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Formula One Pull Rod vs Push Rod Suspension

Most formula one fans have heard these two terms thrown about but are not really clear on what the difference is between pull rod suspension and push rod suspension on a Formula One car. F1 Madness technical writer, Ritesh K Bhana takes a closer look.

At the beginning of the 2012 season we saw Ferrari run a front and back pull rod suspension. This was was in response to Red Bull Racing running a rear pull rod suspension and a front push rod suspension configuration for the 2012 season.

For the 2013 season, Ferrari have opted to keep with the front push rod suspension and McLaren have also moved to a front pull rod setup.

Pull rod suspension runs the pull rod from the outer end of the top wishbone down the bottom corner of the chassis.  For the rear suspension, the inner end of the pull rod set up is on the gearbox casing.  This mounts the inboard elements of the system low down on the gearbox, either inside entirely contained within the casing (which is more aerodynamic), or splits the elements inside and outside of the gearcase.


Push-rod setup on the left and pull-rod setup on the right. Image:

The main benefit of the pull rod suspension is to place the almost horizontal pull rod in an ideal aerodynamic path to direct the airflow over the formula one car. This will offer a very small coefficient of drag benefit. With a pull rod setup, the top wishbone is under more stress, which will require a much stronger construction.

Ferrari have stuck with the front pull rod design and carried it over to its 2013 car. They obviously see some benefit to it. Reverting to the conventional push rod setup would’ve been a major admission of failure from them. It looks as though it’s worked for them since they’ve stuck with it and were looking good in testing.

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

One Response to “Formula One Pull Rod vs Push Rod Suspension”

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