Formula 1: Summer Holiday Top Trumps – How does F1 compare?

Ben AutySenior Writer IAugust 14, 2008

Right, before we jump in let me warn you, THIS IS A LONG ONE! Please get comfortable, get a drink, go to the toilet, take the phone off the hook, lock the doors and settle in, this could take up 5 maybe 10 minutes of your time but in my opinion will be TOTALLY worth it, hope you enjoy...

Now if you have followed all of the above instructions you should be pretty much good to go now so let’s jump on in... ENJOY!

Come on, surely we have all played it at one time or another, Top Trumps... That classic game played by children and adults of all ages, still not sure, check out the website –

I was sat watching Top Gear, for those who live in a box or another country most would say that Top Gear is one of the greatest programs the BBC manage to show every year, check it out on the BBC iPlayer -

Links time is over now, on with the article:

I was watching the episode of Top Gear where Richard Hammond races a Bugatti Veyron against a Eurofighter Typhoon, for those who haven’t seen this episode, the Hamster races the Bugatti Veyron 1 mile down a runway and then 1 mile back, at the same time the Eurofighter has to fly 1 mile up into the air and then 1 mile down and whoever crosses the line first is the winner.

Instantly I start to think of other unlikely races that have been race and can be found on You Tube, then I thought... Let’s have a Top Trumps style comparison where I find out just how our modern day F1 cars measure up.

Let’s stick some ground rules in here so that this article doesn’t get the haters queuing up to take a shot at the big guy.


First things first, I am fully aware that in the real world there are WAY too many factors in the different vehicles performances to make this a fair fight including, weight, friction (Land, Sea or Air), the amount of engines and aerodynamics, I could go on but you get the point.

I am also aware that there are some gaps in my stats... Well I am not a human encyclopaedia and the internet isn’t as reliable as one may think, so honestly, guys, if you can help me out with any of my gaps then throw some figures at me and make this article consistent, I don’t think I have done that bad, and it did take 2 days on and off to get what I have.

Finally, this is just a bit of “Fill in the gap” fun for our bored brains during the 3 week summer break, something to have a look at and think, wow, I didn’t know that. So hopefully you guys get a bit of a laugh from it, read on:

F1 Car


  • Weight – 600 Kg
  • BHP – 750
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 2.0
  • Top Speed – 415 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 2,400 cc
  • Cost - £2.2 Million

DID YOU KNOW? – An F1 car is made up of over 80,000 individual parts, if the car is assembled 99.9% correctly it would still have 80 things wrong with it. An F1 car can go from 0 to 160 Km/h and back to 0 in approximately 4 seconds. F1 cars generate so much down force that when travelling at only 195 Km/h they can travel on the roof of a tunnel. On a street course like Monaco, the cars generate so much down force that they could suck the manhole covers open, to prevent this from happening the covers must be welded down before the race.



  • Weight – 1,542 Kg
  • BHP – 770
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 4
  • Top Speed – 340 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 5870 cc
  • Cost - £250,000

DID YOU KNOW? - On straights at 200 mph, NASCAR drivers in one second travel 293 feet, almost the length of a football field. Temperatures in the car often exceed 100 degrees, reaching as much as 170 degrees by the floorboards. Race car driver Lee Petty once left a pit stop and did a full lap at NASCAR with a pit crew member still on the hood. The weight of 1 NASCAR Winston Cup Tyre is equivalent to the weight of 368 Human Eyeballs.

Eurofighter Typhoon


  • Weight – 15,550 Kg
  • BHP – 2,400
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – Not Measurable
  • Top Speed – Mach 2 (2,120 km/h)
  • Engine Displacement – Two EJ200 Turbofan Engines @ 20,000 lbf each
  • Cost - £66.7 Million

DID YOU KNOW? - The Typhoon is capable of supersonic cruise without using afterburner. This is referred to as "super cruise". In 2005, a trainer Eurofighter T1 was reported to have had a chance encounter the previous year with two U.S. Air Force F-15Es over the Lake District in the north of England. The encounter became a mock dogfight with the Eurofighter allegedly emerging victorious.

Thrust SSC


  • Weight – 10,700 Kg
  • BHP – 110,000
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 2.5
  • Top Speed – Mach 1.02 (1228 Km/h)
  • Engine Displacement – Two Rolls Royce Spey Turbofan Engines @ 25,000 lbf each
  • Cost - £20 Million

DID YOU KNOW? – Thrust SSC holds the World Land Speed Record, set on October 15, 1997, when it achieved a speed of 1,228 Km/h (763 mph) and became the first land vehicle to officially break the sound barrier. In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 343 m/s (1235 km/h, or 770 mph, or 1129 ft/s, or approximately 5 seconds per mile).

Red Bull Air Race Plane


  • Weight – 530 Kg
  • BHP – 340
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – Not Measurable
  • Top Speed – 426 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 9,500 cc
  • Cost - £650,000

DID YOU KNOW? - The 'Red Bull Air Race' was conceived in the Red Bull sports think-tank and came from an idea to merge flying with the most exciting elements of motor racing. Using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial race track made up of air-filled pylons, reaching speeds of 370 kilometres per hour while withstanding forces of up to 12 G’s.

Bugatti Veyron


  • Weight – 1,888 Kg
  • BHP – 1,000
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 2.8
  • Top Speed – 406 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 7,993 cc
  • Cost - £760,000

DID YOU KNOW? - Bugatti claims that the Veyron can stop from 250mph to standstill in ‘considerably less than 10 seconds’. Michelin has had to produce unique tyres to handle the Veyron’s unique performance. They feature the PAX run-flat system and can driven on flat for around 125 miles at up to 50mph. The rear tyres at 14.4-inches (540mm) in width are the widest fitted to a production car.

McLaren F1


  • Weight – 1,140 Kg
  • BHP – 550
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 3.2
  • Top Speed – 387 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 6,064 cc
  • Cost - £635,000

DID YOU KNOW? - One key design feature of the McLaren F1 is the positioning of the driver - in the middle, with two passenger seats aft of either side. That makes everything equally distant from the wheel. Every standard F1 has a modem which allows customer care to remotely fetch information from the ECU of the car in order to help aid in the event of a failure of the vehicle.

Moto GP


  • Weight – 177 Kg
  • BHP – 175
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 3.08
  • Top Speed – 285 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 998 cc
  • Cost - £18,000

DID YOU KNOW? - 800 Michelin tyres are used by each rider over the course of a Moto GP season, around 20 rear tires and 8 fronts at each race weekend. At the age of 21 years and 342 days, current champion Casey Stoner became the second youngest rider to win the premier-class title in the 59-year history of world championship Grand Prix racing.

Airbus A380


  • Weight – 276,800 Kg
  • BHP – A lot, I can’t even work it out... Answers on a postcard please.
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – Not Measurable
  • Top Speed – Mach 0.96 (1176 Km/h)
  • Engine Displacement – 4x Engine Alliance GP7000 @ 81,500 lbf each
  • Cost – £660 Million

DID YOU KNOW? – The wings are so big on the A380 that 5,600 people could take shelter from the sun and rain underneath them. The two decks of the plane measure a total of 550m squared, that is equivalent to 10 full size squash courts. The height of the A380 can be matched by standing 5 giraffes on top of each other’s heads. It has a range of 8,200 nautical miles which means that it can fly non-stop from New York to Hong Kong. The Wright Brothers’ first flight was shorter than the A380’s wingspan.

Apache Helicopter


  • Weight – 8,000 Kg
  • BHP – Oh this is just silly, whose idea was this in the first place?
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – Not Measurable
  • Top Speed – 293 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 2x General Electric T700 turbo shaft engines @ 1800 Shp each (Shaft Horse Power)
  • Cost - £36 Million

DID YOU KNOW? – The fuselage design of the AH-64 ensures crew survival at a vertical impact of 42 feet per second. The structure of the AH-64 is designed to allow it to withstand hits from high explosive rounds of up to 23-mm. The two tail rotor blades cross at 55o, which reduces the amount of noise they generate. Apache Longbow crews can even communicate without any one speaking. Apache Longbow's radar can scan, detect, and classify more than 128 targets, prioritize the 16 most dangerous ones, transmit the information to other aircraft, and initiate an attack all in less than 30 seconds.

NASA Space Shuttle


  • Weight – 2,029,203 Kg
  • BHP – Ha ha ha, my calculator isn’t good enough, so once again, answers on a postcard. I give up!
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – Not Measurable
  • Top Speed – 27,875 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 2x Rocket Boosters @ 1,300,000 lbf each
  • Cost – £3.5 Billion (£900 Million per launch)

DID YOU KNOW? - The energy released by the three Space Shuttle main engines is equivalent to the output of 23 Hoover Dams. The four engines of a Boeing 747 jet produce 188,000 pounds (85,277 kilograms) of thrust, while just one shuttle booster produces more than 17 times as much thrust -- 3.3 million pounds (1.5 million kilograms). A pair of shuttle booster’s are more powerful than 35 jumbo jets at takeoff. It takes only about eight minutes for the Space Shuttle to accelerate to a speed of more than 17,000 miles (27,358 kilometres) per hour. The shuttle launches like a rocket, orbits like a spacecraft and lands like a plane. Space shuttles are the "world's first reusable spacecrafts." All of the components are reused except for the external fuel tank. It burns up in the atmosphere after launch.

F1 Powerboat


  • Weight – 390 Kg
  • BHP – 350
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 3.9
  • Top Speed – 240 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – V6 two stroke
  • Cost – £36,000

DID YOU KNOW? - Before obtaining a Super License to drive an F1 boat, drivers undergo a stringent medical and also an immersion test. This involves being strapped into a mock F1 cockpit. The cell is flipped over and the driver has to make his escape while being judged by safety officials. The tunnel hull design of the F1 Powerboat creates an air cushion under the hull, so that at speed only a few inches touch the water, leading to the highest speed possible with these hulls.

MINI Cooper S (My Most Favourite Car... EVER!)


  • Weight – 1,210 Kg
  • BHP – 175
  • 0-62mph (Seconds) – 7.1
  • Top Speed – 225 Km/h
  • Engine Displacement – 1,598 cc
  • Cost – £16,000

DID YOU KNOW? - On 3rd April 2007, the one millionth MINI rolled out of the Oxford Plant after six years of production - just one month longer than it took the classic Mini to reach the same total in March 1965. The team of designers working on the MINI had finished the full-sized clay mock-up of the Mini in plenty of time for a presentation for the board of directors. Chief designer Frank Stephenson realized that the model did not have an exhaust pipe. His short-term solution was to pick up an empty beer can, punch a hole in it, strip off the paint and push it into the clay at the back of the car, which took just a few minutes. The overall design for the mock-up was so good that the board members told him not to change a thing, resulting in the distinctive exhaust tip seen in production cars.

Any shocks in there for you, there certainly were for me... Some VERY interesting figures indeed. Let’s have some fun and get some little mini leagues together just for fun and see where our beloved F1 car stands in the run of things. Again as I said in the disclaimer earlier... Please don’t get all defensive, THIS IS JUST FOR FUN... It means nothing people!

Weight (Lightest to Heaviest)


  1. Moto GP (177Kg)
  2. F1 Powerboat (390Kg)
  3. Red Bull Air Race Plane (530Kg)
  4. F1 Car (600Kg)
  5. McLaren F1 (1140Kg)
  6. MINI Cooper S (1,210Kg)     
  7. NASCAR Car (1542Kg)
  8. Bugatti Veyron (1888Kg)
  9. Apache Helicopter (8,000Kg)
  10. Thrust SSC (10,700Kg)
  11. Eurofighter Typhoon (15,550Kg)
  12. Airbus A380 (276,800Kg)
  13. NASA Space Shuttle (2,029,203 Kg)

So as we can now see our F1 car is 4thin the light stakes, coming in behind the Moto GP bike which let’s face it is not even half the size of the F1 car, and then the Red Bull Air Race plane which has to be light or it won’t get off the ground and that defies the point really, and finally a boat, if that was heavy it would sink... So we can be impressed with the weight of the car, we performed okay in this category.

Next we will take a look at Top Speed’s and how things look in that department. Will the F1 car be at the top of the tree, it’s not likely is it, let’s take a look:

Top Speeds (Fastest to Slowest)


  1. NASA Space Shuttle (27,875 Km/h)
  2. Eurofighter Typhoon (2,120 Km/h)
  3. Thrust SSC (1,228 Km/h)
  4. Airbus A380 (1,176 Km/h)
  5. Red Bull Air Race (426 Km/h)
  6. F1 Car (415 Km/h)
  7. Bugatti Veyron (406 Km/h)
  8. McLaren F1 (387 Km/h)
  9. NASCAR (340 Km/h)
  10. Apache Helicopter (293 Km/h)
  11. Moto GP (285 Km/h)
  12. F1 Powerboat (240 Km/h)
  13. MINI Cooper S (225 Km/h)

A respectable mid table this time falling short behind some giants of the speed world, I don’t think there is anything to be too ashamed of there for our lovely shiny cars. We can score this one as a ‘Best of the Rest’ in my opinion.

Right, one more, lets finish up with cost, my reason for this is because all of the other categories have multiple answers and for some, as you can see I can’t actually get answers due to sourcing problems, so the only fair category left is cost, it’s a good one to look at so here is the countdown:

Cost (Most Expensive to Least Expensive)


  1. NASA Space Shuttle (£3.5 Billion)
  2. Airbus A380 (£660 Million)
  3. Eurofighter Typhoon (£66.7 Million)
  4. Apache Helicopter (£36 Million)
  5. Thrust SSC (£20 Million)
  6. F1 Car (£2.2 Million)
  7. Bugatti Veyron (£760,000)
  8. Red Bull Air Race (£650,000)
  9. McLaren F1 (£635,000)
  10. NASCAR (£250,000)
  11. F1 Powerboat (£36,000)
  12. Moto GP (£18,000)
  13. MINI Cooper S (£16,000)

Well be honest, did you really think that F1 was a cheap business? Nah, of course you didn’t, it’s the sport at the top of the glamour tree and it’s only ever going to be money, money, money, so cost effective it isn’t but would we have it any other way? I know I wouldn’t.

In conclusion, we may not have the fastest vehicle, it may not be the cheapest sport, we might not be able to loop the loop, go into space, shoot down enemies, break the land speed record, float on water or carry 400 passengers but this is our sport, Formula 1, the love of my life and probably yours. I just hope it is here to stay.

I love my sport, I love it more than I could ever put into words. Sometimes I worry that my passion has already developed into an obsession, do I annoy everyone around me by talking about this sport that I love at every given opportunity?

These 3 weeks have been the longest in my life ever, I am sure it gets longer every year and one thing is for sure ... I am certainly in 2 minds about the lack of next seasons summer break, part of me thinks great, I am never further than 2 weeks from a GP but on the other hand it isn’t fair on the drivers.

This has been a majorly time consuming article but no one can say that I haven’t done my research on this one, I just hope you had fun reading it, like I said earlier, we are smack bang in the middle of the 3 weeks summer break and things tend to get boring for us petrol heads so I wrote this with you guys in mind. Hope it was worth the time out to read it?

Comments, Stars and if deserved let’s have a POTD, it’s been a while since an F1 article was top of the rankings.

Ben, Over and Out!


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