What is a driveshaft hub and how was it affected in Leclerc's F1 Monaco crash?

Charles Leclerc's crash during Formula 1's Monaco qualifying session, which Ferrari now believes caused the broken driveshaft that rendered him unable to take pole, still leaves unanswered questions.

What is a driveshaft hub and how was it affected in Leclerc's F1 Monaco crash?

Ferrari reported that the left driveshaft hub was broken on Leclerc's car, which the team only discovered following Leclerc's reconnaissance lap to the grid as the Monegasque driver struggled with drive.

This had not been part of Ferrari's pre-race checks, and so the underlying issue remained undiscovered until the team finally produced a full autopsy of the gearbox and associated components following Leclerc's inability to start the race.

The driveshaft is the part of the car that translates the mechanical effort produced by the engine and power unit components into drive for the rear wheels. This is done so via the gearbox and differential.

The differential connects to the driveshaft hub; the gearbox produces the right amount of drive with regards to rpm and torque, and then the differential offers the driveshafts the chance to move at different rotational velocities when cornering.

Ferrari driveshaft hub, 2012

Ferrari driveshaft hub, 2012

Photo by: Motorsport Images

As the hub is the part of the driveshaft that delivers the motion to the rear wheels, any damage would ensure that the drive from the powertrain and drivetrain is severely impaired.

Leclerc felt this on his run to the grid, forcing him to take to the pits - but it proved to be an issue that could not be fixed in time to join the race.

The driveshaft hub is allowed to move with minimal friction via the use of bearings, and any damage here would introduce friction into the system which means that the acceleration would not be smooth.

This can also cause damage to the driveshaft as it would begin to flex under the increased vibrations produced. Although Leclerc's car would be incredibly difficult to drive, it would also strongly risk failing.

One question unanswered was how the left driveshaft hub was damaged when the impact affected the right-hand side of Leclerc's SF21.

The side-on nature of the impact will have sent a shock down the car in response to the crash, and therefore it's entirely plausible that the shock via the differential provided a reactive impact to the driveshaft hub - although it is unclear which part of the hub was damaged.

Read Also:

There are a number of joints situated within the driveshaft too to allow it to sit at a slight angle and still provide the correct drive to the wheels, and these are rarely designed to take an impact in that direction and remain in one piece.

Damage to the driveshaft hub escaped Ferrari's notice as it did not expect the left-hand side of the car to be damaged, but replacing the gearbox may have brought the issue to light - even if it planned to install the same driveshaft - as a technician would have had a chance to inspect the component.

Ferrari has since admitted that it will change its internal processes in the event of a crash and extend its due diligence to any other parts that could be directly affected.

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren never expected F1 podium pace in Monaco

Previous article

McLaren never expected F1 podium pace in Monaco

Next article

The Mercedes updates that failed to help it win the Monaco GP

The Mercedes updates that failed to help it win the Monaco GP
Load comments
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021