F1: The more things change, the more they stay the same

–Compiled by Dick Pong–

Now 18 years on, Dock Pong compares the performance of:

  1. A naturally aspirated screaming 2005 V10 F1 car
  2. A current hybrid F1 car
  3. The proposed 2026 next-generation cars.

Primary objectives of 2026 cars:

  1. Improve overtaking by reducing car size
  2. Improve energy efficiency better fuel economy, more reliance on energy recover

Lap times are nearly identical after 15 years, but how they achieve it are changed.

2005 V10 F1 2023 V6 Turbo Hybrid F1 2026 Next Generation F1 draft proposal
Bahrain (5.412 km) Lap Time 1m29.527s 1m29.708s TBD
Qualifying Power 950 HP
(all from ICE)
~1000 HP
160 HP from ERS
840 HP from ICE
~1000 HP
470 HP from ERS
530 HP from ICE
Car + Driver Weight (no fuel) 605 kg 796 kg (added weight due to hybrid components) 770 kg
Overall Length 4500 – 4800 mm 5400 – 5500 mm (much longer) 4900 mm
Wheelbase 3050 – 3150 mm 3600 mm 3300 mm
Overall Width 1800 mm 2000 mm 1900 mm
Fuel Capacity 150 L 110 kg 90 kg
Aero Flat Bottom Floor Ground Effects Floor Retain Ground Effects but reduce Drag
Tires 355 mm (Front)
380 mm (Rear)
305 mm (Front)
405 mm (Rear)
295 mm (Front)
390 mm (Rear)


Note: The 2005 F1 cars were capable of quicker lap times if slick tires were used. Why? Much lighter!

2005 German Grand Prix Saturday Qualifying, Hockenheim, Germany. 23rd July 2005
Fernando Alonso, Renault R25

2005 F1 cars: https://www.f1technical.net/f1db/cars/years/2005

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing 2023 RB19 during the Bahrain February Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on Thursday February 23, 2023 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)


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