How Fast Can F1 Cars Go? Comparisons With MotoGP, IndyCAR, NASCAR and Formula E

Published 07/11/2021, 11:03 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads at the start of the race ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Without a doubt, F1 has always been the pinnacle of motorsport. However, it is not the only racing series in the world and some other machines are just as fast, if not faster. For instance, there is MotoGP, which is considered the pinnacle of two-wheel racing. Across the pond, there are IndyCar and NASCAR, and those cars are reasonably quick. Finally, there is Formula E, the fairly new kid on the block.


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So, how does F1 speed compare to other motorsports?

Let’s find out!


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Formula E

If we’re being honest, Formula E will be the slowest on this list, as electric motors may not be as quick as a petrol engine. However, it is worth mentioning that the Gen2 cars have a respectable top speed of 280km/h. Admittedly, it is still slower than most top-tier single-seater racing series.

However, the FE cars are designed to race on tight street circuits, so comparison with an F1 car was always going to be difficult. On the bright side, these cars enjoy an acceleration speed of 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds.


In terms of speed, NASCAR cars have a top speed of 321km/h. However, it is worth mentioning that the sport has been placing ceilings on top speed since the 1980s.

Jun 13, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) and driver Kyle Busch (18) and driver Christopher Bell (20) and driver Cole Custer (41) and driver Chase Elliott (9) lead the field at the start of the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This was largely seen as a safety measure, owing to several accidents that injured or killed spectators and/or drivers. Additionally, the cars’ weight is also a factor that lowers its top speed. Finally, NASCAR cars also have an acceleration speed of 3.4 seconds to go from 0-100km/h.


In terms of top speed, MotoGP bikes are also extremely fast. In fact, the top recorded speed in an official session is 362km/h. Of course, MotoGP is divided into three classes, with the 250cc Moto3 bikes, the 765cc Moto2 bikes and 1000cc MotoGP bikes. The Moto2 bike’s top speed is 300km/h and the Moto3 bike has a top speed of 248km/h.

MotoGP – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – April 18, 2021 Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Valentino Rossi before the race REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

MotoGP bikes have the ability to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in around 2.6 seconds. However, it is noteworthy that it takes 11/8 seconds to reach 300 km/h from a standstill.


Without a doubt, F1 cars are quick and boast of a top speed of 372 km/h. In addition to that, F1 cars enjoy an acceleration speed of 2.6 seconds from 0-100 km/h. Admittedly, the cars’ aerodynamics do play a role in adding to the speed.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

It is worth mentioning that Honda took its RA106 to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the US. This is an area that is famous for attempts to break top-speed runs. Here, the manufacturer attempted to breach the 400km/h barrier, but could only muster 397km/h.

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May 15, 2021; Speedway, Indiana, USA; Indy Series driver Jimmy Johnson (48) during the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, there are the IndyCar cars. Out of all the aforementioned racing disciplines, IndyCar is the fastest in terms of top speed. This is because these car can reach up to 380km/h. However, this is offset by the fact that an IndyCar car’s acceleration is slower than an F1 car.


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Dhruv George

11750 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.



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