by Adrianna Montes
What is Formula 1?
In just the past few years, Formula 1 racing has quickly built its audience in the United States to match its popularity around the world, especially thanks to increased exposure on television. In our country, most racing fans have gravitated towards NASCAR, but now Formula 1 is really giving NASCAR a run for its money!
Formula 1 is the fastest motorsport racing in the world. In fact, Formula 1 cars are faster than NASCAR cars, reaching speeds of 250 mph compared to 200 mph. In addition, NASCAR uses stock cars, which allows the drivers to bump into each other, whereas Formula 1 uses open-wheeled cars, which increases their speed but also makes them more vulnerable to crashes. NASCAR uses oval-shaped race tracks while Formula 1 has more complex racetrack circuits that require strong handling skills. Here are examples of both types of tracks to compare.
Formula 1 races can last up to two hours, while NASCAR races last 2-6 hours.
Teams, Drivers, and Grand Prix
This sport has ten teams with two drivers on each team, for 20 racers in total. These drivers participate in Grand Prix races around the world, usually about 22 times a year. These Grand Prix take place in different countries and cities around the world on complex circuits/race tracks with turns and straights. Usually, there is a traditional set of countries and cities that hold the Grand Prix, but some can also be replaced and added. For example, in 2023, a new circuit at Caeser’s Palace in Las Vegas will be included in the F1 Track Guide.
In this sport, there are two championships: the Constructors Championship and the Drivers Championship. The Constructors Championship is amongst the teams and is based on the combined points of all the drivers on the team. The Drivers Championship is amongst all the drivers. This is the amount of points that each individual driver gains throughout the season. In a race, only ten drivers will gain points. The winner receives 25 points, the second-place finisher 18 points, with 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 points for positions three through ten. Here are the current standings:
With all the races that are left, no matter how many points anyone obtains, Max Vestappen, winner of the 2021 Drivers Championship, has enough points to win the 2022 Drivers Championship.
For a complete list of the F1 standings, go to https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2022/drivers.html.
What is the schedule?
The season generally starts in spring and ends in winter of the same year. Usually, there are races each week, but there are some weeks where no races take place. This schedule, also known as the Formula 1 calendar, is announced a few months before that year’s season. First, there are practices, which take place on Fridays. Then there are qualifying races on Saturdays; qualifying races determine what place the driver will take on the grid on Sunday. To determine this, racers will drive several laps and achieve their fastest time. Out of all the racers’ times, the fastest will be first, the second fastest will be second, and so on. Those who started on the grid in a place below 10 will start with zero points. Sunday is the actual race, where points are gained, lost, or kept the same. The 2022 season is drawing to a close, so be sure to check out the final exciting races!