Many people view open-wheel racing, commonly referred to as formula racing, as the apex of four-wheeled motorsport. Only the world’s best drivers can compete at this significant level given the high value of the cars on the track (Ferrari alone spent over $400 million on their F1 squad in 2019).
The two primary subcategories are IndyCar, which is the “American Version” of Formula 1 (or F1), and Formula 1 (or F1) and its variations. These vehicles all have open, single-driver cockpits, exposed wheels (thus the phrase “open-wheel”), and mid-engine configurations, among other things. But they aren’t similar, so let’s explore the specifics below.
Racing in Formula 1
The most illustrious and prestigious motor racing series in the world is Formula 1. A current F1 car is one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the planet. It has gone a long way from its inaugural race in 1950.
All cars come with a hybrid powertrain that combines an electric motor powered by batteries with a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine. Together, these systems enable a current F1 to produce about 1,000 horsepower. Although the F1 cars’ chassis may look similar to their IndyCar siblings’, each manufacturer develops its own aerodynamics within the confines of the series’ rules and specifications to produce the most significant amount of downforce.
Open-top racing is relatively new thanks to Formula E. Formula E is the only racing championship where all-electric race vehicles compete against one another. The open-top racing series has advanced significantly since its inception and stands apart from all others. While Formula E and Formula One both have practice sessions, qualifying rounds, and the actual race, there are some subtle differences between the two.
There are the autos first. Since they all have the same bodywork, they all have similar appearances. The chassis and battery packs used in Formula E race cars are the same. Each team is in charge of its powertrain parts. To keep the race as close as possible, this is done.
In contrast to other racing series, Formula E is held on a single, hectic day. On the same day, there are shakedowns, practice sessions, qualifying, Super Pole shoot-outs, and the E-Prix (race). There are certain doubleheaders, which spread out some events over two days.