F1 cars use an eight-speed transmission and change gears through a semi-automatic sequential gear system.

The onboard computer changes gears when qued by the driver. Gear selection is made through a paddle behind its steering wheel, and the driver can select the left paddle to shift up or the right-hand paddle to shift down.

Cars have a clutch that the driver engages for starting, but after that, the computer manages the shifting. 

During a race, drivers can shift on average every 2 seconds or 40 – 70 times per lap. 

The driver can also select reverse if needed to maneuver back onto the track, although it can be hard to locate. 

Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan