How fast do F1 cars go? Formula One cars represent the pinnacle of motor racing because of the sheer speed and engineering excellence that they bring.
The modern F1 car is almost like a spaceship in complexity, and it takes special drivers to be able to master them effectively.
Driving an F1 car requires a mixture of stamina and muscle power to cope with the g-force, but also massive amount of bravery as one mistake could lead to a serious injury or something even worse.
How fast do F1 cars go?
The modern F1 car can reach speeds of roughly 220mph on average when bombing down long straights.
The fastest speed ever recorded in a race was from Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes in the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix when he reached a startling 231mph, though certain conditions have to be met for that to happen.
In terms of raw speed, F1 cars are not the quickest cars in the world – that gong belongs to IndyCars which compete in the United States.
That is down to the fact that F1 cars are more reliant on downforce which slows them down in a straight line, but they are dynamite when going round corners.
To put it into perspective, the fastest road legal car to ever drive around the Top Gear test track was a Ferrari SF90 Stradale in a time of one minute and 11 seconds.
The Renault car which Fernando Alonso drove in the 2004 F1 World Championship went around in 59 seconds.
F1 cars 0-60mph speed
The classic metric for measuring the acceleration of any car, from your gran’s Nissan Note to the hottest new Bugatti, is the speed it takes to go from a standing start to 60mph.
The fastest hyper cars in the world can hit that level of acceleration in blistering times typically ranging between 2.8 and 2.3 seconds. One or two cars, including the Koenigsegg Gemera, claim to have breached the two-second mark with an outrageous 1.9 seconds from 0-60mph.
Formula 1 cars’ acceleration time from 0 to 60mph is approximately 2.6 seconds. I know, ever so slightly disappointing, right?
As mentioned above, while F1 cars are obviously rapid, their key strengths lie in being able to take corners at outrageous speeds, far superior to anything you’d be allowed to drive on an actual road.
How big are the engines in F1 cars?
Currently, Formula One cars use 1.6 litre V6 engines which are turbocharged to give them maximum power.
They are hybrid powered as the sport seeks to become more environmentally friendly and cut carbon emissions.
In years gone by, engines were much bigger with some of the cars in the 1990s using V12 engines – meaning there are 12 cylinders instead of six.
However, current F1 power units can produce 1,000bhp (break horsepower) and cars right now are as quick as they ever have been.
That is partly down to the sophistication of the engine and aerodynamics, but also down to the weight of the cars – there is a maximum limit of 798kg (minus fuel).
What is the speed of a Formula 1 car?
Currently, Valtteri Bottas holds the fastest ever track speed with a run of 372.5km/h at the Mexican Grand Prix in 2016 (during the hybrid era).
While there have been attempts to break 400km/h, F1 have yet to get there. Honda came close, setting the fastest ever land speed for F1 in the US on the Bonneville Salt Flats, way back in 2006, when F1 cars were powered by a V10 engine.
The car achieved a ripping 397.36km/h and set the land speed record for Formula 1 cars that stands today. There were some slight modifications; the rear wing was replaced with a fin and a parachute was needed to help slow the car quickly for the next run.
Every track is different, although you can find top speeds on most straights hitting 360km/h.
Given how fast that is, it can be surprising that the F1 car acceleration is as much as 2.6 seconds to get from 0-60mph (0- 96km/h). While that isn’t a woeful time, the power to weight ratio should result in more umph.
The sluggishness comes down to aerodynamics, which takes some time and distance to accumulate the right pressure. The few moments of time lost getting off the line is worth it for agility and handling the downforce gives Formula 1 cars into the corners (and out again).
With points available for fastest lap, you can usually see cars not in contention for a podium put in a bid for a fast lap towards the end of a race when fuel weight is at its lowest.
Cars out of contention for a podium are more likely to aim for the fastest lap title as they don’t have to face risks of losing out at the last minute to a rival, who might be preserving tires or fuel for a final run, meaning that the cars that win, don’t necessarily have to put in the fastest times, it’s more about consistent speed and handling throughout the race as well as racing and team strategy.
Interesting records and trivia about F1 cars and racing
More than 430 million people watch Grand Prix races. The average TV viewership stands at 87 million, while 4.5 million fans watch it from stadiums.
- The F1 racing events have a significant following, like the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.
- According to NBC, the viewership for F1 increased by 50% in June 2021 compared to the year before – thanks to Netflix’s documentary Formula 1: Drive to Survive.
- Currently, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton hold the record for most titles.
- From 2000 to 2004, German driver Michael Schumacher won five consecutive titles with Ferrari.
- According to Forbes, Hamilton is the highest-paid F1 driver globally, followed by Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.
- The fastest speed ever achieved by an F1 car is 397.360kmph. In 2006, the Honda F1 team set it in Bonneville Salt Flats, US.
- Formula one cars are made of eighty thousand components.
- German racer Sebastian Vettel is the youngest winner of the World Drivers’ Championship. He won it when he was just23 years and 134 days old.
- Legendary Argentinian racer Juan Manuel Fangio is the oldest winner of the World Drivers’ Championship, and he won it when he was 46 years and 41 days old.
How Fast Do F1 Cars Accelerate?
These vehicles accelerate very quickly—the F1 car can go from 0–60 miles per hour in just 2 seconds, which is faster than most sports cars. This makes them ideal for racing on tracks with lots of straights and few corners, where it’s more important for a car to reach high speeds than for a car to be able to corner quickly.
How fast do F1 cars get to 100 mph?
Formula One race cars have been recorded to reach 0-60 as fast as 1.6 seconds, however the typical range for modern day F1 cars is between 2.1 to 2.7 seconds. The 2007 Honda RA107 f1 race car goes 0-100 mph in a blistering 4 seconds flat.
What fuel does F1 use?
Formula One fuel would fall under high octane premium road fuel with octane thresholds of 95 to 102. Since the 1992 season onwards all Formula One cars must mandatorily utilize unleaded racing gasoline fuel. F1 Blends are tuned for maximum performance in given weather conditions or different circuits.
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