The Formula One world championship is a annual worldwide series of circuit races of around 300 kilometres in length and slightly less than two hours in duration. The cars, custom-constructed by each team (unlike Champ Car racing), are based around an open-wheel, open cockpit design, have huge wings (oriented upside-down when compared to aircraft wings as they are designed to push the cars down rather than up) and bodies designed to achieve maximum downforce for incredibly fast cornering, and despite being restricted to three litres and natural aspiration have V10 engines that can produce up to 800 horsepower.
Despite being the pinnacle of racing in terms of budgets and driver skill, formula one racing has often been accused of being unexciting when compared to less-prestigious categories. The differences in driver ability are usually dwarfed when compared to the relative speed of the different makes of cars, and on-track overtaking is very rare due to the aerodynamics of trailing cars being adversely affected by the car in front (making overtaking only possible by very risky and thus rarely-taken chances, or a much faster car trailing a slower one).
For the last 15 years, the championship has been dominated by just three teams, McClaren, Williams, and Ferrari, who have provided the vehicle for all but two of the World Champions for that period.
Recent Champions are:
Famous circuits include:
- /A1-ring - Austria
- /Monte Carlo - Monaco
- /Montreal - Canada
- /Suzuka - Japan
- /Melbourne and /Adelaide - Australia
- /Hockenheim and /Nuerburg Ring - Germany
- /Spa - Belgium
- /Imola - Italy
- /Silverstone - England
- ??? - Brazil
- ??? - Malaysia
Teams competing for the current (2001) constructors championship are:
see also Bernie Ecclestone