All About Pull-Rod and Push-Rod Suspension in F1 Cars

F1 Push-Rod and Pull-Rod Suspension

Suspension systems are crucial for handling, performance and driver comfort in different types of vehicles. Since F1 cars are designed to be driven at high speeds on race tracks, they have purpose-built suspension systems to ensure durability. Two primary types of suspension systems used in F1 are pull-rod and push-rod suspensions. Both designs serve to connect the wheels to the car’s chassis, but they differ in their configurations and mechanical properties. Let’s learn more about the technicalities of F1 push-rod and pull-rod suspension.

F1 cars are quite different from regular four-wheelers. From design to aerodynamics, F1 cars are unique in myriad aspects. The F1 car clutch is also even different from a regular car clutch. Similarly, the F1 suspension system has quite distinctive features that ensure seamless manoeuvrability at high speeds.  To understand more about the pull-rod and push-rod suspension in F1 Cars, let’s compare the two systems side-by-side. 

Here are details about the design and components of push-rod suspension. 

In a push-rod suspension, the rod is connected to the lower part of the wheel assembly. The rod extends upwards towards the chassis. When the wheel experiences a vertical force (e.g. hitting a bump), the rod gets pushed upwards. This motion is transmitted through a rocker mechanism to the spring-damper unit, mounted horizontally inside the vehicle chassis. The key components include the push-rod, rocker arm, spring-damper unit and anti-roll bar.

Now let’s compare the specifications and advantages of F1 push-rod vs pull-rod suspension

In a pull-rod suspension, the rod is connected to the upper part of the wheel assembly and extends downwards towards the chassis. When the wheel moves upwards, the rod is pulled downwards. This motion is again transmitted to a rocker mechanism and then to the spring-damper unit mounted similarly inside the chassis. Moreover, the system includes the pull-rod, rocker arm, spring-damper unit and anti-roll bar.

One of the many facts about F1 cars is that these vehicles have to meet minimum weight requirements. Such dimensional milestones are achieved by technical components like push rods and pull rods. Here’s how these performance-oriented components have evolved.

The push-rod suspension was more common in F1 cars of the past, particularly at the front. The positioning was mainly due to its straightforward design and ease of access. Meanwhile, advancements in aerodynamics and packaging have seen a shift towards the use of pull-rod suspensions. However, some modern F1 cars still use a combination of both systems.

Modern F1 cars often use a combination of both F1 pushrod suspension and pullrod. For example, some teams may employ a pull-rod suspension at the rear to optimise aerodynamics and a push-rod suspension at the front for ease of access and simpler linkage.

A host of technical factors lead to the choice between push-rod and pull-rod suspensions. These include aerodynamic considerations and weight distribution as well as changing F1 design and racing rules. For instance, the 2023 F1 rules introduced several changes, such as ride height, minimum weight and driver’s visibility, among other requirements.

The rods in the car suspension link the wheel hub assembly to the chassis. They transfer forces to the spring and damper units.

Pushrod suspension has rods connected from the lower part of the wheel hub to the upper part of the chassis. This positioning helps compress the spring/damper unit upwards. Pull-rod suspension has rods running from the upper part of the wheel hub to the lower part of the chassis. This mechanism allows the pulling of the spring/damper unit downwards.

If not properly maintained, components that are involved in heavy operations can get damaged. Connecting rods, shock absorbers and struts are among the steering and suspension parts that can fail or wear out.

That’s everything to know about F1 push-rod and pull-rod suspension. Alongside the robust vehicle components, there are many F1 safety equipment that ensure safe racetrack operations. 

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For more information on F1 push-rod and pull-rod, keep following dubizzle cars’ blog.

Cover Credits: S Korayem – Shutterstock image contributor

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