F1 car Vs Road car

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    A question for anyone who knows.

    If a formula one car was on the hard shoulder of a Motorway(freeway) getting ready to go, and a road car came past doing 80 mph at the precise second the F1 car set off, how long would the F1 car take to catch up with the road car?



    Depends on the F1 car’s acceleration.



    Short answer: about five seconds.

    Long answer: on Wikipedia, I found the acceleration to 100, 200 and 300 km/h, which I plotted in a graph with Excel (red is the 80mph car, blue is the F1 car). I added a trendline, which returns a third degree polynomial. This can be integrated, which gives the distance travelled and can be plotted in a graph along with the distance travelled by the car. The intersection between the two graphs is the point at which the F1 car overtakes the car: 4.7 seconds, with 170 metres travelled.


    I’d say it also depends on driver: for instance, Mark Webber will overtake the car after 6 seconds :P



    A wonderful example of Maths and Physics applied to F1. As an engineering student, the link between science and F1 is what inspired me to follow this career in Uni. Brilliant @andae23!!

    Ps.: Grosjean would crash into the road car LOL.



    @andae23 That’s awesome! It took me a couple of minutes to figure it out. Incidentally 4.7 seconds is the exact time it takes me to put on and take off my tin foil hat…

    On a sidenote, 0-300 km/h in 8.6 seconds???? Are they serious?

    P.S. Maldonado would definitely t-bone that car off the road:-)



    @andae23 thanks for the analysis. 4.7 seconds is mighty impressive. Hope Wikipedia data is accurate.

    @freelittlebirds If I were in that road car, I would be scared of Maldonado, but Grosjean in an F1 car coming from behind would scare me s***less. Just ask Ricciardo.



    I would really be scared if the F1-car was driven by Cecotto Jr…



    @freelittlebirds That’s 8.6 seconds to travel 300 metres, not 8.6 seconds to hit 300 km/h.



    @nicholas Sunderland
    Actually it is 0 to 300 kmh (186mph) in 8.6 seconds

    I hear you man, it’s really unbelievable. It’s for the 2006 F1 with 1,250hp.

    There is a * next to the 300kmh which stands for:
    Figures are heavily dependent on aerodynamic setup and gearing.

    I guess the car is set up for maximum acceleration, not race setup



    @freelittlebirds The 2006-spec F1-cars did not have 1250hp, more around 800-850.



    You are correct – they had a power-to-weight ratio of 1,250 hp/t (0.93 kW/kg). Not quite the same:-)



    @freelittlebirds In that case, the V10’s would have around 750-800hp. The V8’s have 650hp(?) without KERS, anyone an idea of how many hp’s the 2014-turbo’s will have? 550? 600?

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