When F1 Cars Used ROCKET FUEL!


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    This car produces over 1400 horsepower, largely because it’s running on Rocket Fuel.
    Back in the 80s, there were no restrictions on the type of fuel car’s used, so being F1 - the teams took it to the extremes.
    They used a formula that created massive power and allowed the turbos to be turned up higher than ever before - but just one catch - it was extremely toxic and is a known carcinogen! Not to mention it’s tendency to cause engines to blow up!
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    We all love the genius innovations that came out of F1 in the 80s - ground effect, massive turbos and carbon monocoque chassis’.
    The introduction of 1.5 litre turbo engines brought a load of changes in F1, with the most obvious being the huge increase in power. Some of the cars on the grid had as much as 1500 horsepower - they were absolute rocket-ships!.
    A big side-effect of the turbos was a massive increase in fuel consumption. The huge turbos pressurise air going into the cylinders, which along with more air - needed more fuel.
    At points, the cars were using more than 300 litres of fuel per race! That’s nearly three times what today’s cars are allowed to use.
    The teams needed to find a way to use less fuel - they came up with some ingenious, but dangerous solutions - more on that later.
    In 1984, after a spite of pit-stop fires, the FIA banned the refueling of cars during races. With this they placed a cap on the size of fuel tank at 220 litres, meaning the drivers had to save a lot of fuel during the race.
    For drivers, this meant needing to either lift-off the throttle way before braking, shifting-up earlier or turning down the turbo’s boost pressure. Lifting off the throttle and costing before braking is the most efficient way to save fuel without losing too much lap-time, as the engine is using most fuel when flat out at the end of a straight.
    The San Marino Grand Prix in 1985 summed it up perfectly. Senna took pole and led up to lap 57, where he suddenly ground to a halt - he ran out of fuel. Johansson then took the lead in his first race for Ferrari, and then - you guessed it - ran out of fuel.
    The same happened to Brundle, Warwick, Piquet and Boutsen. Boutsen, luckily stopped on the pit-straight and actually pushed his car over the line. But not before de Angelis could pass him.
    Prost actually crossed the finish line in the lead, but was disqualified as he ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap - leaving no fuel left for the compulsory FIA test sample - handing de Angelis his first win!
    A truly crazy race that showed how difficult it was to save fuel with those huge turbo engines. Of the 26 cars that started the race, only 5 finished!
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    00:00 When F1 Cars Used Rocket Fuel
    00:32 Our Favourite Loop-Hole Finders
    00:55 1.2 MPG!
    01:25 Fuel Freezing
    04:09 Rocket Fuel
    05:37 What's Octane?
    06:59 Highest Fuel Bill Ever
    07:15 Toluene's Biggest Problem
    07:33 The End of the Turbo Era
    08:45 What Fuel Do Today's F1 Cars Use?
    #RocketFuel #Formula1 #Engineering

    Pubblicato il 2 mesi fa


    1. Driver61

      Who else loves watching these iconic races from the 80s? They bravery of these guys. *Shameless Plug* - You should follow us on TikTok @official_driver61

      1. Michael Foye

        @Donald Moser Rubber in your teeth is the only way to fully appreciate the race.

      2. Michael Foye

        All that intrepid bravery, destroyed by the regulatory noose of the milquetoast greys.

      3. simon trucker

        The 1980s was one of the most amazing decades in F1, and as I was born in 1966 and the right age to take it in, I would consider it my favourite. Just an aside if you're interested in fuels and engineering etc, check out the series on YT on the legendary 1960s Top Fuel Dragster team, 'The Surfers'. They ran their car on a 95% Nitro 5% Toluene mix. It's a fascinating series of interviews. And as for the carcinogenic nature of this stuff? I spent 21yrs driving petrol tankers and am now fighting brain cancer. Just saying. Keep the videos coming.

      4. Alan Angcao

        Senna was the master of pushing turbo cars to the limit as if you ever used these cars in sims (without traction and stability control you cheeky blokes) they are unstable as hell just pressing 50% of the throttle, the car’s backend could snap which can be hard to control.

      5. Dani Gonzalez

        Not me if you dont state facts correct, mate. You do too many mistakes. In the Williams video it was way worse even. Please, check history before posting.

    2. Jake Free Music

      1:25 *Poor guy*

    3. Kevin J. Dildonik

      "Race cars want high octane fuel for power" NO NO NO. This is one of the dumbest myths in the automotive world. Facts: Octane is a measure of how a fuel resists igniting under temperature and pressure. High compression engines need high octane to prevent premature detonation before the spark. But a high octane fuel can have LESS energy density. Saying "fast cars need high octane" is a holdover from marketing campaigns in the 50s when octane ratings became a thing and companies wanted to sell more high octane fuel. This is like saying race cars need to mount bigger brakes to make a car go faster. The brakes don't have anything to do with the car going faster. It just happens that when a car goes really fast, it will then also need big brakes. Just like a high compression engine will need high octane fuel. But the fuel is to resist detonation. The high compression is what makes the power.


      Yes the 80s... Best time for racing, no bullshit, just insane power and aero.

    5. Chuckie

      Crazy thing is a few old engineers have said if you took these engines and ran them with a modern ecu and mapping they’d make over 2,000 HP easy.

    6. ferrarikingdom

      It was never used as rocket fuel and never even used in jets it was used in some German ww2 fighters though

    7. Hector

      Title should be..... When f1 cars used to be f1 cars 🏎

    8. Aaron's Random Life

      Toluene is NOT jet fuel. Nor is it really or has it really ever been used as an additive in jet fuel. Jet fuel is mostly naturally refined hydrocarbons, very similar to diesel fuel or kerosene. Nice try with the clickbait title and dramatic avoidance of saying what the fuel they used actually was.

    9. Santiago Arbelaez

      Imagine being a f1 driver and your boss tells you how much was spend on fuel so you feel pressured to make the race worth the money 😂

    10. philip wakeham

      Toluene is also the fuel in TNT (tri nitrate toluene)

    11. Lunar Graphix

      banned f1 technology combined make a 1 car...

    12. Smokey Yunick

      Took rocket fuel and diesel to get 120 octane, we used to buy 120 octane race gas at the drag strip back in the 80’s for our NoS cars

    13. Thrust vectoring

      Toluene is primarily a paint thinner, then a drug that most homeless people use and then a rocket fuel. It is not really that common in rocket fuel industry, as it is common amongst painters and drug users...

    14. Sutapa Samanta

      Learn something new everyday

    15. Rusty Shackleford

      Automobile racing in the 80s was the best. F1 and Group B rally.

    16. Kelly Oubre Jr.

      This might sound daft but I think current f1 should have 1300 hp and weight 500kg with current downforce levels to bring back the sound and liveliness of the alonso days

    17. Kelly Oubre Jr.

      They should bring it back 🗣

    18. Kiyoone

      This was the golden era... legends driving. Nowadays is meh

    19. Rebecca Kenworthy

      I'm 2:51 into the vid, the fuel consumption has been mentioned many times at this point - but why not explain to the viewers WHY they were running such a rich mixture? I'm sure you know, a fat mixture is a safe tune, as leaner mixtures burn much hotter. Additionally, the overly rich mixture can act like water injection, further cooling the combustion temps (but potentially washing the oil out of the cross- hatching on the cylinder walls, causing excessive piston, ring and cylinder wall wear). Generally the higher the combustion pressure, the higher the combustion temps... Hence the excess fuel was used to cool the combustion temps... Elementary my dear Whatson

    20. Todd

      normies: "ah the turbos weren't that big, plus they had twin turbos so less lag" turbos: *pump 5 bar of boost into 1.5 liter V6*

    21. Make Asylums Great Again • 10 years ago

      100% NOT ROCKET FUEL

    22. Niko942

      In a free society, drivers would be allowed to choose how much danger they want to be exposed to.

    23. GregzVR

      F1 used the 'jungle juice' toxic concoctions, up until 1992, when 'pump fuel' was mandated. Ferrari(Agip) and McLaren Honda(Shell) had toxic fuels for their qualifying engines, right up until 1991. From then, the ingredients in the pump fuels were the same as road car fuel, but I guess they played around with the percentages of the ingredients, F1 being F1.

    24. BoostHit

      It was roughly 90% toluene. High energy density and the main point it was extremely knock resistant allowed crazy boost levels. Can be added to pump gas up 2 about 20% to increase knock resistance. Ha

    25. -EGThorn13- SilverTrophy

      For People wondering 5.5Bar of pressure is almost 80PSi

    26. ##### Smith

      They badged this engine as Megatron. Rumour has it the engine blocks were left in the smoking section of the BMW factory for workers to urinate on. What difference that would make is anyone's guess.

    27. ##### Smith

      Senator ran out of fuel first. Always the master.

    28. Pedro_

      You keep saying toluLene.

    29. sam walbank

      Interesting they ran on rocket fuel in 80’s I remember early 90’s silverstone and the special cocktails.. defo had a distinct smell... but remember stories of empty barrels been peed in so others teams couldn’t swab samples of the fuel ....

    30. Tyrox 222

      The coolest decades in motorsports where the 60s, 70s and 80s

    31. Alain Belanger

      BMW Use V2 first intercontinental missile

    32. Antonio63 GGG

      Toluene- true, it was a major constituent. Dense, that means high energy per unit volume; a major constituent of unleaded petrols in Europe, too, as it is cheap and high- octane... Now, the high prices of F1 turbo fuels came not from that (or the diesel, added also to bring down the octane rating that was regulated) but from special high-energy additives that got a few % out of combustion. One I was hearing of at the time was cubane, a strained hydrocarbon, extremely energetic and dense (1.29 g/cm3) and also high-octane because of its kinetic stability. It is made by a difficult and expensive synthetic route; today you can buy it or some derivatives for lab use at tens of euros per gram. Big oil sponsors would set up production labs, saving on the scale, but still that few % that they added would drive the price up to 100s of euro per kg (I use euro instead of currencies of the time for laziness).

    33. Z T

      And you ask me wy i find todays racing boring 1930s to 1990s was the peak of motorsport sound feel and real racing and so much more sadly i only could encounter 1% by my own as i was born way to late (1995) i literaly feel myself in the wrong generation.

    34. Shaua Shah

      Luftwaffe beschde

    35. ggibby0

      This really puts the "Gas" into "Gas Gas Gas".

    36. Crepitus

      Cool video, I was in a bad mood and this helped distract me. Thank you

    37. Andrew W.C.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but fuel freezing was essentially the equivalent of adding a big shot of nitrous onto the engine.

    38. Andrew W.C.

      I’m not sure about F1, I’m sure it was much the same, but I remember reading that the team bosses for the ELF motorcycle GP team had a special clause in their contracts that said they would never have to handle or even come in close proximity to the fuel.

    39. Ivaylo Tashev

      300l/race...? Once I managed to burn 42l/200km with my Honda (d16z6).. the last 40 minutes - not dropping under 5500 & topping at 7000 rpm on 4th & 5th (highway) - ended up with 2.5l of coolant missing & spun rod bearing... :D

    40. DivideBy Zero

      Well, I'm sold! Off to the hardware store to buy a gallon of paint thinner to top off the tank on my M3...

    41. Hotas F-16

      sooo who will be using quiktrip fuel?

    42. Tomasz Kusmierz

      There was also a nice caveat in FIA rules, which did not state that you had to run on same engine in qualifying round as in main race - HENCE, teams would run far higher boost during qualifying laps and destroy the engine -> quickly replace the engine for main race and run with lower boost (and different map as well to stop engine from melting)

    43. Bob Thompson

      On the fuel being a second a lap different well that's A TON when your a second ahead of second place when the white flag comes out

    44. Bob Thompson

      I think 70s-80s f1 cars looked cooler

    45. Bob Thompson

      Diesel will also lubricate the cylinder

    46. Bob Thompson

      1 hp per CC. WOW and the gauge that said 4 bar is 58 psi of boost. 5.5 bar is 79.77 psi

    47. Bob Thompson

      It's all because of octane!!!!

    48. Mark

      Such a great channel... So interesting! I was never into F1 but your vids show us just how ingenious the sport is. Wow... just wow!

    49. Dave Mac

      Great vids fella, however do you really think fuel burning hurts the “plannet”? Come on, and if it did do you really think thats the end goal with these restrictions? Look at dpf and tell me thats not double the pollution than a regular diesel engine then extrapolate it out and it becomes very clear

    50. Peter Clout

      Rocket fuel is a two part mix of peroxide and oxygen. Hardly suitable for car. The other rocket fuel is a solid. What is likely is old style petrol of 110+ron with methanol.

    51. Don Raptor

      Rockets run on Kerosene! You are full of BS!

    52. GreenHeat

      6:54 Indeed 1.5 is less than 6.4

    53. denvera1g1

      What about direct injection liquid hydrogen? get a small boost from the hydrogen expansion, but massive energy density(3x as energy dense as gasoline), and as long as there isnt an explosive decompression, would be in theory safer than gasoline, as if there is a leak, it vents into the atmosphere and quickly rises away instead of the vapors flowing around on the ground.

    54. Nick Cosentino

      Thanks for taking me back.

    55. Peter Oxley

      When MEN were MEN, not kneeling in surrender on the grid...I miss those days so bad.

      1. calska140

        They'll come back. This is too extreme. There will be a backlash. I will kneel for people I respect (more than basic common courtesy respect of course,) . As things appear I'll be long dead before people worth respecting appear again. Alot of people crying about fictional hardships they created to excuse their ignominious failures. Can't even look at themselves as a possible contributor to any of their problems. Weak.

    56. General Skalinera // Neon Silver

      It costs 400.000 dollars to drive the BMW rocket F1... for 12 seconds. - bmw rocket fuel supplier propably

    57. repentnow

      Stopping F1 will really help global warming instead of us average people turning off the two light bulbs in our tiny houses

    58. zeus lim

      I didn't know they used toluene in rockets. It's so carcinogenic that we leave the bottle in the fume hood. I thought they were sticking hydrazine in lol.

    59. Brice Fleckenstein

      Wrong from the start. There is no such thing as "rocket fuel", rockets have used a wide range of different fuels in different rocket engines - and toulene was NOT one of them except perhaps in EXPERIMENTS.

    60. Danny Danny

      Big correction, the type of fuel you use doesn't change the amount of power you make, the only reason you would need higher octane fuel is because you make more power.

    61. DARRENTINOnz

      Love your videos man but pls get a haircut

    62. RC3

      to be honest i don't think f1 is a "race" anymore. as a racer you just want to push as fast as you can whatever it takes, nowadays it's a marathon and no racing action what so ever. with tech we have now there should be a safe way to bring back a racer being a racer, instead of a paddock wall engineer working 50 laps or so on strats while driving a car, if a racer wanted to worry about strats i think he'd become a paddock wall race engineer instead of a racer. i once opened my mouth in 2019 that they didn't push the car to qualifying times during a race, the next upcomin race i saw a response, way more stops for tires like 3 to 4 and the race was much more enjoyable to watch, more back end teams were in a challenging position for points. so yeah they need to give racers the focus on being a racer back. change my mind.

    63. DeepFriedSalt

      I was expecting something more exotic than toluene, but then again, I only really thought of toluene as a precursor to TNT, rather than a dangerous chemical in its own right.

    64. 19822andy

      To be fair a second a lap in F1 time is humongous.

    65. the dude

      me hearing a faint ill never die: turns up sound me when i find out it accutaly is the song: breakdown breakdown

    66. mcgeufer

      Toluene was used as rocket fuel? I just know that stuff as paint thinner... And I really struggle to believe that is was the common rocket fuel in the 80is.

    67. Rich Hopkins

      Why would they do that? Rocket fuel is less efficient and wouldn't make the car go any faster

    68. Shaun Clancy

      Nitromethane, or top fuel, as used in top fuel dragsters, is not rocket fuel. The Saturn V rocket's first stage carries 203,400 gallons (770,000 liters) of kerosene fuel and 318,000 gallons (1.2 million liters) of liquid oxygen needed for combustion. Liquid oxygen (LOX) and highly refined kerosene (RP-1). Used for the first stages of the Atlas V, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Soyuz, Zenit, and developmental rockets like Angara and Long March 6. This combination is widely regarded as the most practical for boosters that lift off at ground level and therefore must operate at full atmospheric pressure. LOX and liquid hydrogen. Used on the Centaur upper stage, the Delta IV rocket, the H-IIA rocket, most stages of the European Ariane 5, and the Space Launch System core and upper stages. LOX and liquid methane (from Liquefied natural gas) are planned for use on several rockets in development, including Vulcan, New Glenn, and SpaceX Starship. Those are examples of actual rocket fuel, not the stuff they put into top fuel dragsters or put into an F1 car. Nitromethane and liquid methane are not the same thing, nitro is made by combining propane and nitric acid. It's main advantage is it contains more oxygen than other fuels, allowing it to burn with less atmospheric oxygen, rockets have LOX so this is irrelevant and you ideally want fuels without oxygen in them.

    69. Mein Warcraft Tagebuch

      The BMW engine did not break the dyno it went beyond the scale - at the time they had a dyno that could display 1000 or 1100 hp (not exactly sure) and when they tested the engine it went beyond that, that's when the rumors of 1400hp started.

    70. Bruce Dressel

      We don't live on a planet little feller more like a plane.

    71. Pat Riley

      An unpleasant effect of petrochemicals, back in the 80s before crack poisoned people, the parks were full of people sniffing rags, watching some stagger like zombies i asked what they were sniffing and one said "toil"...people will choose poison far too often.

    72. Matthew Loughlin

      Lol back when teams would say ‘show me where I asked’ to the FIA

    73. Dodgy Dave

      When you cool something it gets smaller..... explain that to water......

    74. J. B

      Mix it with 3 parts 3 nitro

    75. Scotty

      acording to what I have read about rockets, they run on kerosene !!!!!

    76. Julius Berten

      I was thinking of rp1 which is just pretty refined kerosine/diesel and i was like "so? Where is the problem?"

    77. 0jodele0

      Toluene has not been used in any rocket worth mentioning. Hydrazine, on the other hand is and has been used in motorsports! Nitrous oxide has been successful used as a rocket fuel that has set world records, but it is most notably referred to as laughing gas. See history.nasa.gov/conghand/propelnt.htm why toluene has NOT been used as "rocket fuel"!

    78. antryo YT

      Just a note but elio had already won a race Austria 1982 so elio 2nd win was san Marino 1985.

    79. beeble2003

      Aside from a couple of experiments, toluene has never been used as a rocket fuel: it's too heavy and the performance increase over kerosene isn't enough to compensate for that. It worked in F1 because their primary concern was volume and because the weight penalty wasn't too bad in an application where the vehicle didn't have to lift its own fuel into the sky. In fact, it may even have been an advantage, given how much effort F1 cars go to to generate more "weight" through downforce. Toluene has also never seen significant use as a jet fuel where, again, weight is the ruling factor. So, interesting video, but based on a number of major misconceptions.

    80. William Chamberlain

      Toluene is methylbenzene - benzene (very toxic) with a methyl CH3 group stuck on one side of the ring. I'll have to look in Ignition (John D Clark, 1972) again, but I'm not seeing much use of toluene as rocket fuel. Maybe as part of a mix to get higher combustion rates than RP-1, but as it carries a lot of carbon for the number of hydrogens I'd guess that the exhaust velocity would be lower and so would specific impulse.

    81. William Chamberlain

      The raptor engine (4:57) runs on methane and liquid oxygen.

    82. Fenixz Filip

      That being said, F1 today is but a sad shadow of it's former self.

    83. En Usko

      1400bhp from a 1.6l WTF.

    84. EliteDavid Horne

      250 litres of fuel in a 220 litre tank is clever.

    85. Hifty Long head

      So much is scientifically wrongly said in this video

    86. megapet777

      Damn the 80's were crazy xD

    87. matthew spence

      they should start using acetylene instead of gasoline

    88. Superbogan

      "Its probably smaller than whats in your car" Laughs in unreliable 1.4 twin charged golf

    89. Robbie Steel

      My sister's car is a Volkswagen Polo with a 1.4L engine. so it's definitely more powerful than hers but, not mine, dad's nor mum's car!

    90. droidtigger


    91. The j.

      All of the roblox jailbreak players, pls stfu

    92. kain hall

      4:10 thats not a fuel sample..... thats a pee sample!!!! . either they are playing a joke on the F1 rules team..... OR THEY ARE RUNNING CARS ON WEE!!!! . F1 has saved our energy crisis....... just run our cars on our own piss!!!! . i bet if you are drinking beer..... the pee fuel would have some ethanol in it.... so if ya drive a turbo / high compression car..... drink some beer before ya fuel it up ;)

    93. Renno Marco

      Great video, thanks. I would argue that the moment you start adding fuel and tyre restrictions to racing, it becomes an “economy challenge” and no longer racing. At the moment F1 is the most expensive absurd rule filled economy challenge on earth. Pity that...it used to be spectacular.

    94. leutrim topalli

      5.5 bar is 80 psi, holy shit

    95. Rat King

      TOLUENE IT USES TOLUENE, Carcinogenic is the effect on the human body. TriNitroToluene is the most commonly known, TNT. the chemical cousin of dynamite is in the F1 tank.

    96. FullOilBarrel

      Bmw piss engine with 1500 qualifying horses lol

    97. Blake Lonsdale-Cook

      Now give this beast a Continuously Variable Transmission like on the FW15C. You're welcome. I take no responsibility for traumatic injuries sustained while attempting to drive such a car.

    98. Dutch Van der Linde

      So it really was rocket science

    99. FlyBoyGrounded

      So, what's that stuff called, "Tolu.....what now?" It's only written on the screen about 5 times during this video. It appears to be spelled "Toluene", 'tolu...ene' not "Tolulene". Where has that second 'L' come from?

    100. Frozen Flame

      1:08 stick shift and 15k HP no wonder todays piece of shit f1 sucks and its boring and no one really watches it