Most Powerful F1 Car Ever Had One FATAL Flaw

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Driver61
Published at : 20 Dec 2020
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This car produces over 1400 horsepower, largely because it’s running on Rocket Fuel.

Back in the 80s, there were no restrictions on the type of fuel car’s used, so being F1 - the teams took it to the extremes.

They used a formula that created massive power and allowed the turbos to be turned up higher than ever before - but just one catch - it was extremely toxic and is a known carcinogen! Not to mention it’s tendency to cause engines to blow up!

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We all love the genius innovations that came out of F1 in the 80s - ground effect, massive turbos and carbon monocoque chassis’.

The introduction of 1.5 litre turbo engines brought a load of changes in F1, with the most obvious being the huge increase in power. Some of the cars on the grid had as much as 1500 horsepower - they were absolute rocket-ships!.

A big side-effect of the turbos was a massive increase in fuel consumption. The huge turbos pressurise air going into the cylinders, which along with more air - needed more fuel.

At points, the cars were using more than 300 litres of fuel per race! That’s nearly three times what today’s cars are allowed to use.

The teams needed to find a way to use less fuel - they came up with some ingenious, but dangerous solutions - more on that later.

In 1984, after a spite of pit-stop fires, the FIA banned the refueling of cars during races. With this they placed a cap on the size of fuel tank at 220 litres, meaning the drivers had to save a lot of fuel during the race.

For drivers, this meant needing to either lift-off the throttle way before braking, shifting-up earlier or turning down the turbo’s boost pressure. Lifting off the throttle and costing before braking is the most efficient way to save fuel without losing too much lap-time, as the engine is using most fuel when flat out at the end of a straight.

The San Marino Grand Prix in 1985 summed it up perfectly. Senna took pole and led up to lap 57, where he suddenly ground to a halt - he ran out of fuel. Johansson then took the lead in his first race for Ferrari, and then - you guessed it - ran out of fuel.

The same happened to Brundle, Warwick, Piquet and Boutsen. Boutsen, luckily stopped on the pit-straight and actually pushed his car over the line. But not before de Angelis could pass him.

Prost actually crossed the finish line in the lead, but was disqualified as he ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap - leaving no fuel left for the compulsory FIA test sample - handing de Angelis his first win!

A truly crazy race that showed how difficult it was to save fuel with those huge turbo engines. Of the 26 cars that started the race, only 5 finished!

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📺 F1 Engineering

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00:00 When F1 Cars Used Rocket Fuel
00:32 Our Favourite Loop-Hole Finders
00:55 1.2 MPG!
01:25 Fuel Freezing
04:09 Rocket Fuel
05:37 What's Octane?
06:59 Highest Fuel Bill Ever
07:15 Toluene's Biggest Problem
07:33 The End of the Turbo Era
08:45 What Fuel Do Today's F1 Cars Use?

#RocketFuel #Formula1 #Engineering
Formula 1DrivingCoaching

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