How Fast Is F1 Car?


If you have ever been at Formula One competition, you must know this feeling of unlimited power circling around the track. The smell of fumes and burnt out tires indicates that speed is beyond your limits and it gives a unique feeling which you cannot get being a part of city traffic.

Even if you simply watch Formula One on TV, you cannot but admire how fast and maneuverable racers are. They manage to overcome obstacles in milliseconds without even missing a beat. Does it ever occur you how fast such cars are? It goes without saying that F1 cars are really fast and way too faster than their predecessors. What is more, Formula vehicles of today are even more reliable.

how fast is f1 car

Top Speeds of F1 Cars

At average F1 cars top speed on the track with little traffic is around 220 MPH. According to racers it is like your body starts to levitate when speedometer is close to this point. To be more precise 2006 speed record was hit at Bonneville Salt Flats. 246.9 MPH was achieved by a vehicle stripped down.

f1 cars top speed
Today’s official speed record among F1 cars acknowledged by FIA and USAC is 354,975 KPH. It was made possible by Honda racer Alan van de Merve. Nevertheless, there are numerous attempts to overcome this achievement which are successful but not registered officially. One of them was accomplished by Juan Pablo Monotya during Italian Grand Prix. His speed was 372,2 KPH. Alan van de Merve accepted the challenge and did not stay aloof. He has beaten this record at the runaway of Californian airport in Mojave. He resulted with incredible 415 KPH which still has not been improved.

Engines History

High speeds go toe to toe with marvelous engines. Thus, modern F1 vehicles run on 1.6 liter V6 engines. The tendency is to make Formula 1 competition more environmentally friendly. It is supposed to attract higher commercial partners but it was not that long ago when racers used 2.4 liter V8 types of engine. They were equipped with two inlets of circular type. Period from 2006 to 2013 was focused on use of kinetic energy recovery systems. Its advantage is that it can be used as mechanical or electric energy.

The era of nineties mostly dealt with engines of 3.5 and 3.0 liter capacity. Their productivity ranged from 650 to 950 horsepower. Meanwhile, Renault became the main supplier of engines and Ferrari decided to choose compact V10 unit which was less powerful but more reliable than typical V12. As for earlier days of fifties, cars mostly ran on 1.5 liter supercharged engines as well as 4.5 liter naturally aspirated ones. Their productivity was not that low giving out around 425 horsepower.

f1 cars engine history

Acceleration Abilities

F1 cars have made a leap giant enough for the humanity from pre-war voiturette engines to ultra-modern powerplants with multiple energy recovery systems. 2.1 seconds is enough today for F1 cars to make it from 0 to 60 at average. The world record is 1.6 seconds from 0 to 60 and 1.8 seconds from 0 to 100. It is amazing how fast technologies develop and it is even more amazing that typical F1 car can speed up from 0 to 200 in 2.9 seconds.

f1 cars accleration
  • Ike Atkins

    How about how fast they stop? And the 0 – 100 – 0 times. Both are amazing.

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