Formula 1, technically known as the FIA Formula One World Championship is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). For those who think Formula is something emanating from a chemistry laboratory, it refers to a set of rules to be followed by the drivers and obviously the cars that they drive. Each year there are in fact two Formula 1 championships, one for the drivers and another for the manufacturers. Each team consists of a maximum of two drivers who can themselves be in deep rivalry.
Formula 1 is a really massive support which although emanating from a European base is really a global contest with a television audience of 425 million people during the course of the 2014 season. This is a sport which has progressed massively through the years since its birth in 1906. The cars are exceptionally fast with very high speeds at corners all made possible through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce.
Many great drivers and personalities have distinguished themselves in the sport over the years. A popular trade magazine asked 217 drivers to vote for their top 40 of all time from which the following emerged as the top ten: Aryton Senna (Brazil), Michael Schumacher (Germany), Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentina), Alain Prost (France), Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart (both from Great Britain), Niki Lauda (Austria), Stirling Moss (Great Britain), Fernando Alonso (Spain) and Gilles Villeneuve (Canada).
Keeping a Formula 1 team involves enormous expenditure and in recent years teams have dropped out of the competition, particularly those enjoying less success. The rewards are enormous but so are the costs! Currently there are ten teams of constructors, each sponsoring two drivers with engines supplied by a quartet of manufacturers Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda.
Every Grand Prix (F1) race takes place on a Sunday and the previous two days are spent in free practice sessions, two on Friday and one on Saturday before the formal qualifying session is held on Saturday which will work out the all-important placements on the grid for the Sunday race.
Last season’s victor, Lewis Hamilton from Britain, driving a Mercedes won the drivers’ title and led the Mercedes team to the constructors’ championship. After five races in the 2015 season, Hamilton is again dominating with only a few others being able to compete with his skill and the Mercedes resources. Hamilton is twenty points clear of his teammate Nico Rosberg followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Mercedes lead the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari and Williams.
This year there are nineteen Grand Prix races, commencing with the Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne on 15th March and concluding in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. So far it looks as if Hamilton will keep moving ahead of the field but in Formula 1. Nothing can be guaranteed in the fastest sport on the planet so there will be plenty of excitement and surprises before the final checkered flag is waved in November.
The remaining races are:
May 24th - Monaco Grand Prix - Monaco Circuit de Monaco - Monte Carlo
June 7th - Canadian Grand Prix - Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - Montreal
June 21st - Austrian Grand Prix - Austria Red Bull Ring - Spielberg
July 5th - British Grand Prix - United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit - Silverstone
July 26th - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungary Hungaroring - Budapest
Aug 23rd - Belgian Grand Prix - Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps - Stavelot
Sep 6th - Italian Grand Prix - Italy Autodromo Nazionale Monza - Monza
Sep 20th - Singapore Grand Prix - Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit - Singapore
Sep 27th - Japanese Grand Prix - Japan Suzuka Circuit - Suzuka
Oct 11th - Russian Grand Prix - Russia Sochi Autodrom - Sochi
Oct 25th - United States Grand Prix - United States Circuit of the Americas - Austin, Texas
Nov 1st - Mexican Grand Prix - Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez - Mexico City
Nov 15th - Brazilian Grand Prix - Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace - São Paulo
Nov 29th - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit - Abu Dhabi
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