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As vehicle technology advances and lighter and stronger materials are applied to production cars, they become much faster. In some cases, they can match or even beat the top speed of an F1 car- so is the Koenigsegg faster than F1?
In 2017, the Koenigsegg Agera RS set an average two-way top speed of 277mph in Nevada, with a top speed of 284mph recorded on a public road and was the second fastest production car ever made. The fastest ever top speed by an F1 car was 246mph at the Utah Salt Flats by Honda back in 2005.
However, before we get too overly enthusiastic about the Koenigsegg being faster than an F1 car, we need to consider some additional factors as these times for both F1 and Koenigsegg were achieved on straight tracks, and cornering is where races are won!
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How Are Average Top Speeds For Hypercars Measured
For a production hypercar’s top speed to be recognized, it has to be in production, and the speed is measured over two runs to get the average top speed. While the one run may be faster, the sum and average of both runs are officially recorded.
Before October 2020, when the SSC Tuatara took the crown from the Agera RS, the Koenigsegg topped out at 277,9mph and was the fastest production car ever made. In October 2020, the SSC achieved an average top speed of 311mph, with a 331,5mph run in one direction and a 304mph run on the return.
In both cases, either car would be faster than an F1 car, but the story doesn’t end there. Let’s look at the fastest F1 cars on and off the track.
Fastest F1 Top Speeds – On And Off The Track
In 2005, Honda took their F1 car to the Bonneville Salt Flats to see what top speed they could squeeze out of it. That run saw them create and hold the current world speed record for an F1 car at 246,9 mph. This was the same car that Jensen Button had driven in the 2005 season.
Using the same car in the Mojave desert, they achieved an incredible top speed of 256,73 mph, but this was a single-direction run, so this record was not upheld.
On the track, some amazing speeds have been achieved. The FIA recognizes Juan Pablo Montoya’s record of 231,5mph as the fastest track top speed achieved during testing one month before the Italian Grand Prix in 2005.
However, Williams racing alleged that during a practice run on the streets of Azerbaijan, Valerie Bottas clocked 234,9 mph. The fastest average speed on a lap was recorded by Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, with a speed of 164,26 mph.
Koenigsegg VS. F1 – Cornering Is Where Real Racing Is
It is evident that the Koenigsegg and many other hypercars like the Bugatti Chiron and SSC Tuatara are faster in a straight line than an F1, but which would win out on the track? It’s all well to have a linear line top speed over 250mph, but in a race, would the hypercars be able to corner at speed?
This is where the F1 car design and aerodynamics come into play. F1 cars generate massive downforce, allowing them to corner at high speed without coming off the track, and here is where the contest between hypercar and F1 is fought.
Hypercars have exceptional handling, and they need it, but they don’t have the technology and the aerodynamic design to allow them to corner at very high speed. Over an average lap on a track, much of the track is in and out of corners, with relatively little track reserved for straights.
This gives the F1 car a huge edge over a hypercar; even though it would be slower down the straight, it would be much faster through the corners.
In a track race, F1 cars would gain seconds on the Koenigsegg through the corners and would lose time on the straight, but since most of the track comprises corners, the F1 car overall would post faster lap times – and that is the only place where it counts on the track!
How Fast Do F1 Cars Corner
Because F1 cars make use of every little advantage to increase their average lap speed, cornering for an F1 car makes them virtually unbeatable on the track, and while hypercars will win out every time in a straight line, the F1 cars will win out on the way – and here’s why.
Ask any F1 aficionado about straight line speeds; they won’t get excited, but change that to cornering and watch them light up! Racing in a straight line is exciting, but to be the fastest on the track, you need to be able to corner at speed, and here the hypercars are outmatched.
F1 cars can corner at speeds of 186mph, where the Koenigsegg or any other hypercar would lose out. Hypercars are made for street use, and as such, the amount of tight cornering needed is minimal, so the design and aerodynamics are focused more on straight line speed rather than corners.
Also, because most hypercars can’t be driven at super high speeds in urban areas, their capacity to reach their straight line top speed is limited, while F1 cars can push their performance on every occasion.
Also, consider that the braking and acceleration systems and traction systems in an F1 car are specially designed for taking corners at top speed. At the same time, the same is not true for production hypercars.
There is no argument here that the Koenigsegg is faster than an F1 car on the straight, but it is unlikely that the Swedish supercar would post faster lap times on the track than an F1 car; plus, you need to consider the driver of the vehicle in that equation too!
It would be fair then to say that the Koenigsegg would win in one aspect of speed, while the F1 car would win on the other, so as far as which is the faster car is concerned, the honors would be shared, and each can take the top spot on the podium