413 km/hr, Who Set the F1 Top Speed Record?


Formula 1 is a sport based on complete science and technology. Since F1 is a sport of speed and time, the equipment designed for the race is technologically advanced with the help of science-oriented concepts. Formula One cars are the fastest in the world that can reach up to high speeds.

The cars are technically designed to manage the high cornering speeds also during a race with the help of aerodynamic downforce. The F1 cars during the inception of the sport in 1950 were completely different from the cars raced at present and the major changes were put into effect in 2017.

Top Speed on a Race

In order to achieve the fastest lap time, the driver has to manage high straight-line speed with low aerodynamic drag and high cornering speed with high downforce. By balancing the car’s aerodynamic configuration, the car can reach a top speed that might hit above 350 km/h.

The first officially recognized top speed record on a race was set during the 2005 Italian Grand Prix by the McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Räikkönen. The recorded speed was of 370.1 km/h (229.9 mph).

Check out Kimi Raikkonen’s first ever fastest speed record at F1 Monza.

What was Valtteri’s Record on a Race?

The following year at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix, Williams’s driver Valtteri Bottas reached a top level speed of 372.54 km/h (231.48 mph) which is yet to be officially considered as the fastest record set by the FIA.

Valtteri Bottas drives the FW38 at the 2016 European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan

Bottas broke Kimi Raikkonen’s Monza fastest speed record of 2005, yet failed to top the fastest speed record list by just 0.1km/h, set by Juan Pablo Montoya. The 2016 European Grand Prix saw an even higher record of Bottas while qualifying for the race with a speed of 378.035 km/h (234.9 mph).

This speed was declared and was available on through the Williams team’s Twitter post, while the recorded FIA’s official data measured Bottas’s speed at 366.1 km/h in that instance. Therefore, at that point of time, Montoya’s speed of 372.6 km/h still stood as the official record, even though it was not recorded during a sanctioned session.

Top Speed on an F1 Track

The F1 cars are constructed by the teams itself and are revealed one month prior to the Grand Prix races. The color scheme and the overall structure of the F1 cars are decided by the team while the manufacturing and designing part can be outsourced. The testing of the newly designed car is one month earlier to the races.

During one such testing sessions, before the 2005 Italian GP, the Colombian racer Juan Pablo Montoya of the McLaren-Mercedes set a top speed record of 372.6 km/h (231.5 mph). This was the first officially FIA recognized the fastest speed ever record reached by an F1 car, though it was not made during an officially sanctioned F1 session.

The former Williams F1 racer Valtteri Bottas has been trying to set incredible speed records, one of which was recorded in 2016. Bottas hit a speed of 378 km/hr (234.9 mph) during one of the practice sessions on the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Then, Who Set the 413 Km/hr Record?

When was the 413 km/h record set and who was the record-setter? The Honda F1 team constructed their F1 car and decided to take the car to Utah’s world famous Bonneville Salt Flats in 2006. This Honda F1 car was formerly raced by Jenson Button and Takuma Sato in 2005.

The Johannesburg born South African driver recorded the Formula One top speed of 413.205 km/h.

The FIA’s medical car driver Alan van der Merwe drove the car and was able to hit a staggering speed of 397.360km/h (246.908 mph) which is sanctioned by the FIA. The South African non-F1 driver recorded the fastest F1 land speed record, which still stands. While the car was tested in the Mojave Desert, an unbelievable speed of 413.205 km/h (256.753 mph) was recorded.


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