This Chart Explains Why Formula One Cars Are So Damn Fast

NK August 08 2021

Image for article titled This Chart Explains Why Formula One Cars Are So Damn Fast

Whenever someone talks about a Formula One car, only one word comes to mind, speed. These cars are practically the pinnacle of all engineering aerodynamics. But one question that’s stuck in a car enthusiast’s mind is how fast can F1 cars go?

How Fast Do Formula One Cars Go?

Talking about the modern-day F1 cars, these cars can accelerate up to 62 mph in under two seconds. Yes, under two seconds! That can give you a pretty clear idea of how fast is a Formula 1 car is. But the speed and stability of this car don’t stop here. Generally, to qualify as a racing car in a Formula 1 race, the drivers need to exceed the minimum speed barrier of around 200 mph. 

Comparing this in terms of gravitational pull (G), the person is experiencing the same amount of G at this speed limit compared to someone sitting in a space shuttle leaving Earth’s orbit.

The secret to all this immense speed and control lies in all the top-notch quality and machine design used to build an f1 car. That’s why the answer to how fast do F1 cars go is always a number that’s too hard to believe.

Factors That Make Formula One Bolids So Fast

mercedes-f-1-bolid

Put two cars side by side - a Honda Civic and a first-class Formula One race car. Something will immediately catch your eye - the cars are radically different in their design. They are made of different materials, made with different technologies, and an F-1 car is not even close to an average sedan. A lot of effort, a lot of time, and suffering of the first-class engineers were invested in the development of a race car, and we certainly cannot understand all their secrets. But I hope that in today's article we can lift the veil of secrecy - and tell you at least a little bit, about why Formula One cars are so damn fast!

Car Cockpit

f-1-bolid-cockpit

The car cockpit is a specific term used for describing the overall driver’s region in the fi car. Similarly, the cockpit of an F1 car is not designed like an ordinary car seta or driving panel. The cockpit makes sure that to get in the race, the driver needs the steering wheel without moving or changing specific car settings. 

The cockpit design is also a great strategy to ensure that the F1 car is more and more aerodynamic. This helps the F1 car to show how fast an F1 car can go.

Wheels and Tires

f-1-bolid-tire

According to formula racing organizing authorities, there are certain rules regarding the deck size and tire quality that every F1 car racing team must follow. These rules are there to maintain an even racing field among all the competitors alike. That is why, keeping in mind how fast an F1 car is, the F1 racing car tires are maintained based on particular metrics. 

The tire diameter must range maximum up to 660 mm, except 670 mm for wet weather tires. The front wheels must be between 305-355 in width, and the rears must fall between 365-380 mm in width.

The Fuel

special-f-1-fuel

Some may find it hard to believe, but F1 racing cars operate on the same commercial fuel available to the majority of the public here in the US. This is because the f1 racing federation has a clear motive regarding equality and transparency among racers taking part in the race. 

The fuel tank size of an F1 racing car is 40-gallons. The rules regarding fuel are pretty strict, and cars can be tested for fuel type during pit stops to ensure everything falls under the rule book.

The Gearbox

formula-1-gearbox

Probably the most crucial part of any F1 racing car and one of the main components to decide how fast can F1 go. The Formula 1 cars are allowed to use a maximum of 7-speed semi-automatic gearboxes with built-in reverse. Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) systems are strictly prohibited for all F1 cars. 

The reason behind this ban is that the CVT system allows the driver to hold the clutch off to get a more boosted and swifter take-off. Also, keeping in mind the safety concerns, an external clutch disassemble mechanism must also be included in the overall car design.  

The Aerodynamics

f-1-bolid-aerodynamics

The whole concept of how F1 cars go this fast lies in the aerodynamics of the car. Formula 1 cars can be extended or modified to increase the car's aerodynamics to make it go faster. But all of this must be done under strict restrictions. 

The companies are allowed to alter the car body, but they need to stay under the width limit of 180 cm. The front of the rear wheels must be 140 cm wide, and the body structure behind this should be no more than 100 cm in width.

The Engine

f-1-bolid-engine

Last but not least, is the roaring mechanical heart of the F1 car itself. Like all other aspects of the car, there are certain restrictions with the F1 engine design. The engine must have a maximum of 2.4 liters capacity. 

The cylinder system must be an octa-cylindric one with two inlets and two exhausts per cylinder. The rpm is also limited to a maximum limit of 18000 rpm. And most importantly, built-in mechanisms like the superchargers or the turbochargers aren’t allowed because of their pre-heating characteristics, which cool down the inlet air before entering the engine. 

Lightweight materials

formula-one-bolid-is-constructed-using-lightweight-materials

Formula One bikes are made of very lightweight materials. Everything aims to remove excess weight as much as possible, making it easier for the car to accelerate. Often F1 cars are stripped of all sorts of minor details that only make the car heavier. On the other hand, this can also be considered a disadvantage - using lightweight materials makes them much more fragile than regular cars. They also have very little downforce, which makes them more susceptible to being pushed around by the wind or other cars on the track.

How much is Formula One bolid cost?

But you have to pay for such outstanding performance, and this is a case where every horsepower is worth its money. Formula One bolides are among the most expensive cars in the world. The cost of a typical Formula One bolid can range from $2 million to $8 million. Some of the most expensive bolides have been known to cost as much as $12 million. However, the actual cost of a Formula One bolid depends on a number of factors, including the specific model of bolid, the team that owns it, and the level of competition in which it competes. In general, the more competitive the racing series, the more expensive the bolids tend to be. Formula One bolids are also frequently upgraded during the course of a season, which can add to their already considerable cost.

We hope you now understand how fast Formula 1 cars can go and what makes them so exceptional.

Comments:

Can a racing physicist explain to me how it is possible for a body to accelerate faster than 9.8m/s^2? My understanding of friction limits the force that a tire can apply to the road (resulting in forward acceleration) to the same downward force on the wheels (which should be the weight of the car, m*g). I also recall in physics that the coefficient of friction cannot exceed 1, so therefore, the forward force from the wheels on the car is limited to m*g. Does the downforce from the wing apply this soon during acceleration that would allow the car to exceed 9.8 m/s^2 in acceleration? Or is there just more at play than my meager physics education
starphoenix42 / 2021-08-05 08:18:32

Very interesting question. As a quick answer, I think you're trying to equate F=ma (a simplified forward accln force) to the friction force, which might not be the same. f (coefficient of friction) can always exceed 1. As long as the value is less than the max. value of static friction between the tire & tarmac (property of the tire compound), it can result in clean fast accln. I'm reading up more on tire physics to brush up what I learnt before (lol) to better explain the tire's contact patch. Also, during initial acceleration, aerodynamics is pretty useless and therefore, the rear wing won't have any bearing. Just as a perspective, the cars need to travel at 180kmph to exert a 1g (640kg) of downforce. F1 engines are amazingly torquey in the initial gears although they have bad torque at low revs in higher gears and, therefore, the ferocious inital acceleration is purely an engine-transmission-suspension-rear tire combo effort.
kimidam3 / 2021-08-13 07:08:43

9.8 m/sec^2 (32 feet/sec^2 in English units) is the acceleration produced by the force of gravity (in a vertical direction) near the Earth's surface.For the purposes of this post, it has nothing to do with the acceleration a car in either the lateral or longitudinal direction.Power = Force * VelocityTherefore: Power = Vehicle Mass * Acceleration * VelocityAcceleration at any given velocity for any given mass will exceed 9.8m/sec^2 (or any other rate of acceleration you care to name) as long as the delivered amount of power is sufficient enough to satisfy the other variables in the equation and traction is sufficient to harness it.I am a (real) mechanical engineer with 26 years of experience and have spent a considerable amount of time on vehicle dynamics, including the reading of Tom Gillespie's "Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics."
ltirocks / 2021-08-16 23:34:53

Another question for the physicists. Answers here say the coefficient of friction can exceed 1 and that at higher speeds, aero comes into play. However, as a car accelerates linearly, does not the weight transfer rearward and apply more pressure to the the rear tires so that the rear tires, which have been bearing, say 60% of of the weight at rest (in an F1 car), might now be bearing a greater weight? Also, does not the bias of weight to the rear, enhance acceleration when power of the car would otherwise overwhelm the stickiness of the tires? If this is correct, the same factors would apply to lateral acceleration and braking. And the answer then, would not be that the tires have a coefficient of friction greater than 1 (though I suppose they could and it would be interesting to know if this is the case...but I question that too, because tires are typically spinning/slipping at launch), but that accelerative forces / weight bias applies more weight (mass?) to the rear (or other tires depending on the type of acceleration). Or I'm wrong. I'm asking. Anyone?
offyatindy / 2021-08-20 16:01:04

Although I'm by no means a physicist (just a lowly aero engineer), I'll attempt to throw in my $0.02. I think you're touching on a couple of topics here. But first of all, no matter how much weight you put on an axle, the tire has it's own separate set of capabilities and can only provide a finite amount of "grip" (there is no numerical value/unit for grip per se). Another aspect to remember is suspension. With regard to linear motion (accln/braking), you're right in saying that weight gets transferred to the rear during linear accln but not ALL of that gets transferred to the wheels in a 1:1 transfer. The suspension, which dictates how the car will "handle" overall, absorbs a lot of this weight transfer. Tires do slip at launch, evident from F1 slow-mo launch videos & drag car launches and that's (as you mentioned) when the torque output from the wheels is a lot more than the value of static friction at the tire's contact patch. But in essence, you're right... More weight on the driving wheel axle tends to increase it's launch capabilities (rear-engined rear-wheel cars) but only upto a certain point depending on the tire (sandbags in pick-ups in winter). With regard to cornering, F1 cars rely pretty heavily (no pun intended) on aero forces. With the help of downforce (ground effects, Bernoulli's principle), they can push the limits of adhesion between the tires & the tarmac although they're truly on the edge while doing so. There's a concept called "Traction Circle" with linear x-y axes and a circle whose boundary represents the max "amount of stickiness" in any direction. I'm not able to insert a URL or image in here but you can always google it up. Aero forces help the tires, in a way, in expanding this traction circle boundary.Not sure if I answered your question (if there was one )........ :)
kimidam3 / 2021-08-23 13:50:09

Weight shifts make a significant difference to how the car behaves, yes. That's why, for example, the most common wheel to lock up under braking is the inside front. It's also why a rwd car will oversteer if you lift-off in a corner - weight shifts forwards as you stop accelerating, leading to less weight on the back tyres, less friction, and a slide.
davedave11 / 2021-08-28 14:51:14

9.81m/s^2 is merely acceleration due to gravity at or near the Earth's surface. Higher accelerations are completely possible, thus rockets into orbit, bullets from a gun, etc.Cars generally launch horizontally, so we're only interested in the force (F) available to accelerate (a) the mass (m) of the car. F=ma, as we all know. For purposes of calculating a brief moment of acceleration, the mass does not change. Over the course of the race it does, as fuel is used, and rubber and other consumables wear away, but these changes are significant, but relatively minor.The force applied to the car comes from the ground in reaction to the car attempting to spin the tires. The magnitude of the force depends on the friction coefficient between the tire and ground surface. Different tire compounds and road surfaces greatly alter this coefficient. Rubber on ice = low friction. Rubber on dried cola syrup = OMG! The coefficient can definitely exceed 1. Raw rubber on polished steel has a coefficient somewhere around 4. Tires have a lower comparative coefficient than raw rubber, but road surfaces have a deeper texture than polished steel, which leads to gear-tooth-like action for materials able to conform to the texture. (No bonus to traction for steel tires, but plenty for rubber ones.) For this discusion, we'll consider both surfaces to be flat and smooth.Now a primer on friction itself. Friction is a force generated to resist motion, whose value is dependent upon the coefficient of friction of the mating surfaces and the load applied between the surfaces in contact, and is diametrically opposed to the direction of motion. Note that the surface area in contact is of no consequence, only the total load applied to that surface - 1 pound of the aforementioned rubber spread out over 1 square foot develops the same friction as 1 pound covering only 1 square inch. The friction force increases in direct proportion to both the coefficient of friction and the "clamping" or normal (meaning at right angles to the surface) force.For our example, the normal force is applied by gravity acting upon the mass of the car, any aerodynamic effects, and any dynamic weight transfer. The mass is a fixed value. When launching, and while still at low speeds, aerodynamic effects are minimal. Weight shift only occurs once there is an acceleration underway. So at launch, only the front/rear weight bias determines the normal force.As the car begins to accelerate, weight shifts to the rear. If it's doing a wheelie, it has transfered ALL the weight to the rear. The shift occurs because the friction force is applied horizontally at the road surface but the inertial force resisting the acceleration is applied throught the car's centre of gravity, which is above the road surface. The angle between the road and a line between the centre of the contact patch and the centre of gravity. Shorter, and taller cars have a higher angle and thus can wheelie under lower acceleration. (Consider balancing a ruler on your finger. The further from plumb it is, the faster you must accelerate the bottom to "wheelie" the ruler back to upright.) Generally, wheelie-ing your way around a race track is a bad idea, but you can see that it maximizes the available friction force. Heavier car, greater friction but also higher inertia. So what to do? Introduce aerodynamics.Oddly, F1 cars accelerate harder the faster they go, within limits. Aerodynamic force - DOWNforce - adds to the friction force developable under the tires, and is dependent upon the airspeed over the car. "Ok," you say, "but why does the tire occasionally break loose?" Remember that the friction force is a reaction force coming from the ground. The engine of the car is applying torque from the axle through the rims to the tires. Torque = Force x Radius, therefore Force = Torque/Radius. The radius comes from the tire diameter, the torque from the engine, and if the resultant force exceeds that available from friction (normal force x friction coefficient) the tire will slide across the ground, be it a spinning tire over the same spot on the ground while doing a burnout, or a stopped tire sliding across the ground while locking up the brakes.If you keep in mind that friction itself has no inherent direction except as resistance to motion, you'll see that the total friction available can be applied in any direction - cornering, accelerating or braking. Now we discover the ubiquitous "Friction Circle." The friction force is a vector whose scale and direction are the vector sum of the lateral (cornering) and fore/aft (acceleration/braking) forces. If the cornering force has equalled the friction force available, the friction force points sideways to the size limit of the friction circle. Any fore/aft forces push the vector sum outside of the circle, and traction is lost. That's why peak cornering is done at a neutral throttle - neither accelerating nor engine braking. Likewise, attempting to turn while at maximum braking will cause loss of traction. Generally speaking, static friction is always higher than dynamic friction - a sliding tire has less traction than a rolling one. That's why racers are always desperate NOT to spin the tires on launch or lock up the brakes entering a corner.
ForeignBody / 2021-09-01 07:17:25

Exactly, it all will depend on whether the friction coefficient is greater than 1, which can easily occur. For instance, imagine that the pavement has the shape of some sort of ladder that has been laid on the track, and the tires have studs that fit between the ladder steps. The maximum friction coefficient can be huge (up to the point either the ladder steps or the tires get broken).
isranner / 2021-09-04 09:45:46

At lower speeds an F1 car has less acceleration and more tire spin due to this exact issue. As the car speeds up the wings increase the downforce which allows for more traction which results in higher acceleration. If you go through a corner too slow you will spin out due to a lack of traction. The downforce acting on an F1 car is typically between two and three g's. Which would allow for double to triple the acceleration. Another way of looking at it is that the aerodynamic downforce is strong enough to add enough mass to the car to reduce acceleration from it's optimum while going down a straight. This is why, except in DRS zones, you rarely see passing on the straights.
NathanLoiselle / 2021-09-09 10:46:52

In every case of a modern F1 car accelerating from 0 to 60 mph the mass of the vehicle increases as the car moves quicker. It's a result of the aerodynamic downforce. When acceleration begins to drop and it will the mass becomes static due to the engine not being able to increase downforce by way of constant acceleration.
NathanLoiselle / 2021-09-13 07:52:19

Mass is quantity of matter. Weight is the force generated by matter under acceleration. More matter, same gravity field: greater weight. Same mass, smaller gravity field (such as the Moon): lower weight. In orbit, one is weightless, not massless.Aerodynamic force is the result of pressure differential between air moving across opposite sides of a structure. An airplane's wing in flight has higher pressure below the wing than above it. The wing does not gain matter, and thus no mass, while flying.The apparent WEIGHT of an F1 car does increase, but not its mass.
ForeignBody / 2021-09-16 05:41:24

This chart clearly demonstrates why F1 is the LEAST exciting motorsport around... no innovation a non-engineer can understand. Yes there is fantastic work being done by brilliant people, but the average person just can't understand it! Let's bring back Fan-cars or active aero or let's change the circuit to have jumps or loops or SOMETHING! For the amount of money being spent, you aren't getting much of a spectacle. And FWIW, tractor pulling is still the best motorsport, because you can run whatever you can imagine!
cbussiere / 2021-09-21 06:42:29

They also produced boring races and also subjected the drivers to unforgiving G loads due to how fast they could corner. The Brabham BT46B was unbeatable in its first race, especially once the track got slipperier due to oil leaking from a backmarker. At the same time, Niki Lauda had to adapt his driving style simply because driving it flat out in the corners was putting G loads that he couldn't bear. The fear is that, had this sort of technological innovation gone on, it would lead to a situation where drivers would have to wear G-suits and accidents at the high speed cornering speeds the fancars allowed would be catastrophic and fatal.That said, this is all moot and academic since the real reason fancars were banned in F1 was because Lotus' Colin Chapman threatened to withdraw support from Brabham's Bernie Ecclestone for the FOCA presidency if they weren't banned.
d3v / 2021-09-24 13:50:07

That's why F1 is the top tier motorsport in the world. It's not for everyone. If you want jumps or loops, watch Rallycross (which I love btw). Those drivers wouldn't cut it in F1 because they have more balls than brains, but in F1 you need copious amounts of both because it is extremely fast but also extremely technical.
MellowGold / 2021-09-28 15:34:50

You'd be truly surprised by how innovative F1 engineers are. They typically come up with some new thing to improve performance of the car without breaking the rules every year. Two years ago it was double diffusers (by reducing the volume in the diffuser you reduce the likelihood of it stalling at speed). Last year it was exhaust blown diffusers (which had two different styles but one inevitably won out). This year there's front wing stalling which occurs when the DRS is activated. It'll likely be carried over to next year as it is an integral part of the chassis and can't be changed mid-season.
NathanLoiselle / 2021-10-02 17:19:34

It is very similar. And while purists have complained, it's created some pretty interesting races, and introduces a lot of strategy. When to defend/attack is really interesting as the drivers have to predict what the other guy is going to do and when he's going to use his KERS. Also i really like that the DRS (movable wing flap) is available if youre within 1 second of someone in the detection zone weather or not you're actually racing that person. Meaning if you're lapping a guy but are close enough behind him, you get DRS for that straightaway.
feather-throttle-not-hair / 2021-10-06 14:25:01

Yes, DRS was a great idea but although it has provided interesting races, the authority to decide on when to setup activation points and length of overtaking straights is too crude at this moment and has created some artificial & too-easy overtakes. Technically, DRS is a nice way to get rid of all the extra unwanted drag that gets invariably generated in an F1 car's wake. The kid in McLaren who came up with the idea in 2010 was handsomely rewarded, I presume.
kimidam3 / 2021-10-10 02:11:55

This chart explains why I haven't been interested in Formula 1. Yeah, I get the idea of close racing, and yeah I get that most of these regs are for safety but I DONT get the point of a top tier racing program that regulates all but the most trivial innovations out. I'm sure there is great driving, I'm sure its great once you get into it and all, but give me WRC, ALMS, Spec racing or even Americas Cup World series any day over this. When a major innovation means .1 second its time to step back and say...maybe this is as good as its gets...lets move on to a new challenge. Lets do it without wings! or on three wheels! or by remote controll....something, ANYTHING to make it fun again.
hammerheadfistpunch / 2021-10-13 04:40:16

Maybe I am missing the point you are trying to make? (its been known to happen to me)The purpose of the changes in regulations are to slow the cars down; the most innovative teams are the ones with the best engineers, and they put in hundreds of hours to get only seconds faster. If the cars were open, they would be insanely fast, faster than what a human driver could handle unassisted. In many cases, even the regs can't stop the cars from being faster year after, the engineers are able to get around them. And then, still, you have the scenario like 2 weeks ago where Kimi wins with an underpowered and outmatched car simply because of skill.It has everything you listed (the simplicity of form and closeness of racing of a spec series, the wide open innovation required to stay competitive like in Le Mans, and the driver skill needed to be amazing like in WRC)...the only thing it doesn't is the absolutely batshit roads of rallying.
jcougs / 2021-10-16 21:06:27

I think what you are getting at is more of the aspect of parity and entertainment, correct?While other spec series (which Le Mans, WRC, WTCC, GT1, NASCAR, etc.) have a place, they are all just the beginning steps of what happens when you go nuts with the concept of going fast and then - at the very end - attempt to reign it in so that humans can still safely get a car around the track. At this point in time, F1 is really the pinnacle of what can be done within the laws of physics while racing with a human in control. It also happens to then translate well into a world series with lots of $$ in the mix.I think it might come down to more of what your interest is. F1 is more about the team and the car and the strategy, and the spec series (by their nature) are about the ability of the drivers to move beyond the limitations of having equivalent cars.
jcougs / 2021-10-21 08:09:43

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you've never watched or followed F1 before this week, Jason.Dynamically adjustable wing surfaces? Where the hell did you get that? The 'flexible nose assembly' is only known to be a current working prototype over at Red Bull, and there's a good chance it's in violation of the rules, which it's obvious you've not read.4 valves per cylinder, LIMITED revs at 18k, 8 engines for THE ENTIRE SEASON (diveded by 20 races), pneumatically-actuated valves, and in 2014 they're changing the engines to turbo.Last year was the only year where teams were actively venting exhaust gases over the rear bodywork to CREATE downforce, not apply it, due to the expansion of the hot gasses, and to clarify, the ONLY movable surface on the entire car is the upper flap of the rear wing, known as DRS, or drag reduction system, which stalls out the airflow over the rear wing to reduce drag/downforce. Mercedes has an active double DRS system wherein when the flap is open high-pressure air enters a series of 'tubes' where it's directed to other parts of the car and that additional airflow helps stall out those components, giving it a higher top speed - but that's all those systems are intended to do.Gawker: where hacks make their home.
gravit8 / 2021-10-26 04:31:32

I am SO SORRY about these errors. I fixed the valve error and the number of engines error in the post, but these were accurate in the chart itself. You're right, I was referring to the Red Bull team's flexible snout, and I think it'll be made illegal soon as well. For my leck of specificity in the body text (there's more detail in the chart) regarding wings and downforce, all I can do is apologize. I'm an absolute monster, you're right. I'm like Pol Pot over here with the F1. I'm thinking a nice fruit basket may be a way to start making things right by you, understanding that nothing can ever really put this right.We'll get past this. I promise.
jasontorch / 2021-10-28 21:41:21

For my part I apologize if I come off as an asshole. I am. But there's a lot of stuff going up that just....needs...a little attention before it gets posted. All over gawker. I'm really excited that my favorite autosport is FINALLY getting some freaking attention and it's killing me that there is so much to squeeze into such a short amount of time to get the rest of the US interested. I've been watching F1 for more than a decade now and there's still so much to know about the behind-the-scenes stuff it's amazing.If you really want to get some page views, do a piece on Bernie and how he pulls the strings. You'll get it from all sides if you screw up, but I promise it'll get people interested. We all love a good crazy-but-true news item.
gravit8 / 2021-11-01 08:28:15

These cars exert up to 5 Gs of braking force....The article should have mentioned that.It also should have mentioned that down force is sufficient enough to allow the car to theoretically drive upside down (e.g. on a long tunnels roof) at 160 MPH.Engine valves can be made from a variety of materials, including cobalt and titanium, per the FIA rules. So the term "exotic" in the article in subjective, since titanium is "exotic." The aluminum alloys used in the pistons are also "exotic," etc.
ltirocks / 2021-11-06 18:47:53

I'm a fan of NASCAR and LeMans racing and I really, really want to like F1, but everytime I've caught part of a race, it just seems so boring. It seems to this novice that if you aren't in the top 3 coming out of turn 1 at the start of the race, you might as well go back to the garage, since there is virtually no passing. How do racers move up in position? And then the cars seem so fragile...like the slightest contact causes massive damage.
palmbeachjim / 2021-11-09 02:39:09

A little FYI - Indy cars had 1,150 hp turbocharged engines in the late 1960s (based on a boat engine design from the late 1920s), about seven or eight years before F1 cars. Indy cars also had disc brakes in the late 1940s, about seven or eight years before F1 cars. Now, Indy cars have...well they don't have KERS and they don't have DRS...Or engines that wind up to 18,000 rpm. Ok, I'm living in the past. F1 cars are damn fast.
offyatindy / 2021-11-14 03:40:14

This chart does a fantastic job of explaining just exactly how much cool sh!t is banned in F1!!! Active suspension, liquid cooled brakes, boosted engines, composite blocks... Sure it keeps costs down but damn! Imagine an F1 car with a kinetic suspension, or hell go back to the 60's and 70's with spindle mounted downforce wings! Roll bar and spoiler in 1 + crazy amounts of downforce since you no longer have to carry the load on the sprung chassis.
SodamnInsane / 2021-11-18 10:04:14

For anyone looking for some information on some of the specifics on how these marvelous machines are built, check out this wonderful program from The Hamster. For example, to get them revving so high, the engines are built to such insane tolerances that they can't be started cold. Hot oil and coolant must be circulated to bring them up to temperature before they can be started.
Ajhayter / 2021-11-22 02:30:25

Take away all the rules except for incredibly stringent safety requirements that ONLY affect the driver's safety cell, specify a generous maximum weight and maximum allowable size, give them a set fuel allotment, and see what happens. Hint: It'd be awesome. Kind of like early NASCAR and Group B.Screw this design to rules, let's try to design to purpose, with real-world constraints, and then you'll see a lot faster technology transfer and a LOT more ideas being tested.Kind of like the story in Piers Anthony's Hard Sell (can't remember the name of it as a standalone) featuring a manufacturer competition between a bunch of different motive-powered vehicles to drive sales across a monsterous obstacle course of a track—including a loop, ice, barriers, etc. I believe there were turbine vehicles, jet vehicles, gas vehicles, steam vehicles, and the atomic powered car that the unlikely hero drives...but they were all racing and all competitive with each other, letting the market decide.
Piloter / 2021-11-25 00:19:30

In other news....if you'd like to witness the more impressive power to weight = speed ratio; without worrying about 20 worldwide (European and Brazilian) teams with 1/2 Billion dollar budgets...Find your nearest 3/8 mile - 1/2 mile high banked dirt track and watch the World of Outlaws. 900 hp, 1,200 lbs....dirt in your beer and $30 max ticket price....and nearly a hundred races every year around the USA. And many nights, the nascar guys like Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne show up to race.
ThatOneGuyWhoHasAgReatIdea / 2021-11-29 02:04:13

“Formula One organizers in the 1970s decided that maybe it’d be a good idea to try and kill off less racers...” There is quite a lot wrong with this half-sentence. Firstly, the sheer flippancy of it boggles the mind. As if this group of anonymous “organizers” were blithely unconcerned about the safety of the drivers...to the point of killing them off. Then again, naming the organizers and framing their alleged behaviour in this manner might well pique their interest from a legal standpoint. Another omission (or shortcoming, at least) is the specific time during the 1970's that the organizers discussed safety measures (down to the year would have been acceptable). I know why the author of this piece is unable to pinpoint a year in the 1970's that saw great discussion about wholesale safety measures. It didn’t happen. In the 1960's and 1970's the only push for safety came from a contingent of drivers. The first and greatest ‘organizational’ push came in 1986 in the wake of Elio De Angelis’s death during testing at Paul Ricard. Finally...it’s fewer racers, not less.
nxxd / 2021-12-03 22:26:02

Imagine if all F1 engineer's (in their spare time) made - or even designed - a prototype car with nearly no boundaries. No downforce or engine regulations; but the car must stay within specified dimensions (height, weight, length). It's crazy, but it would be cool. Even if the numbers were theoretical. It would be pretty awesome to see what we could accomplish if we didn't have those pesky "regulations" which you speak of. The F1 Ultracar.
Catonawallonfire / 2021-12-06 20:15:07

Well, just consider this, in 1987 Bill Elliot qualified his No.9 Coors Ford Thunderbird in the Winston Cup 500 at Talladega at a speed of 212.809....34 years before the top F1 speed quoted above. Top tier NASCAR drivers are racing at speeds topping 0ver 200 MPH just about every Sunday, trucks too...and before you haters start snapping and snarling I am an avid FI and IOM TT enthusiast...just trying to keep some sense of perspective here..
scuppers / 2021-12-11 07:18:23