F1 Cars Vs. Nascar Cars – What’s The Difference? - One Stop Racing (2023)

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Formula 1 and NASCAR are two of the most popular motorsports in the world. Both ofthese racing forms are highly impressive, and there are many factors that contribute to the excitement, thrill, and dynamics of their respective races. However, while the cars that race in these sports are so different, they are both capable of almost the exact same speeds and racing prowess. This leads many to wonder,F1 cars vs. NASCAR cars, what’s the difference?

F1 and NASCAR cars are different in almost every way. Everything from their aerodynamic design and engine to the tires and the way the cars are driven are completely different from each other. Both machines are capable of incredible racing speeds, with every aspect of each car purposefully designed.

The cars that are used for F1 and NASCAR are vastly different machines, but they are both capable of incredible speed and performance. Both cars are high-performance vehicles that are specifically designed for their respective races, but how do these cars really compare?What’s the difference between F1 and NASCAR cars?Let’s find out!

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What Are The Main Differences Between F1 Cars And Nascar Cars?

The vehicles that are used for F1 racing and NASCAR racing are purpose-built for winning their respective races. This means that they are built to be vastly differentdue to the vastly different nature of the racesthat they compete in.

While both cars are capable of incredibly high speeds and intense performance,almost every aspect of the two cars is completely differentfrom each other.

There are obvious differences between the two vehicles, such as the way they look, but both cars run atvery similar top speeds and performance levels. Are they really so different?

Let’s take a closer look at the real differences between F1 racing cars, and NASCAR racing cars, to better understand how they are both capable of such similar speed figureswhile being so obviously different from each other.

Here arethe main differencesbetween F1 and NASCAR cars:

Car Size

Let’s begin with the most obvious difference –the size of the two cars.

F1 cars are significantly smaller than NASCAR vehiclesin height, width, and weight. Every F1 race car has to adhere to strict size regulations that dictate the dimensions of the vehicle.

The cars that are used for Formula 1 racing can be a maximum of200cm (about 78.7″) wide and 95cm (about 37.4″) tall. The length of the car is not limited, but they are all generally about the same length at about 5m (16.4ft).

Formula 1 cars are built to a minimum weight that no car is allowed to be lighter than. According to the 2021 F1 race regulations,no car can be lighter than 752kg (around 1657lb), which means that most F1 cars weigh exactly 752kg.

This is a drastic contrast to the dimensions of a NASCAR vehicle. The cars that race in NASCAR are significantlylarger than F1 racing cars with regards to their height, width, and weight, but surprisingly are smaller than F1 cars in length (in most cases) and width.

The cars that are used in NASCAR in 2021 are still being run according to the Gen-6 standards. The regulations for NASCAR are much looser than F1, which means thatthe cars do not all have to be the same dimensions.

(Video) Pitstop Comparisons: F1 vs. Formula E vs. IndyCar vs. NASCAR vs. Endurance Racing

However, the dimensions of the NASCAR vehicles are all roughly similar. The dimensions are usually atthe height of around 53″ (134.5cm), width around 110″ (279.4cm) – 120″ (304.8cm) at the wheelbase, length about 190″ (482.6cm) – 200″ (508cm), and the cars usuallyweigh in at around 3100lb (1400kg) – 3900lb (1770kg).

These figures may seem daunting to understand, but it essentially comes down to the F1 cars being shorter, lighter, and narrower than NASCAR cars. While NASCAR cars arelarger than F1 cars in every respect other than length, where they are notably shorter.

The biggest difference in the size of the two vehicles comparatively is the weight. F1 cars are 648kg (1428lb) lighter than NASCAR cars. This means that a car used for NASCAR is almostthe weight of two Formula 1 cars combined.

F1 Cars Vs. Nascar Cars – What’s The Difference? - One Stop Racing (1)

Car Body Shape And Design

The shape and design of Formula 1 versus NASCAR cars is anotherobvious difference between the two vehicles.

F1 cars are designed for maximum downforce and aerodynamics, making use ofdiffusers, wings, fins, and aerofoilsto make the cars as light and fast-moving as possible.

Formula 1 racing cars havenobody shell to speak of, and their wheels and cockpit are exposed. Sharps wings, spoilers, and fins surround the driver in an effort to help the car move through the air around them as efficiently as possible while making the best use of the air flowing around the car to increase performance.

NASCAR cars are not designed to such stringent tolerances, and their design is far more simpleyet still effective for the nature of NASCAR races.

The cars that race in NASCAR arebulky and square compared to F1 racing cars, but this does not mean that these cars are not aerodynamic or designed with an intentional body shape.

These cars are built for maximum speed, sothey are aerodynamically soundand designed for cutting through the air and keeping the vehicle pressed down on the track surface.

Unlike F1 cars, the NASCAR vehicles are body shells attached to a chassis, rather than just an open structural chassis with a cockpit. This means thatNASCAR cars resemble regular cars, just as F1 cars resemble science-fiction space cruisers.

NASCAR cars have features that F1 cars do not, suchas flaps that deploy if the vehicle turns sidewaysto prevent it from rolling. These innovations are a testament to the sophisticated design of NASCAR cars, even though they may not be as space-age as F1 cars.

Racing Chasis

The chassis of these two vehicles isa vital difference to consideras well.

F1 racing teams are required to develop their own unique chassis’ that adheres to the regulations enforced for F1 racing. This means that every F1 teamraces with cars that have unique chassis, and using the same chassis as another team are not allowed.

The chassis’ that are designed for Formula 1 cars aredesigned and manufactured by the Formula 1 teams themselves. This means that the teams with more sophisticated design and manufacturing technologies produce better racing chassis.

In NASCAR, the racing chassis’ are on a more even par. The chassis’ that are used by NASCAR teamsare not unique nor designed by the teams, but they are rather designed and built by major motor vehicle manufacturers that are represented in the race, such as Ford and Chevrolet.

The chassis’ that are used for NASCAR vehiclesare based on the next generation of road vehiclesproduced by the manufacturers. This concept is known as “The Car Of Tomorrow.”

What this means is that the chassis’ used for the racing cars are intended to be used by the manufacturer for their road vehicles in coming years. The NASCAR teamsbuy the chassis from the manufacturer, and this reduces the cost of the car and puts the vehicles on an even level.

(Video) IndyCar vs Formula 1 car: Technical Comparison

Racing Engines

The engines that are used by the two types of racing vehicles arethe most significant difference between themapart from the way they look.

The power unit that is used in Formula 1 racing is as strictly controlled as the rest of the sport. All F1 cars run1.6L V6 hybrid turbocharged engines. These engines have between 875hp – 1000hp and produce around 600 – 650 Nm of torque.

These enginesare incredibly high-tech and refined, being specifically built to produce the maximum amount of power while being as lightweight and small as possible.

In NASCAR, weight and size restrictions are not as prevalent, butthe engines are all roughly the samein every car.

NASCAR vehicles runnaturally aspirated 5.87L V8 enginesthat produce around 850hp and run at around 9500rpm while racing.

Racing Tires

The tires that are used for F1 racing cars are available to every team inseven different rubber compounds.

This means that there are seven different types of tires available for F1 cars to use. Two of which are designed for wet weather racing, and the otherfive are designed for dry conditionswith varying levels of hardness and grip.

However, only three tire compounds are available for an individual race. This isdecided by the tire manufacturerbased on the race track and the racing conditions on the day of the race.

These tires areused on 18-inch rims on all F1 racers since 2021and weigh 10kg (22lb) each, as per racing regulations.

NASCAR tires are a little less complicated, as each car has either a wet or dry tire, with the rubber compound adjusted accordingly, and each wheel is a15-inch tire on a 9.5-inch or 10-inch rim.

That being said, there are plans to increase the size of the tires to 18-inches in the near future to coincide with the next generation of NASCAR racing cars. NASCAR tires weigh 25lb (11.4kg),making them only marginally heavier than F1 racing tires.

F1 Cars Vs. Nascar Cars – What’s The Difference? - One Stop Racing (2)


F1 cars are designed to be raced around some of the most challenging race tracks all over the world. These tracks areriddled with sharp bends, many corners, slopes, inclines, and many other features that make them very tricky to traverse.

The tracks that F1 cars are required to race on has resulted in the racing cars beingvery dynamic and very nimble vehicles.

Formula 1 cars are designed to be as maneuverable as possible through tight corners and bends in both directions, making use of their tires, aerodynamics, bodywork, and clever suspension to get aroundthe winding F1 tracks as quickly as possible.

NASCAR racing cars arenot nearly as agile as F1 racing cars.

These cars are only designed to turn left, around a never-ending left-turn that in the NASCAR racing track. Every NASCAR track is the same, andso the cars can be set up to race in the same way for every tack.

The cars that are used in this sport are not required to be agile in any way, but they are required to beable to handle the intense stresses of constant corneringwithout buckling or losing control.

(Video) F1 VS NASCAR #f1 #nascar

The vehicles are set up to turn left. They do not like to drive straight, and they do not like to turn right, but all they need to do ishold a left turn for 500 laps, and if they can manage that without coming apart, they have done well.

Vehicle Price

Formula 1 cars are precision machines that are built with exact specifications and tolerances that areunmatched anywhere else in motorsport.

This level of engineering comes at a very steep price. Each team has a varying budget for their cars, andevery team runs two cars in every race.

The exact price of an F1 car is a closely guarded secret, but there are estimates that one F1 car may cost a team$15.52 million. This is not taking into account the many millions of dollars that are taken to design, develop, and manufacture the cars.

Each team runs two cars, so the cost of the cars per team isover $31 million.

This is a drastic contrast to thecomparatively minuscule amountthat is spent on a NASCAR racing car.

NASCAR vehicles cost between$200 000 and $400 000 per vehicle. This includes all engines, tires, chassis, and other components that make up the vehicle.

Most of the cost of F1 cars goes intodesigning and manufacturing their own bespoke vehiclesfor every season, while NASCAR vehicles cost comparatively far less because theydo not have to manufacture their own componentsnor adhere to such strict regulations.

Are F1 Cars Faster Than Nascar Cars?

This is a very hotly debated topic among motorsport enthusiasts, as these two types of racing, machineshave very similar top speeds.

However, top speed is not the only determining factor in motorsport, as there are many other aspects of the cars’ performance toconsider before concluding which the faster machine.

Let’sthoroughly compare the speed of the two carsto determine which of the two is really faster.

The top speed record in Formula 1 is246.908mph (397.360km/h).it takes an F1 car 2.5 seconds for an F1 car to reach 62mph (100km/h), and they reach speeds of over 200mph in around 9 seconds.

Comparatively, the highest speed recorded in NASCAR is212mph(341.181km/h),and these vehicles take 1 second longer to reach 62 mph than F1 cars do. It takes 9 seconds for a NASCAR racer to reach 160mph.

These statistics definitively prove thatFormula 1 racing cars are the faster of the tworacing machines.

This is not to say that NASCAR vehicles are by any means slow, only that F1 cars arequicker around a track and have faster acceleration.


At the end of it, comparing F1 cars and NASCAR cars is very difficult. These vehiclesare both built for racing, but the type of racing that they do is so incredibly different from one another that they have been bred to vastly different racing cars.

NASCAR vehicles are large and heavy. They are designed to go aroundan oval track at over 200mph for hours on end.

(Video) Formula 1 Speed Compared to Other Race Cars

F1 cars are low and light, and they are designed totackle twisting tracks for short amounts of timeat break-neck speeds.

The racing cars used in NASCAR run huge engines that are designed for running at high speeds for extended periods, while theF1 engines are smaller and turbo-chargedwith electric boost and energy converting technology that is designed to propel the car around a track sustainably for only a short while.

The needs of these two vehicles are based on the requirements of their racing conditions, and so the cars are very different. They can not be fairly compared, butthere is some conclusion that can be made:

F1 cars arefaster and lighter but not as durable. NASCAR racers are heavier and taller but travel at similar speeds to F1 cars for longer periods. F1 cars are quicker off the line, butNASCAR vehicles have more endurance.

While these two types of racing machines are so vastly different from one another, there is no doubt that these vehicles are both incredible racing machines that aredeserving of all the accolades and praise that they get!














What is the difference between F1 racing and NASCAR? ›

The biggest difference between Formula 1 and NASCAR is that the former is a single-seater, more in line with America's IndyCar series, while in NASCAR the drivers race stock cars.

Which cars are faster F1 or NASCAR? ›

Formula 1 cars are faster than NASCAR cars.

However, NASCAR and F1 achieve similar speeds during races. The differences in car construction and track configurations between the two series equalize the speeds achieved during competition.

Why are NASCAR pit stops slower than F1? ›

Pit stops in NASCAR are slower and arguably more challenging than in Formula 1. That is because while there are over a dozen people involved in an F1 stop, NASCAR rules state that only six mechanics can be involved in a pit stop.

What makes F1 racing different? ›

As well as being fast in a straight line, F1 cars have greater cornering ability. Grand Prix cars can negotiate corners at significantly higher speeds than other racing cars because of their levels of grip and downforce.

Why is F1 so much better than NASCAR? ›

F1 Is the Pinnacle of Technology

And with the switching to 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines for next season, there is also a focus on making the sport ever more greener and economical. It makes the gas-guzzling NASCAR monsters look like The Flintstones by comparison.

What has more horsepower F1 or NASCAR? ›

Formula One engines typically achieve a peak power of around 755 BHP at over 19,000 RPM. In comparison, NASCAR engines usually reach around 820 BHP at a much lower 9000 RPM.

What is the fastest race car in the world? ›

The Chiron Super Sport 300+ is a special version of the already pretty special Chiron Super Sport, built to commemorate a modified Chiron becoming the first hypercar to crack 300mph.

Is there a speed limit in NASCAR? ›

Road course races, like this week's at Sonoma, have a 40 mph pit road speed limit. However, NASCAR allows a 5-mph tolerance, so the effective pit road speeds range from 35 mph to 60 mph.

Can an F1 car beat a NASCAR? ›

A Nascar car can reach 62mph (100 km/h) in a straight line in around 3.5 seconds with a top speed of around 210 mph. Comparatively, an F1 car can do the zero to 62mph sprint in a second quicker and regularly reaches a top speed of 223 mph or 360 km/h, making it a clear winner.

Why do NASCAR cars only turn left? ›

From the beginning, our horse races were run counterclockwise, as an act of defiance against the British. Up the rebels! When NASCAR built its speedways, they kept the tradition.

Why do they only turn left in NASCAR? ›

NASCAR turns left because circuit racing series in countries that use left-hand drive cars typically turn left, for reasons of convention and safety. A driver on the left of the car has greater visibility and a larger cushion of space and machine between themself and the wall when turning left.

Who has the fastest pit stop in NASCAR? ›

However, much like linemen in the National Football League, you don't hear much about the pit crew, unless something goes wrong in the race. After a record-breaking 8.6-second pit stop performed by Kyle Busch's No.

What fuel do F1 cars run on? ›

F1 cars currently use an E10 fuel, which is 10% ethanol.

What engines do F1 cars use? ›

Formula One currently uses 1.6 litre four-stroke turbocharged 90 degree V6 double-overhead camshaft (DOHC) reciprocating engines. They were introduced in 2014 and have been developed over the subsequent seasons.

What kind of fuel do F1 cars use? ›

The fuel revolution has already begun, with F1's new generation of cars running on 'E10' fuel – a blend of 90% fuel and 10% renewable ethanol – this year. “The 10% of ethanol that we're putting in now is entirely sustainable,” says Symonds.

Why is F1 not popular in America? ›

[ii] Despite this global popularity, F1 has struggled to grow in the US market. This has been attributed to various factors such as the open-wheel racing sector being dominated by the Indy 500 and NASCAR.

What is the biggest auto race in the world? ›

24 Hours of Le Mans, original name Grand Prix de Vitesse et d'Endurance or Grand Prix of Speed and Endurance, probably the world's best-known automobile race, run annually (with few exceptions) since 1923 at the Sarthe road-racing circuit, near Le Mans, France.

Is NASCAR cheaper than F1? ›

As NASCAR modifies a “stock” car from popular automakers, their vehicles are relatively cheap at $25 million each. Formula 1, with all of its optimization and technology, is a little bit pricier: a team of two F1 cars costs up to $470 million.

What is the top speed of an F1 car? ›

The fastest speed measured in an F1 qualifying session in 2022 was 351.7km/h (218.5mph) by Kevin Magnussen in Mexico, while Valtteri Bottas currently holds the record for the highest speed in an F1 race, hitting 372.5km/h (231.4mph) in the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.

Is there anything faster than an F1 car? ›

Porsche's new 919 Hybrid Evo Le Mans Car is Faster than an F1 Car​ After retiring from the top tier of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) last year, Porsche have released their LMP1 car of any regulations and made it faster than an F1 car.

What engine do most NASCAR cars have? ›

The cars are currently powered by EFI V8 engines, since 2012, after 62 years using carburetion as engine fuel feed with compacted graphite iron blocks and pushrod valvetrains actuating two-valves per cylinder, and are limited to a 358 cubic inch (5.9-liter) displacement.

Which car is the king of speed in the world? ›

the shelby aero is now the fastest car, with a recorded top speed of 256 mph.

Can an F1 car drive upside down? ›

A modern Formula One car is capable of developing 3.5 g lateral cornering force (three and a half times its own weight) thanks to aerodynamic downforce. That means that, theoretically, at high speeds they could drive upside down.

Who is considered the best race car driver of all time? ›

It is no wonder that Mario Andretti is considered by many to be the greatest racecar driver of all time. His career touched five decades, longer than any driver, and he has won championships at all levels of competition. His list of racing accomplishments seems almost endless.

How much horsepower does a NASCAR have? ›

The engines in today's NASCAR race cars produce upward of 750 horsepower, and they do it without turbochargers, superchargers or particularly exotic components. How do they make all that power? Here are some of the factors: The engine is large -- 358 cubic inches (5.87 L).

What engine is in NASCAR? ›

All Cup cars use V-8 engines from each manufacturer — Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota. The engines can be no larger than 358 cubic inches (5.9 liters), and they still use old-fashioned push rods rather than overhead cams.

What is the fastest speed ever in NASCAR? ›

"The Big One" Speeds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) are commonplace at Talladega. Talladega has the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR vehicle on a closed oval course, with the record of 216.309 mph (348.116 km/h) set by Rusty Wallace on June 9, 2004.

How do F1 cars overtake so easily? ›

So the series authorized the use of a moveable rear wing, called a drag reduction system, or DRS, that may be used on certain parts of the track to allow drivers to rid themselves of the surplus of downforce for a short spurt of speed and cleaner air to overtake more easily.

How much does an F1 tire cost? ›

But typically, an F1 Tyre costs about $2700 per set. So, because an F1 team needs 13 sets per Gran Prix, the total cost of tyres per race per driver is $35,100. However, the teams do not pay for the total cost of the tires; they only pay a flat fee for the season.

Can a motorcycle beat a F1 car? ›

MotoGP trumps F1 at 0-200kph. At around 180kph, the electronics take full control in the F1 car, while MotoGP riders can still work the throttle. The F1 car does it in 5.2s, but it's 4.8s for the bike. The MotoGP bike needs 11.8s to go from 0-300kph, while the single-seater F1 car needs only 10.6s.

Are there any F1 drivers in NASCAR? ›

Nelson Piquet Jr.

After making 28 starts for Brazil during his Formula One World Championship career between 2008 and 2009, Piquet Jr. made the jump to NASCAR in 2010.

Could a NASCAR driver drive in F1? ›

So what the FIA's new rule change means for current NASCAR drivers is that, to become eligible for an F1 ride, you will have to win two championships and finish third in a span of three years. Not even two consecutive second-place finishes in the Cup Series paired with a championship will give you F1 eligibility.

What is NASCAR racing called now? ›

On December 19, 2016, NASCAR announced the new name for the series, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as well as the new series logo and new NASCAR logo. On April 11, 2018, Monster Energy announced an extension of their sponsorship of the series through the end of the 2019 season.

Is NASCAR or F1 more difficult? ›

Driving rules are more complicated in F1, drivers are required to keep track of a lot more track based information then drivers in NASCAR. NASCAR cars are a lot simpler to drive, they are less technically complex, NASCAR has fewer rules and a different form of driver etiquette. Undoubtedly, an F1 driver in NASCAR.


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