Average Lap Speed Record from 1971 still unbroken

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Average Lap Speed Record from 1971 still unbroken


Post by whugento »

Did you know that the current fastest lap average speed of 260.843 km/h was not realized by a modern F1 car? It stands for 50 years! Read more about it here.

Throwback to the 1000km Spa in 1971

After 1970 the 14 km long Spa circuit was no longer used by Formula 1. The public roads without any security measures where judged unsafe and abandoned. However, the sports cars and their drivers where still eager to show off their speed.

The race showed a race long unprecedented battle between Jo Siffert and Pedro Rodriguez. Both where the masters in taming the beast - the Porsche 917. Lap after lap, both stayed wheel to wheel at above 320 km/h (200 mph). Their co-drivers Derek Bell and Jackie Oliver where staring in awe from the pits where they spent more time than in the cars.

John Wyer's team principle David Yorke showed the "EZ" sign to his battling drivers, with litte effect. Jo kept chasing Pedro at a dramatic pace.

Yorke's only chance to tame both star drivers was by ordering Derek not to engage in a fight with Oliver and to keep positions.

Siffert wasn't pleased and was seen with a black board at the end of pit lane to signal Derek to go for it. Derek - having set the pole time with a new lap record - was clearly faster but followed the team orders.

After 4 hours an 1 minute the crossed they finish line separated by just 0.4 seconds. They where 4 laps ahead the rest which translated into 56 km or 15 minutes gap.

While Jo Siffert missed the win, he claimed the fastest lap with a jaw-dropping 3:14,6 (almost 2 seconds faster than the pole time and more than 10 seconds faster than F1). This translates into an average lap speed of an astonishing 260.843 km/h (162.080 mph).

Just image the circumstances around that time: no security measures, aluminium frames instead of kevlar, no electronic or computer support, no telemetric or team radio. And under race and not clinical qualifying conditions. Just you and your machine!
Jo Siffert's average lap speed record during a race still holds today.
Fastest Lap Records in F1
Rubens Barrichello on Ferrari F2004 holds the current Formula 1 record for the fastest average lap speed during a race with 257.321 km/h (159.891 mph) since the Italian Grand Prix 2004 in Monza.

Only during qualifying the mark of 260 km/h was broken only in 2004 by Juan Pablo Montoya in the 1st qualifying round with 263.145km/h (163.510 mph).

Currently Lewis Hamilton holds the qualifying record since Monza 2020 at 264.362km/h (164.267 mph).

See the development of the average lap speed in the image.

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Post by DoubleFart »

Let's see what happens with the new F1 cars at the new Monza. The cars will no doubt be slower, but the track should be faster.
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Post by EB »

Weren't they going faster than this at AVUS in 1937? By what criteria are you including or excluding certain events?
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Post by jimclark »

What's the point of comparing when rules are different?
Those were the days my friends, we thought they'd never end.....

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