F1: A significant top speed advantage for the Mercedes-powered cars

A rapid analysis of the top speeds of the various Formula 1 cars during the Grand Prix of Bahrain clearly demonstrates the huge advantage of the Mercedes-powered cars.

The Mercedes-powered cars — the Mercedes AMGs, and Williamses, the McLarens and the Sahara Force Indias – enjoyed a comfortable cushion over their rivals in terms of top speed.

Top speed itself doesn’t tell the full story because it is strongly related to the levels of downforce generated by the front and rear wings.

However, top speed is generally speaking a good indication of raw engine power. In a nutshell: the more power, the better the top speed.

Grand Prix of Bahrain
(Data from the FIA)

QUALIFYING
Speed trap
Top 3 are Mercedes-powered cars: 328.8 – 326.7 = -2.1 km/h
(This means that the three fastest cars were Mercedes-powered. The fastest car overall set a top speed of 328.8 km/h, while the fastest non-Mercedes car was down in fourth place at 327.7 km/h, resulting in an advantage of 2.1 km/h.)

Max speeds
Intermediate 1
Top 6 are Mercedes-powered cars: 244.9 – 242.4 = -2.5 km/h
Interm├ędiate 2
Top 3 are Mercedes-powered cars: 268.5 – 266.9 = -1.6 km/h
Finish line
Top 8 are Mercedes-powered cars: 291.1 – 288.3 = -2.8 km/h

RACE
Speed trap

Top 6 are Mercedes-powered cars: 335.7 – 327.8 = -7.9 km/h

Max speeds
Intermediate 1
Top 8 are Mercedes-powered cars: 242.4 – 236.6 = -5.8 km/h
Intermediate 2
Top 2 are Mercedes-powered cars: 255.9 – 252.6 = -3.3 km/h
Finish line
Top 5 are Mercedes-powered cars: 295.2 – 288.8 = -6.5 km/h

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