Getting You Up to Speed about Formula 1

Photo of Robert Kubica’s 2019 F1 car. Photo courtesy of

If you’ve ever played chess, you’d probably think it’s intense. Now imagine playing chess with two multi-million-dollar race cars manned by hot-headed pilots who are competing against 18 other egomaniacs. This is a high-speed reality show that millions of people around the world watch with bated breath each week – the Formula 1 World Championship.

Formula 1 cars definitely aren’t your average road car. These wedge-shaped rocket ships are the result of millions of dollars of development by their respective race teams. There are ten teams currently competing in the F1 World Championship, with the most notable being Mercedes-AMG, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. 

Each of these teams – known as ‘constructors’ – spend millions of dollars in research and development to make these torpedoes that are capable of reaching speeds of up to 230 miles per hour, which they are able to sustain for up to two hours.

Arguably the biggest spectacle in Formula 1 is the pit stops. The pit crew is a team of extremely well-trained individuals who work together to form a machine so coordinated that all four tires can be changed in under two seconds – sometimes for two cars in a row. These mechanics, along with the famed racers and other staff, crisscross the globe, often traveling to three different countries in a three-week period. Could you imagine the jetlag?

Although this may sound like a European pipe dream, it’s not. Formula 1 – a world championship – appropriately races all over the world. As a result of growing popularity in America, the championship will visit stateside three times in 2023; Miami, Florida (May 7), Austin, Texas (Oct 22), and Las Vegas, Nevada (Nov 18). F1 also makes stops in Asia, Australia, and South America for a total of 24 races across 21 countries.

With F1’s next globe-trotting season set to start on March 5, this winter is the perfect time to jump into the wondrous world of Formula 1, which you should do by watching the popular Netflix series ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive.’