You’ve been hearing about Formula One a couple of times right?, Cool let’s talk about what it is.
A Car race of over 200 miles an hour in cities all over the world; Miami, Bahrain, Singapore, Melbourne, Montreal, and Monaco with insanely famous car drivers like Daniel Ricardo, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and more.
And there are 100-person teams racing cars so advanced that they’re practically spaceships and so expensive that they had to make a rule that teams couldn’t spend more than $140,000,000 each. And it’s only getting bigger.
I personally love F1, but a lot of people are because of all this hype, they’re hearing about it right now for the first time and asking themselves “What is F1?”. So let’s get into it. This is Formula One explained for beginners, what you need to know to keep up with this crazy expensive sport that everyone suddenly is obsessed with.
What Is Formula One
Formula One is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is the highest class of international racing for single-seater formula racing cars compared to other racing sports. It is authorised by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) which was established on 20 June 1904.
A Formula One season is comprised of various races known as Grand Prix that occur globally throughout the season. The term “Formula” refers to a standardized set of guidelines that all participating teams must comply with.
The races take place on purpose-built tracks certified by the FIA. Most tracks are situated in remote locations well connected with cities. There are a few races such as the British Grand Prix and the Singapore Grand Prix that are held on closed public roads.
In Formula One, every team has to design and manufacture their own cars, that’s cool, right? and the best part is that they get to improve the cars between each race or not, depending on how they do. So the competition in F1 actually centers around the car itself. Not just how you race it, but also how you build it.
Okay, each team races two cars, so two drivers for the same team participating in a Formula One race and should hold a valid Super Licence issued by the FIA. Each event or grand Prix is three days of practice, qualifying, and race day.
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Formula 1 Grand Prix is a competition between drivers who race on circuits approved by the FIA. The race can last from two to four hours and awards points to the top 10 finishers, with the winner receiving 25 points. The starting order is determined by qualifying, which occurs on Saturday, with practice sessions held on Friday. The Grand Prix takes place on Sunday and is the main event of the weekend, with entertainment events being held for fans. The best events are scheduled after the Grand Prix on Sunday. The order of who does the fastest lap on qualifying day becomes the lineup at the starting line on race day. And passing isn’t easy. So where you start is a really big deal.
What does the Safety Car do in F1?
You’ve seen cars crashing in the race pits and wondered “Does the race continue?”, well there are safety cars to solve that issue. The safety car is used in situations where there is an accident or a risk to competitors, spectators, or marshals. When deployed, drivers must slow down and maintain their positions, and overtaking is prohibited. Pit stops are allowed during this time. Once the safety car withdraws, the race resumes with a rolling start, led by the lead driver. Companies like Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin provide cars equipped to be used as Safety Cars. Different flags are used to indicate hazards on or near the track, and a green flag signals normal racing conditions.
How are points awarded in Formula One?
The performance of the drivers and the constructors of the car is evaluated at the end of each race by a points system. At the end of a season, the FIA aggregates the points scored by each and awards two annual World Championships: one each for the drivers and the constructor
The points scored by the driver are added at the end of the season. The driver who has accumulated the most points is awarded the World Driver’s Championship. Even if a driver switched team mid-season, the points scored by him still count and will be added at the end of the season. A driver may also be awarded points if he stops mid-race but has completed 90 per cent of the distance covered by the winner of the race.
Now you’re up to speed. You can watch a race, you can enjoy it with your friends, and you can also speculate, like the rest of us, where it’s all going to go.
I’ll be watching with you and I’ll be rooting for my favourite team.
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