The Important Role of Metrology in Formula One

In the exciting and speed-focused world of motorsports, you wouldn’t instantly appreciate the important role of metrology in Formula One. While the attention is on the races and the drivers, there is a team of engineers working behind the scenes.

Before a tyre touches the track, the slow and precise work of measurement engineering needs to be completed. The carpentry proverb of ‘measure twice, cut once’ can be applied to Formula one, where the importance of every part being accurate makes the difference between winning and losing races.

Metrology in Formula One

Metrology in Formula One – What is it Used For?

In the design and early manufacturing stages of Formula one cars, every part in the development process needs to be checked. For example, the development of a new power unit can involve hundreds of new parts. Before the assembly can start the parts need to be measured. This ensures they have been manufactured to exactly the correct specification.

Why is Metrology Vital?

In creating and developing a Formula one car, Metrology has two vital functions. Firstly, metrology provides evidence that all the required parts of the car comply with regulations. There are key features of Formula one cars that need to follow strict guidelines set by the sport’s governing body, the FIA. By using metrology equipment, teams can provide the data needed to prove that they comply.

The second key role of metrology in Formula one is its use by teams to gain a competitive advantage. During a racing season, thousands of changes can be required to improve a Formula one car. The effect of each change could be tiny but in the course of the season, they could have a cumulative effect on improving lap times. By using metrology to measure each new part or development engineering teams can ensure they are constantly improving their cars.

Types of Metrology Equipment

As the scale of parts for Formula 1 car development varies widely a range of metrology tools are needed. A selection of coordinate measuring machines would be used throughout the engineering testing process.

A coordinate measuring machine uses a series of points to identify the size and shape of an object accurately. Depending on the part being measured, different probes are used from mechanical to lasers. To find out more about coordinate measuring machines, you can read about the Eley range here


As the parameters between success and failure are so tight in Formula one, the success of every individual part is crucial. From making sure a new part has been manufactured correctly to providing evidence that the regulations have been met, metrology in Formula one is vital.