The Incredible Evolution of Formula 1 Horsepower | Track Evolution

Check this out. This is a graph of how much power Formula 1 engines have produced from the very first championship race – all the way up to today.

And the build-up has been far from steady, with massive breakthroughs and tight restrictions. So let me take you through it, explain why these changes have happened as well as the engineering behind it.

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But before we run through this, I’d better explain how we have got to this graph – because it’s been tricky. As you will all know, F1 teams very rarely share horsepower figures for their engines – and for good reason.

For example, Mercedes wouldn’t want Honda knowing how much power or torque the engine produces as it may expose secrets about how the engines are tuned, or designed.

It would also allow them to match the performance figures and then elect to work on reliability, or efficiency – or something else like that.

So they’re kept secret. Well, except for when they can boast about things. For example, Renault, back in 2014, announced that their engine had 1000 horsepower. And, if you can remember, they were far from the front of the pack at this point.

Whilst the rest of the grid stated their suspicion about the accuracy of this, it worked as a PR booster – and well, that’s why these manufacturers are in F1, to begin with.

So sometimes they announce numbers. Another way is from testing historical cars. For example, many cars are sold off after they are retired from Formula1, Scott has driven several Formula 1 cars that are in private ownership because of this. So if you can put one on a dyno, it’s relatively easy to get a good idea of the power they are producing.

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