How Much Horsepower Do Formula 1 Cars Have?

How Much Horsepower Do Formula 1 Cars Have

Formula 1 cars are some of the fastest cars in the world. They can reach a top speed of 223 mph (360 km/h) and have been recorded at nearly 250 mph (400 km/h). They can also go 0-60 mph in just 2.6 seconds.  They are even faster than IndyCars which have a recorded top speed of 236 mph (380 km/h). Due to their turbocharged engines and aerodynamics, Formula 1 cars can produce approximately 1,050 horsepower.

What Is Horsepower?

Horsepower is a measurement commonly heard when speaking about cars. It is a unit of measurement that refers to one foot-pound per second. It is the work done by a force that can raise a 550-pound weight one foot in the air within one second. One horsepower is also equal to 745.7 watts of energy. This means that the average Formula 1 car can lift 577,500 pounds.

Brake Horsepower

Not only do automobiles have the horsepower to propel them forward, but they also have braking horsepower. The average truck has around 500 braking horsepower. To stop an F1 car at such high speed, they need to have good brake horsepower as well as tremendous engine horsepower. Most F1 cars have around 1,000 brake horsepower.

How Do F1 Cars Have So Much Horsepower?

The engines in F1 cars are the top of the line. The engines can spin up to 15,000 RPM (revolutions per minute). The average car’s engine has a max RPM of 6,000 meaning that F1 engines produce nearly three times the revolutions per minute. This is consistent with supercars you might find on the street because those cars are still built for longevity and viability in the long term.


Not only do the engines have the ability to produce such high RPMs, but the aerodynamics of the car are also better than any street car. The aerodynamics move the air up over the car, ultimately pushing the car down onto the track. That enables the car to reach such high speeds and still stick to the ground. It also allows the cars to take corners faster.

Dirty Air

The aerodynamics are different, however, in “dirty air.” Dirty air occurs when following a car too closely. The closer they get to the car in front of them, the downforce created decreases. If a car is following 20 meters behind the car their downforce is decreased by 35%. If they are following at just ten meters behind the car in front of them, their car decreases from its original downforce by 44%.