PodcastThe Rest

F1 Podcasts

F1 Podcasts

F1 Podcasts See our pick of current commentaries and fascinating interviews. If you are new to F1, we recommend you listen to a few driver interviews and you will indeed find a connection with one that will boost your support levels… 

F1 Nation and Beyond the Grid are two of our favourites. And if you like something a little bit irreverent, we have just tuned into Fast and Loose : F1 with Will Arnet.

F1 Nation

Weekly updates reviewing the last race and previewing the upcoming event. Featuring insights and interviews from within the paddock. And a special feature titled Ask the Nation where listeners ask questions and for the team to answer.

“Formula 1 fans from every nation, welcome to F1 Nation! 1996 World Champion Damon Hill and globe-trotting racing reporters Tom Clarkson and Natalie Pinkham bring you weekly F1 chat with big guests, expert racing insight and behind-the-scenes stories”.

Check it out here

Beyond the Grid

One of the best F1 Podcasts. Weekly interviews with F1 sporting personalities from drivers, to principals, engineers and past personalities. Now in its fourth year, Beyond the Grid has an extensive back catalogue that is a must for getting to know your favourite stars. 

“Formula 1’s fastest stars slow down and open up, sharing untold stories and unrivalled insight. Tom Clarkson brings you revealing, feature-length interviews and amazing anecdotes from F1’s biggest names. Expect superstar drivers, team bosses, tech geniuses and racing legends”.

Check it out here


Fast and Loose : F1 with Will Arnet

“If you’re just watching the race, you’re doing it wrong! Fast & Loose: F1® is where the world of Formula 1 collides with comedian Will Arnett for his hilarious and shockingly insightful commentary immediately following the checkered flag.

After each race, Will is joined by F1 legend Mika Häkkinen and rotating co-hosts, Michelle Beadle, Katie Osborne, and The Kid Mero as they bring you post-race recaps and analysis, dive deep into all of the drama and cat fighting between the teams, chat with the drivers, and take listener calls to answer all of your burning questions, like which driver would make the best roommate? And the worst”.

Check it out here

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The Guide

09. Wheels and Tyres

F1 Wheels and Tyres

Wheels and Tyres are critical to the performance of an F1 car. Beyond the obvious function, they are a science of their own, where grip is balanced with durability to maximise speed over distance. 

Consider this, F1 involves a driver in a $3.0m car (chassis, aero, technology and safety system) powered by a $10.0m power unit, producing 1000 hp and setting speeds over 330 kph, while cornering at 310 kph and up to 5.0 g’s. 100% dependent on a small contact patch from four $700.00 tyres (a set costs $2,700.00).

In 2022 the FIA applied a major overhaul to the regulations that define F1, and the cars adopted 18-inch wheels with a lower profile Pirelli tyre. The 305mm front and 405 wide rear tyres are matched to the track surface, and circuit type through a range of compounds and are run at pressures prescribed by Pirelli. 


The wheel assembly is a critical part of the car set-up, holding in the track and enabling it to corner at astonishing speeds. The wheels must withstand immense forces of acceleration, braking and cornering. Fixed to the car with wishbone suspension they are adjusted through push-rod or pull-rod systems and dampers. Ride height, rake, toe, camber and castor can all be adjusted to fine-tune the car and gain those critical fractions of a second.


Safety is as important here as any other aspect of the sport. A wheel ripped from the car in a 300 kph impact is a potentially devastating missile threatening the lives of other drivers, marshals and spectators. To combat this, the cars have two tethers within the wishbones, significantly reducing the chances of a wheel flying off. 


F1 cars use carbon fibre brakes on all four wheels that don’t begin to work effectively until they reach 400 degrees C and are optimal around 1000 degrees C. To keep weight at a minimum, there is no mechanical cooling so F1 cars must move forward to push air through the brake ducts. When stopped, you will see cooling fans placed on each hub and in very hot climates, dry ice is added.
The brakes on an F1 machine will slow the car rapidly from 315 kph to 80 kph with the braking point less than 50 meters from where the driver initiates the corner. Experienced drivers from F2 or Indycar are often surprised by how late they can brake at such high speeds. But, get this wrong, and the car could understeer, lock up or crash, costing valuable time.

Contact Patch

Contact patch size is incredibly important in F1. The size of a contact patch is the area of the tire physically contacting the track. The larger the contact patch, the more grip the car will have, which is affected by the tyre pressure. As tread decreases the size of contact patches, a slick tyre is the most effective. 
Slicks are completely ineffective when there is water present, so tread is used in the form of Intermediates (i and Full Wets. These tyres will move 30 and 60 litres of water per second respectively so a set of four will shift a whopping 120 and 240 litres respectively. The team’s race engineer needs to judge when to make the change from one tread style to another very carefully as an extra pitstop is costly.


The compound is a reference to the rubber that the tyre’s wearing surface is constructed from. Pirelli has developed a suite of compounds from C0 (hardest) to C5 (softest), from which they select three for each race weekend. Referred to as Hard, Medium and Soft, the tyres have different performance characteristics. The soft will be the fastest, but it will not last as long, whereas, the hard will have longevity but a second a lap slower. 
The selection is based on factors such as track surface, track temperature, speeds, corners and number of pitstops targeted
The compounds are designed to degrade at different rates, and the shredded rubber can be seen accumulating off the racing line.

Tyre Allocation

Teams are provided with an allocation of 13 sets of dry weather tyres for the weekend – two set of hard tyres, three sets of medium tyres and eight sets of soft tyres. They also receive three sets of intermediate tyres and four sets of wets. If FP1 and FP2 are wet and FP3 looks like it will be wet, then the teams may return a set of slicks and take an extra set of interest.


F1 regulations state that each car must use two different tyre compounds during a race, enforcing a mandatory pitstop. Teams will assess the tyre combinations to calculate the optimum combination to get to the finish line in the shortest time.
The new tyres are preheated to help ‘switch them on’ as quickly as possible. This means getting them up to their optimum temperature, and as sticky as possible, to maximise grip.

In a pitstop, all four tyres are replaced in a little over 2 seconds but the total time lost is around 20 seconds due to the reduced speed in the pit lane (generally 80kph).

In the Window

Looking after the tyres is a critical part of a driver’s racecraft. If the tyre is not hot enough, there is a lack of grip, and if they are overhead, they will deteriorate too quickly.
The cars have sensors that measure the tyre’s temperature in several locations. Under current regulations, tyres are preheated using tyre warmers, and then the driver will drive in a certain manner to induce additional heat. It is easier to heat the rear wheels, using power from the PU, than it is to heat the fronts, as they can’t be spun up. 
When the tyres are at their best, they are considered to be “in the window”. 

Tyre Management

Each tyre compound will have a predetermined level of performance unique to the track surface and temperature and teams will match this to a “pit stop strategy”. Pundits will talk about the “pit window”, which is the optimum lap range before a pit stop is required and new tyres are fitted.
A driver will greatly improve his strategic options if he can manage his tyres and extend their effective life. Running longer on one set may be the difference between a one-stop, two-stop strategy or even three-stop strategy, with each pit stop costing roughly 20 seconds.
As the tyre age builds, you will hear drivers tell their engineers that the grip is dropping off and the car is starting to slide. Pundits will note the tyre is blistering or graining, contributing to its decline in performance.
The call to come in for fresh tyres is Box or Box, Box.
Pit stop strategy is complex and needs to be flexible to changing conditions throughout the race. Faster tyres over shorter distances or an undercut may be the ‘secret sauce’ to get the car to the finish line first…


Pirelli is the exclusive supplier to F1. 20 teams, each with 21 sets per weekend and 23 races equates to 9,660 sets or 38,640 tyres for the races plus spares. They also need to supply tyres for testing and media days
As part of Pirelli’s ‘green technology’ programme for the betterment of the environment, the tyres are ‘ecologically disposed of’, which means they are recycled. The tyres are crushed to fit more of them in fewer containers and then shipped to a cement factory near Didcot, Oxfordshire after each Grand Prix.
There, the tyres are finely shredded, along with other road car tires. The shredded tyres form small pellets, which are then burnt at extremely high temperatures as a fuel-source for cement factories. Moreover, the extremely high temperatures mean that no harmful fumes are released during the process, and the only particle that remains is non-poisonous ash.
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The Guide

02. Watching F1, what is it?

Watching f1

The Pinnacle of Open-Wheel Racing

Watching F1, but what is it exactly?

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of open-wheel, single-seat car racing. Today the sport is a global phenomenon where hundreds of millions of people watch ten teams and 20 drivers compete for two world championships over a season. 

The competition for the Drivers World Title and the Constructors Title are run in parallel and will be held over 24 race weekends (2023), with six having added sprint races. 

Drivers and teams compete for points based on where they finish each race, with points awarded for places 1 – 10. And 1 – 8 in the sprint with a bonus point awarded for the fastest lap during the race, provided the recipient is in the top ten.

The Drivers Title is sought for individual prestige (although the driver will always credit a whole team effort), whereas where the teams rank in the Constructors Title also determines their share of the prize money. 

The owners

Liberty Media Group bought the rights to run the tournament and the associated media rights for $4.6b in 2017.

Since then, they have set about to actively widen and grow the audience base. They initiated the Netflix series Drive to Survive, which has significantly increased the sport’s popularity over recent years. Along with an increase to 24 events in 2024.

F1 can’t turn up and race anywhere, the tracks must be graded, and the host country bids for the rights from Liberty to hold the event. Most likely a much more lucrative endeavour in recent years due to the sport’s growth in popularity and sell-out crowds at every event in 2022.

Liberty manages the logistics, and races are clustered into regions as much as possible to assist with turning around the paddock in two weeks for the next event, and often one. The entire event is moved by the road where possible or where that is not possible; they use a fleet of jumbo jets and refer to the event as a fly-away. 

The sport has seen huge growth in the Americas, with three races scheduled for the USA in 2023 – Miami, Las Vegas and COTA in Austin. 

The FIA is the governing body for all Formula racing and is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules, as well as running the event. Their focus is on delivering entertaining and close racing with a focus on safety for all parties, which fuels Liberty’s ability to build their business and deliver more racing… 


F1 is a big-money sport. BIG MONEY. In 2021, Liberty Media introduced a cost cap to try and close the gap between the well-funded teams and those smaller teams nearer the back of the field. The cost cap is in the region of $145m, with a downward sliding scale but then adjusted back up for the number of races, added sprint races and inflation. To put the cost cap into perspective, Ferrari’s 2019 budget is estimated to have been $450m, so that’s quite a cut. 

Outside of this cost cap sits the supply of the Power Units (another $95m per team) and the salaries of the Drivers and top three executives. For the top three teams, that could feasibly equate to another $100m (Max and Lewis are rumoured to receive $50m.

Liberty Media shares profit from the season between its shareholders and the teams, 50/50. The team’s share is distributed under a prearranged matrix. Each team receives a $35,000,000 base fee and then a share based on the total points earned during the season. Finally, the top three teams receive a bonus, and a small number of teams receive legacy payments. Of note, Ferrari receives an extra 2.5% of the team’s fund. In 2018, Mercedes won the constrictors title and earned $177,000,000.00, while Ferrari came second and was paid out $205,000,000.00


Further income comes from teams selling sponsorship space on their cars, clothing and merchandise. With nearly 1 billion people tuning in to watch the 2021 final, you can well imagine the value of the advertising. While many factors affect how a deal is structured, various articles suggest sponsorship starts at around $100,000 and heads into the millions. A top-tier team could reasonably value their rear wing at over a million and side pod at 15 times that (this is indicative).

Drivers also come with title sponsors, and in some cases, drivers pay for the seat as opposed to being paid to drive the car. Known as a ‘paid seat’ and usually in one of the lower-ranking teams where there is an advantage in contracting a driver with funding behind them. 

And teams do pay an entry fee. This is based on a sliding scale reflecting their results from the previous year with a team at the back of the field paying around $500,000 and the winner paying closer to $5,000.000. 

Teams and drivers 

Ten teams, each with two cars and two drivers, enter the competition and accumulate points over the duration of the tournament. A driver’s points go towards his own tally, and the same amount of points is applied to the team. If a driver can’t compete, as we saw recently due to covid, the reserve driver will take over the duties and any points gained will be stated against his entry as well as the team. 

Teams are referred to as constructors or customers. Constructors design and build their own Power Units, such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. In contrast, customer teams purchase their Power Units from one of the constructors. 

Ferrari has a rich history that goes back to the early days of Formula 1. McLaren joined in the ’60s when a bunch of guys built their own car on a shoestring and did whatever they could to get it to the start line. Today a new team will need to pay $100,000,000 to get a seat at the table before they even start to work on their entry.

The cars

Today’s F1 cars are mind-blowing machines designed to accelerate to 200kph in 4.5 seconds. They can reach speeds of around $350kph and corner at over 200kph. When the speed limiter comes on in the pits, they are ‘trundling along’ at 80kph.

F1 cars use downforce to stick to the road when cornering at high speed and you will see changes to the car depending on the track type. A track with long straights is referred to as low downforce and requires a smaller rear with less drag, whereas a track with more corners is high downforce and a larger rear wing. 

An F1 car produces more downforce than its own weight, so technically, it could drive upside down in a tunnel and not fall off the roof.

In 2022 a new set of regulations was enforced, changing the fundamental aerodynamics of the car and shifting it to a ground effect model. This is done to reduce the dirty air coming off of the lead car and allow closer racing from the car behind. This has proven to be very successful, with the 2022 season delivering wheel-to-wheel racing and action-packed passing.

Race Weekend. 

A race weekend takes place from Friday to Sunday. The weekend consists of three one-hour Free Practice sessions; two take place on Friday (FP1 and FP2), and one takes place Saturday morning (FP3).

An hour of qualifying split into three sessions takes place Saturday afternoon. That forms the starting grid for the race Sunday, with the format detailed below. 

The race is the main event of the weekend, and it’s where the points are delivered to the teams and drivers. The drivers race each other around the circuit for 190 miles (305 km), typically across two hours,  but race can take up to four hours depending on red flags (that is to say, the race needing to be suspended due to a crash).

The race features strategy elements, with pit stops and fuel management to consider. Incidents have a big impact, too; they lead to safety cars and virtual safety cars (meaning no overtakes and a limited speed).

The future of F1

F1 is always evolving, and Liberty Media appears to have a strong focus on delivering entertainment, inclusion and the environment. Rule changes are producing more exciting racing, a bolstered race calender, greater participation from feeder series, the introduction of Formula W and a female driver academy and a target of carbon zero by 2030. 

The next big change for F1 is the new 2026 Power Unit. 1000+ horsepower from biofuel (fossil fuel is banned), three times the battery power of today’s PU, increased safety and reduced costs (currently around $15m per unit). 

So that’s F1 in a nutshell. We will expand on the above in the following Guide posts, in addition to our general posts, FAQ’s and comprehensive F1-specific Glossary.



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Media 1

F1 Sprint Race Tweaked – Six Venues in 2023

F1 Sprint Race Tweaked

F1 Sprint Race Tweaked

F1 introduced a sprint race format in 2021 to provide additional race action over selected weekends. The sprint race is a 100km dash and takes approximately half an hour.

Points are awarded for both the Driver’s and Constructor’s titles. 1st – 8, 2nd – 7, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4, 6th – 3, 7th 2, and 8th – 1.

This exciting F1 Sprint Race is one-third race distance, with the top eight finishers earning points toward their championship standing. No fastest lap points are awarded.

Traditional qualifying, normally held on a Saturday, takes the place of FP2 on Friday, forming the grid for Sunday’s Race. The sprint replaces the Saturday Qualifying, and the grid is set by the new SPRINT SHOOTOUT held on Saturday morning (SQ1 12 minutes, SQ2 10 minutes, SQ3 8 minutes.)

2023 will see the sprint format held in Azerbaijan (April 29), Austria (July 1), Belgium (July 29), Qutar (October 7), Las Vegas (October 21) and Sao Paulo (November 4). 

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Media 1

F1 Fantasy 2023

F1 Fantasy 2023

Win real Prizes 

F1 Fantasy 2023 is a free online game where each player selects up to five drivers and two constructors ahead of each race. With a spending budget of $100m. There are other variables like weekly ‘DRS Boost’ doubling points – and new for 2023, any driver in your team can be given the DRS boost.

Join in here before the Azerjabain cutoff

First prize – 2x F1 Experiences Champions Club passes to a 2024 Grand Prix

Second prize – 2x Grandstand Tickets to a 2024 Grand Prix

Third prize – 1 year of F1TV

Conditions apply so make sure you read them when you sign up. 

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