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Formula 1 vs NASCAR | Is Formula 1 better than NASCAR?

For the average racer, NASCAR and F1 are both all about racing but there is a lot more to that than meets the eye. Here we address a must asked question is formula 1 better than NASCAR. A look at the Formula 1 vs NASCAR rules and approach.

Abhranil Roy
Last updated: 17.12.2020
Is Formula 1 better than NASCAR | Sports Social Blog

For the average racer, NASCAR and F1 are both all about racing but there is a lot more to that than meets the eye. Both sports command a wide variety of fans, and they will each swear that their own sport is the better one. In terms of rules and engineering, both the sports differ a lot as well. The average speed of a Formula 1 car is 233 MPH, while a NASCAR vehicle is “only” 200 MPH.


While F1 is the more global sport of the two, NASCAR makes much more revenue than F1. Formula One has just 24 drivers, while NASCAR fields 50 entrants. But NASCAR drivers experience only about 2Gs of lateral force during, at most courses, only four left-hand turns. F1 drivers endure 5Gs in multiple left-and right-hand turns.


The Daytona 500, NASCAR's best-attended venue, counted 182,000 fans this year. Formula One's biggest attendance is at the Australian GP where 298,000 fans came out to watch. Those fans helped finance F1's best-paid driver, Lewis Hamilton. He makes $37 million a year. NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt pulls in $28 million.


Here are the main differences between the two:


F1 v Nascar: The Rules


First off, NASCAR tracks are all oval while F1 tracks can be of different shapes, but they are all looped.  NASCAR cars cannot be modified mid-race, while F1 cars can be fine-tuned during the race. NASCAR races are much longer, so they need to stop at least a few times to refuel and re-tire. Formula 1 rules state that a car must use at least two of the three available types of tires, which necessitates at least one pit stop for that.


The length of the season differs between the two organizations as well - NASCAR has at least 36 races every season, and that number can go up to 38 if you count the All Star race and Bud Shootout. Formula 1, on the other hand, only has 19 races each year.

Both of those seasons lead to one driver being crowned the “champion,” but the way that title is achieved is drastically different. Although both NASCAR and Formula 1 operate on a points system, in NASCAR, the points determine who qualifies for the playoffs at the end of the year, and then the winner comes from that narrowed field of 16 drivers over the course of several series.



F1 v Nascar: The approach


In terms of tactics, F1 is more of a chess game while NASCAR is more like chequers. In F1, the fastest car wins  - It’s why teams are willing to pour so much money into research, development, and engineering, and it’s why Formula 1 cars are all so aerodynamically optimized. Formula 1 is known for being a highly scientific, technical sport for exactly this reason.

In NASCAR, however, even the very last car at the starting line can come in first at the finish. Since each chassis is not as aerodynamic, you can use physics and strategy to come out on top in a way that just isn’t possible in Formula 1.

All in all, as a sport NASCAR is ahead but in terms of pure spectacle, F1 is the better option.

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