Le Mans 24 hours race vs Formule One (F1) cars difference, top speed, design and points scoring

Le Mans 24 hours race vs Formule One (F1) cars difference, top speed, design and points scoring

Le Mans and Formula 1 (F1) are the two highest forms of four-wheel motorsports racing, check out a head-to-head vs comparison of the two competitions below along with the cars and their top speed

The question of whether Formula 1 or Le Mans cars are faster has always excited the curiosity of racing fans.

Le Mans and F1 comparison, Le Mans Hypercars vs Formula 1 race cars, head-to-head comparison, and more

While the two competitions may differ, bot the Le Mans Hypercars and Formula 1 cars are built for performance and speed and can achieve great feats.

Le Mans 24 hours race vs Formule One (F1) cars difference, top speed, design and points scoring details

The iconic Le Mans race is a long-distance 24-hour race and as such, the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) are built for endurance. It is a part of the World Endurance Championship and drivers can qualify for through two 10-minute sessions to determine a grid. Following the qualifications, the starting positions are decided based on each qualifying driver’s quickest lap. Meanwhile, the pole position is determined based on the top performers in a Hyperpole session.

WEC races can last six hours, with the Le Mans 24 Hours race as the main highlight by lasting a full day. During this race, multiple drivers share each car, with teams having to follow various regulations mandating minimum driving times.

Meanwhile, in Formula 1 competition, cars are generally built for circuit racing at high speeds. As such, cars need to be very agile in addition to having a lot of downforce for quick acceleration. Every F1 race weekend has three qualifying events: Q1, Q2, and Q3. The results of the qualifying races determine the format for the starting grid. The slowest drivers are eliminated in each session, with the final ten drivers competing for the pole position in the final race.

Notably, tyre sponsors Pirelli provides three different tyre compounds for every race weekend and each team is supposed to use at least two of them during the course of the race. In general, F1 races can last up to two hours and cover a minimum distance of 305 km. Drivers can make various pitstops for tyre changes and repairs, but cannot refuel.

Le Mans Hypercars vs Formula 1 race cars head-to-head comparison

Given below is a head-to-head comparison of the two race cars:


Top speed

Le Mans Hypercars generally have a higher maximum velocity than F1 cars especially on those long straights.

While both F1 cars and WEC cars are both capable of hitting speeds in excess of 200mph, Formula 1 cars have the edge on LMH cars when it comes to pace across a lap.



Top race speed: 372.5km/h / 231.4mph
Fastest ever speed: 397.36km/h (246.9mph)
Acceleration: 0-60mph – approximately 2.6s

While F1 cars may not match the outright top speed of Le Mans cars, they achieve speeds, often exceeding 370 km/h (230 mph) on certain tracks.

Le Mans cars are known for their high top speeds, reaching in excess of 340 km/h (211 mph) on the long straights of the Circuit de la Sarthe, where the 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place.

Design model

While Le Mans Hypercars are usually built and designed for endurance, mainly focusing on maintaining high speeds over long periods of time F1 cars are built prioritising sprint performance. As such, F1 cars have quick acceleration and rapid speed changes, which are crucial aspects for circuit racing.



Le Mans Hypercars and F1 cars both use the latest technologies to produce the best results in motorsports racing. Both vehicles use lighter materials, stronger engines, and better aerodynamics as compared to other cars.

Points systems

In F1, drivers and teams that finish in the top 10 earn points with a maximum of 25 points for the winner. A top 10 finisher may also receive an additional point for the fastest lap. While WEC uses a similar points system for six-hour races, they award them based on class positions. As such, for longer races, like the Le Mans 24 Hours, drivers receive double points.

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