We've posted the acceleration of an F1 car during a lap around Melbourne: the speed vs time curve was obtained from the analysis of the sound of the engine, by Reca (how we miss Reca around this site!). You can measure the speed, take the time it takes to achieve it and deduce the acceleration (sorry for reposting the image, but I know of no other precise source but F1Technical for this):
Speed vs time for Fisichella
You get a puny 8 m/s2 from 130 to 250 kph, as some members have pointed out:
Power to the wheels simple calculation: check the acceleration at row 11
However, even from a standing still departure, the acceleration of an F1 car is ridiculously low compared with the one of a dragster. In order to accelerate at 330 mph (that is, 530 kph) in less than 4.5 seconds, a regular dragster has to achieve 4.5 Gs, that is, 44 m/s2.
The deceleration of a dragster is also larger than the one of an F1 car:
once you deploy the parachutes and brakes, you have to resist 4 Gs (39 m/s2), more than a space shuttle astronaut during reentry. No Brembo carbon fiber brakes can provide you with the same decceleration, no matter what the forum says. In order to achieve 200 mph (320 kph, in euros) in the first half of the race, a dragster needs to achieve 8 Gs during the launch.
A rocket dragster, the most extreme dragster constructed in the history of mankind, will give you 0-160 kmh in 0.5 seconds. That means you have to stand a brutal 9 Gs when you drive that kind of car.
Try to better that, Mr. Coulthard!
A rocket dragster, free from the constraints of traction through the wheels, reaches 386 mph (that's around 620 kph) in 3.58 seconds.
So, before bragging too much about F1 being the pinnacle of racing, perhaps a little taste of "humble soup" would be adequate.
Check this title: American driver, unimaginable acceleration
(that would be a nice name for a rock band! Unimaginable acceleration...
), altough, as many of you could very quickly point out, "straight-line acceleration is probably the first aspect of automotive performance that any intelligent driver gets bored with." Sure, but what about spectators?
I'm never bored with drag racing. I quote from the link:
Putting all of this into perspective: You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo Corvette Z06. More than a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a measured quarter-mile as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the Vette up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph.
The "tree" goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down, but you hear a brutal whine that sears your eardrums, and within three seconds, the dragster catches you and beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile from where you just passed him. From a standing start, the dragster spotted you 200 mph and not only caught you but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 feet.
That's why I also grunt every time somebody talks bad about women racers: the amount of female top level competitors in NHRA history is astounding. They can beat an F1 car (probably giving more leeway than the one that Mr. Coulthard gave to the puny Mercedes he confronted).
A dragster engine is a marvel of mechanical engineering. With 3000 cubic feet for minute ramming into the engine, the cylinders are in the verge of hydraulic lock: the fuel is almost "solid" when it enters the combustion chamber.
So, I highly recommend any of you to NOT consider your driving education finished until you have attended an NHRA race. Same goes for track designers: you will never learn to build a perfect road until you measure the flatness of a Top Fuel track. Nothing else but an absolutely flat track will do: even the most minute imperfection can make a cylinder to explode, and I'm not making this up.
In the end, sure, adam2007, an F1 car will give you a respectable acceleration: once you achive around 200 kph, the necessities of modern F1 racing (that is, the excessive downforce) won't take you far in that respect. Besides, I bet you that the eves2007 of NHRA can beat a Formula One car any day of the week (probably in a Funny Car, no need to use a Top Fuel Racer, the absolute dominant branch of motorsport in straight line acceleration).
This woman beats Coulthard in, oh, so many levels...
Yeah, yeah, rant as you wish about how to take a curve... I take Ashley Force over Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher or Fernando Alonso any day of the week.