Through this article, we will do an extensive comparison between F1 cars and the Bugatti Veyron. We will compare cars on their technical characteristics, their respective monetary value and, of course, on their performance on a track.
For performance comparisons, we also need to niche down the context. Let me explain. On a rally setup, it is obvious that a rally car would smash an F1 car. So for argument sake, we will consider an asphalt track, either straight or with turns like a circuit.
Regarding top speed, the Bugatti Veyron can go up to 268 mph (430 kph) and is faster than an F1 car on a long straight line. The absolute record of an F1 car has been set by Juan Pablo Montoya with a speed of 232 mph (373 kph) according to the Guinness World Record.
However, on a race circuit, not a straight line, F1 cars are by far the fastest. When it comes to braking, accelerating and cornering, F1 cars have no competition. It is head and shoulders above any other car that exists. Take for instance the acceleration, the fastest F1 cars can go from 0 to 60 mph (100 kph) in about 1.6 seconds whereas the Bugatti Veyron does it in 2.5 seconds.
So the answer is: on long straight lines F1 cars are not the fastest cars in the world however on a race track or a short straight line they are.
Regarding the monetary value, the cost production cost of a Bugatti Veyron is at $7.950.000 whereas the selling price is at $1.7 million according to CNBC. The cost of an F1 car is estimated to be just above $18 million (source: Forbes, BBC Sport, Bleacher Report). F1 cars are clearly a lot more expensive.
Now we will go in detail about this comparison so keep reading. We have a lot more to share.
Performance Comparison On a Long Straight Line
On a long straight line, only one criterion matters top speed. Here are the values for both the Bugatti Veyron and the selected F1 car.
|F1 Car||Top Speed Measured During the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||SuperCar||Top Speed Measured|
|Mercedes-AMG F1 W10||322.0 kph / 200 mph||Bugatti Veyron||431 kph / 268 mph|
According to the data, a Bugatti Veyron is faster than an F1 car when it comes to top speed. There is a caveat though: F1 cars are faster on a quarter-mile as they accelerate better. Once the Bugatti Veyron has enough speed, it starts to catch the F1 car. Over a short straight line, the F1 car is faster but over a long straight line, the Bugatti Veyron outpaces the F1 car.
Now let’s see they compare on a race track.
Performance Comparison On A Race Track
Speed on a race track is determined by not only top speed but also braking, accelerating and cornering.
The braking system of an F1 car is better than any other car in the world. The Bugatti Veyron has a braking time of 4.2 seconds when going from 100 mph (160 kph) to 0. An F1 car can go from 125 mph (200 kph) to 0 in 65 m and in about 2.21 seconds. Half the braking time with a higher speed. This is quite impressive.
More impressive than that is the difference in acceleration. The Bugatti Veyron’s 0 to 60 mph (100 kph) time is 2.8 seconds compared to the 1.7 seconds of an F1 car. The most impressive thing is this: an F1 car can easily go from 0 to 60 mph (100 kph) and then to 0 again in under 5 seconds. They can go from 0 to 125 mph (200 kph) and then 0 again in about 6.1 seconds.
F1 cars have been studied to take corners at high speed, often more than 125 mph (200 kph). Their aerodynamics is designed for this, especially the front and rear wings. This is easily demonstrated by the lap time that these cars make on a race track. You will find below the lap times of several sports car obtained on the Top Gear test track in Dunsfold. It shows that the Bugatti Veyron is 17 seconds away from an F1 car on a short racing track. That is quite a difference.
|Car model||Lap time|
|Ferrari 488 Pista||01:12.7|
|Porsche 911 GT2 RS||01:13.4|
|McLaren 675 LT||01:13.7|
|Ariel Atom V8 500||01:15.1|
|Dodge Viper ACR||01:15.1|
It clearly shows that straight-line speed is not all and that aerodynamics, braking and acceleration are essential elements of a fast car on a race track. When it comes to it, the Bugatti Veyron is beaten by the F1 car at every turn.
Technical Comparison Of Both Cars
The Championship winning Mercedes AMG W10 is powered by a turbocharged 1.6L V6 hybrid engine producing 1 000 bhp at 15 000 rpm. F1 cars are equipped with state of the art hybrid engines containing 2 additional units: the MGU-H and MGU-K.
The MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic) is an electrical engine that can be reversed into a power unit, linked to the mechanical transmission. It recovers the braking energy and gives it back during acceleration. The MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit – Heat), is also an electrical engine that can be reversed into a power unit, linked to the turbo compressor allowing it to recover the energy of exhaust gas. It helps launch back the turbo before accelerations.
The Bugatti Veyron’s engine is an 8.0L W16 meaning it is a 16-cylinder engine with four banks of four cylinders in a W configuration. The car’s engine produces up to 1 100 bhp at 6 000 rpm. In order to attain such performances, Bugatti had to go look and copy engines used on race cars. For instance, the Bugatti Veyron’s engine is made of titanium piston rods which are commonly used in engines destined for racing.
F1 cars have a semi-automatic seamless shift sequential gearbox with 8 forward and 1 reverse gear. The specificity of the gearboxes used on F1 cars is that drivers change gears by using paddles behind the steering wheel and the gear switch is done automatically without any interruption of any sort and with continuous propulsion of the vehicle.
The Bugatti Veyron, on the other hand, has a 7-speed direct-shift automatic gearbox. In simple terms, it is an automatic gearbox with a dual-clutch, working almost as if they were 2 manual gearboxes in one. It allows quick gear changes and small torque losses.
The chassis of an F1 car is made of moulded carbon fibre shaped in a honeycomb structure. The honeycomb structure is a way of obtaining hollow and rigid carbon fibre structures. The aim is to be lighter and very resistant in case of an accident.
The Bugatti Veyron’s chassis is somewhat similar to that of an F1 car. It is partly made of a survival cell comprising the 2 front seats made with sturdy carbon fibre. The aim is again to gain speed by being light and to ensure safety at the same time. Other parts of the chassis are made out of aluminium.
F1 cars use carbon brake discs and Brembo brake callipers with rear brake wires. F1 cars don’t have ABS as it is forbidden by FIA rules.
The Bugatti Veyron uses cross-drilled, radially vented carbon fibre reinforced silicon carbide composite discs. The Bugatti uses brake callipers made of aluminium alloy.
F1 cars are running on specific tyres adapted to different weather conditions. The FIA regulates the technical specifications of each type of tyres. There are particular types of compounds depending on the desired level of grip and track conditions. The chemical composition of each tyre compound is studied to provide the best possible grip.
The Bugatti Veyron is used specifically with Michelin PAX run-flat tyres designed specifically to withstand the car’s speed. A set of these tyres cost $25.000. Contrary to the philosophy behind F1 tyres design where the importance is put on grip under different weather conditions, the Michelin PAX tyres used with the Bugatti Veyron are designed to withstand the speed of the car. The Bugatti Veyron is also an all-wheel-drive contrary to F1 cars for which the technology has been banned by the FIA.
The suspensions used on F1 cars are made of carbon fibre wishbone and pushrod. They are also composed of activated torsion spring and rockers.
The Bugatti Veyron has combined suspensions and dampers by means of superimposed triangles made of stainless steel.
Cost Comparison Of Both Cars
The F1 Car
|Rear Wing||75 000 €|
|Engine||14 000 000 €|
|Steering Wheel||47 000 €|
|Halo||15 000 €|
|Tyres||2 400 €|
|Front Wing||130 000 €|
|Monocoque||600 000 €|
|Fuel Tank||115 000 €|
|Hydraulic System||150 000 €|
|Gear Box||440 000 €|
|Total||15 574 400 €|
Which gives you approximately a whopping $18.345.000…
The Bugatti Veyron
Unfortunately, the data is more scarce on part production costs for the Bugatti Veyron. What we know is that a set of tyres cost $25.000, a fuel tank $42.000 and a gearbox $120.000.
What is surprising about the Bugatti Veyron’s price is that while its production cost is at $7.950.000, its selling price is only $1.700.000. It means that Bugatti, owned by Volkswagen, takes a massive hit every time a car is sold.
This is due to the fact that a limited number of cars have been produced (only 400) and that Bugatti had enormous R&D spending ($1.62 billion in total). R&D cost alone by car is $4.000.000 which is almost half the production cost.
To Wrap It All
The Bugatti Veyron is faster on a long straight line than an F1 car. But other than this particular case, an F1 car is faster on a race track or a short straight line than a Bugatti Veyron. When it comes to braking, aerodynamics and acceleration the F1 car clearly smashes the Bugatti Veyron.
Technically speaking the Bugatti Veyron is equipped with top-notch technology. Bugatti has spent big money to improve the car in every possible way. But the Bugatti Veyron’s equipment is not as good as what can be found on an F1 car. Although the Bugatti Veyron has complicated technology, this is nothing compared to the technicity involved in an F1 car. The only place where the Bugatti Veyron has an edge is on features like ABS or all-wheel drive that are forbidden in F1 by the FIA.
Regarding the monetary value of both cars, the production cost of an F1 is about $18.000.000 compared to $7.950.000 for the Bugatti Veyron.
It comes as no surprise that a car made by F1 teams spending half a billion each year, aimed at being the fastest possible on every circuit is faster, more expensive and technically more complex than a limited edition car made by a subsidiary of Volkswagen.
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