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How to drive an F1 car

3 years ago

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Karun Chandhok | Racing driver


25 April 2021

Driving a Formula 1 car is a special thing very few people have the opportunity to do in their lifetime. These machines are the pinnacle of automotive engineering, built completely bespoke with an attention to detail that would send engineers of lesser racing cars to undreamt of levels of excitement. And of all the questions I’m asked, I guess ‘What’s it like to drive a Formula 1 car?’ is the most popular. So I thought for my first column for The Intercooler, I’d try to provide some perspective.

I have driven cars from eight different decades of Grand Prix racing, starting with a 1937 Aston Martin Speed Model up to the Mercedes W10 that Lewis Hamilton drove to the World Championship in 2019. I’ve driven 13 different Grand Prix Winners, seven of which also won the World Championship that season. In short, I’m lucky enough to be in a position to provide that insight.

In general, it’s safe to assume the car that won the Constructors’ World Championship is the best racing car in the world that year, certainly in terms of outright performance. But what people perhaps don’t always realise is that the car that finishes bottom of the standings is still faster than any other race car from any other series.

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