But anyone who has even the most basic knowledge about drag racing will tell you that it’s not always that simple. Yes, the fastest Tesla on the market can gap most ICE cars on the market today, going down the quarter-mile. But if we’re talking about vehicles that were built exclusively for racing, then we have to reassess the situation. And going into today’s battle, you can’t help but expect the Tesla to be annihilated.
But let’s have a quick look at the specs for the two contenders. The Tesla is a P100D model, and that means the driver has access to 500 kW (670 horsepower) and 701 lb-ft (950 Nm) of torque. This is an AWD vehicle, so it should be fast off the line. Its main disadvantage is that it weighs almost 5,000 lbs (2,267 kg). And that’s bound to have it struggling to keep up with its opponent.
Because the Benetton Formula 1 car that they’ve brought forth for this race only weighs 1,157 lbs (525 kg). Even with the driver behind the wheel, this still has an amazing power to weight ratio, as its V10 engine is capable of delivering over 750 horsepower and 383 lb-ft (520 Nm) of torque to the rear wheels. The only way the Tesla can win this fight is if grip levels are terrible.
I’m guessing whoever is driving the F1 car won’t mess up, so ultimately Tesla fanboys might want to look away. We get to see the first run right as the video starts, and just as expected, the Tesla has a small lead going off the line. But once both vehicles are up to speed, the F1 car just teleports itself into first place. It manages to cross the quarter-mile (402 meters) finish line in 9.6 seconds, while the P100D needs an extra 1.2 seconds to do the same.
Seeing how this first run went down, I can only imagine what a Rimac Nevera would do to an F1 car if they ever raced against each other. For the second run, we get to see a rolling start, from 40 mph (64 kph). This time the Tesla is only in front for a fraction of a second before being obliterated again. For the third test, the two drivers have got a very interesting idea in mind.
They’re going to race from a standstill to 100 mph (161 kph) and back to a stop. Seeing that the Benetton car weighs next to nothing, it can stop on a dime. So it wins this third test hands down. We also get to see these two vehicles engaging in the Moose test. While the Tesla does a first attempt going at 55 mph (88 kph), the lighter F1 machine goes up to 65 mph (104 kph) from the start. Although the P100D takes out a cone, both cars passed the test. They continue to increase the speed for the next runs, but I won’t spoil the outcome for you.