Modern race cars are incredible machines to watch and admire, especially when they’re being driven to compete. But there are plenty of other interesting facts about these vehicles that, once you know them, make the experience of watching them even more fun and enjoyable.
1: Formula 1 race cars need to be preheated
Have you ever noticed Formula 1 engineers turn on a car’s engine long before someone gets in to drive it? That’s because it has been determined that for some design reason, Formula 1 cars engines can’t be turned when they’re cold. This is also the reason why you’ll see Formula 1 cars with external heaters.
2: Race cars are the reason for most auto advancements
If you’ve ever wondered why a certain feature or accessory in your normal care exists, chances are it was first developed for a race car and now it has been installed as a regular feature.
3: Racing cars is a secret weight loss trick
Some people work out, some people eat less and some people race cars. It turns out that Formula 1 racing can lead to drivers losing up to 4 kilograms in a single race. However, this is mostly due to the unbearable temperature in the cockpit – so it’s definitely not an actual weight loss option for normal people.
4: The cockpit isn’t the only place that gets hot
A Formula 1 race car’s exhaust can reach 1,000 degrees celsius. In case you’re wondering, that hot enough to erode aluminium, which melts at 660 degrees. Because of their high burning power, Formula 1 race cars require various expensive metals to complete their tailpipe builds to ensure their safety. If you’re interested in learning more about race car materials, we’ve written an entire article about it here.
5: Defying gravity is par for the course
Ever watched a Batman movie and envied all the tricks the Batmobile can do? Well, guess what, under the right conditions a Formula 1 can do some of those tricks too – in particular, driving upside down. There’s a lot of debate over whether this can cause damage to the car but, even so, the truth is that the aerodynamic downforce of a Formula 1 car can allow it to move upside down.
6: Formula 1 race cars have to constantly get new engines
Unlike a normal car engine that lasts for several years, a Formula 1 race car engine is generally only good for up to five races due to the amount of pressure they are under during every race.