Have F1 lap times decreased over time?
From a general point of view it is fair to say that the average Formula One lap times have maintained largely the same since 1972, especially when you take into consideration the technological advancements in the motor industry.
It is quite a shock to see that today’s times are so similar to times from a good 40 years ago. But as time and technology goes forward risks as well as true driver ability need to be considered, which is why in 1972 it was compulsory to wear helmets because of the immense power formula one cars contained which could cause serious health risks.
Then as time passed more rules were introduced to slow cars down and take away potential dangers, like when turbo was designed this was a major break through which changed the speed game giving formula one cars more speed, power and danger therefore it was banned in 1989.
After more progression in the 2000s many things that increased the cars’ ability and decreased the needed drivers’ ability, so in 2008 a standardised McLaren ECU was introduced into every car so that races are determined on the drivers’ skill rather than cars skill therefore creating fairing equal races meaning the better athlete wins.