With less than 2 months to go before the Formula 1 entourage heads to Asia for the final round of flyaway races, we thought of putting together 5 things you must know about F1 racing, and why it is now the 3rd most watched sport in the country!
1) The basics
11 teams with 2 drivers each compete in 19 races or “grand prix” across the planet for the driver’s and the constructor’s championships. Each race consists of a certain number of rounds or laps around a twisty track that must be completed without refueling, although tyre changes are allowed. The 2012 constructor championship was won by Red Bull Racing, while the drivers crown went to their German driver Sebastian Vettel.
2) The Technology
F1 is truly the “pinnacle of motorsport”, not only because it has the fastest cars that run at speeds of up to 325km/h, but also because the technologies used to develop the cars and engines have a lot in common with most modern jet aircraft. For example, a typical F1 car steering wheel has over 30 buttons and dials to control various aspects of the car! In addition, F1 cars include various innovations such as “Drag Reduction Systems (DRS)” to increase straight-line speeds, and “Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS)” to store energy from the brakes to be used for a speed boost when required.
3) The adrenaline
While this may seem odd from a casual spectator’s perspective, the deafening roar of 22 F1 engines at 18,000 rpm along with the smell of fuel and burnt rubber is incredibly addictive. Watching drivers wrestle to control their cars without losing track position and handling over 5 times the force of gravity is exhilarating in itself, so much so that once you’ve seen a race live, you’ll want to experience it again and again. Besides, the pre-parties and after-parties around the race come with an adrenaline rush of their own!
4) The Personalities
F1 attracts the very best drivers from around the world, such as Lewis Hamilton from the UK and Fernando Alonso from Spain. Both of these drivers rank in the top 20 richest sports persons in the world, and their fierce rivalry can be nothing short of explosive – both on and off the track. F1 also attracts some of the best looking people in the world – and we’re not just talking about the drivers! While women around the world swoon over Jenson Button’s jawline and Daniel Ricciardo’s smile, most guys simply can’t take their eyes of Jenson’s incredibly pretty girlfriend and Japanese lingerie model Jessica Michibata!
5) The Indian Connection
Among the top teams such as Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull, an Indian name is making its presence felt since 2008 – the Vijay Mallya and Sahara Group owned Force India team, which also runs a racing academy to groom Indian F1 drivers. The team has performed exceptionally this season and is currently ranked 5th with 59 points.
Indian F1 fans are also looking forward to the 3rd edition of the Airtel Indian Grand Prix scheduled for 27 October 2013 in Greater Noida at the Buddh International Circuit, which is accompanied by a host of glitzy car displays and glamorous afterparties at Arjun Rampal’s nightclub LAP.
Another highlight on the F1 calendar is the year’s only night race held on the flood-lit streets of the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore – a unique experience in itself, supported by a host of entertainment programs. Some of the artists scheduled to perform around the race weekend in Singapore include Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Moby, Snoop Dogg, Infected Mushroom as well as India’s very own Akshai Sarin amongst others – definitely much more than just a race weekend!
So, do you plan to visit either of these races this year, and if so what are you looking forward to the most?