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Overview of F1:

Formula 1 is the highest level of the open-wheel, open-cockpit, single-seater championships. This international sport is governed by the FIA − Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile or the International Automobile Federation.

The use of ‘Formula’ comes from the set of rules that all cars and drivers must follow when competing, which will be discussed more throughout this post. Of course, the main objective for every team is to win, with the first to cross the line being crowned the winner. The top-10 are given points on a sliding scale, with first-place receiving 25 points, then P2 gets 18, then 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1.  

The cars:

The F1 cars are the clearest example of how amazing motorsport technology is today. Here’s what you need to know:

Engine:

Current regulations stipulate that every car is fitted with a 1.6-litre V6 engine with kinetic and heat energy recovery systems. There are currently 4 manufacturers building engines for F1; Mercedes, Honda, Alpine and Ferrari. McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams use Mercedes engines, while Honda supplies Red Bull and Alpha Tauri and Ferrari supply Haas and Alfa Romeo. Alpine (formerly Renault) only provide engines for their own team, having manufactured the engines for McLaren last year before they moved to Mercedes.

Design:

F1 cars are designed to be totally aerodynamic. This allows them to move at a very high speed while cutting through the air. While this is hugely important to the cars attaining greater speed, it does lead to a lot of lift on the car. To counteract this, the wings and diffusers on the car produce downforce that ensures the car is pressed onto the track and helps the drivers to keep control of the car. With these cars producing 5Gs of downforce, drivers can take corners and bends at high speeds without skidding off the track.

Tyres:

Pirelli is the manufacturer of Formula 1 tyres. They produce 5 different compounds of dry weather (slick) tyres and intermediate and wet tyres. C1 tyres are the hardest, with C5 being the softest. Pirelli chose 3 successive compounds to use from the slick range depending on the circuit being visited each weekend. Once this decision is made, colour coding is applied. The hardest tyre will be white, with the medium tyre yellow and the soft tyre in red. The intermediate tyres are always green, and full wet tyres are blue.

Pit lane and pit stops:

With the tyres only able to last short distances, the drivers must pit during the races and qualifying and practice sessions. It is required that drivers make at least one pit stop during the race, but some tracks and strategies and weather changes require multiple stops during a race.

The pits are located at the side of the start/finish straight, and a team can have up to twenty mechanics working on these stops. Pit boxes and garages on the pit lane are ordered based on the team’s finishing position from the previous year, meaning Mercedes are the closest to the entry, with Williams at the end near the pit exit.

Circuits:

The circuits are all approved by the FIA as fit for F1 racing. Most of these circuits run in a clockwise direction, although some do run anti-clockwise. They usually start with a long stretch which leads onto several corners around in a loop. The drivers struggle more with these circuits as they feel the G-force strongly on one side of their neck.

A race has a maximum length of 2 hours and has an average distance of 305km, although this varies from circuit to circuit depending on the length or speed of the track.

Teams:

Behind every driver is a massive team including thousands of staff members, including mechanics, engineers and support staff of every kind. There are currently 10 teams competing. Each team is responsible for their own design and construction of the car, although some parts can be bought from other teams.

Here is the list of F1 teams for 2021, along with their drivers:

Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton

Red Bull Racing with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

McLaren with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo

Aston Martin with Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll

Ferrari with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Alpine with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso

AlphaTauri with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda

Alfa Romeo with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi

Haas  with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin

Williams with Nicholas Latifi and George Russell

The race weekend:

Each race weekend starts with a media day on the Thursday, where drivers and team staff are interviewed about the previous race and the upcoming event. Following that, 2 practice sessions occur on Friday, both an hour long. A final practice session occurs on the Saturday morning before qualifying on a Saturday afternoon. This session is split into 3 sections, with Q1 lasting 18 minutes and knocking out the bottom 5, before Q2, which lasts 15 minutes and knocks out the next 5 slowest drivers. Q3 is the battle for pole position, the spot at the front of the grid on race day. The race then occurs on a Sunday where drivers battle for the race win and points.

F1 are introducing a sprint race format at a few races throughout the 2021 season. This will involve a practice session on the Friday morning, followed by qualifying on a Friday afternoon using the same format as we see on a normal Saturday. Practice 2 then occurs on a Saturday morning before a 100km sprint race that sets the grid for the normal race on a Sunday. The driver in first place following the sprint race will be awarded 3 points, with 2 points for the driver in second and one point for the 3rd placed driver. This is an experiment being trialled at Silverstone for the first time and maybe removed or broadened in the future depending on the results.

Whether its a few drinks with friends, or just for fun – everyone loves a good game of
Would You Rather?

So, we put current Formula 2 and Haas F1 Team Reserve driver Louis Deletraz to the test with some weird and wonderful questions. Do any of his answers surprise you?


would you rather give up social media or eat the same meal for the rest of your life?
give up social media!

would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button for your life?
a rewind button

would you rather win 40 races but never win a championship, or win a championship without ever winning a race?
win a championship!

would you rather talk like Yoda or breath like Darth Vader?
Yoda

would you rather be able to run as fast as a cheetah or fly, but only as fast as a tortoise?
run as fast as a cheetah!

would you rather have raced in the 1950s or the 1980s?
1980s

would you rather race at Silverstone or Monza?
Silverstone!

would you rather have 1 Horse Sized Duck or 100 Duck Sized Horses?
100 duck sized horses

would you rather drive a McLaren 720s or a Ferrari F12?
Ferrari F12

would you rather your only mode of transport be a donkey or a giraffe?
Donkey

A big thank you to Louis for talking part! Is there any other drivers you’d love to see? We’re really hoping to make this into a series to get to know the drivers we love on a different level!
Let us know!




The 2021 F1, F2 and F3 calendars were released on Tuesday morning which is usually a highlight for motorsport fans as they are start to make plans to book races for the upcoming year and finally get back to the track. This year however, was a little bit different. With many fans disappointed in the choice of tracks for next year, especially, and with good reason, the newly added Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Many fans have criticsed F1 for the decision to race in Saudi Arabia, somewhere which is known for violating human rights. Racing here goes completely against their current initivative, “We Race As One” which was formed to tackle inclusivity and diversity and, we agree. It seems as though money truly does talk, rights out – and away we go!

This aside, we took to twitter with a poll to ask you whether the calendars for next year were a big YAY or a NAY. It seems as though motorsport fans are bit divided, with 43% voting no, 38% voting yes and the remainder didn’t mind. The comments however provided an over-arching theme in line with the tracks, and the amount of races. Some comments include –

“This year has shown they can be more creative with the calendar to provide excitement and unpredictability”
“After visit some classics in 2020, 2021 returns to the money.. and 23 races will be a toll on the teams”
“Too many races, having this many just makes the value of each race lower”

In terms of the F2 and F3 calendars, fans were split between YAY, NAY and DONT MIND, but some comments from the polls asked for the format to stay the same with both series racing on the same weekend or the number of tracks were disappointing and lacking in momentum.

However, some big news that came on Thursday was that W Series announced a partnership with Formula 1, meaning their calendar will include eight F1 support races. This takes a big step towards inclusivity for Women In Motorsport and a huge opportunity for exposure for female racers.

Charley’s Thoughts:
Apart from the obvious stated above, I’m a little bit torn in relation to the F1 Calendar. I think compared to the Covid Calendar of 2020, it leaves me disappointed that it took a global pandemic for us to get back to some incredible tracks. Not only that, but I fear that 23 races is just too ambitious when it comes to everyone behind the scenes, the strain of being away from their families for weeks at a time and added stresses may have an effect on their health and wellbeing. Is it worth it? Absolutely not.
Ahh, the Formula 2 calendar. In all honesty, I am absolutely devastated. I understand that the changes coming to F2 are to help curve their expenses which means less venues, but 3 street circuits? No Spa? Zandvoort? The only races which have saved it are Monza and Silverstone. For F3, I am actually really happy! A handful of some good tracks. I’m happy to see Austria, Hungary and Austin. It’s the kind of Calendar that F2 should’ve had. Not salty. At all.

Aimee’s Thoughts:
This year we were absolutely spoilt with the tracks we visited! Especially Mugello and Portimao, tracks we don’t normally visit. Going back to the normal calendar, for me brings back the thoughts of normality, that so many of us are dreaming of. I’m excited to see what will replace Hanoi too. With Spain being the race after I would love the possibility of Portimao. Although there is one thing that has thrown me off – Monza has been pushed back a week! Personally, I love going from Spa to Monza in September. Who knows, maybe I’ll like it more with the triple header – Zandvoort will be an amazing track especially with the Orange Army atmosphere. Unlike Charley, I actually really like the F2 and F3 calendars. They are definitely going to lower the price for competitors, and I like the idea of them being on opposite weekends. I know some people aren’t fans of F2 calendar but it is the step up from F3 so they should get the harder tracks like Monaco and Baku as that where you will see the real talent of the drivers. F3 has a beautiful schedule with fan favourites like Austria.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the Calendars for next year!

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