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F1 Car Top Speed: How Fast Do F1 Cars Go

  • Cars Explained
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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Formula 1 racing is one of the most-watched sports in the world. People globally love it for the adrenaline rush they get by merely watching the F1 cars racing through the circuit. Have you ever wondered how fast do F1 cars go? In this post, we’ve answered this often-asked question and other interesting facts about F1 cars. ¬†

The F1 is the geekiest sport of all. Of course, it’s a close second when you compare it with Quidditch! The sport is filled with quantum mechanics, aerodynamics, engineering, high speed, deep strategies, and plenty of drama.¬†¬†

The burning tires, the loud cheer from the fans, the sound of the powerful cars, and the amazing driving skills of the racers make it one of the most exciting sporting events. If there’s one thing synonymous with F1 racing, it is speed. Read on to know more about the speed of an F1 car and other interesting F1 trivia.¬†

How fast do F1 cars go?  

F1 cars can accelerate from 0 ‚Äď 60mph in just 2.6 seconds and clock up to 360kmph or 223.6mph. The formula one car reaches high speeds because of its carefully engineered aerodynamics. Also, the aerodynamics works better when the car goes fast. Finnish racing driver Valtteri Bottas holds the world record for the highest speed in an F1 race. He clocked 372.5km/h (231.4mph) in the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.¬†¬†¬†


Interestingly, F1 cars are designed to be fast on circuits rather than in a straight line. That’s why the team behind the building of the car change it according to the track. Also, the cars have a maximum speed limit in place for the safety of the drivers and viewers.¬† ¬†

How fast do F1 cars go

F1 vs NASCAR cars   

The NASCAR cars reach 0 ‚Äď 96kmph in 3.4 seconds and can clock up to 199.4mph – slower than an F1 car. Although F1 and NASCAR cars are used in racing, they’re built very differently. A NASCAR vehicle is designed to go around an oval track, and they typically can clock up to 200mph.¬†¬†

The NASCAR cars are large, heavy, and have higher endurance when compared to an F1 car. These cars can run at high speeds for a longer time. On the other hand, F1 vehicles are designed to run at high speeds for a shorter time interval.  

Over the years, NASCAR imposed several restrictions to reduce the cars’ speed as part of its safety measures. The decision was taken after an increasing number of incidents where both drivers and spectators were injured.¬†¬†

F1 vs Indy car  

IndyCar is the fastest single-seater racer car, not F1 cars. IndyCar can clock higher speed than F1 cars on a straight line. The highest track speed of an IndyCar is 380kmph. This is 20kmph faster than F1 cars. However, there’s a downside to IndyCars. They take a longer time to achieve these high speeds. ¬†

How fast do F1 cars accelerate? 

F1 cars are famous for their high speed but not for acceleration. These cars are built to make them fast in circuits, not in a straight line. Even if a driver starts slow in an F1 race, he catches up and sometimes even wins the race.   

What’s more, the reduced acceleration in formula one cars preserves the tires and other essential components. This, in turn, help improve the racing abilities throughout the race.¬†¬†

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 ‚Äď 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.¬†

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