91 Which is faster - Le Mans LMP1 car or Formula 1 car?

Cover for Which is faster - Le Mans LMP1 car or Formula 1 car?

As someone who has followed Formula 1 for years and sees endurance racing only once a year (24 hours of Le Mans), I have grown a bit ignorant thinking that Formula 1 cars should be fastest at everything - fastest in corners, fastest in braking and fastest in acceleration.

While they indeed are fastest around track, and therefore should be considered as fastest overall, same can not be said about acceleration and top speed. If an F1 car and LMP1 car met at traffic lights (I know, very likely...) the outcome would be not what I expected and highly embarrassing for the "master series" Formula 1. The truth is that LMP1 car would beat it in a drag race by a country mile - it wouldn't even look like a race.

Here are some numbers: According to my (generous) estimates, modern F1 car does 0-100 kph in ~2.5 seconds and 0-200 kph in slightly over 5 seconds. According to same estimates and Porsche's data for 919 Hybrid, LMP1 car does 0-100 in less than 2 and 0-200 in 4.5 seconds. This translates to quarter mile differential of ~0.8 seconds, which is difference between a really fast sports-sedan and a supercar - we are talking multiple car-lengths.

Unless F1 dramatically change technical regulations to allow for all wheel drive, LMP1 cars will remain fastest accelerating race cars for years to come. 2017 F1 regulation changes do not address straight line speed, and, if anything, will make F1 cars even slower in straights. Not that they are slow compared to anything other than LMP1 - lets not forget the amazing Valterri Bottas 355 kph speed-trap in Brazilian Grand Prix just few weeks ago.

Here is fascination comparison of estimated acceleration and braking figures for 2015 Ferrari SF15-T F1 car and 2015 LeMans winning Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 car. Numbers speak for themselves.

2y ago by FastestLaps
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mrft  2w ago

Two years on and that link to Bottas' speed-trap is still wrong: it should say 373kph, not 372.

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GSTB  3w ago

Sorry... I love LMP1 cars but even with 0-60 the F1 is a match and these "estimates" that we see all over the internet are not needed... Hard data is available. Top tier F1 = 0-60mph in approx. 1.7 seconds: The RB11 was clocked at 1.7 and current (top) F1 cars are comparable. The information on the following page is outdated and low compared to this year's cars which are also pulling over 6 lateral Gs in the corners. Wish we could petition FIA to not cripple the cars next year... It's not going to make a huge difference in the "racing" and it will be less satisfying for the drivers who deserve to be smiling at the limits of what their bodies can handle (they are in F1 after-all). https://www.zeroto60times.com/formula-one-f1-0-60-times/

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Fastedee  2m ago

Raikkonen is still fast. Ricciardo is closest Italy has to a star driver and he's Australian lol. Williams reminds me of Manor and Minardi.LMP cars sound faster.

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Jack .K  8m ago

I don’t think people realise that LMP1 cars are purely based of off endurance racing, so they require more mechanics inside the cockpit to make the driver last hours while he drives inside the car, where as an F1 car is based on track laps and being the fastest round a track, and to last about 40 Minutes to an Hour due to their delicacy.

Both are great track cars but are used for completely different reason in racing.

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Vinzas  8m ago

Are kidding me ?

And you are race cars guys ?

Look at this
COTA Circuit 2017

LMP1 pole position Porsche 919. 1:44:471

F1- Mercedes- Lewis hamilton. 1:33:108

Is 11 seconds Ena ugh for you guys ?

That stupid article above could be good for a kids website, but not here

Formula 1 are by far the fastest car on earth , racing is not about going in rocket in a straight line


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everest  4m ago

formula 1 cars have way more down force and are a lot easier to drive than lmp cars. they also have power steering but the main thing to take away from it is that formula 1 cars are much easier to drive than an lmp

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Tyrone1  4m ago @everest

Rofl, no i think what we need to take away from it is that F1 cars are FAR faster on any track with corners.... which conveniently constitutes a track
LMP1 are fast, but nothing close to F1.

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bulos  1w ago

shut your festering gob you tit! you don't know jack shit about lmp. also the 919 evo just made f1 look ridiculous on spa. how bout dat lmao

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Chris Freeman  10m ago

In responding to this I want to respond to both the article, and some of the points other reviewer's make below. In the article you stayed simply straight line speed, 0 to 100 and 0 to 200. That's nice but road racing, and that's what makes both Formula One and LMP racing so exciting, is about breaking and cornering. Can you find some stats on lateral G forces 100/200 to 0 times and distance.

It seems we as humans are always searching for God. Some penultimate power that is 'the best'. As Dr Duke lists below, at the end of the day, it's all about lap time. Same can be said when Indy and F1 ran at Montreal. The slowest F1 was still 3 seconds faster than the pole for Indycar. A quarter-mile run does nothing if you have to make the return trip, and the numbers don't lie. Watching LMP, unfortunately, is almost as bad as F1. The same guys win over and over and very little battling over than keeping one guy behind you. The sheer fact of the track times dictates that if I'm .10 seconds faster than you, by the end of 10 laps I'm a second ahead of you. Watching Hamilton go from last to 2nd is a matter of pure math and not as much driving skill. Passing GT cars on track can add some excitement, but F1 needs about 8 more cars and a more relative supply of engines to keep things tighter and more fun to watch.

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Simon Larsson  11m ago

I think the 2017 F1 cars are faster in a dragrace than the 2016 cars because of the (much) wider tyres that provides plenty of more grip :)

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DrDuke  1y ago

Best lap times in race
2016: 1:40.303 Porsche
2017: 1:38.656 Toyota
2016: 1:58.431 Porsche
2017: 1:57.772 Toyota

Formula 1
2016: 1:35.548 Mercedes
2016: 1:51.583 Mercedes


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saxy  1y ago

The LMP1 cars can literally run that pace all race, every lap, except that they have to navigate through GT and LMP2 cars.

The F1 cars drive mostly between 1:38-1:43 depending on fuel levels and which car and tire conditions. The 1:35.548 lap is by the BY FAR fastest car, on brand new tires, and no traffic.

Again, give them LMP1 cars 20+% more fuel flow rate and they'd shame the F1 cars from 2014-2016.

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DrDuke  1y ago @saxy

first they would need engines who can burn these additional 20% fuel

The question is not what would be in my dream world - the question is what's reality.

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King Rocker  11m ago @saxy

Dude, you are comparing a class where everyone tries to go fastest (lmp) with one where regulations try their best to slow it down (F1). F1 could easily go 4-10 secs down if allowed all the tricks in the book: V10, performant tires, modifiable / bending aerodynamic parts, flat low floor with vacuum effect etc.
It's like comparing Usain Bolt with his legs tied versus an old man. Sure Usain wins, but he could go so much faster.

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FastestLaps  11m ago @King Rocker

It's not like LMP1 don't have plenty of regulations. But, yes, they are more relaxed. This is why I love (or loved? I don't know if there will be LMP1 as we know it next year) LMP1 prototypes so much. They are like engineering showcase - result of what happens when best racecar engineers in the world are given just a bit more freedom to innovate.

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saxy  11m ago @King Rocker

Nope. LMP cars have been getting tighter and tighter fuel restrictions and if that's not enough, also electric power restrictions.
I can guarantee you that F1 cars using the same format right now would be slower using NA V10 engines. They'd produce only about 450hp with their current fuel rates.

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will  9m ago

It is hard fact F1 is faster on track. but article itself wasn't denying that, and the reason being is weight differences, that is all there is between these 2 type of cars, you let those LMPs have same weight as F1s you will start to see some open wheeler getting smoked pretty hard on track. LMPs has same downforce as F1s, better aero dynamics, better tyre, uses less fuel, better acceleration, high top speed, and it run 1 race to cover the track length of whole season of F1 races. like I said if regulation allows it to shed some weight to the level of F1's, those number will be no more. but anyhow, regulations are what make it fun, otherwise why would we have 2 different categories of cars.

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Jev  8m ago @saxy

Lap records are always taken from the race best lap. Quali laps for 2016 F1 are 1:29.2 in Silvertsone and 1:46.7 for Spa.

Absolute lap records (so, race) are:
1:46.577 for Spa, set on lap 41/44 in 2017
1:30.621 for Silverstone, set on lap 48/51 in 2017
Obviously tyres were old, and still F1 are more than 1s/km faster than the LMP1

Even when calculating the average lap times of the last car of the F1 races, they are on par (1 slighlty fastest; 1 slighlty slower) than the best lap time of the 2017 LMP1 car.. And it includes: 3 pit stops on both race, slowing down for blue flags, and Sauber...

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Hef  1y ago

It must be noted the tires that they use in F1 and Le Mans, the Michelins that the LMP1 cars use are proper tires, that can be triple stinted in some conditions but are nonetheless a great tires.
The Pirellis in F1 however are just for show, so maybe there could be a comparison a qualifying times but during the race F1 drivers cannot push at all!


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Fastedee  1y ago

It's Like Christophe Lemaitre in hiking boots,Bermuda shorts and a baggy sweater vs a young Sebastian Coe in the latest running gear.

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BR2+  1y ago

Or maybe talk to a member without sounding like a pompous arse, It does wonders when you don't sound like a dick.


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Fastedee  1y ago

True a very wise point BR2+.

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DrDuke  1y ago

Ah classy saxy again - nope your wrong as usual.

But maybe you belive what the pros say - there are many f1 drivers in lmp1 atm.



Maybe you should start to do your homeworks first before you post nonsense.


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saxy  1y ago

The 2 people you brought up raced in cars from the V8 era and had lighter cars which had much more aero than the cars from 20-14-2016.
LMP cars are generally known for low downforce Le mans trim, but they also have high downforce trim.

How else can you explain how the top LMP cars can run at the same pace if not faster than F1 cars at silverstone in the race? Take Copse corner. LMP H cars corner often faster than F1 cars in-race.

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saxy  1y ago

Until this year, F1 cars did NOT have more downforce. It's just that F1 allows DRS, and much less fuel restriction. the LMP cars are handicapped down some 150+ more hp just from fuel restrictions.
Considering that the LmP cars are running tires that are much harder which can race a full Grand Prix distance, AND have similar race pace as some of the F1 cars despite huge handicaps, the LMP cars have been very impressive.

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DrDuke  1y ago

Laptime is gained in corners not on straights. On every moderne circuit the F1 car is faster than the LMP1. The only exception is Le Mans with 70% straights. If you enter the straight 20-30kph faster you gain more time than when your topspeed is a bit higher.

The F1 car is lighter and has more downforce their disadvantage are the open wheels which produce a lot of drag. LMP1 cars are designed for Le Mans where you drive with low downforce. Under these circumstances the AWD has some benefits mainly tire consumption and acceleration out of slow corners.

The FIA will allways make the rulebook for both classes and F1 has to be faster.


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Christian  1y ago

Lap times don´t lie...

on Silverstone(same configuration) f1 over 7 seconds faster


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saxy  1y ago

In qualifying trim yes, but in race pace, the top LMP cars will run with most F1 cars despite using some 20-30% less fuel AND carrying some 200kg more weight.
Fastest 2015 F1 race lap was 1:37, and 1:35.7 last year.
Fastest LmP race lap his year was 1:39.8.

Given the same fuel flow rate, in sure the LMP car could beat most F1 cars from 2014-2016 straight up.

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FastestLaps  2y ago

In my view, LMP1-H is electric car with a combustion engine and F1 car is combustion engine car with electric motors.

That's why it's critical for LMP1 to be charged and delivering electric power fully, if you want to measure its acceleration times.

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FastestLaps  2y ago

Pay attention to the green "battery bar" next to speedo. It doesn't move 100-200 and starts moving only above that and you can also hear gear noise when electric power kicks in.

During outlap they will have hybrid system in "charge" mode and enable it only when at speed at the main straight to pull high top speed. This way they have good, fast start of first flying lap AND plenty of battery power for acceleration out of corners.

Also, when you see the green power bar move down, it doesn't always move at same speed. They can have "soft" delivery and "full" delivery, depending on whether they are doing a hotlap and the track length and layout (and how much energy use is allowed per lap)

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FastestLaps  2y ago

11s (100-301kph) for 919 vs 6s for Merc F1, same conditions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehZsfG6M6MI&t=44s

Congratulations for posting a completely irrelevant video of outlap with no electric power use during acceleration.

Do you realize that without electric power 919 is no faster (in acceleration) than Porsche 917K from early 1970s?

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saxy  2y ago

lol I find it funny how people are still questioning the power of the 919. The Toyota was already proven 1000hp machine, yet when faced with the newer 919 or even the Audi, it just got blown completely away. It wasn't even close.


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Ethmyster  10m ago

The tso50 uses a v6 engine which is heavier than their past v8 engines. You say toyota got blown away but they posted the fastest lap since the added chicanes?

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sroser  2y ago

11s (100-301kph) for 919 vs 6s for Merc F1, same conditions.


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