Wednesday, December 24, 2014

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F1 race cars mix speed with safety

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TWC News: F1 race cars mix speed with safety
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While they have four wheels, Formula One cars may be closer in design to a fighter jet then a coupe.

Bill Dollahite runs Driveway Austin, a training facility for high performance racing. Back in the day, he drove for some of the top race teams in the world, including Ferrari.

With the budget for any given F1 team in the millions, every detail is accounted for. While the designs of the vehicles vary, many vehicles leave the helmet of the driver partially exposed.

"[They have] a poly type of visor, you could literally shoot this thing with a gun and it would literally deflect the bullet," Dollahite said.

With the vehicles hitting speeds well over 200 miles per hour, any debris could do some serious damage.

"At 200 miles an hour, and I have had this happen, you can see a rock flipped up coming at you, and it inevitably no matter which way you move your head, it always ends up right here," Dollahite said.

With the difference between first place and second place measured in hundredths of a second, teams are looking for any edge they can get.

The U.S. Grand Prix is Nov. 18 at the Circuit of the Americas race track in southeast Travis County. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP