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 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.
Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve (January 18, 1950 – May 8, 1982) was a Canadianracing driver. An enthusiast of cars and fast driving from an early age, he started his professional career in snowmobile racing in his native province of Quebec. He moved into single seaters — winning the US and Canadian Formula Atlantic championships in 1976 before being offered a one-off drive with McLaren at the 1977 British Grand Prix. He was taken on by reigning world champions Ferrari for the end of the season — in only his fifth season racing cars — and from 1978 to his death in 1982 drove for the Italian team. He won six Grand Prix races in a short career at the highest level. In 1979 he finished second by four points in the championship to teammate Jody Scheckter. Villeneuve died in a 140 mph (225 km/h) crash with the March of Jochen Mass during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. At the time of his death, Villeneuve was extremely popular with fans and with many journalists, on whom his death had a profound effect. Since 1982 he has become an iconic figure in the history of the sport, renowned for his car control, aggressive driving style, and a 'never give up' attitude. His son, Jacques Villeneuve, became a Formula One world champion in 1997.
Fittipaldi Automotive, sometimes called Copersucar after its first major sponsor, was the only Formula One motor racing team and constructor ever to be based in Brazil. It was formed during 1974 by racing driver Wilson Fittipaldi and his younger brother, double world champion Emerson, with money from the Brazilian sugar and alcohol cooperative Copersucar. In 1976 Emerson surprised the motor racing world by leaving the title-winning McLaren team to drive for the unsuccessful family outfit. Future world champion Keke Rosberg took his first podium finish in Formula One with the team. The team was based in São Paulo, almost 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away from the centre of the world motor racing industry in the UK, before moving to Reading, UK during 1974. It participated in 119 grands prix between 1975 and 1982, entering a total of 156 cars. It achieved 3 podiums and scored 44 championship points.