Glossary of Motorsport Terms

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  • Diffuser - The rear section of the car's floor or undertray, where the air flowing under the car exits through. The design of the diffuser is important, as it controls the speed at which the air exits and thus changes the aerodynamics of the car. The faster the exit, the lower the air pressure beneath the car and the more downforce the car generates - creating more grip.
  • Downforce - An aerodynamic force that forces a car downwards. Drivers use this to improve the car's traction and handling through corners. Depending on the circuit lay-out, it can have high or low downforce, forcing drivers to adjust accordingly with different tyres or driving styles.
  • Drive-through-penalty - One of two penalties that can be handed out at the discretion of the Stewards during the race. With this penalty, drivers must enter the pit lane, drive through it complying with the speed limit and re-join the race without stopping.
  • Drag - The air resistance a car experiences as is goes forward.