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Beginner’s Guide to Formula 1 Racing

In the US, Formula 1 racing isn’t nearly as popular as it is in some other countries. While we value sports like IMSA racing and NASCAR, Formula 1 is just something different altogether. There is a lot of reasons why Formula 1 should interest you, even if you don’t take any personal stake in a team or driver. The vehicles used push the boundaries of engineering and design in a way that is entirely different from other forms of racing. If you have been wanting to get into Formula 1 racing and didn’t know where to start, this beginner’s guide is for you.

What is Formula 1 racing?

Formula 1 racing is similar to some other types of more popular racing, but there is a lot that sets it apart. The name itself, Formula 1, might seem a little bit odd, but the scheme behind the name explains the racing style a lot. The vehicles that compete in the race are limited to certain factors, such as vehicle size, engine size, and cabin type. These cars all follow the same “formula” that levels the playing field in a lot of major ways.

Cars racing down the track during a Formula 1 race in Australia
A Formula 1 race | Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Advanced engineering

Because the vehicles all must retain certain requirements, the most notorious being engine size, the engineering and design teams must maximize every factor that they are authorized to change. This prevents cars with turbocharged four-cylinder engines from trying to outpace large V10 displacement engines and provides a handful of new challenges.

There is a lot of technology that goes into making Formula 1 engines as optimal and efficient as possible, and a lot of that technology is kept a complete secret so that other teams can’t use it to their advantage. That’s part of why we have no clue how teams Mercedes-AMG Petronas continues to dominate the racing world.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 | Matthias Schrader, Pool/Getty Images

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Not as popular but still important

While you probably won’t be dreaming of owning a Formula 1 car anytime soon, there are a lot of other reasons as to why these cars, and this form of racing, are still important to general consumers. Many Formula 1 teams belong to large manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, and the technology developed to produce better racing vehicles makes the engines that they use in the consumer cars more efficient and better than ever.

Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault on track during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring | Ina Fassbender, Pool/Getty Images

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Whether you are a current Formula 1 fanatic trying to get your friends into the sport, or you’re just a car enthusiast looking to get more into a different style of racing, there is a lot to love about it. From the in-depth history to the modern-day engineering, this race has something for everyone.