The First Time The Turbo Hit Formula One And Transformed The Sport

Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.


Formula One starts back up next week with the Australian Grand Prix, and the re-introduction of turbochargers into the sport look like they're wreaking havoc with everyone's expectations. Which can be a good thing.

For one, Red Bull is having serious trouble with their Renault engine, threatening their complete and total dominance in recent years. For another, the engine's don't actually sound that bad, as feared.

But this isn't F1's first bout with forced induction. Turbochargers were originally introduced decades ago, with the first one showing up on the Renault RS10 in 1979. Though the engine that powered it was initially a bit unreliable, it soon spelled trouble for everyone else. Just a few years later, F1 cars were putting out around 1,500 horsepower in qualifying trim, a number still not seen today.

It's unlikely the return of the turbo will herald the return of four-digit horsepower figures due to tighter regulations, but this documentary is fascinating as it shows how the turbo changed everything.

As with all engineering documentaries, it's narrated by a man so British you can practically hear the tea and crumpets. Enjoy.


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I don't know why so many people are complaining about the turbo engines, I couldn't possibly be more excited for this season.