Check out some interesting facts about the Formula One powerboats that you need to know!
Aside from the start, the cockpit also used to only have a steering wheel and a throttle. But now things have changed as the driver’s safety as well as ease of use are of utmost priority. Now the cockpit also features other controls such as a fuel pump switch, red and yellow warning lights (controlled by the crew), and an airbag.
This is one of the rules of the F1 power boat championship which states that participants should be of 12 teams and 24 powerboats slugging it out each other on the waters. This kind of rule is also similar to theF1 car racing championship — of course, only race cars are involved.
However, these boats could not resist the forces generated due to their speed. As a result, accidents and deaths often took place in a speed boat racing competition.
The high fatality rates from the powerboat racing competitions have raised the focus on safety. For this reason, safety features are added such as shock-absorbent constructions, airbags, and most important of all, the protective crash boxes
These similarities include the number of participating boats and racers, as well as the duration of the race (45 minutes). However, F1 boats accelerate much faster than the fastest F1 race cars.
During the time when cockpits were not yet enclosed spaces, there were no safety features such as a harness or airbags, thus the driver’s life was always at risk. Thus, the safety harness were later introduced not long after enclosed cockpits evolved.
Airbags protect the driver from the certain death or injuries from the impact in case of the crash. Airbags will also help delay the sinking of the vessel until help arrive.
This type of engine enables a boat to a skid over the surface of the water at top speeds up to 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour)!
The Formula One powerboat championship was inaugurated in 1981, and held as a Grand Prix-style event with teams battle it out around the world every season.
These F1 powerboats are actually tunnel hull catamarans that usually have a weight of 390 kilograms (860 pounds) which include 118 kilograms (260 pounds) from the engine. They are measured 20 feet (6 meters) in length and seven feet (two meters) in width.