How Much Fuel Does an F1 Car Use?

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Formula 1 cars are some of the finest pieces of machinery you will find anywhere, capable of top speeds up to 233 mph. Although I am a fan of the sport, I do see many problems that the sport poses to the environment. This is why I would like to see the famous drivers (Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, etc.) switch over to Formula E at some point, which is the electric car version of Formula 1. I think this would help to shift away from traditional gas racing cars and towards electric cars. Unfortunately though, Formula E has not come anywhere close to the popularity of F1 though, so it may be a while before this switch happens.

I have always been curious about how much gas a Formula 1 car uses; obviously, it is pretty resource heavy and a big waste of fuel, but I wanted to see just how fuel inefficient the cars are. The one good thing about F1 (although there is still much work to be done) is that they limit the amount of fuel each car can use in a race, which increases the mileage of the car.

Each team is allowed to use up to 242 pounds of fuel per race; for reference, a gallon of gas usually weighs about 6 pounds, which means your typical 10-15 gallon tank in a standard car will hold 60-90 pounds of gas. Therefore, an F1 car will use about 3-4 full tanks of a normal car in a race. This is actually a lot less than I would have thought, but it is still wasted fuel that could be eliminated by switching only to electric cars (or just eliminating F1, but that does not seem likely).

A final interesting tidbit I found is that the gas used in F1 cars is pretty much the same type of gas that you would find at your normal gas station. While the mix is slightly altered from car to car (for example, Ferrari’s gas is not the same as Mercedes’ gas), most reports I found stated that the gas used is pretty similar to your typical 87 gas you use in normal cars. In fact, one time they switched out race fuel for normal fuel from a Shell station, and it only led the lap times to be 0.9 seconds slower. This shows that while it is not exactly the same, it is similar to the gas we are all used to.


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