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Making a Single Bolt for an F1 Car Takes an Insane Amount of Work

Yeah, you're not going to find a spare just rolling around your toolbox... unless you work for Red Bull F1.
Red Bull F1

Formula 1 cars are some of the most advanced pieces of machinery on the planet. Capable of speeds exceeding 200 mph and with millions and millions in sponsorship and championship prize money on the line, the cars that compete in the highest echelon of motorsport can’t be built slapdash.

Case in point: check out this video that recently resurfaced on Instagram showing how a single bolt is made for an F1 car. The part—RB12-FS-00663-02—is meticulously designed, milled, machined, measured, weighed, and scrutinized before it becomes just one tiny violin string in the orchestra that is an F1 car.

The F1 car in question also happens to be a Red Bull, so you know that shit is world-class and made to win. And win. And win.

According to Red Bull, the price of one of its championship-dominating race cars approaches $16 million. The steering wheel apparently costs $50,000 while a set of front and rear wings will run you $200,000. That single bolt, then, probably costs a lick more than the ones you’d find in a bucket at Home Depot.

As it should, though, when you witness what exactly goes into engineering and manufacturing the thing. Apply that level of care and expertise to every other component—screws, flanges, fluids, springs—and you’ve got a racing machine that only borderline-superhumans can withstand the g’s of.

F1 may have found a much bigger, wider audience in recent years amping up the human drama element via Netflix’s admittedly fantastic Drive to Survive documentary series, but if you ask me, a lot of the nerdier aspects of the sport are still worth paying attention to. Behind every shit-talking, shade-throwing, sauna-enjoying DTS cast member is a small army of engineers agonizing over the literal nuts and bolts of the cars they pilot.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com