Formula One racing takes the crown of motor racing. Its appeal is that it is a global sport. The best drivers use the best cars and the best engines from different countries. The races are staged at different tracks around the globe and to these events come the fans who follow with their flags.
Is Formula One racing the most popular sport in the world?
At the turn of the last century Formula One racing was only for the wealthy who used to enjoy spending their money racing on the weekends. It was not until 1950 when the official Formula One World Championship began with the British Grand Prix. In the 1960s, sponsorship deals promoted media and public awareness of the sport. In the 1980s popularity of the sport skyrocketed thanks to world wide television coverage.
Formula One Racing has the largest television viewing audience in the world. Today TV viewing is measured in billions and as a sporting event, rates in popularity on par with the Olympics and the Soccer World Cup. Naturally such attention attracts corporate sponsorship which pays for the advances in technology which goes hand-in-hand with Formula One Racing.
With the immense growth in popularity and insane amount of money thrown at the sport, there is no wonder countries from all around the world have put their hand up to stage the event. It is considered such a status symbol that there are more countries that want to stage the Formula One Grand Prix than there are available dates.
With every successful sport you have your sport superstars and Formula One racing is no exception. Surprisingly, Formula One drivers are highly conditioned athletes. Drivers who will be on the grid for the 2010 season include:
* Jenson Button who was the winner of the 2009 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
* Michael Schumacher who is seven-time champion and holds the record for the most championships.
* Lewis Hamilton who won the 2008 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
* Fernando Alonso who won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2005 and 2006.
Without the drivers there would be no racing and the drivers are the center of attention for almost everyone in Formula One. However, behind every good driver is a very good team and this is very much a team sport. The job of the team is to make sure that the driver has the best machinery running as well as it possibly can.
The leader of the team is known as the team boss or team principal and he is responsible for the running of the whole show. His aim is to recruit the best staff, use the latest state of the art computer technology, build the best car and then find a way to pay for it all. Nowadays the team bosses must be as good at attracting sponsorship as they at preparing racing cars. Some teams worth mentioning are:
* Ferrari – based in the Italy, first season in 1950, team boss is Stefano Domenicali, has won 16 world championships and their drivers are F Massa and F Alonso.
* Williams – based in the UK, first season in 1975, team boss is Frank Williams, won 9 world championships and their drivers are R Barrichello and N Hulkenberg.
* McLaren – based in the UK, first season in 1966, team boss is Martin Whitmarsh, has won 8 world championships and their drivers are J Button and L Hamilton.
Let us not forget the top men of the sport of Formula One racing.
* Bernie Ecclestone is the Formula One commercial rights holder who many say is responsible for the success of Formula One racing today.
* Jean Todt who was recently elected President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), motor racing’s governing body which looks after regulating Formula One and other international motor sports. He takes over from Max Mosley.
The Formula One car is the ultimate single-seat, open-wheel racing car. The characteristics of a Formula One racing car gives it a completely different appearance to any other racing car. It is the ultimate machine with the technology, materials and design ideas which focus on speed rather than comfort. You can only imagine the rigorous testing these cars go through. Some of the the unique elements of the Formula One racing car include:
* Open wheels. The wheels are not covered like your regular car.
* Central cockpit with room for only one driver.
* Super-light high-tech materials such as carbon fiber are used.
* Aerodynamic wings which are designed to push the car down onto the ground.
There are 19 racing events on the calender for 2010 commencing in March at Bahrain and finishing up in November in Abu Dhabi. The design of the Formula One has been transformed over the years. Each track has a unique layout with their own challenges.
I have only scratched the surface here. Formula One racing is without a doubt one of the most, if not the most exciting and interesting sports out there. It will give you hours of pleasure if you just take some time to learn a little bit about it. It is run on the weekends and thanks to Mr. Ecclestone, you should not have a problem finding a television channel to enjoy the spectacle in the comfort of your own home.