Formula 1 was inaugurated for the first time in 1950 and has been entertaining motorheads for the last 6 decades. For those who know nothing about the racing sport, a typical Formula 1 season is composed of a series of races that are commonly referred to as "Grand Prix." These series of races are held in different parts of the world on both public and circuit roads. The winners are evaluated using a point-based system that determines the best constructors and drivers during the course of the season.
The traditional base for the Formula 1 sport is in Europe, but it has a global appeal and is particularly huge in the United States. The cars are very expensive to build, and there's a lot of money that's involved in Formula 1. Ferrari, as a constructor, has enjoyed success in Formula 1 by winning 6 consecutive titles. Mercedes is trying to catch up with the record, but it's going to be an uphill task if competition is anything to go by. The Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton rivalry is something that will be interesting to note with this new 2018 season.
There are some little-known facts that only a true Formula 1 fanatic would have at his or her fingertips. These facts are very interesting, even for a person who doesn't follow the sport.
19 Formula 1 Cars Accelerate From 0 To 100 MPH And Hit Back To Zero Within 4 Seconds
Just imagine accelerating to 100 mph and back to zero in just 4 seconds. You might not survive if you have a heart condition. According to Telegraph, the effect is like feeling your body being squeezed with an invisible force. Breath control is important in such a situation, and F1 drivers have to go through several drills to prepare for G-Force. The reason why Formula 1 cars are capable of such a record is that they have to abruptly brake when they approach corners then accelerate immediately, as it's a game of speed and time. Stamina and overall physical fitness come into play when the drivers are experiencing the force.
18 Average Basic Cost Of An F1 Car Is $7 Million Without Basic Components
Formula 1 racing isn't for everyone, and you'll need to have the backing of a multi-billion dollar company in order to participate. According to F1-Grand Prix, the average cost of a Formula 1 car is $7.2 million, and that's when some components haven't been factored in. It even gets worse if the racecar is involved in a crash, as it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair it.
The main participants also spend around $320 million a year on their cars which isn't cheap.
Team cars can consume up to 200,000 liters per year, which runs at a cost of $450,000. The engine has to be the biggest cost because they can only be used in 5 races.
17 Brake Discs Can Reach 1,000 Degrees Centigrade
Formula 1 racecar brake discs are made from indestructible carbon fiber. According to Askmen, the brake discs can reach up to 1,000 degrees centigrade. This is the same temperature of molten lava. Extreme braking situations produce such a great force that the tear ducts of the driver squirt water. The brake discs have seen numerous improvements over the years, and engineers are going past the boundaries of what was seen as impossible just a decade ago. In 2016, Formula 1 made an attempt to make 1,200 holes in a single brake disc. The holes are meant to cool the air, as it can get really hot. F1 brake discs used to have just about 100 holes a couple of years ago.
16 Engine Can't Be Turned When It's Cold
According to F1Technical, it's nearly impossible to turn an F1 engine when it's cold and has already been tuned. The engine is usually preheated before being fired up. This mechanism would require that there's an external heater pump. It'll be impossible to turn the engine because of the high tolerance level of the racecar. The gearbox also needs to be on par with the operating temperatures, even before the first gear is engaged. This is one of the reasons why it would be impossible to put a Formula 1 engine in a normal car. It would always be a challenge to start the vehicle because of the pre-heating engineering.
15 Revs Up To 15,000 RPM While Normal Vehicles Go Only Up To 6,000 RPM
A normal vehicle can achieve up to 6,000 RPM, while a Formula 1 racecar can achieve twice as much. According to Wikipedia, this is made possible because of the power that's produced by the engine. The naturally aspirated engines for Formula 1 cars haven't changed over the years and have been consistent with the output. Before the 1980s, most Formula 1 engines were limited to 12,000 RPM because the valves were closed with metal springs. They were replaced by Pneumatic valve springs from Renault, which had a high rising rate, naturally. Almost every Formula 1 race car is manufactured with the same technique, which enables them to achieve up to 20,000 RPM.
14 Each Car Has 80k Assembled Components
According to Sky Sports, the average Formula 1 race car is made up of more than 80k components. These components need to be pieced together with a high level of accuracy for the Formula 1 car to perform to the highest standards. Every piece of engineering has a function and has been well thought of to the last detail. A Formula 1 car might look simple to an outsider, but it takes a lot of work and resources to come up with one. There's a 99.9 percent requirement that the components have to be fixed with accuracy if the racecar is to perform to its optimum. There's no margin for error when it comes to Formula 1 vehicles.
13 The Crew Can Change Tires And Refuel In 3 Seconds
Just imagine how long it would take you to change all the tires on your car and to refuel it. Probably 2 hours? According to Motorsports.com, the average F1 crew takes about 3.0 seconds to change the tires. This is important because constructors are also gauged at the end of the season. For the driver, it means he'll focus more on the time to complete the race. The fastest tire-change record was broken in 2016 when Massa's pit crew changed the tires in a record 1.92 seconds. They beat Red Bull who had held the record at 2.05 seconds. Try looking up the video on YouTube. It doesn't seem to take even a second to the naked eye.
12 F1 Engine Lifespan Is Less Than 5 Races
According to F1Technical, a normal Formula 1 engine can't last more than 5 races. The participants set aside a sizable budget just for the development of the engine. The engine of a Formula 1 race car isn't that of a typical one found in a Toyota that can give you 200,000 miles without a sweat. The tolerance and the capabilities of the F1 engines are on another level. They're engineered to get the best out of them, even if it means functioning just for a few hours. The high level of precision that goes into building the engines means they're more subject to wear and tear. A good question to ask yourself is why are F1 cars with such small engines able to produce over 800 HP?
11 The Weight Of A Formula 1 Car Mustn't Be Under 728 KG Without Fuel
According to Wikipedia, the 728 KG permissible weight includes the driver but not when the car has fuel.
A big majority of Formula 1 cars are made from composite carbon fiber, which makes them very light.
The 728 KG threshold is also when the F1 cars are already fitted with dry-weather tires. Before 2014, most cars couldn't meet this requirement and had to add ballast to make up the difference. Ballast was the ideal choice to be used because it could easily be fitted into any part of the racecar, which is integral in linear weight distribution. This, in turn, lowers the center of gravity of the car for better stability on the track.
10 The Average Driver Loses 4 KGs In One Race
This could be seen as the perfect way to lose weight for someone who loves cars. The unfortunate reality is not everyone can drive a Formula 1 race car even if you can afford to take it for a ride.
According to Quora, the main reason why Formula 1 drivers lose up to 4 KGs is the unbearable temperatures in the cockpit.
Temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius in the cockpit. A Formula 1 driver has to wear two different sets of clothing. The first one is a fireproof suit, just in case the race car catches fire, while the other is the normal racing suit. The physical impact of the G-Force also has an effect on the weight loss.
9 A Driver Loses 3 Liters During A Race
This is also because of the temperature levels in the cockpit. According to Telegraph, the average F1 is equipped with 1.5 liters of water in the car, which is hooked to the helmet. This, in most cases, isn't enough to keep the drivers hydrated for long enough. One can't help but wonder how the drivers manage to race for 2 hours straight without taking breaks. It takes a lot of endurance and physical fitness to be a Formula racecar driver. F1 drivers don't like racing in hot temperatures. The Singapore circuit is one of the toughest in the world because temperatures can reach up to 32 degrees Celsius with 70% humidity. You can just imagine the temperature in the cockpit!
8 Tires Lose 0.5 KGs During A Race
It's not only the drivers who are affected when it comes to weight loss. According to Mydriftfun, Formula 1 car tires lose 0.5 kgs during the race. This is because of the wear and tear that come as a result of the high speed and the abrupt breaking. The G-Force doesn't spare the tires.
A good Formula 1 car with bad tires doesn't stand a chance when it comes to competition.
The main supplier of Formula 1 tires is Pirelli, which is famous for the dry-weather components that are used. A typical road tire could last over 10k miles, but an F1 tire can manage only 74 miles, but that's also dependent on the components that are used.
7 A Driver Can Survive The Impact of 100 MPH To Standstill In 2 Seconds
Formula 1 cars aren't all about speed and performance. They're one of the safest cars in the world. The cars are also horribly uncomfortable, and it takes a lot of endurance to race for hours without being fatigued. There have been a lot of F1 crashes over the years, and a good number of them haven't been anywhere near fatal. According to Wired, an F1 driver can survive an impact that involves the car going from 100 mph to standstill in 2 seconds. There are hundreds of safety regulations that a car has to pass for it to be eligible for Formula 1 racing. The driver's cockpit should be protected as much as possible.
6 Helmet Among The Toughest In The World
According to Formula1, the biggest injury threat involves head and the neck trauma. Formula 1 has tried mitigating this kind of injuries by setting very high standards with the helmets that are used by the drivers. The first condition is that a Formula 1 Helmet must be extremely light. This presents the challenge of coming up with a product that can also be as tough as it needs to be. To ensure that the helmets meet the strict requirements, they have to go through a couple of fragmentation and deformation tests. Carbon fiber is the main material that's used to make Formula 1 helmets because of its robustness. The outer shell consists of two layers, with carbon fiber making most of the material.
5 Three People Named "Hill" Have Won The World Championship
The "Hill" name is synonymous with success when it comes to Formula 1. The world championship is a coveted prize, and that's why teams spend millions of dollars trying to capture it.
According to Wikipedia, there have been 3 different people named "Hill" who have won the Formula 1 World Championship.
The most famous of them all has to be Graham Hill, who changed the narrative of the sport. He's among one of the oldest people to win a World Championship, as he did so at the age of 36. He's won the title twice and was even featured in the movie Grand Prix, which I would highly recommend if you love Formula 1. He embodies the sport in his lifestyle and everything he does.
4 46 Drivers Have Lost Their Lives Racing
As much as Formula 1 cars are among the safest in the world, there are some calamities drivers can't avoid. There have been a total of 46 recorded deaths as a result of Formula 1 car accidents. The oldest driver to have died was 50-year-old Chet Miller, while the youngest was Ricardo Rodriguez, who was 20. The accidents have led to tougher safety measures. There were no accidents between 1994 and 2015, and the latest one involved Jules Bianchi after he was in a coma for more than 9 months. We hope there will be no more tragic fatalities in the sport as the safety continues to improve. The 2000s is the only decade in the history of Formula 1 where there were no deaths.
3 Only 1 Female Driver Has Managed To Score A Point
Formula 1 is predominantly a male-dominated sport, and there haven't been a lot of women involved. There have been a few Formula 1 female drivers in the past, but a lot of them didn't have the necessary talent to compete at the highest level. The most successful driver was named "Lella Lombardi." She managed to qualify for a total of 12 out of the 17 races she participated in. She scored half a point in the 1975 Spanish GP, a feat which no other female has been able to achieve up to today. She had a 3-year career in which she drove for Williams, March, and RAM F2 teams.
2 McLaren's Title Drought
McLaren hasn't won a lot in the last decade or so. The company spends millions every year in the hopes of clinching the World Championship. The last time McLaren won the world championship was in 2008, and Lewis Hamilton was behind the wheel. The company also last won the constructor's title in 1998. We hope that this season, it'll happen for them because of their history with the sport. On a lighter note, we could say that McLaren ended their title drought in 2017 when they won the team's boat race in the Canadian Grand Prix. It's something to be proud of, especially for McLaren fans. In early September of 2017, Fernando Alonso warned that the team needed to win a title for him to stay.
1 A Formula 1 Car Can Drive Upside Down
According to Mdd-Europe, in theory, a Formula One car can drive upside down. This has been a long-discussed idea, and it looks like it could happen given the right conditions. According to Formula 1's official website, a modern F1 car is able to produce 3.5g, which is 3 times its weight. This is made possible by the aerodynamic downforce. The downforce is not the only thing to consider for an F1 car to drive upside down. The biggest challenge would be how the fluid systems would function when the car is upside down. Which driver would also want to take part in such an experiment? It's highly unlikely that the brakes and the clutch would work while upside down.
Sources: F1technical.net; wikipedia.org; f1-grandprix.com; Formula1.com