As is the case with everything in life, change and evolution are constant and that has certainly been the case in the world of Formula 1 over the years. With the weight and cost of the cars now at an all-time high, so are the speeds they reach in the premium class of motorsport.
How much does a Formula 1 car cost?
As the most technologically advanced car, you can imagine that a Formula 1 car does not come cheap. Yet what is the final price of a car and what is the actual breakdown of the cost as it is broken down into components such as engine, chassis and racing consumables such as tires and wheel bearings? To be clear, there is no official information on the exact price of a Formula 1 car, ie. the figures we will present below are estimates based on inside information. With that said, a rough approximation of the price of an F1 car is $18 million. This price includes the aforementioned components as well as many more. For perspective, F1 has a new spending cap of $140 million, meaning a car makes up 13% of a team’s spending. Check out the breakdown below:
|Rear wing/DRS||$77,000 – $136,000|
|Front wing/nose cone||$126,000|
|Additional components||45,000 dollars|
|Steering wheel||44,000 dollars|
|Fuel tank||28,000 dollars|
How much does a Formula 1 car weigh and how tall is it?
To be honest, weight matters for everything in the F1 world, but surprisingly the cars are getting heavier over time. In 2023, the cars are heavier than ever before in the history of the sport, and this is largely due to the addition of safety features such as the halo, which weighs 7kg. It’s also worth noting that during a Grand Prix weekend, car weight can vary significantly. This of course led to the FIA setting a minimum car weight that teams must reach.
So how much does a Formula 1 car weigh? A total of 798 kg (1,759 lb), which is 3 kg more than the original 795 kg limit, which the teams are apparently struggling to meet. Interestingly, there was actually a plan to reduce the weight by 2 kg, but it was reduced to accommodate the addition of heavier tires and mandatory electronic devices in the car. To be clear, the weight shown is for a vehicle with the driver seated, equipped with dry weather tires and without fuel. As you can probably guess, each team’s car exceeds this weight by varying amounts. To date, Alfa Romeo is said to be the only team that is not overweight, which is probably why they are directly opposed to the idea of increasing the minimum weight. As for the dimensions of the car, it is interesting to note that although there is no maximum length, the car cannot be more than 200 cm wide and 95 cm high.
How fast is a Formula 1 car?
Formula 1 cars accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 2.6 seconds. While this may not seem incredibly fast, most of their speed comes from aerodynamics – which are more efficient when the car is going faster – which means they don’t go full throttle from a standstill. As for the fastest qualifying session in F1, it was done by Kevin Magnussen in Mexico at a speed of 351.7 km/h (218.5 mph), while Valtteri Bothas currently holds the record for the fastest speed in a real race at 372.5 km/h (231.4 mph) during the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.
If you’re wondering how this stacks up to IndyCar, it’s amazing to note that while an IndyCar is faster in a straight line, an F1 car is faster over a full lap due to its extreme downforce and cornering speeds. To put that into perspective, in 2019 at the Circuit of the Americas, both cars raced. The first IndyCar time was 1m46.018s at an average of 186.349km/h, while the first F1 time set by Valtteri Bottas in 2019 was 1m32.029s at an average of 206.374km/h. Now you know.