Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the most restrictive class of single seaterauto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (translated to English as "Big Prizes"), held on purpose-built circuits and public roads. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors, with racing drivers, constructor teams, track officials, organizers, and circuits required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the most restrictive class of racing licence issued by the FIA.
Formula One cars race at high speeds – up to 360 km/h (220 mph) – with engines the performance of which is limited to a maximum of 18,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5 g in corners. The formula has had much evolution and change through the history of the sport. Europe, where all the Formula One racing teams are based, is the sport's traditional base and where about half of each year's races occur. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly during recent years and an increasing number of Grands Prix are held on other continents.