A DUMMY’S GUIDE TO F1
If you know absolutely nothing about F1 but want to learn, this article has been written especially for you! The Indian Grand Prix is around the corner—no better time to start enjoying this wonderful sport, we think!
1.WHAT IS F1?
Formula 1 (abbreviated as F1) is the highest class of single-seater motorcar racing in the world.
2.HOW MANY TEAMS PARTICIPATE IN F1?
The number of teams changes from season to season. This season, there are 12 “constructor” teams in F1. Essentially, they “construct” their cars.
3.WHICH ARE THE BEST KNOWN TEAMS?
Some of the best known constructor teams are Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and of course Sahara Force India. Each team has two drivers racing for it. Hence, there are a total of 24 drivers racing this season.
4.WHERE DOES THE F1 RACE HAPPEN?
The race happens at a special racetrack known as a “circuit” (because of the circular shape). There are many circuits across the world, and every year, a certain number (approx. 20) are chosen to be part of the F1 calendar.
This year, there are 19 circuits (and hence 19 races) part of the F1 calendar.
The race track in India, for example, is known as the Buddh International Circuit.
5.HOW MANY LAPS DOES EACH RACE HAVE?
As per F1 rules, race distance should be 305kms approximately. Hence, based on the length of the circuit, the number of laps are calculated. Each race goes on for approximate 2.5 hours or so.
6.HOW DOES THE RACE START?
There is a session known as “Qualifying’ which happens the day before the F1 race. Based on their performance there, drivers are given starting positions for the actual race. The person who starts right in front is said to be on “pole position.’
7.WHAT IS A PIT STOP?
During the race, it becomes necessary for the driver to stop by his team garage and be attended by his team’s mechanics. This is usually to refill his fuel tank and change his worn-out tyres. Alternately, the driver may be involved in an accident and need his car to be repaired. This is known as a pit stop. Most pit stops are extremely fast, with the driver stationary for barely a few seconds of time.
8.HOW DO YOU WIN THE RACE?
The driver that is leading at the end of the race is declared the winner. A top-3 finish is referred to as a “podium finish” as the top three divers are called upon a podium and felicitated. Bottles of champagne are opened and sprayed!
9.IS F1 SAFE?
Given the high speeds at which races happen, safety is a fair concern. However, stringent safety requirements have ensured that modern day F1 is very safe and accidents are minimal.
10.WHO ARE THE BEST KNOWN F1 DRIVERS?
The names to watch in the 2013 season are
- Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) – World champion in 2010, 2011, 2012 and almost certain to be the 2013 World Champion as well
- Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) – The excellent, mercurial driver from Spain
- Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) – One of the best drivers on the grid, known for his consistency
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – Calm, collected, clinical
- Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil (Sahara Force India) – Both drivers have been lauded for some excellent performances this year
Article by - Mithila Mehta
Photo Courtesy - Sahara Force India Formula One Teamwww.saharaforceindiaf1.com