Contributed by Matt Long.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.
Recently, New Jersey governor Chris Christie excitingly announced that Formula 1 would stage a race in New Jersey from 2013 onwards. So in a step away from our usual sports, we wanted to explain a little bit about Formula 1 as the build-up begins to the first race in New Jersey.
Formula 1 is the pinnacle of single seater motor racing. The name was created for 2 reasons. Firstly, the word ‘Formula’ signifies the rules participants must follow, and ‘1’ from the organizers’ belief that the sport is the best form of motor racing. The championship runs from March through November and is made up of races called Grand Prix staged in different countries across the world. Traditional locations include Silverstone (England), Monza (Italy) and Suzuka (Japan), and new locations such as Korea and India. There is currently a Grand Prix scheduled for Austin, Texas in 2012 but it remains to be seen whether it will actually take place due to ongoing negotiations between the parties involved.
The cars are the fastest in the world, reaching speeds of 220mph, their engines revving to 18,000 rpm, producing cornering forces of 5g. The sport attracts the best drivers, constructors and engineers, and the biggest car companies, such as Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault. There are currently 12 teams and 24 drivers participating.
In 2010, over 527 million people watched the races throughout the season. The sport attracts a large number of glamorous and wealthy celebrities, and the signature races in Monte Carlo and Abu Dhabi are associated most with Hollywood glitz and glamour.
The Formula 1 racing World Championship started in 1947, with the first race at Silverstone, England. Since then, the sport has boasted many great champions, such as Aryton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and current champion, Sebastien Vettel. Many great teams have emerged, such as Williams, McLaren, Benetton and Red Bull.