NASCAR vs. F1: The Ultimate Showdown (2023)

Did you know that the first NASCAR race was held in 1949, while the first Formula One (F1) race wasn’t until 1950?

810 HP No Windshield - Ferrari Monz...

810 HP No Windshield - Ferrari Monza SP2

Nowadays, F1 races are typically watched by fans all over the world, while NASCAR races are popular only in certain regions of the United States. So why is F1 so much more popular than NASCAR?

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these two types of racing.

The races

NASCAR races are held on oval tracks; while F1 races are held on road courses

There are 3 main types of tracks used in NASCAR:

  • Short tracks (less than 1 mile/1 lap – Bristol, Martinsville, Richmond)
  • Intermediate (Atlanta, Charlotte, etc.)
  • Superspeedway (Daytona, Pocono)

While many people think NASCAR is just cars “turning left for a living”, there are several tracks that involve both directions. However, the oval tracks are still the most common.

Formula 1 cars can turn in either direction, that’s one of many reasons why F1 fans love the sport. The F1 races are much more challenging because the tracks include many twists and turns.

(Video) NASCAR vs F1 | INCREDIBLE Differences🔥

NASCAR races last for about three to four hours; F1 races last for about an hour and a half

This is because of 3 reasons:

  • NASCAR races are much longer. For example, Daytona 500 is 500 miles long, while Monaco Grand Prix is only about 161 miles.
  • The cars are also much slower in NASCAR. The average top speed of a NASCAR race is over 200 mph; the average top speed of an F1 car is about 220 mph.
  • NASCAR cars run many warm-up laps and have more accidents. Therefore, they have more yellow flags than F1 does.

Because NASCAR races are way longer, they are split into 3 stages. F1 doesn’t have that.

NASCAR is about the best strategy; F1 is about the fastest car

It doesn’t mean that NASCAR doesn’t require speed and F1 doesn’t require strategy.

It’s just that in NASCAR, with the best strategy, little to no mistakes, and a little bit of luck will make you win the race. If you have the fastest car in a NASCAR race, but you are not patient, you do not try hard enough to avoid accidents, or your pit crew make a little mistake, you will not win.

In F1, the fastest car will almost always win the race. This is because tracks are so twisty that it’s hard for cars behind to catch up (because of “dirty air” left by front cars, cars behind will lose downforce and grip). This makes overtaking by the speed in F1 very difficult, so the best way to do this is to use pit stops. However, F1 races have fewer pit stops (from 2 to 3) than NASCAR do (from 4 to 12.)

NASCAR races have 40 cars; F1 races have 20

As mentioned above, NASCAR races have lots of crashes. During a typical accident, there can be a dozen of damaged cars that are not able to continue the race. Therefore, the number 40 will eventually reduce when the race goes on.

NASCAR’s pit stop takes 14s; F1’s takes 2.5s

F1 pit stops are much faster not because the NASCAR pit crew are less professional. There are many reasons for this huge gap:

  • NASCAR pit crew only includes 5 people, while F1’s have more than 20.
  • There are 5 lug nuts in a NASCAR’s wheel and only 1 in an F1’s.
  • Refueling is not allowed in F1 pit stops, while NASCAR cars need to be refueled as the race is much longer in length.

NASCAR races have much more crashes

Both of the sports do not allow drivers to hit each other intentionally. However, in NASCAR there are more chances that this could happen because of the number of cars on track (actually you can see accidents on every single NASCAR race).

The crashes are, in fact, what makes NASCAR an interesting sport. So, drivers hit each other, causing chaos on the track, not really a big deal and they rarely get any penalty for that.

On the other hand, in F1, if you hit another car on purpose, you will have a serious penalty. This is because an F1 crash can cost up to millions of dollars and the crash itself can be extremely dangerous for the drivers. The video below is a good demonstration of how severe an F1 crash can be.

The car design

NASCAR cars have V8 engines; F1 cars have V6 engines

NASCAR cars use a 90° 5.86-liter V8 engine, which can produce up to 750 HP. This number is technically equal to an F1 engine (turbocharged 90° 1.6-liter V6). However, since 2014, F1 engines use an energy recovery system (ERS) to gain some extra HP, so theoretically, F1 engines can achieve more than 1000HP.

The fact that NASCAR engines do not use any turbochargers or superchargersbut still have the magical number of HP is something that still amazes many people.


Moreover, NASCAR engines are designed to last much longer than F1’s.

NASCAR cars’ average top speed is around 200 mph; F1 cars’ is 220mph

A powerful engine is not the factor that affects the speed. F1 is much faster because of 3 main reasons:

  • More powerful engine (as mentioned above)
  • Better aerodynamics, more downforce. Therefore, NASCAR cars do not have the same level of grip as F1 cars do (the better the grip, the faster you can take corners)
  • NASCAR cars weigh 3400 lbs; F1 cars weigh 1300 lbs. NASCAR cars are bigger and bulkier with the sedan chassis while F1 cars have open wheels and cockpit.

NASCAR cars cost around $400,000; F1 cars cost more than $12 million

According to, the cost of a NASCAR car can be broken down as below:

  • Engine: $60,000 – $150,000
  • Chassis: $70,000 – $120,000
  • Insurance: $30,000 – $50,000
  • Tires: $350 – $450/1 tire

F1 cars are just on another level. According to, an F1 car can cost up to $12.20 million:

  • Engine Unit: $10.5 million
  • Chassis: $650,000 – $700,000
  • Gearbox: $400,000
  • Hydraulics: $170,000
  • Front wing: $150,000
  • Fuel Tank: $140,000
  • Rear wing: $85,000
  • Steering wheel: $50,000
  • Halo: $17,000
  • Set of tires: $2,700

The drivers

NASCAR drivers are older

The average age of NASCAR drivers is 39 while F1’s is 25.

The biggest problem drivers must encounter when they accelerate, brake, or take corners is G-force. A healthy human body can withstand 9 Gs for a few seconds. As drivers age, their neck and back are less able to cope with the G-force stress.

NASCAR drivers typically take a maximum of 3 Gs during the curve, while F1 drivers experience5 Gs while braking, 2 Gs while accelerating, and 4 to 6 Gs while cornering.

Most of NASCAR drivers are American; F1 drivers are from all over the world

Because NASCAR is the motorsport that is mainly popular in the US, most of NASCAR drivers are American. said “Although NASCAR has focused on adding more marquee international drivers to the Sprint Cup Series in recent years, the results have been average at best. Attempting to find foreign names on the NASCAR all-time wins list is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

On the other hand, F1 is very common all over the world. Therefore, their drivers are from different continents, having different colors.

Can F1 beat NASCAR?

If we’re talking about cars, definitely yes! F1 cars have more powerful turbocharged engines and a lot more downforce. Therefore, F1 is faster than NASCAR both on the straight line and corners. Let’s take a look at the video below so you can have an idea of how insane this gap is.

And that are the differences between F1 and NASCAR. Sports of all kinds, from F1 to NASCAR or rally racing, are all exciting in their own ways. We should set aside the differences and just enjoy them for what they are.

Other references:

(Video) Nascar and the Art of Revenge

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Would an F1 car beat a NASCAR on a NASCAR track? ›

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.

What is better NASCAR or Formula 1? ›

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. Find more information on the top speeds in Formula 1 and NASCAR below.

Is NASCAR faster than F1? ›

The cars' weight also works against them in terms of outright top speed. The current top speeds recorded in NASCAR are around 321km/h, quite a bit slower than F1 and IndyCar. NASCAR also has a slower acceleration time, going from 0-96km/h in around 3.4 seconds.

Why is F1 more exciting than NASCAR? ›

F1 Is a Truly Global Sport

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.

Has an F1 driver ever won a NASCAR? ›

One driver who left F1 and made a full time switch to NASCAR was Juan Pablo Montoya. Honestly, there isn't a car out there that Montoya can't win with. He won in F1, he's won the Indy 500 and he's got three wins across NASCAR Cup and Xfinity.

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.

Is NASCAR the #1 sport? ›

Some key facts: 1 in 3 U.S. adults, or 75 million people, and countless kids are NASCAR fans. Roughly 40% of fans are women. The sport has become the No. 1 spectator sport, and 17 of the top 20 most attended sporting events in the United States are NASCAR events.

Is NASCAR richer than F1? ›

NASCAR Driver Salary vs.

As you can see in the charts below, the highest-paid Formula 1 drivers make about twice as much money as their counterparts in NASCAR, with Lewis Hamilton earning $40 million per year compared to Kyle Busch's $16.9 million.

Do more people watch F1 or NASCAR? ›

Think about this – the F1 race had about 2.58 million viewers for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. While those are great numbers, they are average for NASCAR. In 2021, NASCAR averaged about 2.93 million viewers across the season.

Is NASCAR or F1 louder? ›

It is not the most deafening of motor sports, with drag racing and F1 recording more noise at 150 and 130 decibels, respectively. Because NASCAR cars lack mufflers, they are louder, which reduces the amount of noise they emit.

Would an F1 car beat an IndyCar? ›

IndyCar can hit a top speed of around 236 mph in a race, on low downforce setups at the end of straights and on oval tracks. Basically, an F1 car will cook an IndyCar in Monza. But an IndyCar will outpace a an F1 car in Indianapolis.

What is the fastest motorsport in the world? ›

The starting point is F1. There's no question that it's the fastest category in the world.

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.

Is F1 the most prestigious motorsport? ›

Formula One (F1) is the most prestigious motor-racing competition on the planet. Every season, from March to December, 10 F1 teams participate in races across the world. The 2022 season features 22 “Grand Prix” weekends on five continents.

Has America ever had a F1 racer? ›

There have been 57 Formula One drivers from the United States including two World Drivers' Championship winners, Mario Andretti and Phil Hill. Andretti is the most successful American Formula One driver having won 12 races, and only Eddie Cheever has started more Grands Prix.

What F1 driver turned NASCAR driver? ›

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.

Who has had the longest NASCAR career? ›

Morgan Shepherd
Achievements1980 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division Champion Oldest driver to start a NASCAR Cup Series race (72 years, 9 months, and 1 day)
Awards2005 NMPA Man of the Year
NASCAR Cup Series career
517 races run over 29 years
29 more rows

What is the 0 100 mph of an F1 car? ›

Formula One race cars have been recorded to reach 0-60 as fast as 1.6 seconds, however the typical range for modern day F1 cars is between 2.1 to 2.7 seconds. The 2007 Honda RA107 f1 race car goes 0-100 mph in a blistering 4 seconds flat.

Are there any race cars faster than F1? ›

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 RPM do NASCAR engines run at? ›

Contemporary Cup engines run 9,800 rpm, 87.59 fps (26.95 m/s), at the road course events, on Pocono Raceway's long front stretch, and at Martinsville Speedway (a . 526-mile short-track).

Why is NASCAR not as popular? ›

Reasons cited for its decline include the aforementioned track changes, the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow which both drivers and fans alike criticized, the constant tinkering of the rules of its championship and the racing itself, the change in its race day experience, the perceived decline in the quality of its ...

Is NASCAR or NFL bigger? ›

When it comes to team worth, once again the NFL has a huge advantage over NASCAR. The average NFL team is worth $2.5 billion and according to Forbes Magazine that's up 8% over last year, and all but five of the NFL teams are worth at least $2 billion.

Why do people think NASCAR isn't a sport? ›

An online dictionary provides the better definition of “an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.” NASCAR, without a doubt, is competitive but requires more of a mental than physical exertion.

What is the most popular motorsport in the world? ›

Formula 1. Formula 1, or F1, is the most popular racing series in the world right now. Formula 1 cars are open, single-seat cars, known as some of the fastest vehicles in the world, if not the absolute fastest. Formula 1's roots go back to the 1920s, but officially, F1 racing began in 1946 with the creation of FIA.

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.

Has a woman ever won a NASCAR race? ›

As of April 2021, Shawna Robinson, Hailie Deegan, Manami Kobayashi, and Gracie Trotter remain the only women to have won a race in one of NASCAR's touring series. Robinson won three times between 1988 and 1989 in the now-defunct Dash Series, Deegan won three races in the K&N Pro Series West between 2018 and 2019.

What is the most popular racing series? ›

Formula 1 is the most storied and prestigious automotive racing series in the world. It's come a long way since its first race way back in 1950, and a modern F1 car is one of the most technologically advanced automobiles on the planet.

What state watches the most NASCAR? ›

West Virginia

Is NASCAR the most watched sport in America? ›

It has slowly grown, winning the hearts of many and keeping them glued to the screen until the action is done. With four consecutive racing weekends down the line, analysis shows the four events have been the most-watched sporting events across the United States. Surprisingly, NASCAR has also outshined other sports.

What is the loudest motorsport? ›

Drag racing: The loudest sport. THREE OLD LADIES ARE RIDING ON A BUS. The first says to her friends, "It sure is windy."

Does F1 require more skill than NASCAR? ›

The F1 needs more data on race day than NASCAR to develop a winning strategy. Also, the tracks develop two different kinds of skill sets in drivers. The various corners in F1 circuits require drivers with high braking skills, while NASCAR wants drivers to brake less.

Will F1 cars ever be loud again? ›

Will F1's 2026 engines bring back the screaming V10 engine noise? With the MGU-H being scrapped and newer fuels being brought in, the future of F1's engines could mean a much louder noise at the track yet again, whilst keeping the benefits of the hybrid era.

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.

How much horsepower does a F1 engine have? ›

For a decade, F1 cars had run with 3.0 L naturally aspirated engines with all teams settling on a V10 layout by the end of the period; however, development had led to these engines producing between 730 and 750 kW (980 and 1,000 hp), and the cars reaching top speeds of 375 km/h (233 mph) (Jacques Villeneuve with Sauber ...

How much HP do F1 cars have? ›

According to the SCA expert, with its power unit, the V6 turbocharged engine of a Formula 1 car can produce roughly 1050 horsepower. When this power is combined with the architecture and other characteristics of a Formula 1 car, you get a machine that can reach speeds around 400 km/h.

What is the hardest motorsport to get into? ›

Open-wheel racing, like Formula 1 or IndyCar racing, is often considered the most difficult and requires exceptionally skilled drivers worldwide. Formula 1 racing is called the pinnacle of driving.

What is the fastest race car ever built? ›

What is the number one fastest car in the world? The fastest production car in the world in terms of projected figures (before an official run has been made) is the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut, with a calculated top speed target of over 310mph.

Is Formula 1 faster than IndyCar? ›

IndyCar machinery reaches top speeds of approximately 235mph from twin-turbocharged 2.2-litre V6 engines, whereas F1 cars reach top speeds of approximately 205mph from turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 hybrid engines - although in 2019, both Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez managed to hit 223.5mph at Monza and Mexico City, ...

What is the US version of F1? ›

The United States Grand Prix is a motor racing event that has been held on and off since 1908, when it was known as the American Grand Prize. The Grand Prix later became part of the Formula One World Championship. As of 2022, the Grand Prix has been held 51 times at ten different locations.

Can an American be an F1 driver? ›

F1 will hold three races in the United States in 2023, more than any other country. So where is the American talent? There hasn't been an American driver in Formula 1 since 2015, but that will likely change next season as Williams Racing announced Saturday that Logan Sargeant is on track to join F1.

Why does everyone like F1 now? ›

Given that Formula 1 fans are attracted to high-tech vehicles, speed, and driving skill – the fact that McLaren's history is home to the most iconic car and the most legendary drivers make it an enduring fan favorite.

Who dominates F1 racing? ›


What is the toughest Formula 1 track? ›

The Maggots/Becketts track in Silverstone is one of the most challenging tracks for drivers. Most Formula fans and professionals are aware of the enormous difficulties of this track. The technical turn combo in racing is one thing that makes the track in Silverstone so notoriously challenging.

What is the Holy Trinity of racing? ›

The Triple Crown of Motorsport is an unofficial motorsport achievement, often regarded as winning three of the most prestigious motor races in the world in one's career: the Indianapolis 500 (first held in 1911) the 24 Hours of Le Mans (first held in 1923) the Monaco Grand Prix (first held in 1929)

What is the easiest racing to get into? ›

Autocross is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get into racing. Typically, autocross is where an organization rents a parking lot and sets up a temporary racetrack using cones.

Can anything beat an F1 car around a track? ›

Nothing can beat an F1 car around an F1 track. On a single lap a LMP1 car would come closest !

Is there anything faster than an F1 car around a track? ›

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. Now, that's how to have 'one last hoorah'.

What is the difference between NASCAR and F1 on a NASCAR track? ›

Both motorsports have a different format. F1 runs for 2 hours, including any stoppage, while NASCAR can take up to 3 hours to finish. F1 not only depends on the drivers but also on the pit crew. The F1 race can be done with just one pitstop, which only allows the teams to change tires.

What is the deadliest F1 track? ›

Jeddah Corniche, Saudi Arabia

This track has only been on the F1 calendar since 2021 but is already notorious for being one of the most dangerous tracks in the sport.

What fuel do F1 cars run on? ›

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

Do F1 cars have a clutch pedal? ›

To answer if F1 cars have a clutch, yes, they do, though it is not a traditional pedal like you would see in your road car. The F1 clutch is on the steering wheel and works whenever an F1 driver flicks their shift paddles to change the gear. When that happens, a computer operates the clutch to adjust gears.

What is the fastest an F1 car has gone in a race? ›

Finnish racing driver Valtteri Bottas holds the world record for the highest speed in an F1 race. He clocked 372.5km/h (231.4mph) in the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.

What is the fastest racing sport? ›

The starting point is F1. There's no question that it's the fastest category in the world.

Which track do F1 drivers like the most? ›

Let us take a look a the ten popular Formula 1 tracks
  • Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italian Grand Prix. ...
  • Circuit De Monaco, Monaco. ...
  • Silverstone, United Kingdom. ...
  • Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada. ...
  • Marina Bay, Singapore Grand Prix. ...
  • Hockenheim, Germany. ...
  • Suzuka, Japan. ...
  • Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium.
Apr 5, 2022

What is louder NASCAR vs Formula 1? ›

If you are near the track or are near Pit Lane, your NASCAR Engines can generate up to 130 decibels of noise. It is not the most deafening of motor sports, with drag racing and F1 recording more noise at 150 and 130 decibels, respectively.


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