So, after much much deliberation and calculation, I have made the decision to create this small little series. Here, I'll be analyzing the differences between LMP1 (prototypes) and F1 (open wheel). I will be taking the vehicles and analyzing them, comparing the technology and equipment utilized in both. Then I'll take the lap times and I'll break them down. That means, sector times, top speeds, average speeds, fuel consumption, all just just to see where these vehicles, at the highest tiers of motorsport, make their time and make their speed.

I am not a motorsport expert. I do not have contacts inside the pits, inside the teams, etc. I'm just doing a comparison for fun, because I both like writing and I like fast cars.

So, here comes the first part. The cars.

Formula 1 introduced a new set of regulations this year. Their engines are fuel flow limited, turbocharged V6s. Their flow rate is limited to a peak of 100kg/hr and is detected through a Gill ultrasonic flow meter. They also have an ERS or energy recovery system, which runs off of the braking energy AND the turbo's energy, this comes to a total of approximately 160 bhp for 33 seconds. Converted, that's (bhp is joules per a second) 3.6 MJ or megajoules that the car can released each lap during a race. This power goes straight to the rear wheels.

Prototype cars come from the World Endurance Championship. Together, the FIA and ACO also came up with a set of new regulations this year. They too work on a fuel flow restricted formula with the flow rate based upon the amount of energy released. The categories are determined by what the ERS option will be at Le Mans. The cars can also have an energy recovery system, though it is up to the manufacture of the vehicle to decide exactly WHAT type of ERS the car will have. The only limit is that there can only be two "energy release" sources.

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Without any hybrid systems, the fuel flow rate is 100.9 kg/hr of petrol or 84.6 kg/hr of diesel. An F1 car, with its 3.6 MJ of boost per lap, would have a flow rate of 91.9 kg/hr under the 4 MJ ERS level. During this initial season, two ERS levels have been chosen by the manufacturers. Audi picked 2 MJ, Porsche and Toyota picked 6 MJ. Audi has a diesel powered prototype, Porsche and Toyota are both petrol powered.

In regards to the ERS, Audi R18 has a motor up front powering its front wheels, hence the quattro attachment. It collects energy in a flywheel form the front. Porsche with its 919 has two points of energy collection, the front wheels and a generator attached to its turbo in the back (gaining energy from the turbo heat). This energy is collected in a lithium battery and released through the front wheels. Finally, the Toyota TS040 has two motor generators, one in front and one in back. Both of them go to a supercapcitor next to the driver, which releases the energy back to the front and rear motors.

So, now that we know what the cars are... here's a little breakdown of the information:

Category F1
(Petrol)
LMP1 - 2MJ
(R18 - Diesel)
LMP1 - 6 MJ
(919, TS040 - Petrol)
Min Weight 690 kg 870 kg 870 kg
Peak Fuel
Flow Rate
100 kg/hr 80.2 kg/hr 89.5 kg/hr
Energy Released per Lap
(CoTA)
3.6 MJ 1.25 MJ 3.76 MJ

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In addition to this information, we know the F1 cars produce approximately 750 bhp from their engines and ~160 bhp from their hybrid boost. In comparison, LMP1 cars, the TS040, produces ~500 bhp from its engine, and ANOTHER ~500 bhp from its hybrid boost.

Additionally, F1 cars also have DRS; drag reduction systems.

That's it for now (as I have to write up and generate the tables and whatnot), but tomorrow I'll have a comparison in sizes and dimensions. After that, I'll start going into lap times. There's also a bit more technology where this comes from, but I'm out of office time to write this.

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Have any comparison requests?

Kudos to Mulsanne's Corner, the Mulsanne's Corner FB Group, TenTenths.com, Racecar Engineering and a couple others.