F1 Engines: Comparison between the Best and the Most Historical Engines in the Competition

F1 Engines


Formula One (F1), the pinnacle of motorsport, has seen a myriad of engine manufacturers over its illustrious history. The engines, the heart of these high-speed machines, have evolved significantly over the years, from the pre-war voiturette engines to the current V6 turbo hybrid power units. This article delves into the most historical and best-performing engines in F1, providing an insight into their power, performance, and the odds they faced in the competition.

The Powerhouses of F1

The F1 odds have always favored those with the most potent engines. Ferrari leads the pack with the most F1 wins by engine, boasting 243 victories. Mercedes follows closely with 212 wins, while Ford Cosworth surprisingly ranks third with 176 wins. These engines have produced power outputs ranging from 600 hp to a staggering 1000 hp, operating at rotational speeds as high as 20,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), although electronically limited to 15,000 rpm as of the 2021 season.

Evolution of F1 Engines

The engines used in F1 have changed significantly over time. The evolution of the sport’s engines from V10 to V8 to finally V6 turbo hybrid engines is a testament to its technological progress. Honda, Ferrari, and Lamborghini initially favored the V12, but it was Renault with its V10 that dominated the early ’90s. By 1994, only Ferrari persevered with its sonorous V12.

The Most Powerful Engine in F1 History

In 1986, the BMW M12/13/1 engine used by Brabham, Benetton, and Arrows was the most powerful in F1. It is also the most powerful engine ever produced by BMW for any application. Despite the hybrid assistance, F1 V6s are still able to squeeze out almost 850 horsepower, demonstrating the sheer power these engines can generate.

The Best Engine in F1 History

Many have hailed the Ford-Cosworth engine as the best engine in the sport’s history. For more than a quarter of a century, Cosworth’s DFV and its variants were the powerplants of choice for independent F1 teams, driving the likes of McLaren, Williams, and Tyrrell to wins and world titles. This engine’s success significantly influenced the F1 odds during its reign.

The Most Historical Engines in F1

The pre-war engine regulations were in use from 1947 to 1953. They allowed supercharged engines to be 1.5 L and atmospheric engines to be 4.5 L. The Indianapolis 500 started in 1950 with 4.5 L atmospheric and 3.0 L supercharged engines and followed the pre-war Grand Prix rules. These engines laid the foundation for the evolution of F1 engines.

The Current State of F1 Engines

In recent years, F1 engines have become more efficient and environmentally friendly without compromising on power. The current V6 turbo hybrid engines produce around 1000 hp from just 1.6 liters, a testament to the sport’s technological advancements. However, the F1 odds are now not just about power but also about managing tire wear, fuel efficiency, and reliability.

The Influence of Regulations on F1 Engines

Regulations have played a crucial role in shaping the engines and their performance. From the 1960s to the early 2000s, the rules allowed for a variety of engine configurations, leading to a diverse range of engines in the competition, from V8s to V12s. However, in an effort to control costs and promote parity among teams, the regulations have become increasingly restrictive.

The introduction of the V6 turbo hybrid engines in 2014 directly resulted from these regulatory changes, which aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency. These changes have significantly impacted the design and performance of F1 engines, with teams now focusing more on maximizing power output from smaller, more efficient engines while also managing fuel consumption and reliability.

The Future of F1 Engines

The FIA, F1’s governing body, has outlined plans for the next generation of F1 power units that will be introduced in 2025. The new engines are expected to be simpler, cheaper, and greener, with a greater emphasis on hybrid technology and improved sustainability and efficiency

While the exact specifications are yet to be finalized, the aim is to produce engines that are not only high-performing but also environmentally friendly. This move towards sustainable technology signifies a new era in F1, with the odds favoring those who can best adapt to these changes and harness the power of innovation.


The history of F1 engines is a fascinating journey of technological evolution and fierce competition. From the roaring V12s of the past to the efficient V6 turbo hybrids of today, these engines have shaped the course of F1 racing. As the sport evolves, so will the engines, promising an exciting future for fans and teams alike.

Trevor Hurry

Freelance sportswriter

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