Formula One, officially the FIA Formula One World Championship) is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been the premier form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950, although other Formula One races were regularly held until 1983. The “formula”, designated in the name, refers to a set of rules, to which all participants’ cars must conform.
The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads, the results of each race are evaluated using a points system to determine World Championships.
All racing drivers are required to be holders of valid Super Licences and the races are required to be held on tracks graded 1 (formerly A), the highest grade a track can receive by the FIA.
These events have been held in rural locations on purpose-built tracks, but there are several events in city centers throughout the world, such as Monaco.
The Formula One cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to approximately 375 km/h (233 mph) with engines currently limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 rpm.
While Europe is the sport’s traditional base the sport’s scope has expanded significantly and seen races on other continents.
Costs are significant with the cost of designing and building mid-tier cars being around the $120 million mark. But the Formula One’s economic effect and creation of jobs are also significant, and its financial and political battles are widely reported. The high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, which has resulted in great investments from sponsors and budgets in the hundreds of millions for the constructors.
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