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Clutch detail
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Why F1 clutches have very little in common with roadgoing counterparts

F1 clutches still play a crucial role in the makeup of winning machinery. As PAT SYMONDS explains, they have developed massively since the first carbon versions were introduced 40 years ago

Components that are hidden deep in the car are often overlooked and yet play a vital part in providing function with performance. One such item is the clutch.

The clutch in a Formula 1 car performs a similar function to that of the clutch in a road car in that it provides a coupling between the engine and, ultimately, the road wheels. An automotive clutch is a friction device connecting the engine to the transmission: it’s capable of slipping and hence can provide an infinitely variable ratio between the two, ranging from the engine turning and the gearbox input shaft stationary when the clutch is disengaged to a one-to-one ratio when the clutch is fully engaged, and the gearbox input is rotating at the same speed as the engine.

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