|Photo by Red Bull|
FORMULA ONE RACING: A HYBRID OF MAN AND MACHINE AT THEIR BEST.
Downforce, corner speed, center of gravity and aerodynamics, these are only a few of the words that you most definitely will hear been thrown around formula one circles and circuits. Founded in 1950, Formula one racing is the crème de la crème of auto racing and the perfect love-hate relationship between man and machine. From the murky accident-prone open roads of France to heated Prost-Senna battles and the dominance of Micheal Schumacher and Ferrari, Formula One has never had great cars without even greater drivers. There is little doubt that this is an actual sport, and maybe even more.
Origins: What is Formula 1 racing? Is F1 a sport?
Even before the world fell to chaos of world wars, environmental issues and the frenzy of social media, auto racing already existed. The invention of cars gave humans a new avenue to channel their competitive juices and it was only a matter of time till cars would be improved, tweaked, and designed for competition. As early as the 1800s, the roads of France had become the stage and place for constructors and their drivers to put their engines to the test. Organised racing was still in its nascent stages, but the format of racing from one town to another was already established. Each race was called a ‘Grand Prix’. Following the world wars, the Federation Internationale de l’automobile (FIA) would be created in 1949 and the grand prix races will take more structure, with a set of rules called formula.
The first-ever Formula one race will be the Turin Grand Prix, in 1950.
The Cars: How much horsepower does a formula one car have?
Before all the technology, cars counted on speed and driver skill to outlast the opponent, and accidents were the order of the day for most drivers. Today, the science of formula one cars uses every possible advantage, from wind to change in weather, to perfect cars and creating even better ones. Formula One cars are officially the fastest road-racing cars in the world, running on engines with a horsepower of atleast 950HP, and up to 18,000 rpm. Over the years, the FIA has changed the engines to improve safety while taking speed up a notch, from V8s to V10s. Since 2014, Formula One cars use a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine. Subtle tweaks around the cars and their parts give minute advantages that make all the difference in races since all cars have to conform to the same rules, so while the cars are beasts in their own right, it all comes down to who is behind the wheel
That is where the sport is less technical and more physical and mental.
The Drivers how long is an f1 race last? Are Formula 1 drivers athletes?
The cars may be might impressive but it is more about the swordsman than the sword in this case. The training, regimen and balance of formula one drivers is managed down to the finest thread of fibre. The amount of G force acting on drivers every race requires a certain level of fitness, but it is the keeping of balance with the car that is most demanding. Drivers must have a certain weight proportional to that of the car, which when both combined, give the car an optimal weight and center of gravity. These two things alone can win a race. Depending on the weather conditions, track, and driver weight, Formula One drivers lose up to 4 kilograms during a race, with forces of up to 6 g acting on them when they maneuver around a corner. Drivers need to be in top form throughout the season, being nimble and light on their feet, while keeping a sharp mind. Nico Fosberg had to see a psychologist in order to win the 2016 championship! Just look at his battle with Lewis Hamilton! Averagely, a formula one race covers about 305km depending on the circuit within a timeframe of 2 hours maximum except when special conditions like the weather or accidents cause delays.
If you ever wonder if Formula One is a sport or is racing a sport, then be rest assured it is all sport and even more.