Formula One Facts
The average cockpit temperature is around 122 F (50 C), rising even further at races in the hottest countries.
F1 - The chassis – the car’s main structure – is incredibly strong, being made from over a thousand different parts of Kevlar, carbon fibre, metal and various honeycomb structures.
The safety of modern F1 cars means drivers can withstand huge crash impacts. The biggest crash impact on record was suffered by David Purley at the British Grand Prix in 1977, where he had an impact that was estimated as 197.8g – meaning his car went from 108mph to a standstill in two seconds. He recovered and went on to race again.
F1 helmets are among the toughest things in the world. Some of the tests they have to pass to be deemed legal to race in are being subjected to an 800 degrees C flame for 45 seconds (without the heat inside the helmet exceeding 70 degrees C) and a visor that has projectiles fired at it at around 300mph. If any of these make dents deeper than 2.5mm, the helmet also fails.
At 120 miles per hour, a Formula One car generates so much downforce that it can drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel.
Formula 1 cars have around 800bhp but only weigh 640kgs including the driver. That means they have similar power to a Bugatti Veyron in a car that has around half the weight of a new Mini.
A Formula One car has a minimum weight of 1,415 pounds (642 kg), excluding fuel.
A Formula One driver loses about 6.5 pounds (3 kg) of weight during a race as a result of high G-forces and temperatures.
Formula 1 drivers are subjected to forces of up to 5G when racing – meaning that in a very high-speed corner, their body will experience pressure five times greater than their body weight.
A Formula One car is made up of about 80,000 components.
Before the Monaco Grand Prix, manhole covers are welded down. That’s because the downforce created by an F1 car has enough suction to rip them off!
While aeroplanes use their wings to lift them into the air, F1 cars use theirs to create downforce – the force that pushes them onto the track and helps them corner faster and have more grip. It’s said that at upwards of 150mph, a Formula 1 car will create so much downforce that it could be driven upside down on the ceiling of a tunnel.
A Formula One car has more than 0.6 miles (1 km) of cable in its bodywork.
The front suspension of a Formula 1 car is so strong that it can withstand two tonnes of pressure. That means that those carbon fibre rods that connect the wheels to the main body could have an adult bull on top of them without breaking.
F1 - When a car is driving in the wet, the tyres get rid of 250 litres of water per second – enough to fill a large bath.
Formula One drivers experience forces up to 5G when taking sharp corners — meaning they experience a lateral force of about five times their own weight.
F1 - Monza in Italy is renowned as the hardest track on brakes. When drivers brake for the first corner they go from 200mph down to 60mph in just over two seconds.
F1 - Under extreme braking, some drivers have said that this force is so great that their tear ducts squirt water into their visors.
F1 - Over a race weekend, a driver will change gear about 8,000 times.
F1 - Even after a race has been completed, a car’s tyres will be about 120 degrees C – hot enough to cook an egg on.
There were 957 pit stops during the 2012 season, including 14 drive-through and two stop-go penalties.
A Formula One car can go from 0 to 100 mph in 1.5 seconds.
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