Which Is Better: Formula One Or NASCAR?

Have you ever been a fan of auto racing? When watching a race, do you value the luxurious cars or the thrill of the competition? What’s more important in a race: new high-tech cars or traditional reliable cars? These are the many questions that auto racing fans and drivers ask themselves and each other. In fact, these are some of the things you really have to ask yourself to know what kind of racing is best for you. This is the reason why many passionate fans of racing are so competitive with their views on how the sport should be. In particular, auto racing fans have been involved in the age-old battle between two of the most prestigious racing events in the world. Yes, you may have guessed what I am talking about.


Photo Source: http://www.motortrend.com/news/thread-of-the-day-nascar-vs-formula-1-which-is-better-88417/

One of the most controversial rivalries in the car racing industry today is the battle between Formula One and NASCAR. Many fans have been very vocal and feisty about their preconceived notions of both racing events. NASCAR fans think that Formula One (F1) is all about the glitz and glamour of racing, without having anything to show for on the tracks. Some say F1 is boring and the sport of the wealthy. On the other hand, F1 fans say that NASCAR is unsophisticated, and makes use of old worn out cars. F1 fans also seem to have the notion that NASCAR fans are fat and more rugged.


Photo Source: http://www.columnfivemedia.com/work-items/infographic-nascar-sprint-cup-vs-formula-one

Photo Source: http://www.columnfivemedia.com/work-items/infographic-nascar-sprint-cup-vs-formula-one

So which one of the two is better? Before we make our verdict, we must first lay down the facts. This helps not only in identifying the significant differences between the two, but also in choosing which one is better suited to your preferences.


One of the most noticeable differences between NASCAR and F1 is the type of cars they use. Both racing outlets are on opposite sides of the spectrum. F1 is at the high-end and trendy side of racing, while NASCAR is on the low-end side of the sport. When it comes to the cars, the pattern is the same. F1 is always updated with all the new, sophisticated supercars. Here, you will find all the exotic cars you can only dream of having. Plus, F1 cars are all different especially when it comes to design, power, and materials used. There are cars made of carbon fiber. Some have roaring engines that can reach around 20,000rpm. The top constructors in F1 are Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren.

On the other hand, NASCAR has a more unified trend in the cars they use. While F1 can feature a variety of car specifications, NASCAR essentially has the same car specifications. They are made of steel tubes, and are around 30 years behind the F1 cars. However, NASCAR cars still produce a great amount of power to make a good and exciting race. The top constructors in NASCAR are Chevy, Ford, and Toyota.


In terms of speed, both NASCAR and F1 have practically the same limits. NASCAR’s limit is at around 200mph, while F1’s limit is at 225mph. The difference lies in the cars’ acceleration and braking power. This is because F1 cars (1,300 lbs) weigh less than NASCAR cars (2,300 lbs) which give them an advantage when it comes to sudden changes in speeds.

Track Layouts

NASCAR predominantly has oval-shaped tracks that require only one-sided turns, while F1 has circuit tracks that require both left and right turns. This is where NASCAR and F1 car acceleration and braking come into play. Since NASCAR only makes one-sided turns, acceleration and braking are not as important as high speeds. On the other hand, acceleration and braking are important in F1 because the tracks are more complicated.


Part of the branding of the sport is giving their drivers a reputation among fans. In NASCAR, drivers are usually portrayed as having wild and crazy personalities. This somehow adds to the thrill of the race because it throws a bit of competition in the air. F1 drivers, on the other hand, are portrayed in a more serious light as skillful engineers trying to outsmart one another.

When it comes to the number of drivers, NASCAR is less exclusive than F1. NASCAR has 50, while F1 only has 24.


Photo source: http://beyondtheflag.com/2014/10/30/nascar-vs-formula-one-texas-got/


Most people would say that “F1 is a sprint, while NASCAR is a marathon”. F1 is a sprint because from the beginning of the race, drivers are already driving at full speed. This minimizes the chances of overtaking. This means that drivers who start at the front win the race. In F1, there is also a time limit of 2 hours, so F1 races are a lot shorter than NASCAR races.

NASCAR is a marathon because drivers make several laps for a longer period of time. Also, NASCAR drivers are able to more easily overtake each other due to the simpler track and rules of the game. Here, overtaking is basically the goal of each driver until all the other drivers are knocked off the race. Some NASCAR races reach as long as 4 hours.

Another difference between the two is their time for pit stops. Pit stops are short breaks meant for refueling and car servicing. F1 only allows 7 seconds per stop, while NASCAR allows 11 seconds.

Racing Locations

NASCAR has less number of locations, having events in Bristol, Daytona, and Indianapolis. These are all located in the US, which is why NASCAR is most popular in the country. On the other hand, F1 is spread out throughout the world with racing locations in 4 countries or 19 cities including Monaco, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. This has made F1 the second most popular sport in the world after soccer.


As mentioned, F1 has a larger audience base because it caters to fans on an international level. Because it has racing locations in 19 cities, F1 has established itself as a world-renowned sport. NASCAR is just as important, but it has a more limited fan base. According to a comparison made by Red Bull, NASCAR’s biggest audience reached 182,000 people, while F1 has 298,000.


In terms of annual revenue, NASCAR has a revenue of around $629 million, while F1 has $1.5 billion. It is also said that F1 teams are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, while NASCAR teams cost a lot less. This is most likely due to the expensive nature of F1 with all its exotic cars and billionaire sponsors.

Now that you know more about both NASCAR and F1, you are now better equipped to decide for yourself which racing outlet is better. In terms of quantity, it is safe to say that F1 really has the upper hand in terms of fan base, technologies, sponsors, and annual revenues. It is also more internationally known compared to NASCAR, so it caters to a wider audience. It also helps a lot that the cars people see in F1 races are always one-of-a-kind and stunning. In terms of quality, F1 and NASCAR are very different. Therefore, it is really up to the person’s taste and preference. One thing for sure is that both of these are highly important and well-respected in the auto racing industry. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which is better, as long as they continue to improve and respect the sport.

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