Formula One racing is the highest level of competition, the pinnacle of motorsport. However, despite decades of scientific ingenuity and progress, there always appears to be room for improvement. Even if some production cars can keep up with F1 cars in terms of acceleration, none can keep up in the corners they blast through.
With the push for cleaner energy and electric vehicles, automakers needed to think outside the box to appeal to the next generation of enthusiasts, including those at the highest levels of racing. As a result, the all-electric racing series Formula E is regarded as a safe haven for both environmentalists and petrolheads. However, the question of which is faster remains.
What Exactly Is Formula E?
Formula 1 is the highest level of racing sanctioned by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) for single-seater cars, and Formula E is the highest level of racing for single-seater electric cars. The push for cleaner energy affects race cars as well as consumer-grade vehicles.
Despite its inability to produce the roaring engine noises that enthusiasts crave, Formula E was never intended to compete directly with Formula 1 but rather to be a part of its own class. Aside from the noise issues, Formula E has a lower top-end speed than its counterpart.
Speed Differences Between Formula One and Formula E
So, how quick is Formula E? Unlike production passenger vehicles, electric power has a disadvantage when compared to petrol-powered F1 cars. Nonetheless, they are no slouches, reaching 100km/h from a standstill in 2.8 seconds. These electric-powered vehicles can reach speeds of up to 280km/h while racing for 45 minutes at a time.
While these figures are lower than those of Formula One, Formula E was never intended to compete directly with Formula One, but rather to accelerate the transition to electric power. Although these acceleration figures are comparable to those of some production cars, none of them can corner like an F1 car. Formula One cars can reach speeds of up to 6G thanks to specially designed and engineered parts.
Which is faster, Formula One or Formula E?
Finally, Formula One is faster than Formula E, which is to be expected given the latter’s infancy. Even though Formula E cars are outfitted with highly engineered parts, they still have a long way to go before they can compete with Formula One cars.
A Formula One car, for example, has slightly more than 1,000 horsepower, whereas Formula E cars have an artificial limit of 350 horsepower. Power limitations result in slower acceleration and top speeds, and heavy battery configurations on Formula E cars weighing 385 kg do not always contribute to a faster vehicle.
While battery packs and motor configurations can be improved, it is the power threshold that limits what Formula E cars can do. Formula One is able to outperform its rival thanks to lightweight carbon materials and horsepower advantages.
Formula E circuits are also important. Formula E circuits are typically full of twisty turns, which helps with regenerative braking and keeps speeds low.
Formula E Has a Great Deal of Potential
Although Formula E has the potential to be more entertaining, enthusiasts prefer its gasoline-powered counterpart. Despite the fact that they are not directly competing, Formula E has its own way of having fun on the track. Only the future will tell what the future holds for Formula E, with lighter battery packs and advancements in powertrain components.