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Glossary

F

FIA
Federation Internationale de L'Automobile, the Geneva-based governing body for worldwide motorsport. Regulates and controls all the major racing and rallying activity, except events held in the United States.
FILL THE MIRRORS
A driver is pressuring another driver so feverishly that the pursuer fills the rear-view mirror.
FIRE SUIT
Fire-resistant clothing that is required apparel for drivers as well as crewmembers and anyone else in the pits during a race.
FLAGMAN
The person standing on the tower above the Start/Finish Line who controls the race with a series of flags.
FLAT SPOT
When drivers lock up brakes, they expose one area of their tires to excessive wear causing flat spots to develop. Flat spots lead to vibrations, which may require a tire stop.
FLYING FINISH
The finish line of a timed special stage, passed at full speed by the rally cars.
FORMULA CAR
Formula cars must fit within a specific set of design rules or "formula." The formulas are usually quite complex, but basic issues include minimum weight, engine displacement, vehicle dimensions, wing sizes and placement, ground-effects tunnel size and configuration, tire and wheel size, and safety considerations.
FOUL START
Indicated by a red light on the NHRA Christmas Tree when a car leaves the starting line before the green light, or starting signal.
FRESH RUBBER
A new set of tires acquired during a Pit Pass.
FUEL CELL
This gas tank for racecars is mostly borrowed from military applications for extra protection in crashes.
FULL TANK PRACTICE
Ordinarily, teams fill their fuel tanks for the last practice before a race to test handling characteristics. Before then, they practice and qualify with limited fuel to decrease weight and gain speed.
FULL-TIME RIDE OR SEAT
A full-time job for a driver. "He has a full-time ride (or seat) next year."

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