By Stefan Kristensen
March 19, 2023

How Loud Are F1 Cars?

Though speed might be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of an F1 car, the sound is certainly the next element! The roar of an F1 car as it screams along a racetrack is certainly iconic. However, the question is, how loud are F1 cars?

A Formula 1 car makes a loud whining noise from the engine which has been measured at 140 decibels. Current F1 engines such as the V6 have been altered to only produce 134 decibels due to citizen complaints during tournaments. According to the Guinness World Records, a formula 1 racing car’s cockpit is the noisiest place to work in the world. 

In this article, we will go over how loud an F1 car actually is, demonstrating the way that this is measured and what safety gear racers have to wear in order to protect themselves from that level of volume! We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions. By the conclusion, you should have a full understanding of how amazingly loud an F1 car can be!

How Loud is an F1 Car?

As previously mentioned, an F1 car is, on average, capable of producing sounds at as many as 140 decibels. According to, this is considered a very high decibel count and can cause permanent damage to the ear and the human ability to hear. 

To compare, other sounds that approach the level of 140 decibels are hammers pounding nails,  firecrackers and fireworks, the blast of a shotgun, a jet engine roaring, and even the lift-off of a rocket!

Some F1 racecar models have actually been so loud that regulations have been put in place so that new models produce less of a high-volume whining sound as they drive. This was because some F1 races were so loud that the noise ordinances around the racetracks were actually broken, causing the races themselves to be banned in some places. 

One of the most notorious instances of the loudness of an F1 car gaining negative attention was a Belgian Grand Prix, in which V10 F1 engines were so loud that local citizens complained and the tournament’s contract was in jeopardy!

Therefore, not only are F1 cars comparably as loud as rockets or gunshots, but they are loud enough to gain attention from people who can hear the 140 decibel sounds as far as 800 meters away from the track they are driving on!

What Makes an F1 Car So Loud?

Now that we’ve seen just how loud the F1 cars can get, let’s understand exactly what it is that makes them so loud. Actually, the noise that impresses so many and leaves such a lasting memory for race fans is made up of a variety of factors. 

Firstly, a formula one race car may be much smaller than the average domestic vehicle, but it packs in a huge amount of power. All of that power, totaling to around 1000 horsepower, can also add up to a large amount of noise generated. 

Additionally, though cars that are used in everyday driving have larger engines than an F1 car, those cars are equipped with actual sound mufflers to lessen the amount of noise they make. This is because driving through neighborhoods and towns leads to a need to follow the rules of noise ordinances. 

However, Formula 1 cars need to maximize their performance. They need to be able to hit high speeds and maintain those speeds! A muffler can actually cause the car to emit gases at a slower rate, and so most Formula 1 cars do not have mufflers. 

All of this adds up to the loud, 140 decibel noise that an F1 car has become famous for!

Frequently Asked Questions

Full of more questions about F1 cars and their audible loudness? We’ve got you covered with the answers to some of the web’s most frequently asked questions below!

What is the loudest F1 car ever?

The loudest-ever F1 car is recorded as the silver W02, which registered at 127.8 decibels from engine rev alone. This is an impressive feat, given the fact that most F1 cars only reach sounds of 140 decibels with other factors included, such as the wind motion caused by their momentum while in motion. 

Remember, the human threshold for pain caused by audio is well below 127.8 decibels, making the silver W02 a very intense car for volume!

Why are F1 cars so loud?

F1 cars are so incredibly loud because they are built for high performance on a race track, not day-to-day transportation. With F1 cars, speed is everything. Therefore, they are not equipped with sound mufflers to lower the noise of the engine; if they were, it would keep gases from being emitted as quickly and efficiently from their exhaust pipes. 

Additionally, F1 cars are simply much more powerful than the average road car, and all that power makes just as much noise. 

Are F1 Cars louder than NASCAR?

NASCAR vehicles are larger and sometimes more imposing-looking than formula 1 racecars, causing many to wonder which car would be louder: NASCAR, or F1 cars? Actually, NASCAR engines can only create up to 130 decibels of noise. This is still very loud, and dangerous to the health of human hearing without protection. 

However, it is still quieter than F1 cars’ 140 decibel range; therefore, F1 cars are louder than NASCAR engines!

What street legal car is most like an F1 car?

With all this talk of an F1 car’s awesome power and engine strength, not to mention its impressive volume to show for it, it is natural to wonder which street-legal car is most like an F1. The Mercedes-AMG One has often been compared to an F1 because it actually uses a Formula One engine.

In Conclusion

To sum everything we’ve learned up, an F1 car’s machinations making a noise that reaches 140 decibels, which is loud enough to damage human hearing permanently. The noise comes from the engine of the car, which has varied from model to model. The loudness of the F1 cars have caused some models to be optimized for slightly quieter noises, but they are still very loud!

Written by Stefan Kristensen
I have been passionate about motorsports ever since I was a little boy. Back then, I cheered on the racing cars simply based on their colors. Later I fell in love with the many technical features, strategic plays, humans and their stories that all together drives this amazing sport to make it as interesting as it is.
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