How Many Cars Do F1 Teams Have at Any One Time in a Race

Number of Formula 1 cars

Formula 1 racing is one of the most popular, action-packed sports in the world. This is why F1 teams use all the tools at their disposal to make their cars as competitive as possible.

If you’re just getting into F1, you may be wondering how many cars F1 teams have at any one time in a race.

Read on to find out more about the rules that each of the 10 F1 teams have to abide by in terms of the number of cars they can have.

How Many Cars Is an F1 Team Allowed in a Race?

F1 teams are allowed to enter a race with two cars each. Since there are 10 F1 teams, this means that there are 20 cars competing in any given race.

The possibility of changing the limit to three cars was suggested as a point of discussion in 2018 by Pat Symonds, the FIA’s technical director. However, no changes were ultimately made.

Having a limit on the number of cars per team wasn’t always the case. Up until the 1980s, F1 teams could bring as many cars to a race as they wanted to. 

The main reason the two-car limit was imposed is logistics. Getting their two cars and spare parts to the race venue involves every team moving almost 50 tons of freight. This is incredibly costly already, so just imagine how high the cost would be if more cars were allowed.

Do F1 Teams Use the Same Cars in All Races?

There are over 20 races in an F1 season. So, the question is do F1 teams use the same two cars throughout the entire season?

The answer is yes, and no. F1 teams use the same two cars in all of the season’s races. However, those cars are heavily modified and upgraded as the season progresses.

Therefore, the car that an F1 team ends the season with is likely to be completely different from how it was when the season kicked off.

Are F1 Teams Allowed to Bring Spare Cars?

Up until 2008, F1 teams were allowed to bring an entire spare car with them to the race weekend. This car would be stored in a garage as a contingency to be called upon in cases where the team’s original car was no longer usable for any reason.

Since then, spare cars have been banned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

However, teams are allowed to bring with them spare parts for almost every component of their cars. The official FIA rule is that teams can bring enough spare parts to build an entire car from scratch.

This comes in handy if one of the team’s cars gets into an accident and is damaged to the point where it’s no longer raceable. If this happens, the team is able to repair the entire car on a moment’s notice.

Which Parts of the Car Can F1 Teams Change?

The FIA enforces strict regulations when it comes to the components of a car that F1 teams can change during the season.

The parts that F1 teams are allowed to change include the nose cone and the front wing, as well as the tires of course. Additionally, some parts can only be changed by teams for a limited number of times per season.

Exceeding this limit makes a team subject to a grid penalty. This means that the team’s cars will be given a starting position that’s further back than the one corresponding to their results in the qualifying rounds.

During a race, F1 teams are only allowed to make changes to their cars when the race is under red flag conditions. 

This happens when an accident has occurred and the conditions of the track are unsafe for the race to continue. In these cases, the red flag is raised by several marshals around the track, and all drivers are required to slow down and go into the pit lane.

Only then can the team whose car has taken damage during the crash start to repair the damaged parts.


If you’re wondering how many cars F1 teams have at any one time in a race, the answer is two.

In fact, F1 teams are only allowed to have two cars to enter into races throughout a given F1 season. Additionally, F1 teams are no longer allowed to bring a spare car with them to events.

However, they’re allowed to have enough spare parts on hand to build an entire car. They can use these spare parts to repair any of their two cars in the event that one of them crashes during a race.

You should note that they can only do so when the race is under red flag conditions.

There you have it, now you know all about the F1 rules regarding the car limit per team.

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