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Does current F1 use a clutch system?


Caleb Sturdee

They do. 2 paddles in fact. I read the way they do it is.... at the lights,
1) They hold one full in, and the other half way out, spaced by a finger behind it. So because one is all the way in, it takes that one and no clutch is engaged.
2) They rev the engines as they are about to launch (with first gear engaged),
3) Then they release the one all the way in, giving them approx 50% clutch as one is still held half in.
4) Then as they get up speed and gain traction they release the one that is half way in.

And they are away

Andy Marsden

I don't think so, i believe it is used as a form of launch control so they don't spin themselves stupid and/or stall at the start.

Dave Stephenson

RaceDepartment Technical Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2007
snt that the reason for having the clutch controls instead of launch control. i wouldnt really cosider having an auto clutch system for gear changes in race as an aid. due to the lightnng speed and that eveyone has them. although theyd be prime candidates for control when they cut the costs and standardise in 2010 which would take any dubious possibilities out.

Caleb Sturdee

Yeah, aids were banned this last season. So no TC or LC. For gears they use and auto clutch I think, thats how the gearbox changes gear 50 times faster than you can blink your eye. Just insane!!! But with this new seamless shift most teams have been using for about 2 seasons, I think it's 2 clutches they use now?? 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th use the first clutch and the second clutch runs 2nd, 4th and 6th.


Jan 12, 2009
Seemless shift does NOT involve multiple clutches.
It involves special gear selector pieces between the sequential gears. Race Car Engineering did a piece on one brand of seemless shift, though the information is hard to find.

F1 has banned multiple clutches so they can't use road car type DSG gearboxes.

Being sequential, there is no clutch use once you've launched.

Nick Price

hense why the clutch plates are only the size of a clenched fist... since they only get used at the start and during pit stops, they also overheat very easily - this is why you often see the cars jerk away or struggle to find a gear sometimes during a pit stop, because they just dump the clutch and spin the wheels to get out...

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