Understanding the Basics of Formula One™ Racing
Man. Machine. The race course. Who will emerge victoriously?
Even before cars were invented, people had always sought to push past their limits and determine who is the fastest among them. And with the arrival of cars, it became a natural progression to marry human ingenuity with automotive technologies for the glory of being named the fastest and the best.
No other racing event has captured the hearts and imaginations of fans and aspiring drivers from around the world than Formula 1™racing.
What Is Formula 1™racing?
The Formula One™ World Championship started in Great Britain, with the first race series conducted in 1950 and overseen by the Federation International de L’Automobile or FIA. This inaugural series was comprised of seven races.
Today, the top race car drivers and their teams compete with one another in Grands Prix to accumulate points. The team and the driver which have accumulated the most number of points emerge as the champions. Currently, there are 20 races in a season, set in different locations from around the world.
In order to compete in the F1™ Championship, a team can register and race two cars and two drivers, plus one reserve driver. All in all, there are 20 drivers coming from 10 teams.
The actual season begins on a Sunday. However, a qualifying session is held the day before, during which the driver with the fastest time is determined. That driver will earn the right to pole position or the number one spot in Sunday’s race.
Qualifying for the F1™ race
The Saturday race is called Q1. In this qualifying race, each driver is given 18 minutes to run through the track and record their fastest time.
Once all of the drivers have had their opportunity to run through the track, the six drivers with the slowest times are eliminated while the rest proceed to the next phase or Q2.
In the Q2, the remaining drivers once again need to post their fastest times. The difference is that the time allotted is shaved down to 15 minutes. Once everyone is done, the bottom six are eliminated while rest move to Q3.
For this phase, the remaining drivers are only given 12 minutes to set their fastest record. Typically, the drivers are allowed to run through the course for two laps. After that, the car with the quickest record wins the pole position.
The winning team and driver is determined by the total number of accumulated points.
For every top 10 finish in a Grand Prix™, the driver and team will receive 25 points, while the 10th placer gets a point. Each race should not be taken lightly because, more often than not, the champion is determined by a matter of a few points.
Winning, however, is not just about accumulating points. Since 2004, race stewards have been empowered to hand out deductions from drivers for penalties like unfair blocking and starting a collision.
Apart from shaving off points from a driver’s total tally, these deductions can also get a driver suspended for an upcoming event. If a driver has accumulated 12 points for misdemeanors in a season, he cannot compete for a year.
The Grand Prix™
Over the course of F1™ racing’s history, the number of Grands Prix have changed. The inaugural world championship had only seven races. In 2018, that number tripled to 21 races.
Initially, six of the seven races were held in Europe while the remainder was held in the United States. Eventually, more races were added, expanding to different parts of the globe, from Asia to the Middle East.
In order to make F1™ racing more accessible and popular, thus living up to its name as the true World Championship of racing, various proposals for new countries, locations, and circuits have been made. Among the recent additions to the Grands Prixs are the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, and the Dutch and Vietnamese Grands Prix.
Who are you expecting to dominate this year?
Oliver Kent is the Managing Director of ZK Sports & Entertainment, operating in the Middle East for over 10 years now. He is currently leading the company’s recent appointment as the Exclusive Marketing and Sales Agent for F1™ Experiences in the Middle East.