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How much does a car weigh: Formula 1, NASCAR, Rally and our cars.

Taisiya Lavi May 20, 2020

How much does a f1 car weigh? NASCAR car? What about average car weigh? Why these are so different? Today about the weight, not that on your scale, but why it’s so important for race cars?

Have you ever wondered why we don't just buy race cars and speed through the highway? Or for the love of mechanical details, what the weight of these cars could be?
Eating your cake and having it is the underlying motivation behind hybrid cars and automobile construction in general. We want rides with the engines of an F1 car, but all the comforts of a sedan or the utility of an SUV. Well, constructors try to give us the best of both worlds, but their limits can only go as far as the physics of weight and mass allow. Take a little technical ride with us.

Mass denotes the amount of matter that is contained in any object and is measured in kilograms(kg). In our case, it is measured in pounds (lbs). Mass is different from the weight (force experienced by an object due to the action of gravity on it)
***One pound  = 0.45 kg.

Balance in physics is most often dependent on mass and this is what applies to cars as well.

For race cars…

Doomsday was built for the sole purpose of taking down Superman, so too are race cars, to dominate their respective tracks. All the different types of race cars are built for particular environments subject to a specific range of conditions. Every part and piece of tech in the car plays a role that all contribute to drivers being in perfect harmony and balance with the car, for optimum performance, with mass at the center of it all.

In F1, cars have a minimum and maximum mass and take into consideration the driver's mass as well. Drivers are supposed to have a mass of at least 176 lbs, below which objects called ballasts are used to compensate. The mass of driver plus car must make up a total of 1,631lbs (car weighs 1,455 lbs). 


For rally cars, the car must have a mass of 2,645 lbs, with the driver coming in at at least 330 lbs. The heaviest race car happens to be Nascar stocks, which heave in at 3,300 lbs. However, the pattern is clear, F1 cars are built for speed, rally cars are built for speed and resistance, while


Nascar stocks are endurance vehicles that require stability to ward off other cars and make banks. F1 cars battle natural conditions and G forces and need to be as maneuverable as possible while accelerating at split-second intervals. They need to be lightweight.


On ordinary roads, these cars will have their moments but ultimately won't last as long as they should. A change of speed for an F1 car, which is built for acceleration may cause accidents.

The Road cars…

Despite the weight of Nascar stock, road SUVs still weigh in at +582 lbs more than the stock cars, while compact cars like the Ford Focus and Hyundai Veloster weigh at least 2,919 lbs, which is both an average and practically standard weight. 

Road cars are built to be resistant, enduring, and still satisfy a need for speed by everyday users. This continuous search for balance in both the racing world and the ordinary road makes for an intriguing and perpetual enjoyable experience for us all.

As long every one sticks to their road of expertise, we'll be fine.




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