Who’s going to hit 1000 horsepower first? The question has been hanging around the Formula One paddock in the current hybrid era—since about 2014—and as more manufacturers entered the series, curiosity has amped up. And in a surprise to pretty much all of us, Renault has said they’re the ones who’ve achieved it first.
German publication Auto Motor und Sport
has the scoop, which we’ve translated:
Renault confirms that this season has already retrieved 1,000 hp (736 kilowatts). “There are only certain performance peaks in qualifying,” says Renault’s engine boss Remi Taffin. “We can not always get that performance. It depends on many factors. For example, the distance and the outside temperatures. “
So, they’re not consistently achieving 1000 HP. But they’ve been able to hit that benchmark at least once this year.
When asked about hitting 1000 HP, Mercedes and Ferrari were both pretty reticent to confirm whether or not they’d actually hit it, according to journalist Tobi Grüner on Twitter. More details from AMuD:
With the power of the electric machines, the system performance is four digits. Renault GPS measurements reveal that Mercedes has the same performance potential - including more than 1,000 hp. Honda is somewhat behind, Ferrari is the class leader. “They have an advantage over Mercedes and us in qualifying.” Mercedes holds on tight: “We would not talk about 1,000 hp. Maybe Renault has a different calculation model. What matters to us is the lap time.” Taffin says, “Maybe they expect English horsepower.” 736 kilowatts are in the British horsepower 987 hp.
So it sounds like there might be a little bit of confusion as to how teams should actually be measuring horsepower production (which is honestly pretty typical of F1—everything ends up being harder than it needs to be). I have to say, it’s tough to imagine that Renault was able to hit 1000 HP before a team like Mercedes or Ferrari—but, then again, horsepower isn’t fully indicative of performance.
We’ve reached out to Renault to confirm the 1000 hp number and also to clarify how they calculated that number and will update if they respond.