The popular name by which the FIA's Formula 1 Grand Prix Tournament is known.

The F1 Grand Prix races are indisputedly the most popular motor races in the world: with 17 circuits on every major continent, a race season covering 16 countries and a worldwide television audience of over 4 billion, F1 attracts big big money.

In the past nobody would have argued with the claim that Formula One was the greatest test of man and machine ever devised: races were fast and furious and pushed both automotive engineering and human capabilities to the limits (and sometimes beyond). However modern improvements in vehicle design, safety improvements and technical restrictions have severely limited the opportunities for innovation, and in recent years many races have become little more than processions, with the final deciding factors being starting positions and pit team performance rather than driver skill.

Teams, 2000 Season

This is one of six categories of aircraft that participate in the Reno Air Races, in Reno, NV. All Formula One Aircraft are strictly controlled as to powerplant, wing area and weight; other than that, it is up to the designer.

The engine is a 100hp Continental O-200. The same 200 cubic inch, horizontally opposed engine used in the Cessna 150. The weights and sizes of each major part within the engine must be within stock limits. The cam profile and carburetor are strictly controlled as well. Aircraft participating in this race must have a wing area of at least 66 square feet and weigh at least 500 pounds empty. They also must have fixed landing gear and a fixed pitch propeller.

This category of aircraft was introduced after WWII. Air races preceding WWII were largely tests of airframe design and engineering. After WWII, the surplus of military aircraft took over these races, thus eliminating the need to create new designs. In order to restore the creativity of original design and its subsequent benefits to the aviation community, the Formula 1 category was introduced. The improvements in aerodynamic finesse and engine refinement finally had a home again.

Universally regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport, F1 attracts the best drivers and big money (we're talking billions of dollars here). It is also the most popular (in terms of total viewers) form of racing in the world.

Team/Driver list for 2003:

  • Ferrari: Michael Schumacher & Rubens Barrichelo
  • Williams: Juan Pablo Montoya & Ralf schumacher
  • McLaren: David Coulthard & Kimi-Matias Raikkonen
  • Renault: Jamo Trulli & Fernando Alonso
  • Sauber: Nick Heidfeld & Heinz-Harald Frentzen
  • Jordan: Gianocarlo Fischella & Ralf Firman
  • Jaguar: Mark Webber & Antonio Pizzonia
  • BAR: Jaques Villeneuve & Janson Button
  • Minardi: Justin Wilson & Jos Verstappen
  • Toyota: Oliver Panis & Cristiano da Matta
Update: As of August this year Justin Wilson will be driving for Jaguar and former F3000 driver Nicolas Kiesa for Minardi.

Formula 1 events/Tracks:

F1 lost a lot of interest with viewers last year due largely to the dominance of Ferrari. This year has proven to be much more closely contested with 7 different drivers having won after 12 rounds. There is talk (possibly rumour) that F1 Management are looking for new ways of "spicing things up". The most interesting of these is the possibility of evening races at several of the events (coincidently this would also increase TV ratings throughout Europe). Next year will also see the introduction of events in China, Bahrain and a return to the Spa circuit in Hungary. It is also rumoured that an investigation has been launched into what made the British GP "so good" in 2003...(apart from the guy sprinting down the track brandishing a religious marquee, narrowly avoiding death at the hands of a 200mph racecar).

Source: www.f1.com (Official Website)

Go to: History of Grand Prix Racing

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