How Much Fuel Does a Formula 1 Car Use?

Hint, it’s surprisingly good!

The Formula 1 hybrid engines produce over 1000 horsepower from a 1.6-litre V6 engine – which is just incredible – and the Mercedes power unit is one of the most efficient internal combustion engines on the planet – including road car engines.

But, if you took your road car and did a full F1 race distance at a race track, you would use less than a third of the fuel that a Formula 1 car would.

Now, this might seem backwards? Surely improved efficiency leads to better fuel economy?

Well, not always. Let me explain.

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Well first we need to figure out the MPG (or fuel consumption) a Formula 1 car produces during a race – so let’s run the numbers.

Formula 1 races are approximately 300 kilometres in length, sometimes marginally more depending on how the lap distances work out – but let’s run with 300.

And the cars are limited to just 110 kilos of fuel, which at typical temperatures is around 140 litres.

Now, depending on the track the cars don’t always use all 110kg, but the majority of the time they do.

Now, what would you guess to be the MPG number? Based on these numbers, this works out to just over 6 miles per gallon. Whilst at circuits like Monaco, this can be as high as 7 mpg.

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