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Why do F1 car have high horsepower rather than torque?

  1. Aug 7, 2015 #1
    I've heard the analogy that a high torque car is like a bodybuilder, it is powerful but slow.
    And a high horsepower car is like a sprint runner, it runs fast, but not as powerful.

    Considering other factors constant.
    if each tries to ride a bicycle to a certain speed,
    and the runner is given a low gear ratio, while the bodybuilder is given a high gear ratio.
    Wouldn't they both perform similarly?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2015 #2

    billy_joule

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    Power is what matters. Power is the rate of doing work. The rider with the most power will win.

    Power = Torque*rotational velocity
    In SI units
    Watts = Newton metres * radians/second (=joules/second)

    Gears, or any other mechanical advantage, can exchange torque for rotational speed or vice versa but power remains constant.
    A cyclist with adequate gearing could produce more torque than a Veyron, but the cyclist still only produces the same pitiful power output he always did.

    This topic has been discussed here at PF more than once, a search will find more info.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2015 #3

    billy_joule

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