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The anatomy of a Formula One car

By Matthew Knight and Ben Wyatt, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Formula One car can reach 160km/h in under six seconds
  • F1 car brakes operate at a temperature over 600 degrees Celsius
  • In general, the cars weigh around 600 kilograms in race trim
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(CNN) -- Formula One cars are a marvel of modern engineering, so much so, that many manufactuers who compete in the sport do so in order to benefit from the technical innovations race-honed research and development creates.

Car builders such as Renault, Ferrari, BMW, Toyota and McLaren have used technology -- developed to make single-seater race cars as competitive as possible -- to enhance their road-car products.

And who can blame them if you consider the performance such a machine can deliver to a driver? The average F1 car can reach 160km/h in under six seconds according to the official Formula One Web site and have top speeds in the region of 370 km/h.

Going fast is one thing, stopping is another, and controlling such velocity requires carbon brakes which, in any given race, will have an operating temperature that is over 600 degrees Celsius.

In general, the cars weigh around 600 kilograms in race trim, including the addition of KERS that some constructors use to increase performance. This system stores energy normally lost through braking and reuses it for speed boosts during the race.

Watch out for KERS powered cars -- including the Mclarens, BMW Saubers and Renault -- using their boost as the lights go green to start this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.