How fast is a Formula 1 car?

How fast is a Formula 1 car?
Mercedes AMG F1/photo by autowp

How fast is a Formula 1 car, probably the first question after one sees first Grand Prix. Because Formula one races are all about the speed. Manufacturers spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars just to come up with the most rapid cars. Drivers also have to train for years just to learn how to tame the four-wheel monster.Keep reading to learn “fast” info on F1 cars.

How fast do F1 cars go? 

This is the first question that would immediately pop into your mind when you hear the words “fast and car”.The short answer to this question would be “Very Very Fast”. You need more details, then let’s focuse on next few lines.

How fast is a Formula 1 car
Juan Pablo Montoya/ photo by Social Media

Montoya or Bottas.. a battle for a record.

The “official” record to the fastest speed, on Formula one tracks, belongs to Juan Pablo Montoya when he recorded 372.6 km/h. as the top speed In the testing month before the 2005 Italian Grand Prix, FIA recognized the record as the fastest speed ever on F1 tracks although it wasn’t set during an official race weekend.

But is it really the top speed?

Valtteri Bottas’ story

In 2016 Mexican Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas with his Williams car reached a top speed of  372.54 km/h, FIA’s official monitors showed the record, however, FIA hasn’t accepted it yet as the official record!

Bottas must be really pissed with FIA as in the qualifications for the 2016 European Grand Prix, the Finnish driver set even a higher top speed when reached 378.035 km/h, according to Williams’ account on Twitter and again FIA refused to acknowledge the record stating that Bottas’ top sped was only 366.1 km/h which didn’t break Montoya’s record!

Aside from Montoya and Bottas confusion, there is a record that beats both former records and with a HUGE margin but also with a twist!

How fast is a Formula 1 car?
Bonneville 400 project

In 2005, Bar Honda came up with the Bonneville 400 project. The idea was to make the fastest F1 car of all time and indeed they did. Honda set a record with its modified BAR 007 when it reached a record of 413 km/h. on a one way straight line but FIA explained that the car didn’t satisfy the requirements of F1 rules as BAR Honda used a moveable aerodynamic rudder for stability control, Formula one regulations state clearly that any specific parts affect the aerodynamic performance of the car must be rigidly secured.

The brave attempt never saw the light of the racing tracks but it turned out to be a huge marketing success for the British company.

How fast is a Formula 1 car
Michael Schumacher by Social Media

King of speed.

Michael Schumacher

Speaking about top speed, we have to mention the king of the sport in general,
Michael Schumacher.
The German Legend holds the record, with a vast gap, for the fastest laps completed by a driver. Schumacher dominated the game for years. He started his career in 1991 and ended it in 2012. During those years, Michael ranks first among formula one drivers by the number of fastest laps with 77 laps,
Lewis Hamilton (56 laps each.) who comes second, Kimi Raikkonen  with 46 laps followed by Alain Prost (41 laps)

 Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen kept the fastest lap when he recorded 1:19.119 in qualifying
for the Italian Grand Prix. Raikkonen managed to break Juan Pablo Montoya’s record which lasted for 14 years when the Colombian driver completed the lap in 1:19.525
As a result, Raikkonen had another record with the fastest average lap speed of 263.588 km/h. beating Montoya’s 262.242 km/h.

 Lewis Hamilton

On September 5, 2020, Lewis Hamilton opened a new chapter in Formula One history. Six times world champion Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday with the fastest lap of 1: 18.887. and fastest average lap speed – 264.362km / h. On October 24, 2020, Lewis Hamilton broke the previous Michael Schumacher winning record to reach 92 wins in Formula One.

Lewis Hamilton wins: Why everyone is obsessed


Formula one cars aren’t just fast, they get fast….really fast!
It’s great to have a car that reaches 350 km/h but it’s fascinating to do that in just seconds, let’s shed some light of F1 car’s acceleration.
 Formula one cars are among the fastest accelerating vehicles on earth. Theoretically, F1 cars can reach 0-60 in just 1.6 seconds. However, the normal range for F1 cars is somewhere between 2.1 to 2.7 seconds but what’s helping this impressive acceleration? The answer would be its unique “power-to-weight ratio
The average F1 car weighs around 1,300 pounds including the driver’s weight and generates over 750 horsepower. This astonishing ratio is the main reason for its rapid acceleration.
How fast is a Formula 1 car
Photo by Social Media

Some critics argue that Constructors’ championship is more competitive and much more difficult than drivers’ championship. That is an understandable argument if we take into account the efforts and details that these constructors care about to come up with the FASTEST car.

So what are some of the elements that determine the car’s speed?

There is a number of factors which affect the speed of F1 cars including (Engine power, downforce setting, and care rake). The constructors pay attention to every little detail hoping to reach the pole positions.

Formula one has always been marked with speed and the glorious sound of its roaring engines. Engineers spend years to make rapid cars under control. However, as Mario Andretti once said: “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.