Things You Need To Know Before Watching Formula 1
The success of F1 is brewing with every passing season, and not too long ago, the famous car manufacturer Audi announced its participation in the F1 world. Fans were losing interest in F1 and it was struggling to find new audiences until Netflix's documentary series "Drive to Survive" was released.
This series instantly piqued interest and appealed to a huge audience. Since then, the craze of F1 has been rising, and rightfully so, especially looking at the last season. The fans could not have wished for a more dramatic finish. After the entire exhausting season and the sea-saw between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, it all came down to the last race. Max won the race in the controversial last lap to be crowned as the World Champion.
He continued his form from last year and claimed the top spot again, this time without any challenge or drama. However, the only challenger in this season was Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, but even they could not stop him.
Because of high ratings, news, drama, and hype around the races, many new viewers are attaching to F1, but they tend to get confused with the rules, technicalities and regulations. Therefore, in this article, we have tried to cover all the corners of F1 and summarize the important things you must know before watching the next race.
A brief history of Formula 1
Formula 1 origins were inspired by the European Championship of the Grand Prix motor racing. The history dates back to the 1920s to the 1930s. At that time, multiple organizations were operating different races. But around 1946, a new set of rules were agreed upon between these organizations, forming a formula to conduct the races.
Soon the driver’s championship and the constructor’s championship were introduced. The constructor’s championship is a competition among the constructors of an engine, and the points are granted with the number of races won by that team.
It is one of the most dangerous sports, as drivers risk their lives to test the power of engines and race at an average speed of more than 200 KPH. Therefore, Formula 1's rules underwent many changes.
In most cases, the changes were made so that the safety of the drivers and cars could be minimized as well as increasing the spectator appeal of the sport. Several changes took place, including changes to the engine size, the width and length of the car, and the size of the fuel tank and tyres.
What is FIA?
The FIA is responsible for setting the rules and regulations for the world championship, which was established in 1946. According to the rules and regulations set by the FIA, teams construct their distinct cars every year.
Most rules are associated with the mechanical sides of the cars to make sure the playing field is balanced and limit constructors in spending their budgets. FIA also caters to all the controversies and fines and keeps the races fair.
Teams and drivers
There are 10 teams in F1 with two drivers each totaling 20 cars in one race. The drivers most times stick to one team for a longer time depending on the success. However, we have witnessed multiple drivers changing in one season. The fluctuation of drivers is normal in F1 as teams look for wins and make changes in their cars that suit particular drivers.
Points are highly important in F1 as it decides the World Champion and the Constructors championship. The winner of each race earns 25 points, the runners-up get 18 points, and the third position receives 15 points. All those who finish in the top ten earn a point, downscaling to 1 point for the tenth position.
The combined points of both drivers determine the constructors' score in the race. Hence, it is significantly important for a team to have their drivers finish in the top 10.
In addition to the competition between different teams, the team drivers also battle for maximum points. It makes relevant more interesting as to who takes the lead and what is the team protocol in deciding the driver’s position.
Number of races
Usually, the number of races varies between 22 and 23. After the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, this season will have 22 races in 21 countries. The campaign began with the Bahrain Grand Prix, and the last race will take place in Abu Dhabi. The venues more or less stay the same for every season. Also, Miami had its first F1 race in the Hard Rock Stadium.
F1 race weekend
The races take place around the weekend, from Friday to Sunday. It feels like a festival whenever there is a race because multiple activities are carried out, including media interaction and fan meetups.
On Friday, two practice sessions happen, FP1 and FP2. In order to form the starting positions, the qualifying round takes place on Saturday, it is of utmost importance because it decides the starting positions of the cars, and the final race takes place on Sunday.
The usual length of the track is 190 miles, and it takes around 2 hours to complete unless there aren’t any red flags or crashes. In a race, you will see pit stops, where the cars are refueled, and their tyres are changed according to the situation. These race elements are strategized throughout the race as every second matters in a race.