Formula One is one of the world's racing sports, recently gaining popularity and amassing substantial fan bases globally. Since its inception in 1946, F1 races have been held to determine the world's best drivers and vehicle manufacturers. In the competitions, speed is a significant factor used to determine the fastest F1 car ever.
This formula changes annually and is keenly designed to drive innovation and creativity within the sport. While ranking, other factors such as skills, handling, braking, reliability, and performance over a race distance are also considered. Dig in for more details about the top 10 fastest F1 cars ever.
Top 10 fastest F1 cars ever
Over the decades, F1 racing competitions have had 73 championship-winning cars, each with incredible performances. Some of these cars stand out from others in terms of innovation, design, and speed. According to various online sources, SportsBrief has compiled a list of the top 10 fastest F1 cars ever.
10. Lotus 78 (1978)
Driven by Mario Andretti, the Lotus 78 won the 1978 World Championship and the Constructors' Champions. Being the first car to use a ground effect in F1, it also featured a V8 engine with a top speed of over 200 mph or 321.8 km/h.
Ground effect allowed cars to corner at high speeds with improved handling. With the new aerodynamic technology, the Lotus 78 became superior to other cars, and the results were evident when it debuted and won five of the year's races.
9. Brawn BGP 001 (2009)
The Brawn BGP 001 was one of the most competitive F1 cars in the 2009 season, with two drivers, Jenson Button, and Rubens Barrichello. The car was originally Honda with a Mercedes engine that turned out to be incredibly quick, often beating their rival Ferrari.
It made a memorable season as it had a great story of being in production right before the looming competitions and eventually taking home the trophy. The BGP 001 success is owed to the fact that it had a double diffuse wing that created a massive downforce giving it a considerable advantage over the other models.
8. Williams FW14B (1992)
The Williams FW14B is one of the fastest F1 cars of all time, with a record of nine wins in the 1992 season. Its carbon fiber chassis made it lightweight, with technically advanced traction control features, and it could reach a top speed of over 200 mph or 321.8 km/h.
Wheeled by legendary drivers Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, it debuted at the South African Grand Prix and tore up the track. The FW14B occasionally gained more than two seconds on their rivals, which is considerable in the racing world.
7. Ferrari F2004 (2004)
Driven by Michael Schumacher, the F2004 was one of the most dominant F1 cars in history, winning 15 out of 18 races. The formidable machine was one of the fastest, with an unbroken lap record reaching a top speed of over 200 mph or 321.8 km/h.
Its success was based on a more resilient engine, gearbox, excellent handling properties, and speed. The Ferrari won the year's Drivers' and Constructors' Championships and was regarded as the quickest car ever made by the Italian marque.
6. Williams BMW FW26 (2004)
The BMW FW26 is ranked number 6 and is considered one of the fastest F1 cars ever made as it showed dust to the unbeatable Ferrari F2006. The driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, drove at an average speed of 162.9 mph or 162.2 km/h in qualifying and thus became a lap record.
The race car had a quirky design that proved efficient while in testing, but in competitions, under pressure, it could not maintain consistency.
5. Red Bull RB7 (2011)
Few race cars worldwide have been as successful as the Red Bull RB7. It dominated the F1 competitions for years with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel and recorded a top speed of over 200 mph or 321.8 km/h.
The legendary machine was the best race car in the 2011 championship. It used a 2.4-litre capacity Renault V8 engine with a 7-speed semi-automatic transmission and a kinetic energy recovery system to store braking energy when needed.
4. McLaren Mp4-4 (1988)
With a top speed of over 207 mph or 333 km/h, the Mp4-4 rewrote history in the 1988 World Championship when drivers Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna stole the show with mad skills bagging 15 out of 16 races.
The race car had a 1.5 litre, 650 horsepower Honda V6 engine, which was less potent than its rivals. The smaller engine resulted in it being lightweight with an ultra-streamlined shape that inspired many drivers, among them Lewis Hamilton.
3. Red Bull RB18 (2022)
The RB18 is one of the fastest F1 cars ever built, with a small but powerful Honda power unit designed with a ground effect that produces a massive downforce. After winning its first championship in 2011, Red Bull struggled under Mercedes' shadow.
Things changed in 2022 when drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez displaced the legendary German team after an 8-year wait driving the all-powerful and excellent Red Bull RB18, which stuck to the racing truck like glue and took corners more efficiently.
2. Ferrari SF70H (2017)
The Ferrari SF70H is ranked second in the fastest F1 cars of all time as it has been competitive and relevant over the decades. World Champion drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel won the Constructors Championship in 2017 with the SF70H.
The race car has a six-cylinder 1600-cc engine limited to 1,950 rpm producing 1000 horsepower. Its lightweight, advanced semi-automatic transmission featuring carbon fibre break and eight forward gears made it the world's most converted jewel.
1. Mercedes W11 (2020)
The W11 or the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance is the world's fastest F1 car with a top speed of 164.267mph or 264.362km/h driven by the legendary Lewis Hamilton. It is considered one of the most excellent F1 cars in history.
The 2020 model relieved the Mercedes team from being pressured by their rivals, Red Bull. It had significant optimizations, including a V6 power unit that produced 1,025 horsepower, kept its rivals at bay, and was often cited as the fastest F1 car of all time.
Fastest F1 car ever, according to Reddit
As per Reddit, the fastest F1 car is the 2020 Mercedes W11, with a record of: 1:27.264, driven by legends Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
What distance has the fastest F1 car covered?
The 2006 Honda recorded the fastest an F1 car has ever gone. The driver, Alan van der Merwe, went down in history with a top speed of 258 mph or 415 km/h in the Bonneville Salt Flats, fully meeting the regulations put in place by the FIA.
What is the fastest-accelerating F1 car ever?
F1 cars have record acceleration of about 0-60 mph or 0-96.5 km/h in roughly 2.1 to 2.7 seconds. However, the 2007 Honda RA107 F1 car has a record acceleration of about 0-100 mph or 0-161 km/h.
Is F1 faster than V8?
The F1 is much faster compared to a V8 supercar and a super motorbike.
Who is the best F1 driver?
Lewis Hamilton is the best F1 driver to grace the F1 racing competition with 103 wins.
According to the regulations, F1 car engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve and create the fastest cars in the world. The legacy left behind by legendary vehicles like the 2020 Mercedes W11 and the 2006 Honda RA106 will always be an inspiration when determining which is the fastest F1 car ever.
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