Formula One (F1) is considered the highest class of international open-wheel single-seater racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The World Drivers' Championship, which had its inaugural season in 1950, was renamed the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1981. The word formula refers to the set of rules to which participants cars must conform.
The competition is split between the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. These are decided by a point system that awards the top ten cars of a grand prix with points ranging from 25 points for 1st to 1 point for 10th place to both constructor and driver. Championships are awarded to the driver, or the World Champion, and the constructor with the most points at the end of the season.
In 2022, the sport decided to introduce a sprint race on the Saturday before the full Sunday Grand Prix. In the sprint, drivers placed first to eighth score points, with 8 points for first place and 1 point for eighth place. As of 2019, F1 also introduced a point for fastest lap, which could only be awarded if the car that scored the fastest lap was already in a point-winning position. Meaning, if the driver with the fastest lap finished thirteenth, they would not be awarded a point, but if they finished tenth or higher, they would be awarded the point.
Starting in 2014, Formula 1 introduced one of the largest changes to the sport's engines, formally known since 2014 as "power units" for their hybrid approach. These engines include a 1.6-litre V6, the internal combustion engine (ICE), with a turbocharged hybrid-electric systems attached, offering the vehicle close to 1000 brake horsepower.
Along with the ICE and turbocharger, the power unit is composed of an Energy Recovery Systems (ERS), which harnesses energy from the car and redeploys the energy for up to 33 seconds of a lap, representing 160 brake horsepower in increased power. Further, the power unit involves an MGU-H and MGU-K, components of the ERS system. The MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit-Heat) is driven by exhaust gases, which uses the heat from the gases to generate electrical power. The MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic) is an electric generator and motor which, connected to the ICE, provides power under acceleration, and recovers energy under braking.
The energy harnessed through the ERS is stored in the Energy Store (ES), which is more simply a car battery. The battery can store, and later deploy, up to 4 megajoules of energy per lap. These components are controlled by the Control Electronics (CE), which links the ERS together. All of these systems are closely monitored and regulated by the FIA to ensure regulations are maintained.
These engines replaced the previous normally aspirated V8s, and are expected to remain in place until at least 2025. Previously, Formula 1 cars have used normally aspirated V10s, V12s, and V8s, and turbocharged V6s, during different regulatory periods. As of 2021, the hybrid power units are limited to a maximum of 15,000 rpm. Constructors are also expected to only use 3 power units for a season, incurring penalties for the use of any extra power units.
The other major focal point for the technical regulations of Formula 1 is the chassis and aerodynamic elements of the car. These regulations have increased in complexity as the cars and capabilities of constructors to develop aerodynamic elements have increased. In 2022, what is largely considered the biggest aerodynamic and chassis regulation change in the history of Formula 1 following the inclusion of aerodynamic parts since 2014 that have made Formula 1 cars harder to follow in race conditions due to "dirty" air.
The goal of the 2022 chassis regulations is to decrease the dirty air and allow cars to follow each other closer and race closer. The dirty air results in the following car losing around 35 percent of their downforce at three car lengths behind another car, and the loss increasing to 47 percent when they are one car length behind. These regulations include a deep underfloor to produce downforce through ground effects. Downforce is the aerodynamic force that allows cars to carry greater speed through corners. The regulations remove bargeboard and other protruding pieces of bodywork that have caused these cars to be difficult to follow. And the regulations see a chance of the wheels to 18-inch wheels from the previous 13-inch wheels.
Formula 1 constructors are the entities responsible for designing and building the engine and chassis of a Formula 1 car, and these are essentially the teams, although it is more complicated in some cases. For example, a constructor in Formula 1 that has designed, created, and built the chassis, and/or engine of a car are entered into the Constructors Championship. These constructors include drivers, teams, staff, mechanics, engineers, safety personnel, trainers, principles, and more.
It is possible for two constructors to be involved in the construction of a single car. For example, Red Bull designed and built the chassis of the Red Bull F1 car, but the engine was designed and built by Honda. Which means both Red Bull and Honda are constructors in the F1 team, but only one set of points is awarded to the team, and both constructors are treated as a single entity.
As well, some constructors, such as Aston Martin or Haas, are considered customer constructors, in that they purchase the engine, and sometimes transmission and suspension, from another constructor. In the case of Aston Martin, they are a customer of Mercedes, making the constructor Aston Martin-Mercedes. And in the case of Haas, they are a customer of Ferrari, making the Haas-Ferrari.
Each constructor brings two vehicles and two drivers through the season. Each team takes different philosophies to their drivers and chassis, with some teams having a number one driver, which the team focuses their efforts on, and a support driver, their to get as many points for the team as possible, and help the main driver win the championship. Or they go for a competitive driver's line up with two drivers capable of winning a championship, and their efforts as a team split evenly between the two drivers.
F1 2022 Constructors and drivers
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