Every year in September, throngs of Singaporeans gather at the Marina Bay area to catch a glimpse of their favorite superstars zooming past in their glamorous racing cars, as Singapore plays host to one leg of the Formula One (F1) racing season on a yearly basis. F1 has become the undisputed premier Motorsport racing competition in the world and here are some interesting facts regarding Formula One racing that most fans would not know about (especially if you are someone who only attends their after-parties):
The first F1 Championships inaugurated in 1950
Given an F1 car’s intricate and complex designs that makes it such an engineering marvel, one would be forgiven if you thought F1 racing originated in the 21st Century. In reality, the first ever F1 racing championships took place between May and September 1950, then known as the FIA World Championship of Drivers. This was just years after the conclusion of World War II, featuring 14 teams and a whopping 56 drivers.
F1 Engine Longevity
While your family car’s engine is built to last 10 years or more, an F1 engine lasts on average, about seven races, as the specifications are meant to bring the most out of these engines in these exhilarating races.
The Perfect Pit Stop
Currently, the fastest pit stop timings are jointly held by Red Bull and Williams. While Red Bull took a mere 1.92 seconds to turnover Mark Webber’s car in the 2013 United States Grand Prix, the Williams team matched that in the 2016 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, taking the same time to change four used tires on Felipe Massa’s car.
$12 Million – average cost of an F1 car
$12.2 million to be exact, was the average cost of assembling an F1 car in estimates that are accurate as of last season. This amount accounts for the average cost of major components such as the engine unit, gearbox, wings and hydraulics. However, this does not even include the money pumped into research and development years prior to the unveiling of the car, and not to mention the labor costs involved in its construction.
230,000 – the magic number
80,000 different components and 150,000-man hours are what it takes to build an F1 car!
Oldest winner of an F1 race
This record belongs to Italian driver Luigi Fagioli, who won the French Grand Prix in 1951 at the age of 53!
Surviving 179.8 g-force
English driver David Purley sustained multiple bone fractures but survived a crash in pre-qualifying of the 1977 British Grand Prix in which his car decelerated from 173 km/h to 0 km/h within 66 cm, withstanding a g-force estimated to be 179.8g. For perspective’s sake, a mere 5 g of gravitational force is enough to cause a normal person to pass out. This miracle is one of the highest g-force survivals in a crash.
That is the average time it takes for an F1 car to accelerate from 0 miles per hour (mph) to 60 mph under race conditions. For comparison’s sake, an average production car takes about eight seconds to go from 0 mph to 60 mph.
Ordered to crash?
Dubbed “crash-gate”, the first ever F1 night race held at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 was shrouded with controversy when it was revealed an engineered crash enabled Renault’s Fernando Alonso to win the race. Starting 15th on the grid, Alonso managed to take the lead after the safety car was implemented, following a crash by his teammate Nelsen Piquet Jr. It was revealed later that the Renault team ordered him to crash, calculating the opportune moment for Alonso to capitalize on the safety car’s implementation. It remains one of F1’s biggest scandals to date.
The Singapore Grand Prix is scheduled to begin on the 20th to 22nd of September 2019. Get your tickets here.Leave a comment