Computing KS1 / KS2: Simulating the experience of F1 racing

Two young coders find out about the physics and data processing that goes into creating a realistic simulator for F1 drivers to use in training.

Science presenter Minna Kane takes them to ride with a professional F1 driver at Silverstone, before visiting the University of Hertfordshire’s simulator.

The simulator hardware includes high resolution screens, realistic controls and hydraulic legs to create the sensation of movement.

Its programmers have developed a detailed model incorporating the laws of physics and data to mimic both the circuit and the car accurately, taking into account speed, height, weight, mass and the power of the engine, along with bends in the track and even wet conditions.

The young coders have a go at driving both a standard and an F1 car in the simulator.

They compare the experience of a simulator with a real circuit around Silverstone.

This clip is from the series Cracking the Code.

Teacher Notes

Could be used as an example of a computer program simulating a physical system.

Also as a demonstration of working with variables and various forms of input and output.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Computing at KS1 and KS2 in England and Northern Ireland, Design and Technology KS2 in Wales and Computing Science and ICT at Second Level in Scotland.

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