What F1 Teams Build and What They Buy - Wheel Sports
What F1 Teams Build and What They Buy

What F1 Teams Build and What They Buy

Formula 1 is not just about drivers and cars racing around the track; it’s also a high-stakes game of engineering innovation. Each team is tasked with building and optimizing a complex set of components to gain a competitive edge. But not everything is designed from scratch; there are strict rules governing what teams can build themselves and what they can buy or share with others. In this article, we break down the different categories of components that make up an F1 car.

Listed Team Components (LTC)

These components are the crown jewels of an F1 car, and teams must design them entirely on their own. No copying, no sharing with other teams. The design must be unique to the team, and it includes any historical work on these parts that formed the foundation for their current designs. Here’s a list of LTCs:


  • Survival cell and primary roll structure
  • Front impact structure
  • Aerodynamic components (unless otherwise specified)
  • Plank assembly
  • Wheel drum and drum deflector
  • Fuel bladder

Transferrable Components (TRC)

Teams can share these components with other teams, but there are rules. The TRCs supplied to another team must be identical to what the supplying team uses, although the receiving team is allowed to make modifications. However, teams cannot design bespoke TRCs specifically for sharing with other teams. The supplier must also provide financial information, and the parts must be ascribed a “fair value” for cost cap accounting. Here are the TRCs:

  • Rear impact structure
  • Gearbox carrier
  • Gearbox cassette
  • Clutch
  • Clutch actuation system
  • Clutch shaft
  • Gearbox internals
  • Gearbox auxiliary components (oil system, reverse gear, etc.)
  • Inboard front suspension
  • Front suspension members
  • Front upright assembly (excluding axles, bearings, nuts & retention system)
  • Front axles (inboard of the contact surface with the wheel spacer) and bearings
  • Inboard rear suspension
  • Rear suspension members
  • Rear upright assembly (excluding axles, bearings, nuts & retention system)
  • Rear axles (inboard of the contact surface with the wheel spacer) and bearings
  • Power-assisted steering
  • Fuel system components not listed as OSC or SSC or LTC
  • Hydraulic pump and accumulator
  • Hydraulic manifold sensors and control valves
  • Pipes between hydraulic pump, hydraulic manifold & gearbox or engine actuators
  • Secondary heat exchanger (in oil and coolant system)
  • Power unit mountings to gearbox and survival cell
  • Exhaust system beyond turbine and wastegate exits (covered by PU rules)
  • Electrical looms

Standard Supply Components (SSC)

These are standard parts designated by the FIA and used by all teams. They are the same across the board and offer no room for customization. Here’s a list of SSCs:

  • Wheel covers
  • Clutch shaft torque
  • Wheel rims
  • Tyre pressure sensor (TPMS)
  • Tyres
  • Fuel system primer pumps, and flexible pipes and hoses
  • Power unit energy store current/voltage sensor
  • Fuel flow meter
  • Power unit pressure and temperature sensors
  • High-pressure fuel pump
  • Car to team telemetry
  • Driver radio
  • Accident data recorder (ADR)
  • High-speed camera
  • In-ear accelerometer
  • Biometric gloves
  • Marshalling system
  • Timing transponders
  • TV cameras
  • Wheel display panel
  • Standard ECU
  • Standard ECU FIA applications
  • Rear lights

Open Source Components (OSC)

In a departure from the norm, OSCs are components whose design and intellectual property are shared across all teams. This allows teams to modify parts to suit their own designs. OSCs are an alternative to standard supply components, offering flexibility and innovation. Here’s a list of OSCs:

  • Front floor structure
  • Pedals
  • Rear wing adjuster (DRS)
  • Driveshaft
  • Front axles (outboard of the contact surface with the wheel spacer), nuts & retention system
  • Rear axles (outboard of the contact surface with the wheel spacer), nuts and retention system
  • Steering column
  • Steering wheel and quick release
  • Brake disc, disc bell, and pad assembly
  • Brake calipers
  • Rear brake control system (brake by wire)
  • Brake master cylinder
  • Fuel system
  • Fuel collector
  • Fuel system hydraulic layout
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Water drink system

In the high-stakes world of Formula 1, these distinctions between components are critical. They define the boundaries of innovation, competition, and collaboration, ensuring that each team’s success is determined by a mix of engineering prowess, strategy, and the skill of their drivers. Formula 1 remains a thrilling showcase of cutting-edge technology and human achievement, where every detail matters in the pursuit of victory on the track.