Formula One cars are undoubtedly bonkers. These ultra-lightweight, extremely powerful carbon fibre spaceships on wheels are the pinnacle of motorsport — but how fast are they really?
Well, that’s what today’s very special drag race will prove. It’s one thing seeing how fast an F1 racer is in a pack of 24 of them, but what if you square it against a road car?
We’re not bringing along a regular family hatchback though, rather one of the fastest road-legal cars ever made — the Bugatti Chiron.
Powered by a quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine, it produces a monstrous 1,500hp and 1,600Nm of torque pounded to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
It’s fairly porky though, tipping the scales at 1,995kg. There are the tyres too — although super grippy, they still need to be road legal, which isn’t something its competitor today needs.
This isn’t just any ordinary F1 car, either. This 2011 Red Bull RB7 took Sebastien Vettel to his second championship title, winning 12 of the 19 races it competed in that year with 27 podiums split between the German driver and his Australian teammate Mark Webber.
It comes from an era when F1 cars still used V8 engines too, rather than the V6 hybrids of today.
Its 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated Renault unit produces 750hp, which is delivered through a seven-speed sequential gearbox to the rear axle of a car weighing just 650kg. You don’t need an MA in Mathematics to realise that is quite the power-to-weight ratio.
Then there are those super chunky, super slick Pirelli tyres designed especially to make the most of an F1 car’s performance. Oh, and you might find there’s a pretty hand driver in the seat too…
So then, can a championship-winning F1 car beat one of the fastest road cars ever made in a drag race, or will the Bugatti shock the pinnacle of motorsport? You’ll need to watch to find out.
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