Grand Prix cars and the cutting edge technology that constitute them produce an unprecedented combination of outright speed and quickness for the drivers. Every F1 car on the grid is capable of going from 0 to 160 km/h (100 mph) and back to 0 in less than five seconds. During a demonstration at the Silverstone circuit in Britain, an F1 McLaren-Mercedes car driven by David Coulthard gave a pair of Mercedes-Benz street cars a head start of seventy seconds, and was able to beat the cars to the finish line from a standing start, a distance of only 3.2 miles (5.2 km).
As well as being fast in a straight line, F1 cars also have incredible cornering ability. Grand Prix cars can negotiate corners at significantly higher speeds than other racing cars because of the intense levels of grip and downforce. Cornering speed is so high that Formula One drivers have strength training routines just for the neck muscles . Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya claimed to be able to perform 300 repetitions of 50 lb (23 kg) with his neck.
The combination of light weight (640 kg in race trim for 2011), power (950 bhp with the 3.0 L V10, 730 bhp (544 kW) with the 2007 regulation 2.4 L V8), aerodynamics, and ultra-high-performance tyres is what gives the F1 car its performance figures. The principal consideration for F1 designers is acceleration, and not simply top speed. Acceleration is not just linear forward acceleration, but three types of acceleration can be considered for an F1 car's, and all cars' in general, performance:
- Linear acceleration (speeding up)
- Linear deceleration (braking)
- Lateral acceleration (turning)
All three accelerations should be maximised. The way these three accelerations are obtained and their values are:
Read more about this topic: Formula One Car
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