Mind boggling idea: "Tesla Motors in Formula One Racing". Perfomance wise this would be great advertisement for Tesla. In 2025?

Mind boggling idea: "Tesla Motors in Formula One Racing". Perfomance wise this would be great advertisement for Tesla. In 2025?

Before posting this thread I did check on And there was no thread with an idea such as this one.

Imagine that Tesla Motors one day would win the World Championship Title of Formula One Racing. And while having not used a drop of petrol. That would really be mind boggling. The people of Ferrari would scratch their heads and say: "How did this happen, this should not be possible"! This news will then be all over in the media. The whole world will then be talking about Tesla Motors only. Performance wise that would be great advertisement for Tesla Motors. In 2025 Tesla Motors will be selling about half a million EV'per year. Maybe then it will be a good time to enter Formula One Racing.

Timo | 18. Februar 2013

F1, no because you can't have BEV in F1, but there is a electric version of the race beginning in near future. Short 15 minute races at first, but I expect race duration to increase as battery densities increase approaching traditional F1 at some point in near future.

You could have Model S as pace car in F1 though. Or the GenIII-based sport car.

Benz | 18. Februar 2013

@ Timo

OK, so BEV in F1 is not allowed.

"but I expect race duration to increase as battery densities increase approaching traditional F1 at some point in near future." I would really like to see that happen.

frmercado | 18. Februar 2013

Please check the thread that I started. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

New FIA sanctioned electric Formula E Series. Should Tesla Motors jump in?

TeslaSam | 18. Februar 2013

Yeah, F1 races are restricted to the same kind of engine for every team in a season. For example, it's a 6 cylinders turbocharged for the 2013 season. The rules are strict, but we can all dream about that. The safety car though, is a much smarter and possible idea. Tesla would just have to pay some big money to get over the Mercedes-Benz contract.

ian | 18. Februar 2013

Audi R-18 E-tron anyone?

Yeah, I know it's a hybrid. A pretty mean hybrid. Besides Le Mans has looser engine requirements.

ian | 18. Februar 2013

Forgot to actually check my WAG on the Le Mans engine regs. ;-)

Timo | 18. Februar 2013

These cars have quite high Cd to create downforce, something in order of 0.4-0.5 so drag is quite high for low energy requirements in high speeds. 250km/h speed would give force...

F = 1/2 * 1.2kg/m^3 * 70m/s ^2 * 0.4 * 1.8m^2 = 2 116,8 kg*m/s^2.

One lap in Le Mans is 13 629 m in length so you use 28 849 867,2 Joules which is roughly 8kWh to manage one lap just to counter air drag alone. Lets make that 12kWh to counter all the acceleration and regen losses and car weight etc. (reality check: 85kWh gives ~56 mile range, I'd say that sounds realistic)

So 12kWh for one lap.

Audi R18 E-Tron managed 378 laps in 24 hours (giving it 214km/h average speed). That means 378 * 12kWh = 4 536 kWh. That's a lot of kWh:s. Recharge speed required to compete in that class would be huge. Alternatively you could swap batteries, make the pack removable from side of the car.

As I wrote earlier 85kWh using Panasonic batteries the batteries alone weigh only about 400kg, if we make that 3/2 IE. 600kg or 127.5kWh (10 laps) that could be swapped with kind of forklift or some rail system in same time as it takes for car to swap tires (Le Mans tire change is not extremely fast, and they swap drivers as well every now and then).

Still a lot of pit stops but Audi made 33 pit stops which gives average of 11.5 laps / pit stop.

jasonnorin | 22. Juni 2015

In the near future, if F1 is going to launch a Batterry Electric Vehicle version, that is possible. But as of now, I really can't see Tesla being qualified in any F1 race. If they can come up with a hybrid engine, probably yes but hybrid engines are still not fully accepted in F1. One example is Red Bull wanting to drop Renault after the latter's change to hybrid engine. Here's to more F1 news -

DTsea | 23. Juni 2015

Personally i think nobody but race fans cares about F1 and NOBODY buys a car based on race results.

It's a fun and cool sport but i would suspect the sponsors get the ad value... not the manufacturers.

Grinnin'.VA | 23. Juni 2015


1. Tesla has never developed a race car. (The P85D isn't remotely close.)

2. It would require a huge amount of engineering effort for Tesla to develop a race car.

3. I thought Tesla needs to focus on the MX, M3, pickup truck, heavy duty truck, an M4 to go head to head with the Camry and similar cars, and a full range of stationary batteries.

Do you think Tesla's R&D doesn't have enough things to do?

Grinnin'.VA | 23. Juni 2015

Oh, and faster Superchargers.

Opafiets | 24. Juni 2015

An antique thread, but... Formula E is having a fairly good year. The sound reminds me of the speeder bike races in Star Wars and I keep expecting to see Jabba the Hutt.