Red Bull F1 Race Car vs Bugatti Chiron - which one is actually faster?by Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 05:25
CarWow is synonymous with holding some pretty spectacular drag races on its channel. But the race that they set up this weekend has to be one of the best ones ever. They just dropped a new video of a Formula 1 Red Bull racing car from 2011 take on one of today’s ultimate road cars, a Bugatti Chiron.
I was stuck in a dilemma because I had a tough time deciding which Red Bull F1 car I wanted to watch. The qualifying at the Red Bull Ring in Austria was Live at the same time. In the end, the drag race won me over.
Well, if you’ve watched CarWow drag races before, you know that there are three segments. A quarter-mile drag race followed by another race from 50 mph. The last sequence is a full emergency brake test from 100 mph to a complete stop.
We saw a noteworthy guest make an appearance for this extra special race. Red Bull legend and Formula One Racing Driver, David Coulthard or DC as the racing community fondly knows him, took to the wheel of the F1 car after 13 years. It was exhilarating to watch the F1 car line up against the Bugatti Chiron.
Now let’s look at some specs. Shall we?
In the F1 corner we have, we have a World-Championship winning RB7 designed by none other than Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer at the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team. It was driven by the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Weber for the 2011 F1 season. It is a car that took 18 poles and won 12 races.
The RB7 has a 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V-8 that produces 750 hp. Now that might not sound like a lot, given that even some EVs these days make over 1000 hp. However, with its carbon monocoque construction, the Red Bull weighs in at just 1411 lbs, and that is with the driver on-board. It comes with a seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox.
Mat Watson from CarWow speculates the car to be anywhere in the region of £ 62.5 Million ($ 87 Million) at the time of writing this article. That makes the Bugatti seem like a bargain at £ 2.5 Million ($ 3.48 Million).
Speaking of the Bugatti, the Chiron is packing VW’s 8.0 liter W-16 engine with quad-turbos, which makes a mammoth 1500 hp and 1180 lb. ft of torque. It weighs in at just over 4400 lbs which is more than double than that of the RB7.
If we do some quick math, we can see that the F1 car is superior in terms of power to weight ratio at 0.532 hp/lb, whereas the Bugatti manages 0.341 hp/lb.
The soundcheck was next. And it was no contest here; even a decade the sound from the exhaust is just symphony to the ears for any gearhead, the RB7 revs to 18,000 rpm and sounds like a rocket ready for take-off. Remember, this is an F1 car from before the hybrid era when the sound of an F1 car would make your hair stand up and give you goosebumps. Meanwhile, in the Bugatti, there’s a soft limiter at 4,000 pm, and it doesn’t stand a chance even in sports mode against the Formula 1 car in the sound test.
Sound check over, the cars lined up for one of the most exciting drag races at CarWow. When the hammer dropped, the Red Bull struggled a bit for traction, totally understandable, considering it’s on racing slicks, but once the speed built, it just annihilated the 1500 hp Chiron. Even with the Bugatti driver’s foot planted to the floor, it was no match against the Formula One car.
The Chiron was given two more chances to redeem itself, but the outcome stayed pretty much the same. In the end, the Red Bull took 9.2 seconds to complete the quarter-mile and the Chiron 9.6 seconds. It really shows us the performance differential between a road-going rocket and a thoroughbred all-out race car. A decisive win then for the F1 car.
In the second test, both cars were to start the race at 50 mph in second gear and would have to complete a mile. As usual, DC managed to pull away from the Bugatti, and he built a significant lead. However, as the speeds built, the turbo’s kicked in, and the Bugatti started reeling him in, and it eventually managed to get past just before the mile marker at over 205 mph. This was with two people on board in the Chiron. Even Coulthard was impressed with the Chiron’s performance and how relentless it can be. So some saving grace for the Bugatti, then.
The last segment was the brake test, from 100 mph. The Red Bull just locked up its wheels and managed to out-brake the Bugatti by a considerable margin. You can even see the Chiron’s ABS kick in and flashing away its tail lamps. But it was probably all down to the weight. So overall, that makes it two out of three for the Red Bull Grand Prix car. We wonder what else does CarWow plan on racing next. Mat Watson mentioned a Fighter Jet. I think Red Bull Racing already has that one covered with Daniel Ricciardo back in 2014. Definitley watch this space..