Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the premier class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
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.
The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply. Formula One cars race at high speeds – up to 365 km/h (227 mph) – using hybrid power units, the performance of which is limited to a maximum of 15,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5g 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. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly during recent years and an increasing number of Grands Prix are held on other continents to where now more than half of all Grands Prix are run elsewhere in the world.
Michael Schumacher; born 3 January 1969 in Hürth, North Rhine-Westphalia) is a retired Formula One racing driver. Most famous for his eleven-year spell with Ferrari, Schumacher is a seven-time World Champion and holds many of the formula's driver records including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004. After winning two consecutive championships with Benetton in 1994/5, Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 and won another five consecutive drivers' titles with them from 2000–2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor; he later signed a 3-year contract to drive for the new Mercedes team starting in 2010. His career has not been without controversy, including being twice involved in collisions in the final race of a season that determined the outcome of the world championship, with Damon Hill in 1994 in Adelaide, and with Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 in Jerez. Off the track Schumacher is an ambassador for UNESCO and a spokesman for driver safety. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life and donated tens of millions of dollars to charity.
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The Brabham BT46 was a Formula One racing car, designed by Gordon Murray for the Brabham team, owned by Bernie Ecclestone, for the 1978 Formula One season. The car featured several radical design elements, the most obvious of which was the use of flat panel heat exchangers on the bodywork of the car to replace conventional water and oil radiators. The concept did not work in practice and was removed before the car’s race debut, never to be seen again. The cars, powered by a flat-12 Alfa Romeo engine, raced competitively with modified nose-mounted radiators for most of the year, driven by Niki Lauda and John Watson, winning one race in this form and scoring sufficient points for the team to finish third in the constructors championship. The “B” variant of the car, also known as the fan car, was introduced at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix as a counter to the dominant ground effect Lotus 79. The BT46B generated an immense level of downforce by means of a fan, claimed to be for increased cooling, but which also extracted air from beneath the car. The car only raced once in this configuration in the Formula One World Championship; Niki Lauda winning the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp. The car was withdrawn before it could race again and the concept declared illegal.
Current World Championship standings