but it seemed to rubber in as the day went on”
What beginners think: Some weird Mario Kart venue.



Meaning: The rear end of the car goes aside.
Example: “I got a bit of a tankslapper on, but I managed to get it back”
What beginners think: Someone who does peaceful protests.


Meaning: Understeer and oversteer refer to the situation when cornering. Understeer represents a situation where the front end of the car lose grip, while the oversteer refers to the rear end. Simply, if car understeer, it will not turn into the corner and therefore slides wide, while with oversteering, the rear end of the car creates a problem for the driver and he must make the effort to keep the car on the track.
Example: “I was struggling with a lot of oversteer/understeer in the corners, which we’ll hopefully manage to dial out for the next session”
What beginners think: Alternative approaches to riding a bull.