Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

F1 beats Porsche 919 Hybrid evo’s Spa record lap

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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After Porsche’s 919 Hybrid evo lapped Spa-Francorchamps in 1’41.770 in April they trumpeted the achievement, describing the LMP1-based machine as “faster than a Formula 1 car”.

But Neel Jani’s unofficial record lasted just 138 days. In Q2 Sebastian Vettel lapped the seven kilometre circuit in 1’41.501, averaging 248.415kph, restoring F1’s honour.

This also made it the third race weekend in a row where Ferrari has set the fastest individual lap time. However as in Hungary the margin was very slim – less than a tenth of a second.

What would a Formula 1 car do to the Porsche’s record Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time of 5’19.546? That’s something we may never know.

It’s likely the current generation of F1 cars could knock a few tenths more off the new Spa record which was established today. Rain fell in Q3 which deprived drivers of one last shot at lowering the track record still further.

Even so, for the fifth time this year, the 2018 cars are over a second quicker at this venue than they were 12 months ago:

All the teams are quicker at Spa than they were 12 months ago, though some by much more than others. Sauber has gained 3.5 seconds compared to last year, though that still wasn’t quick enough for either of their drivers to reach Q3.

There were signs of improvement at Williams. The team has been slower than it was in 2017 at several tracks this year, but posted a 1.6 second improvement at Spa, which is their biggest year-on-year gain so far.

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Nonetheless they, like McLaren, saw both their drivers eliminated in Q1. The Renault customer team is only 0.173 seconds quicker at Spa this year than it was with Honda power last season.

On that occasion, Fernando Alonso missed the cut for Q3 by less than a tenth of a second. This year he was seven tenths of a second away from getting into Q2.

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2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “F1 beats Porsche 919 Hybrid evo’s Spa record lap”

  1. Actually, 3 F1 cars were faster than the Porsche 919, one Mercedes (Hamilton, 1:41.553) and two Ferraris (Vettel, 1:41.501; Raikkonen, 1:41.533).

    1. And if it not raining in Q3, lap record could go lower to 1:40.
      And can you imagine if this 919 engine is inside f1 car body?

      1. Yes, I agree, the rules should allow a team to choose that engine if they so choose because F1 uses fuel flow restrictions. WEC is also fuel restricted, although we don’t know if the 919 did comply with the fuel flow restrictions since, as I understand it, the car was subject to scrutineering.

    2. And f1 car could go faster in Q3 but sadly its raining.

  2. Belgium dropped its National Speed limit to 42 MPH this year. That’s about the same as Britain’s unofficial speed limit due its increasing congestion and dense housing culture.

    So much for the FIA’s ‘road relevence’ obsession. F1 cars should be unleashed.

  3. So, given that F1 managed to beat Porsche’s time by only 0.27sec, will Porsche make a comeback?!

    1. @mg1982 Possibly. We shall wait and see.

      1. I read on f1technical that they will bring it out again.

    2. Remember, Porsche did the lap without any racing restrictions, actually gaining huge time over same car in race legal trim, now consider F1 taking all restrictions off, no fuel flow or RMP limits, not even a thought of a race then.

      I think what Porsche did was awesome, but doubtful F1 would ever push that envelope.

  4. Entirely unexpected, so, therefore, unsurprising. Now the status of the ‘outright’ track/lap record is back in the hands of the series that, in the end, deserves to hold these type of records the most.

  5. Keep in mind that F1 is restricted in countless ways..the EVO car was unrestricted.
    If the playing field was fair – bringing out an unrestricted F1 car – it would demolish the timesheets.

  6. McLaren […] is only 0.173 seconds quicker at Spa this year than it was with Honda power last season.

    So, the going RoI for McLaren is a million dollars for a thousandth of a second’s improvement?

    (Seeing as ~200 million dollars is roughly the annual loss due to their separation from Honda).

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