Why would each F1 piston cost more than $65,000?!

We all know that F1 cars are producing a tremendous amount of power and reach high speeds on the racing tracks, but why would it cost that much to produce a single-engine piston! The cost of a single F1 piston exceeds $65,000.

To put it another way, it turns out that there are might be a number of very reasonable reasons why it is ridiculously expensive. When it comes to Formula One, starting the car’s engine is very different from starting a conventional road car.

As a result of the extremely tight tolerances, the pistons are unable to move until the engine is warmed up. Therefore engineers must spend a minimum of 30 minutes warming up the coolant and oil.

But there’s also another valid explanation behind this cost. When traveling up and down in the engine at speeds of above 80mph (128 km/h), it must sustain more than 200 G Force. F1 engines cost over $9 million alone, and these pistons are one of the crucial components that allow them to create over 1000 horsepower.

But why is it a 1,000 times more expensive than a piston from a streetcar? Yes, it cost just about $65 to produce a single-piston for most of the streetcars engines.

Let’s watch this video by the Drive61 channel to find out more details:

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Randy Forbes
Randy Forbes
1 year ago

Very nice video, good job!

If the pistons won’t move in the cylinders until the engine is warmed up, trying to assemble the rotating/reciprocating assembly (crankshaft, pistons & connecting rods) must be a real picnic; I speculate that the pistons are super-cooled to get them to contract as much as possible. I keep BMW rear wheel bearings in the freezer until I’m ready to install them, making the process easier.

Brian Garvey
Brian Garvey
10 months ago
Reply to  Randy Forbes

Everything in this post is nonsense…price…tolerances etc. The tech aspect of F1 Engines has become a sad place online (from an F1 engine builder/parts buyer)