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Formula One (F1)

Formula One (F1)

Formula One (F1)
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Formula One is one of the most popular sports in the world. Its intense and fast-paced nature makes for exciting and unpredictable viewing.

The is one of the reasons why millions of people watch the F1 season in person and on TV each year. Formula One is a highly competitive and expensive sport that is hard to get into and even more difficult to stay in. Although the sport has always been very popular, in recent years popularity for motorsport has grown. Whether you’re a lifelong F1 fan or new to the world of racing, our article will tell you everything you need to know about F1 and the 2022 season.

Formula One (F1)
Formula One is a very dangerous sport that 10 teams take part in every year.

History of Formula 1

Established in 1904, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) sanctioned Formula One and for this reason are known as the founders of F1. They were the first to standardise the rules and regulations of motorsport. Each Formula 1 driver must hold a valid Super Licence issued by the FIA. It is the highest class of racing licence and drivers must be 18 years old in order to obtain one. The first ever Formula One race was in May, 1950 and it took place in Silverstone, United Kingdom. The race marked the beginning of the very first official driver’s championship. It was known as the World Drivers’ Championship until 1981 when it was changed to FIA Formula One World Championship. The Formula One season is made up of several races that are known as “Grand Prix”. The very first Formula One World Champion was Guiseppe Farina, driving an Alfa Romeo.

Grand Prix Weekend

Every weekend of racing is made up of three one-hour practice races which are done on Fridays and Saturdays, these are known as FP1, FP2 and FP3. This allows the drivers to get used to the track. On Saturday after practice there is qualifying which determines where each driver starts on the grid for the Grand Prix. Qualifying is broken into three separate sessions, Q1, Q2 and Q3. In Q1, all drivers try to set the fastest lap time possible in 18 minutes. The five slowest drivers are then dropped and start Sunday’s race from whatever position they finished in.

Q2 repeats this exact process, however with only the remaining 15 drivers and the time is reduced to 15 minutes. Again the slowest five get dropped and start the race on Sunday in their finishing positions. The top 10 drivers then go into Q3, where they race against each other for pole position in a 12 minute race. Whichever driver earns the fastest lap starts in first place for Sunday’s race. Second place to 10th place is decided also on next-fastest laps. Doing well in qualifying and starting in first place gives a driver a great advantage going into the Grand Prix.

This is the usual format of every weekend unless it is a Sprint weekend. F1 Sprint is a new format of qualifying brought into F1 in 2021. There will be three Sprint weekends in 2022, Brazilian Grand Prix, Austrian Grand Prix and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola. F1 Sprint is when drivers take part in a 100km race in order to determine starting positions for Sunday’s race. Original qualifying instead moves to Friday and there are only 2 practice sessions instead of three. The Sprint race is also an opportunity for drivers to earn extra points. Drivers that finish between 1st and 8th place will earn points for their team and a driver that crashes during the Sprint race will start from the back of the grid on Sundays Grand Prix.

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th
8 points7 points6 points5 points4 points3 points2 points1 point

On Sunday the official Grand Prix is raced and this is where each driver gains their points throughout the season. Every season each driver gains points depending on where they finish in the race. Points are rewarded to drivers that finish in the top 10 in the Grand Prix. The better a driver does the more points they gain. Any driver that comes in 11th to 20th place receives no points. The driver that comes in first place wins 25 points, second place wins 18 and third place wins 15. Drivers who finish in the top 10 get bonus points if they have the fastest lap during the race.

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th11th-20th
2516151210864210

The points are added up throughout the season and the driver with the most points at the end of the season wins the drivers’ championship. The team with the most points at the end of the season wins the constructors’ championship.

Penalties in F1

There are many different rules in Formula 1 and if they aren’t followed drivers and teams can endure hefty fines and penalties. A driver may receive a penalty for blocking another driver, causing an accident, speeding in the pit lane, or starting the race too soon. The stewards are no strangers to handing out penalties and fines to drivers and teams who don’t follow the strict rules in place. There are three different types of penalties that stewards give out. These are drive-through penalties, stop-go penalties and grid-position penalties. 

A drive-through penalty is when a driver is made to drive through the pitlane without stopping and while following the speed limit. It is one of the least severe and less costly penalties.

A stop-go penalty is one of the most severe penalties. It requires the drivers to stop in their pit box for either five or ten seconds during their next planned stop. However, work is only allowed to be done to the car after the time penalty. Depending on which type of stop-go penalty the stewards give, drivers may not be allowed to do anything to the car even after the time penalty. If the penalty is given out during the last three laps of the race, the driver can choose not to pit and have the penalty time added to their final race time instead. This penalty is a lot more damaging than a drive-through penalty. 

One of the harshest penalties is the grid-position penalty which is given out for the following race. For example, if a driver is given a 3-place grid penalty it means that if they qualified first, they would start the race from 4th position. It is up to the Teams if they would like to protest these penalties or not.

Teams can also get penalties for going against car part regulations. Penalties against these regulations can result in millions of dollars of fines. 

Formula One (F1)

Formula One Terminology

Safety Car

The safety car does exactly as its name suggests, it is a car used to ensure that the racecars pass safely around the track in the event of an accident. A safety car allows the race to still go on while a problem is being dealt with on the track. It prevents the race from being stopped completely and allows the laps of the race to still be completed. When the safety car is no longer needed it will exit the track and the race will resume when the first driver crosses the start/finish line. 

DRS

Drag Reduction System (DRS), are adjustable rear wings that a driver can activate in order to overtake the driver in front and reduce aerodynamic drag. The driver can manually activate DRS by pressing a button on the steering wheel, which will then increase their speed. It can only be activated during the race when a driver is less than one second behind another car at one of the specified DRS zones on the track.

G-Force

A physical force known as a “G-force” is equal to one unit of gravity. This force is multiplied during rapid changes of direction or velocity. Drivers experience severe G-forces of between 4-6g’s when braking and cornering and experience roughly 2g’s when accelerating. G-Force can be very demanding on Formula 1 driver’s bodies. They must do specific head and neck exercises in order to sustain the force and prevent injury.

The Pit

The area of the track that holds the team garages. Each team has their own designated pit. Drivers access the pits by a special section of the circuit called the pit lane where speeds are limited. Drivers use the pits during the race for pit stops. This allows them to change tyres or repair mechanical issues. It is also where drivers pause for penalties given. The pit wall is located in the pits and it is where all special stations are located in which senior management, team owners and engineers monitor their car’s performance during racing. 

Currently Red Bull and Max Verstappen hold the title for the fastest pit stop, when they completed a pit stop in 1.82 seconds during the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Paddock

The Paddock is the area behind the pits at every Formula 1 circuit. It is where the teams’ technical staff and equipment, catering, media, motorhomes and other functions are located. It is essentially behind the scenes of Formula 1. The Paddock isn’t open to the public, however there are guided tours and day passes that can be purchased in order to gain access.

Formation lap

This is the lap that drivers do before the start of the race, also known as the parade lap. The cars are driven round the track in order to take their correct positions on the grid for the start of the race.

Parc Ferme

Parc Ferme is a fenced-off secure area where the cars are driven after qualifying and the race and inspected by race stewards. When a car is in Parc Ferme, no team members are allowed to make repairs or modifications unless permission is given and actions are supervised by FIA stewards.

Sectors

Every lap is split into three sections, Sector 1, Sector 2 and Sector 3. The purpose of splitting the laps into sectors is to allow drivers to gauge their performance throughout the race. The sectors are colour coded. A purple sector means that the driver has set the fastest time in the race so far. If a driver is told they have gone green in a certain sector this means that they have set a personal best and if a driver sector is described as yellow it  means that a driver hasn’t met their personal best. 

Retirement/ Retiring

When a car has to drop out of the race because of an accident or mechanical issue it is said to be retired. Drivers will often be told to retire the car if the mechanics feel it is not safe to drive on in its current condition. 

Backmarker

The backmarker is the name given to the car that is coming last and is lapped by leading cars during the race. The backmarker often has to move out of the way to make space for the faster car to safely pass.

Cockpit

The cockpit is the area of the chassis where the driver sits. The chassis is the main part of a racing car. The drivers sit in the cockpit in a seat that is moulded for their body only. The steering wheel is also located in the cockpit which allows the driver to control the car.

Different Flags Used in Formula 1

Flags are used by marshals all around the track during practice, qualifying and races. If drivers ignore and fail to comply with flags, it can result in penalties. Let’s have a look at some of the main flags used during a race and their meaning;

Chequered flag 

This is the basic black and white chequered pattern flag. It is waved by marshals at the Start/Finish line to indicate the end of the race. 

Blue flag

A blue flag is shown to slower drivers or backmarkers. It instructs them to get out of the way of a faster car approaching from behind them to allow for a safe overtaking. Blue flags can be shown during practice, qualifying and a race. 

Yellow flag 

A yellow flag indicates danger to drivers and is shown when an accident has occurred on or near the track and when a safety car has to enter the track. When a yellow flag is waved drivers must slow down and they are not allowed to overtake.

Green flag

A green flag is used after a yellow flag. It lets drivers know that the incident is cleared and that it is safe to pick up speed and overtake again. 

Red flag

A red flag is used when a serious accident has occurred or weather conditions become too dangerous to drive in. It indicates to the drivers that the race has been stopped. Drivers must immediately stop and return to their pits when a red flag has been shown. Because of the seriousness of red flags, not only are they physically shown when an incident occurs but also virtually on the driver’s steering wheel. This is to ensure that no driver misses it. 

Black flag

A black flag with a drivers race number is shown to a driver who has been disqualified from the race. When a driver is shown a black flag it means they must return to the pits and retire the car. Drivers are shown the black flag when they have broken rules on the track and failed to comply with penalties given.

How Long Does a Formula One Season Last

The Formula One season lasts from March to November each year. The F1 season is made up of 22 races throughout and each race is situated in different parts of the world. Some places that hold F1 races each year are the UK, Belgium and Italy and some newer destinations that have hosted F1 races are Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

Each country has its own unique track and the race may be on during the day or at night. One week drivers may be driving through the narrow streets of Monaco and another week the lit up streets of Singapore at night. Each racetrack in F1 has a different number of laps, ranging from below 50 to above 70. Races typically last 2 hours, however red flags and safety cars can cause the race to go longer if necessary.

Safety Improvements in Formula One 

Formula One is without a doubt a dangerous sport, travelling at such speeds with 20 other cars on a track comes with huge risks. Over the years, the FIA has brought in many safety regulations in order to reduce injuries and deaths in motorsport. These safety regulations haven’t always been welcomed by drivers, teams and fans but they have proved their value over and over again. There have been safety improvements on track, on the car and on the drivers kit. Let’s have a look at some of the transformative safety improvements that have been introduced to F1.

HANS  

Hand and Neck Support Device (HANS), a safety device required to be worn by all Formula 1 drivers. It fits over the driver’s shoulders and connects to the back of the helmet. HANS purpose is to prevent serious head and neck injury in the case of an accident. It also minimises the impact of G-force on the driver. The video below demonstrates just how important HANs in and the difference it makes.

Fire Resistant Suits

In order to add an extra layer of protection for drivers, their suits are completely fire resistant. The drivers’ overalls are made from three layers of Nomex. Nomex is a material that protects drivers in the event of a fire. It is vital that drivers suits are fire resistant as this gives drivers valuable time to escape an accident that involves fire. Not only are their suits fire resistant but they also use fireproof underwear, boots and gloves for extra protection. It is mandatory for all drivers to wear fire resistant overalls.

Survival Cell

The survival cell, also known as the monocoque, is perhaps the most crucial safety feature on an F1 car. The survival cell is made out of carbon fibre material and it surrounds the driver in order to protect them in case of an incident. The survival cell can withstand brutal forces and acts as a bulletproof vest against flying debris.

Kevlar Fuel Tanks and Refuelling Ban

Formula 1 fuel tanks are made from a material called Kevlar, which is highly durable and protects fuel tanks from being punctured and leaking fuel. The fuel tank is also surrounded by rubber in order to hold the fuel securely. These lightweight and flexible materials together provide high durability and protection against crashes. Refuelling was banned in Formula One in order to reduce cost and improve safety. Before this ban came into place, drivers were allowed to refuel during races. Many times cars burst into flames when refuelling. Now F1 cars must start the race with a full tank of fuel that has to do for the entirety of the race. 

Roll Structure 

In order to prevent drivers from being seriously injured in the event of an accident, roll structures were brought into cars. Roll hoops are fitted above the drivers head to make the car roll over when it flips. Roll hoops stop the weight of the car from crushing the driver if it flips and allows the driver to escape the car quicker. 

Halo

The Halo is one of the greatest safety inventions in Formula 1. It is a crash-protection structure made from titanium. The structure sits above the drivers head, the cars cockpit and it protects the driver in the case of a collision and from flying debris off other cars on the track. The Halo wasn’t a very welcomed addition to the car when it was first introduced, however it has no more than proved its worth and necessity, with it saving many lives and preventing serious injuries.

The importance of the Halo has been proven a number of times, and the continuous improvement on safety in F1 is constantly saving lives. The importance of these safety improvements were seen in 2020 when Roman Grosjean, Hass driver crashed into the barrier in the first lap in Bahrain. The driver’s car was split in half and burst into flames.

Nicki Lauda had a similar crash in 1976. When he swerved off track his car collided with another and burst into flames. Nicki’s life was saved as he was pulled out of the car by other drivers. After the crash, Nicki went into a coma and suffered severe facial burns. It was unlikely that he would survive. Amazingly, Nicki recovered and only missed two races, going on to win the championship that following year. 

Both Grosjean and Lauda had very severe and similar accidents during their Formula 1 careers.However, F1’s continuous improvement on safety measures meant that Grosjean came out with fewer injuries.The fireproof and durable helmets that drivers must wear prevented Grosjean from suffering the same burns as Lauda, who had severe scarring on his face after the crash.

After both cars burst into flames it is quite the miracle that either survived. Grosjean walked away with a few broken ribs and he also suffered burns to his hands when he touched the barriers as he was trying to exit the flames. Grosjean’s crash was worse than Lauda’s but the outcome was much different because of the amazing safety measures the FIA have in place. Without the halo, HANS, survival cell and fire resistant overalls Grosjean would have unlikely survived.  

Formula One Achievements

Over the years of F1 there have been many records set and broken. Let’s have a look at some of the greatest achievements in F1 history

Who Has the Most F1 World Championships

Both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton have seven world champions, the most won by any F1 driver in the world. Lewis Hamilton also holds the title of most Grand Prix wins with 103 wins over his career, Michael Schumacher takes second place with 91 wins. Both Schumacher and Hamilton are the most decorated drivers in F1 history,

What Team Has the Most Constructors Titles

Ferrari has the most constructors titles with a total of 16 wins. It is not very surprising to see Ferrari at the top of the Constructors’ Championship table given that they have been driving in Formula 1 for the longest time.

The higher a team places in the constructors the more prize money they receive. This is why teams that win the constructors have the best cars as they have more money to put into them.There is a huge difference between the money that teams who do well in the constructors championship wins and those who do not. Teams like Williams and Aston Martin receive a lot less prize money compared to top teams like Mercedes and Ferrari. 

Who Was the Youngest F1 World Champion

At 23 years of age Sebastian Vettel won the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix making him the youngest Formula 1 World Champion in the World. Vettel was driving for Red Bull at the time, his win in 2010 marked the beginning of four consecutive world titles for the German driver. 

Who Was the Youngest Driver to Win A Grand Prix

Max Verstappen became the youngest F1 driver to win a Grand Prix at the age of 18 when he won the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix. The Belgian-Dutch driver is no stranger to breaking records, not only was Max Verstappen the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix but he was also the youngest ever F1 driver to start a Formula 1 race at 17 years old and the youngest podium sitter. He was also the first driver in the Netherlands to win the World Champion and the youngest points scorer in the history of Formula 1.

Who Has Won The Most World Championships in a Row

Michael Schumachar is well-known for breaking world records within Formula 1 and here is just another one to add to the long list. In 2004 Michael Schumacher  won his seventh World Championship title and also his 5th World Championship in a row. Not only had he broken  Fangio’s record of five titles the previous year, he had now also broken Fangio’s four in a row title win. To this day the closest any other driver has gotten to his title is four in a row. 

What Driver Has The Most Grand Prix Wins

Lewis Hamilton has the most Grand Prix wins in the history of Formula 1 with 103 wins under his belt. The British driver is the only person to have ever reached into the three figures for race wins and it is highly likely that Hamilton is going to add even more wins to this figure. 

Formula One Media

Watch

Live Coverage and Commentary on F1 Races

  • F1 TV
  • ESPN
  • Sky Sports F1

TV Series, Movies and Documentaries on F1

  • Netflix- Formula 1: Drive to Survive
  • Prime Original- Grand Prix Driver
  • Sky Sports F1- Legends of F1
  • Racing Legends
  • 1:Life on the Limit

These are just a few of the great films and documentary series that have been made on F1 in recent years. There are many more documentaries made on individual teams, like McLaren and Ferrari and on individual drivers, like Schumacher, Lauda, Senna, Verstappen and Hamilton. 

Listen

Keep up with the latest F1 news and listen to interviews from your favourite F1 drivers with podcasts and radio.

Podcasts

  • F1: Beyond The Grid
  • F1 Nation
  • F1: Chequered Flag
  • The Inside Line F1 Podcast

Radio Shows

  • BBC 5 Live Formula 1
  • Fast and Loose

Read

If you like to read and have an interest in Formula One why not combine the two and read books all about F1. Here is a list of a few general F1 books but you can also read books on specific drivers and teams involved in the amazing motorsport.

  • Formula One: The Official History by Maurice Hamilton
  • Formula One: The Pursuit of Speed by Maurice Hamilton
  • The Mechanic by  Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley
  • Formula One: The Pinnacle: The pivotal events that made F1 the greatest motorsport series by Tony Dodgins

F1 Teams and Drivers 2022

Formula One (F1)

Every Formula One Season is made up of 10 teams and 20 drivers, meaning that there are two drivers per team. The 10 teams and their drivers for the 2022 season are;

Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

Alpine

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris

Alfa Romeo

Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas

Haas Formula One Team

Kevin Magnussen and Michael Schumacher

AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel

Williams

Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi

Drivers Standings 2022

DriverPointsDriver Points
Verstappen31011. Magnussen22
Perez20112. Vettel20
Leclerc20113. Ricciardo19
Sainz17514. Gasly18
Russel18815. Schumacher12
Hamilton15816. Tsunoda11
Norris8217. Guanyu5
Ocon6618. Albon 4
Alonso5919. Stroll4
Bottas4620. Latifi0

Team Standings 2022

Team Points
Red Bull Racing 511
Ferrari376
Mercedes346
Alpine Renault125
McLaren 101
Alfa Romeo 51
Haas34
AlphaTaurai29
Aston Martin24
Williams 4

F1 Schedule and Results 2022

Round 1 

Date: March 18th-20th

Location: Bahrain

Winner: Charles Leclerc

Round 2

Date: March 25th-27th

Location: Saudi Arabia

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 3

Date: April 8th-10th

Location: Australia

Winner: Charles Leclerc

Round 4

Date: April 22nd-24th

Location: Italy

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 5

Date: May 6th-8th

Location: United States

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 6

Date: May 20th-22nd

Location: Spain

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 7

Date: May 27th-29th

Location: Monaco

Winner: Sergio Perez

Round 8

Date: June 10th-12th

Location: Azerbaijan

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 9

Date: June 17th-19th

Location: Canada

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 10

Date: July 1st-3rd

Location: Great Britain

Winner: Carlos Sainz

Round 11

Date: July 8th-10th

Location: Austria

Winner: Charles Leclerc

Round 12

Date: July 22nd-24th

Location: France

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 13

Date: July 29th-31st

Location: Hungary

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 14

Date: August 26th-28th

Location: Belguim

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 15

Date: September 2nd-4th

Location: Netherlands

Winner: Max Verstappen

Round 16

Date: September 9th-11th

Location: Italy

Winner: TBC

Round 17

Date: September 30th – October 2nd

Location: Singapore

Winner: TBC

Round 18

Date: October 7th-9th

Location: Japan

Winner: TBC

Round 19

Date: October 21st-23rd

Location: United States

Winner: TBC

Round 20

Date: October 28th-30th

Location: Mexico

Winner: TBC

Round 21

Date: November 11th-113th

Location: Brazil

Winner: TBC

Round 22

Date: November 18th-20th

Location: Abu Dhabi

Winner: TBC

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