Comparing the Toyota LMP1 and the Mercedes F1
July 8, 2019
How can the Toyota LMP1 and the Mercedes F1 be compared?
- Dimensions and weight
- Track Record
When it comes to searching for the world’s fastest and most powerful cars around the world, people would usually look at the cars used in some of the world’s most prestigious and competitive motorsport competitions, Formula 1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. These competitions have pushed the envelope on what racing vehicles can do on the track, utilizing some of the most powerful engines and most sophisticated technology to outperform the competition.
From the use of powerful engines and steel tubes from the Philippines, racing has constantly been at the forefront of peak automotive performance. When it comes to the most powerful and fastest cars in motorsport, you can look no further than Le Mans’ Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 and the Mercedes AMG W10 F1. These two cars are the current pinnacle of racing technology and innovation, yet there remains one question: Which one is better?
Dimensions and weight
The dimensions of a Formula 1 car and one from a Le Mans car vary greatly, as each design is catered for their own specific competition. In one hand, Formula 1’s small profile and open-wheel design make it light and aerodynamic, allowing it to speed through the racetrack in record time. The Le Mans car, meanwhile, is not only geared for speed, but also for the purpose of running the most laps in a race.
Comparing their dimensions, it can be surprising to see that the Mercedes F1 car is slightly longer and wider than the Toyota LMP1, with a total length of 5500mm and 2000m, compared to the 4650mm and the 1900mm of the Le Mans car. When it comes to weight, the LMP1’s larger body makes it heavier than the Mercedes F1, weighing at 888kg, compared to 743kg. While their size difference can be significant, both of them are designed with the intention of being as light and aerodynamic as possible.
Aerodynamics is one of the most important aspects of a successful racecar, as having the right design will provide the most balanced and downforce; that makes the car handle better, and drive around corners faster. The aerodynamic design of the Toyota LMP1 provides a front splitter that helps create downforce using high and low-pressure air, leading airflow to the outlets.
Meanwhile, the open-wheel nature of the Mercedes F1 also intends to push for a similar downforce in their car, but instead of using inlets, the whole bodywork of the car guides the airflow throughout the body through the use of carefully designed barge boards. For their rear wings, the Toyota LMP1 sports a low drag position to give it the most speed during straight sections of the track and to get the least amount of drag for better fuel efficiency, while the Mercedes F1 has the Drag Reduction System (DRS) that adjusts the wing from a high downforce profile to low downforce profile which helps in overtaking. When it comes to comparing their aerodynamics, it is clear to see that both cars have similar goals and that both competitions make full use of complex aerodynamic designs to give them that edge over their competition.
When it comes to their top speed, both the Mercedes F1 and the Toyota LMP1 are some of the fastest cars in the world. The Mercedes F1 has a 1.6L Turbo Hybrid V6 Engine, while the Toyota LMP1 has a hybrid power train that has a 2.4L V6 engine, both cars are aided by an electric motor that helps in boosting their speed and acceleration.
For top speed, the Toyota LMP1 can reach a total of 330km/h, while the Mercedes F1 can reach up to 360km/h. Comparing their performance on the track, the Mercedes has a distinct advantage in lap times, but Toyota has the edge when it comes to driving on straights. While there is a slight disparity in time every now and then, there is no doubt that there are times when they are able to perform similarly and achieve record times.
When it comes to the track record and success rate, there is no doubt that the Mercedes F1 has an edge over the Toyota LMP1, garnering a total of 5 straight Formula 1 Constructor’s and Driver’s championships over the past seasons, dominating the racing circuit. Meanwhile, the Toyota LMP1 is a success in its own right as well, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019.
What’s unique about these two different vehicles is that they have been consistently successful for multiple years, which has proven to be a difficult feat, as various teams and companies have constantly outperformed one another.
Overall, while each vehicle has its own set of advantages that help overcome their competition, comparing which one is better is difficult, These vehicles have different specifications that fit their racing standards and give them that competitive edge that provides them the success they have experienced. However, there is no doubt that both cars are designed with the goal of being the best in the world in their own class. From cars made with steel tubes from the Philippines to carbon composites, both teams started from humble beginnings and made their way to the top.