The Guide

2024The GuideTickets

2024 F1 Calendar – Dates, Tracks, Guide and Tickets*

2024 F1 Calendar

Formula 1 and the FIA have revealed the calendar for the 2024 F1 season, which will feature 24 races spread out over the year.

Formula Calendar 2024 –  set to be F1’s busiest season ever, as the FIA has confirmed a 24-race calendar. The schedule for the upcoming season has been posted and it includes three Saturday night races.

Six – ten Sprint races are being predicted but the calendar is yet to be announced.

2024 F1 Calendar – Dates, Tracks, Guide and Tickets*

  • 9th March 2024 – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah) – GuideTickets pending

  • 24th March 2024 – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, Melbourne) – Guide –  Tickets pending

  • 7th April 2024 – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) – Guide – Tickets pending

  • 21st April 2024 – China Grand Prix (Shanghai)  –  Guide  – Tickets pending

  • 5th May 2024 – Miami Grand Prix (Miami)  –  Guide  –  Tickets pending

  • 19th May 2024 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix (Imola  –  Guide –  Tickets pending

  • 26th May 2024 – Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo). –  Guide –  Tickets pending

  • 23rd June 2024 – Grand Prix (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya). –  Guide –  Tickets pending

  • 7th July 2024 – British Grand Prix (Silverstone). –  Guide  –  Tickets pending  

  • 21st July 2024 – Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest). –  Guide  –  Tickets pending

  • 28th July 2024 – Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps). –  Guide. –  Tickets pending   

  • 25th August 2024 – Netherlands Grand Prix (Zandvoort) –  Guide. –  Tickets pending 

  • 1st September 2024 – Italian Grand Prix (Monza)  –  Guide. –  Tickets pending

  • 15th September 2024 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Baku) – Guide – Tickets pending

  • 22nd September 2024 – Singapore Grand Prix (Marina Bay). –  Guide –  Tickets pending

  • 22nd October 2024 – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas  –  Guide  –  Tickets pending

  • 27th October 2024 – Mexico City Grand Prix (Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez) – Guide – Tickets pending

  • 3rd November 2024 – Sao Paolo Grand Prix (Interlagos  –  Guide – Tickets pending

  • 23rd November 2024 – Las Vegas Grand Prix (Las Vegas) – Guide – Tickets pending

  • 1st December 2024 – Qatar Grand Prix (Lusail) – Guide – Tickets pending 

  • 26th November 2023 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina)  –  Guide  –  Tickets pending

*There are many places to purchase your 2024 F1 Calendar tickets. We provide a link to for information concerning availability only. Please do your own research before selecting your supplier. 

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The Guide

07. The Pits

Pit lane

The pits 

The pit lane is parallel to the track, adjacent to the start / finish line and allows cars to enter and exit the track safely. 

The pit lane is the area dedicated to the team set up and management with garages, pit boxes and pit walls. The epicentre of the team, where the engineers prepare and finesse the car, drivers are melded into it to become one, and strategists formulate to set a winning trajectory. 

Each team is allocated a double garage with a single pit box, with the order down the pit lane based on the results from the previous season. The winner of the constructors is given a choice but all others are prescribed. The team will set up the facility by Thursday before bringing in the cars and focusing on them to be ready for free practice on Friday morning. 

Pit Lane

The pit lane runs parallel to the track through the section of the track with the start and finish line. This allows cars to enter the track and complete a warm-up lap before crossing the line at speed to start a timed lap. And the opposite at the end of the lap, where, after crossing the finish line, the driver completes a cooldown lap before returning to the pits.

The pit lane has two lanes, a fast lane on the outside used for travelling through the pits and a slow lane inside where the teams service the cars in their pit box. The speed in the pits is limited to 60kph for practice and – 80kph during the race. Lines mark the start and end of the pits, and cars are fitted with pit lane speed limiter buttons on the steering wheel to assist drivers in maintaining the correct speed. Speeding in the pits is a serious offence, with fines issued and times deleted for practice. Offences during a race will result in drive-through or stop-go penalties. 

When exiting the pits, the team must ensure a safe release meaning the car is sound, the team is clear, and they do not interfere with other cars or teams. As the car rejoins the track, they must stay within the pit exit lane until the line ends. This ensures they merge back into the race and do not pull in front of a faster car on track. 


The team’s garage is a double bay with a dedicated space for each car. The teams will each have their own set-up that includes walls, displays, tools, air and everything they need to build and service the cars. Fuel filling, battery charging and tyre warming are all done in the garage.

There will be storage for some spare parts, with much more out the back in one of the many trucks. The rear of the garage is often set up with a driver’s area, somewhere to sit and wait, focus and prepare. It is common to see a guest space for invited family, friends or sponsors to have the experience of being amongst the action. 

Cars can only be fuelled in the garage for safety reasons and no longer receive a fuel top-up during the race. This is, in part, due to the hybrid power units that utilise electrical power. Refuelling is done by a highly accurate dispenser that can also remove fuel from the car so the team always knows exactly how much fuel is on board.

This is critical as a full tank weighs 100kgs and has a direct effect on the car’s speed, with the impact lessening as fuel is consumed. Cars must have a minimum of one litre left at the end of the race for the scrutineers to sample and test. 

Teams will have monitoring equipment and telemetry, and screens displaying media channels in their garage. However, the bulk of this information is managed from the pit wall. 

During a race, the pit crew will be seen sitting on fold-out chairs, watching the action and ready to spring into action when the car is called into the pits. 


“Box, box, box” – the call to the driver to make a pit stop. And comes from the German word Boxenstopp, meaning pit stop. 

Every car must make a minimum of one pit stop to change tyres and run a different compound. This rule is to push the teams to consider strategies and potentially force errors, opening up opportunities for others and creating interest for fans. 

The physical box is marked in front of the garage and has an overhead gantry to power wheel guns on both sides of the car. The crew service one car at a time in the same box, and occasionally you will see the second car waiting behind the first, referred to as double stacking. 

As well as changing tyres, minor adjustments to the aero can be made, and a nose cone replaced if damaged in an incident. Anything more than that will require the car to be pushed back into the garage, which usually signals the car has retired.  

Pit stops are a critical part of race strategy – how many, when and how fast can it be done… All of this may affect the strategy and determine the outcome of an attempt at an undercut or overcut. 

Teams practice their pitstops, and a fast one is just over two seconds. Red Bull holds the record of 1.82 seconds, but subsequently, a 0.2-second delay has been introduced into the signal system to improve safety.

Teams compete for the DHL Fastest Pitstop Award, but it would be fair to say the advantage of a fast stop during a race is probably the best prize. 

The Pit Stop…

The pit stop will take around 2.5 seconds; to do this, 20 crew members will need to work seamlessly as one. 

The car travels through the pits with the speed limiter and pulls into the pit box, stopping on predetermined marks. The moment it has stopped, a jack is slipped under each end, and the car is lifted off the ground. 

A tire gunman uses a wheel gun (pneumatic wrench) to remove the wheel nut. F1 cars use a single nut, precisely engineered to position the wheel and lock into place in an instant. 

Another crew member removes the old tire, and a third crew member lifts the new tire into place. Followed by the gunman, who uses the tire gun to secure the new wheel by tightening the wheel nut back on. 

The wheel guns are fitted with sensors that trigger lights to let the head crewmember know that the wheel is fitted and secured. Once all four wheels are fixed, there is a 0.2-sec delay, and the light goes green, indicating the car can be dropped and the driver can leave the box. 

F1 teams seek to consider and allow for all eventualities. You will often see a crewmember standing by with a backup jack in case of an issue with the first one. Pit stops can also get tricky if the car is damaged and the jacking point has been obscured. In this instance, additional work, like changing the nose cone, may be required. 

Time lost

Travelling through the pits costs time, whether for a pit stop or a penalty. The actual time differs from track to track as the length of the pit lane varies.

The average delta for a pit stop is 25 seconds, referred to as time lost. This is the combined effect of exiting the track, travelling through the pit lane at 80kph and the pit stop, relative to the cars travelling at full speed down the start straight.

Strategy plays a big part in minimising the time lost and even finding gains with a cheap pit stop or free pit stop. A cheap pitstop occurs when a team stops during a safety car where the rest of the field has been slowed to 60% of their race pace, meaning the relative lost time is less, around 15 seconds. A free pit stop occurs when a race is red-flagged, and the team carries out their stop while the car is in the pit lane. 

Because the occurrence of a safety car can’t be predicted, teams can be caught out where their driver has pitted, and a subsequent safety car gives their competitor an advantage. If the safety car comes halfway through a stint, the team will need to weigh up the benefits of an early stop or possibly an additional stop. 

A fresh set of soft tyres could give the driver a one-second per lap advantage, so combined with a cheap pit stop, this might give them a chance to chase down the cars ahead and make a play for a higher finish or, ultimately, the win. 

Penalties served in the pit lane include drive-through, where the driver must enter the pits and drive through at the slower speed. Stop-go, where they must pull into their pit box and come to a complete stop before continuing back to the track. Time penalty, where the car must stop in its box and can not be touched for the specified time. Often the penalty can be served with a planned pit stop, but there are many rules to determine if, when and how… 

Pit wall

The Pit Wall is on the opposite side of the pit lane to the garage. Typically, the team principal, chief designer, chief strategist, sporting director and race engineers have been those who have sat on the pit wall in F1.

Strictly speaking, drivers are supposed to drive the car alone and unaided. However, there is still a team of experts behind the scenes, analysing the data from telemetry, running thousands of scenarios, making decisions and communicating with the driver. 

Each driver has one senior engineer who they communicate with. Drivers will provide feedback on how the car feels, how the tyres are wearing and whether there are any concerns. At the same time, the engineer will provide instructions on engine settings, advise if there are alerts from any of the car’s hundreds of sensors or communicate warnings from the stewards.

Occasionally team orders will be given, requiring the driver to let his teammate pass to give the car behind a chance to chase down the cars in front and make gains. 


Strategy is a significant part of the race, but it covers the entire weekend. Teams must set their tyre allocation, deciding which to use early on and which to save for qualifying and the race.

The strategy team will gather information across the weekend that will inform the strategies over the weekend. You will hear drivers and engineers talking about Plan A, Plan B or Plan C as the many variables of F1 ebb and flow. 

During a race, teams and drivers will react swiftly to their competitor’s moves, either following suit or doing the opposite, depending on their strategy. Occasionally, you will see a pit crew get ready for a pit stop as a bluff to try and force the competitor’s team to react and dive into the pits. 


The FIA provides stewards to work with the race director and clerk of the track to monitor and enforce the many rules that govern the sport. Stewards can be seen in the pit lane and garages, observing the team’s actions and carrying out physical inspections as required. 

The stewards will watch to ensure teams do not exceed the regulated number of parts, parts used meet the specifications, changes are not made while the field is in parc ferme, and crews do not work beyond curfew. 

The pit lane will have a scrutineering area and weigh station where cars are checked, and drivers can be ordered at any time for a random check. In addition, the stewards have access to cameras throughout the pit lane and garages to constantly monitor what is happening. 

Occasionally, a team will create a human wall at the front of the garage to prevent the media from seeing what they are working on. This may be to hide an innovation or prevent the opposition from spotting a weakness. Stewards maintain full access rights and can not be precluded from carrying out their duties. 

Starting from Pit Lane

If a car must change its Power Unit or Gearbox following Qualifying and while the field is in parc ferme, it can not start on the grid. Instead, it will line up at the pit exit and be allowed to start once the rest of the grid has gone past. 

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2023The Guide

06. The Race

F1 race start

The Race

As noted in the previous section, Formula 1 now runs two formats for race weekends. The standard is one feature race on Sunday afternoon, and for six weekends, we will see an additional Sprint Race on Saturday afternoon. Qualifying sets the Sprint Race starting grid, and the result of this race sets the grid for Sunday’s race.


The 2023 schedule was announced with 24 races at 24 different circuits. Subsequently, the Chinese leg has been cancelled due to ongoing covid concerns, with Formula 1 saying it will be replaced with a yet-to-be-announced alternative.

Formula 1 has always been an international sport, but recent popularity has seen its fan base grow significantly in the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. These audiences have fueled the demand for more events, with the US holding three in 2023 – COTA, Miami and Las Vagas. In recent years, covid has presented major challenges with the schedule but led to the return of Turkey and Imola. 

Circuits vary considerably from dedicated race tracks to temporary street circuits. The teams need to understand how these variances affect the car and find the optimum set-up to counter the conditions. Tracks will be referred to by the level of downforce, and this will dictate the car’s aerodynamic set-up.

A high downforce track is one with more emphasis on corners so the set-up of the car will sacrifice straight-line speed. Straights, corners, climate, altitude, track surface and whether the race is day or night all play a part in how the cars work. All this information, along with the data collected through Free Practice and Qualifying will inform the overall race strategy. 

Find out about specific tracks under our tracks tab – here 

(tracks listed are based on 2022 and will be updated as 2023 progresses)


Strategy plays a role throughout the weekend; car set up, which tyres to use for practice, how to approach Qualifying and when to introduce new parts. Concerning the race, the strategy will focus on pit stops and tyre options. The strategists will run thousands of scenarios through their simulators and consider variables like weather or the likelihood of a safety car and a cheap pit-stop. 

Pit stop strategy is about getting to the finish line in the shortest time possible. The regulations require a minimum of one pit stop, and teams must run at least two different tyre compounds. So, a “one-stop strategy” is the minimum. 

Pirelli, F1’s tyre supplier, play a significant part in influencing pitstop strategy by bringing tyre compounds to the track that will be on the limit. This forces teams to decide whether they can push the car on old tyres with reduced grip or whether an additional pit stop and fresh tyres will give them an advantage. New softs could be a second per lap quicker than another team on old mediums. 

Where a team needs to take engine parts over and above their allocation, they will receive a grid penalty. There will be occasions where they may take the parts and the penalty early where they have had a bad qualifying or they know that they are weak for a particular track, and the penalty will have a lesser effect on the championship. 

Tyre allocations

Teams are provided with an allocation of 13 sets of dry weather tyres for the weekend – two hard, three medium and eight soft. 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 and take an extra set of intermediate tyres.


On race day, the drivers and teams will have media duties, hosting duties and the driver’s parade, but they will be clear of this and left to focus on the race and prepare well before getting into the car. Pre race routines will include mental preparation, physical warm up, stretching and reflex exercises. 

The hour before the race starts is a busy and precisely organised period. The following is a breakdown of how the hour is structured.

60 Minutes Out…

The pit lane opens for teams to start their pre-race preparation. They begin the process of shifting all the equipment needed to complete the car set-up and start the race, including toolboxes, generators, tyres and computer stations.

The team in the garage spend this time completing their set-up and running through their pre-race checks, including radio checks and confirming that the telemetry is working.

40 Minutes Out…

The light at the end of the pitlane goes green, indicating that the track is open. Cars leave their garage on a used set of tyres and carry out installation laps on their way to the grid.

Depending on the track, they may have the opportunity to pass through the pits to do more than one lap to check the car and gather data from last-minute setup changes. There may be an opportunity for a practice start at the pit lane exit.

Cars pull up to the back of the grid and are lifted onto trolleys for the pit crew to roll them through the throng of teams, media and others.

30 Minutes Out…

The pit lane closes, and anyone not on track at that time must start from the pit lane.

On the grid, the driver exits the car to run through their prestart ritual. This might include a bathroom stop, a last-minute briefing with the engineer, focus and reflex work as well as hydrating and keeping cool.

The car is in parc ferme, so there is very little that can be done on the car. Tyre pressures can be adjusted, and electronic settings like the engine map can be altered. The engineers will run through final checklists, carry out fire-ups to run the fluids and place custom fans around the car to keep specific components cool.

17 Minutes Out…

Around the 17-minute mark, the drivers will assemble at the front of the grid for the national anthem of the host country.

10 Minutes Out…

The driver will don his helmet and get into the car to be securely strapped in, and a final test fire-up may be carried out.

5 Minutes Out…

Race tyres, still in the tyre blankets, are fitted, and the team begin to disperse as only eight are allowed to stay on the grid from this point. They take as much equipment as possible with them.

Start procedures

1 Minute Out…

With a minute to go, the engine is fired-up. The blankets left on the car until the last possible instant are now removed.

30 Seconds To Go…

The crew move off the grid, and with 15 seconds to go, they have to have their feet behind the white lines marking the edge of the track.

Formation Lap

The grid sets off on a single lap to prepare the car while the crews remove everything trackside. The drivers spend the lap warming the brakes and tyres, cooling the engine, learning various gears, and preparing the clutch.

The last part of the formation lap, after the last corner, is critical and when drivers test the bite-point with their clutch control and do a sequence of burnouts to get heat into the rear tyres.

The cars line up in their grid positions, and once the last car is in, a marshal signals to the starter by crossing the rear of the grid with a green flag.

Lights Out…

The start sequence is initiated, the drivers build the car’s revs and set the clutch to the bite point.

Five lights over the start line come on progressively, followed by a short hold of 1 to 5 seconds at the starter’s discretion, to prevent the drivers from anticipating the start.

Then “It’s lights out, and away we go…” 

Sunday Race

The feature race is 305 km, give or take, and runs for approximately 90 minutes. The number of laps will depend on the length of the circuit. Monaco is the exception where the tight winding circuit is slower than the rest, so the race length is set at 260km, and the time remains the same.

The FIA regulations stipulate that the race must end within two hours of starting or three hours from the scheduled start time. 

The race starts when the lights go out, and the action begins. The run down to the first corner is critical, with the drivers jockeying for position and seeking the best angle to defend their position and optimise the exit. For those in the midfield and back, this is a perilous phase, as the chance of a shunt is high. 

The race stewards allow a high tolerance for the start of the race and the first lap, with clashes often being noted as a racing incident. The safety car follows the field for the first lap and returns to the pits, and the DRS is activated after two laps have been completed. 

As the field settles down, drivers will focus on their strategy, managing their tyres and looking for opportunities to move up the standings. 

Teams will monitor the driver’s progress and their rivals, tyre wear and track conditions to determine the best strategy. They may switch to Plan B or Plan C, which refers to shortening or extending the first stint. Competing cars follow their competitor or do the opposite, depending on the team’s strategy. The call to the pits in ‘box’ or “box, box, box”. 

Pit stops take, on average, 25 seconds, meaning when a driver pits, they will drop down the standings, which can artificially show a car as being in the lead. The trick is to watch the number of pit stops and adjust for the driver’s relative position. This may differ towards the end of the race with lead drivers on different strategies. And remember, if the race is stopped for any reason, the driver at the front at that time is the winner, regardless of pitstops served. 

Teams will also look at the likelihood of a safety car providing an opportunity for a cheap pitstop, where the total time lost during a pitstop is less than under normal circumstances. 

Each track will have a time loss for a visit to the pits. When the car enters the pit lane, its speed is limited to 80kph, down from 300 plus. With the 2 – 3 seconds it takes to change the tyres, the total pit stop will cost around 22 seconds. This differs from track to track due to the length of the pit lane. 

During the latter stages of the race, the lead cars will close in and pass the slower cars at the back of the field. These cars are referred to as back markers, and they must let the faster cars through as they are not racing for position.  

Occasionally, a team will order a driver to let their driver through, where it looks like the chasing driver has a better chance to make gains. Where this happens but the driver does not make the anticipated gains, they may be ordered to give the position back.

Drivers must follow the directions of the stewards with immediate effect. If Double Yellow flags are being waved, drivers are required to reduce their speed to 60% and prohibited from overtaking until the obstruction is cleared. 

Racing resumes once a green flag is waived, usually at the marshal station immediately after the obstruction has been passed. 

In addition to the flags, tracks often signal with flashing LED lights.

The first driver to cross the line with the finish flag waving is the winner, and the rest of the positions line up behind. Overlapped cars finish on the same lap but are classified in their actual position, so if they cross the line immediately behind the winner but they are a lap down and at the back of the field, they finish in 20th. 

Points are allocated as follows, 1st – 25, 2nd – 18, 3rd – 15, 4th – 12, 5th – 10, 6th – 8, 7th – 6, 8th – 4, 9th – 2 and 10th – 1. A further point is awarded for the fastest lap, providing the driver is within the top ten.

A driver that fails to finish due to mechanical issues or damage is classified as DNF (Did Not Finish). 

Sprint Race

As previously noted, there will be six sprint races in 2023. Sprints are designed to create more racing action and change the grid ahead of Sunday with an extra, shortened race held on Saturday. The sprint race is 100 km, approximately 30 minutes, with no mandatory pitstop or tyre change. 

Points are awarded for the Driver’s and Constructor’s titles as follows; 1st – 8, 2nd – 7, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4, 6th – 3, 7th 2, and 8th – 1. No fastest lap points are awarded.

During a sprint weekend, the driver who finishes first in qualifying will earn pole position, but the driver who finishes first in the sprint will earn the right to start the race from first, and the rest of the field will follow in their finishing order. 

Post Race

Immediately following the conclusion of the race, the cars are placed in parc fermé for scrutineering, and a fuel sample is taken for testing. The cars can not be touched by anyone, with Max Verstappen recently receiving a $50,000.00 fine for feeling Mercedes rear wing and Sebastian Vettel was disqualified, from third, as the car could not yield a minimum 1.0-litre fuel sample.

The drivers will be weighed to ensure the weight, combined with the car, is not below 796kgs (down 2kg’d from 2022). You will often see drivers, on the cooldown lap, run off the race line to pick up the marbles and add weight back to the car as a ‘factor of safety’ with the car’s weight.  

The first three drivers will be interviewed before heading to the cooldown room and the podium for prize giving. The rest of the field will head to the media pen for post-race interviews before heading back to the team’s facilities for their debrief. 

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The Guide

05. Practice, Qualification & Sprint Races

Practice and Qualifying

Practice and Qualification 

Formula 1 runs two event formats, a standard race weekend and a second with a sprint race added. In 2022 there are six sprint races scheduled. 

The standard race weekend is structured with three free practice sessions, FP1 and FP2 on Friday and FP3 on Saturday morning, Qualifying on Saturday and the Sunday race. The sprint race format has FP1 and Qualifying on Friday, FP2 and the Sprint on Saturday and the race on Sunday. Qualifying in the place of FP2 sets the grid for the Race on Sunday, and a Sprint Shootout in the place of FP3 sets the grid for the Sprint held on Saturday afternoon. 

Free Practice 

Teams are only allowed to test their cars on official test days, their media day and at free practice. This is primarily to ensure no one team gains an unfair advantage, but it is also to preserve the power units as they are restricted parts with a lifespan of approximately five races. 

Each practice session is an hour long and is a chance for the teams and drivers to test the car set-up concerning the unique conditions of the specific circuit. Tracks differ in many ways, including; distance, downforce levels, cornering, track surface, altitude and temperature. 

Cars will be run with aero rakes and flow vis paint to fine-tune the aerodynamics and set the car up for its optimum performance. Run plans mimicking a quali lap or long runs will be used to gather data on fuel use and tyre performance, all used to inform the team’s race strategy. 

At the same time, the drivers are finessing their race lines, testing the car’s performance in corners and setting their muscle memory to aid in consistently lapping at the car’s limit for the track. Before hitting the track, they will have spent hours in the simulator, and while these machines replicate the actual track conditions, nothing beats the real thing. 

At the end of each free practice session, the drivers will have the opportunity to practice their start, finding the clutch bite point, reacting and launching off the line.

During practice, they may take the opportunity to run a development part on the car and feed live data back to the engineering team for finessing a part for a future upgrade. 

Regulations require teams to run rookie drivers for at least two FP1 sessions per season. This is to ensure up-and-coming drivers gain experience in driving these incredible machines. Experienced young drivers from Formula 2 or Indycar are constantly amazed at the step up when they first run the F1 car. Acceleration, braking and g-force are all at another level.  

Occasionally practice will be extended by half an hour, and the teams will be required to carry out tyre tests for Pirelli. The test is blind, i.e. the teams do not know what compound they are running, and at the end, the tyres and data are returned to Pirelli so they can continue their own development. 

A driver must complete at least one Free Practice session to participate in quali. 


Qualifying is the process whereby the start grid order is determined, with pole position being the best spot on the grid. Although, there are occasions when the pundits will debate if position number two is a better option. It may be on the clean side of the grid, have a dry line or a better approach to the first corner. 

Qualifying is held over an hour and a half with three sessions, each eliminating part of the field. 

Q1 is 18 minutes long, and all 20 cars will set an official time. The television coverage will show the five slowest drivers in the drop zone and the 15th driver as “at risk”. At the end of the session, the five slowest will be ranked in the position they finished in and will not participate in the next quali sessions.

The final minutes of each session can be exhilarating as teams in the drop zone or the driver at risk hit the track to give it everything they have to try and get through to the next sessions. At the same time, it is not uncommon to see the faster teams set a time that they are comfortable with and stay in the garage to save tyres for later in the quali session. 

Q2 is the same again, but 15 cars will set times over 15 minutes, and the slowest five are knocked out. Again, their grid place is set by the position in which they finish the session. 

Q3 is 12 minutes long and where the top ten cars fight for their grid positions, with pole position being the goal. Mid-field teams will know where their potential lies and aim to achieve the best they can. You will hear them say something like, “P6 or P5 is realistic, but we are going to give it everything”. And occasionally, the stars align, and they secure a higher spot than predicted. 

The fastest driver during qualification achieves pole position and receives an award. They will also be interviewed as part of the media programme.

Sprint Weekend

In 2021, F1 introduced a sprint format 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 in 2023, 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). 


F1 is highly regulated, and the rules must be followed. During all sessions, the drivers must follow the marshals’ instructions, which are communicated with coloured flags and lights around the circuit. 

A driver on a warm-up lap or cool-down lap must move out of the way of a driver on a flying lap. 

If cars cross the white line and go beyond the track limits on predetermined corners, their time will be deleted. This is to ensure that an advantage is not gained. 

Teams receive an allocation of tyres and market their own selections month in advance. They need to manage the use of the tyres to provide maximum grip for an optimum quali lap while maintaining enough new tyres to suit their race strategy. 

Within three hours of the end of Quali, the cars are placed into parc fermé, which means they can not be worked on or have any parts changed. The exemptions here are repairs or minor, approved adjustments made under the watchful eyes of FIA officials. Read more about parc fermé at – here


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2023The Guide

04. Teams, Cars and Drivers

Teams, Cars and Drivers

Formula 1, the Teams, Cars and Drivers.

A contest at the highest level of global motorsport, where highly talented teams create the fastest cars they can conjure up, continuously seeking out gains of thousands of a second.  They contract the most talented drivers on the planet to race each other over 24 events in a tournament traversing the planet. 

In a tournament run by Liberty Media and presided over by the FIA, ten teams and 20 cars will take to the grid for the 2023 season. Hundreds of thousands of spectators will attend the events, and millions will tune in to watch the spectacle on streaming services. 

The season starts in February when the teams launch their new challenger, shakedown and complete media duties before heading to Bahrain for the official test. 

But before this, the teams must design, model, prototype, test, refine and build the cars. 


The ten teams currently entered are based in the UK (7), Italy (2) and Switzerland (1). F1 allows up to 26 cars on the grid, but the cost of developing and entering a new team makes it prohibitive for new teams to join. But not impossible for a prospective team with sufficient funding. 

Each team will have a design studio and factory with between 600 and 2500 staff. Roles within an F1 team are varied, with roles ranging from assembly technicians to team bosses. 

Works teams will have a separate Power Unit factory; others will buy their PU as a customer team. A few richer teams will have their own wind tunnel, and others will lease time in a private facility. This doesn’t allow those with their own facility to do more testing as time in the wind tunnel is regulated. 

Often referred to as a marque, the name or brand of a team is huge. Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren represent their car brands, while teams like Red Bull, AlphaTauri or Haas promote their parent company businesses. Sauber (as Alpha Romeo) and Williams are long-standing race teams born to race. 

Teams, evolution

Over the years, teams have come and gone or changed hands and identities. Still, the fundamental core remains, a group of highly talented people designing, building and driving the fastest car they can create, constantly testing the boundaries to eke out the smallest of gains and beat their competition. 

Teams compete for one race at a time, but in this sport, the end goal of fighting for the top can be as far out as five years, with incremental goals set over a season. 

There is space on the grid for 26 cars or 13 teams, and there is always talk of new teams joining. Doing so is another thing entirely. At the very least, a new team will need to fund a $200m joining fee, the $250m to start a car and agree to forgo prize money for the first year. They will also face considerable pushback from most existing teams as another competitor will dilute the prize pool. 


F1 is arguably the fastest open-wheel racing car on the planet. Yes, Indycars come close and may even have an edge in a straight line, but the F1 car’s superior aero means they will win over a full lap of a race track. And these mighty beasts are regulated to maintain a maximum speed for safety reasons. 

Cars, regulations

The FIA does not use a speed limiter or have the cars top out at a fixed speed; rather, it sets regulations around the size of the car, weight, engine size and aerodynamic requirements. All teams on the grid work to these parameters to create and run the fastest cars possible. 

In addition, teams are restricted to cost caps, restricted testing and work curfews. 

Teams are restricted to the amount they can spend on the cars with the 2023 cost cap set at $154.7m after adjustments for pre-set reductions, inflation and additional funds to compensate for the additional Sprint races ($300k per sprint race). In addition, a cost cap of $95m for teams to supply or source power units and the number of specific parts is limited. In 2023, teams can use four power units before invoking a penalty – up from three in previous years due to the longer calendar and additional sprint races.

F1 cars are incredible machines able to accelerate to 200kph in 4 seconds, travel at 350kph or 88mps and corner at extremely high speeds generating massive G-forces. 

They must not weigh less than 796kgs (down 2kgs from 2022), including driver but excluding fuel, and are powered by V6 hybrid power units generating 1000 horsepower. 

The cars are designed within strict regulations set by the FIA, and the teams search out every opportunity to push the limits and eke out a few thousandths of a second. Speed is maximised on the straight by minimising drag and maintained through the corners with applied downforce. The current cars use a technique known as ground force, where suction is created, holding the car on the track as it speeds through the corners. 

Cars, performance

An F1 car creates more downforce than it weighs, so arguably, it could drive upside down in a tunnel. 

Another key part of the performance of the car is the tyres. Designed and supplied by Pirelli, F1 cars have set wheel sizes, and teams are supplied with tyres that have been selected to suit the characteristics of the track. Three compounds are provided, hard, medium and soft, along with wets and mediums. The different compounds will perform differently and offset durability with reduced speed. 

The cars themselves are designed and manufactured in the team’s factories. Components are modelled on computers before being formed at a reduced scale and tested in the wind tunnel. Front wings, rear wings, sidepods, floors, diffusers and the rear wing all work together to create the most aerodynamically efficient car. 

Teams are limited to the amount of wind tunnel testing they are allowed to undergo, regardless of whether they own the facility or rent it. The amount of time varies, with those finishing lower down the grid being allocated more testing time. This is, again, an attempt to maintain a level playing field and not allow the richer teams to have an unfair advantage. 

Cars, Safety

Motorsport is inherently dangerous, but the FIA has worked extensively to minimise the risk and make the sport as safe as possible. The drivers sit within a specially designed safety cell to withstand high impacts. The cars have many safety features, like tethers on the wheels to prevent a disconnected wheel from flying off and safety controls when the cars are in the pits. 


F1 drivers are amongst the most committed and focused sportspeople on the planet. The journey to F1 is long, hard and expensive. They will need determination and grit as well as natural talent and physical attributes like fitness, strength and lightning-quick reactions. Drivers can experience up to 6G’s through acceleration, braking and cornering, and they will lose around three kilograms during a 90-minute race. 

While drivers are a critical component of a winning race team, they are typically contracted to the team for the season, with multi-year contracts being signed for up to 5-years. Drivers can pay for the seat or be paid, with salaries for the latter between $500,000.00 and $50.0m. 

Securing a seat in an F1 car is amongst the most coveted drives in motorsport. Drivers must hold a Super License, and penalties can see demerit points applied with a license suspended if the maximum points are exceeded.  

Apart from the Super Licence requirement, there are few rules that dictate who can or can’t compete in Formula 1. The reality is that a potential driver must be super-talented and have well-funded backers to fund the journey through the feeder categories and lower formulas. A season in Formula 2 will cost around $3.0m. 

Drivers, In the wings

In addition to the contracted drivers, teams will recruit test drivers, sim drivers and reserve drivers. These individuals will have support roles throughout the year and may be seen trackside or focused on data gathering back at the factory. Often reserve drivers are active in other categories, like F2, so they can have very demanding schedules over a race weekend. 

While men dominate F1, it does not exclude women. Over the years, there have been several women competing, with Susie Wolff being the most recent to complete a formal session. Susie talks in her interview on Beyond the Grid about the many challenges faced by women chasing an F1 seat.

Each year, near the summer break, the silly season starts, the period when the driver market is in full swing and drivers without contracts for the coming season look to lock in seats. 

There are no set rules for how this unfolds or when, but it is not uncommon for one move to trigger a run of deals being announced, and that is the reason it is referred to as the silly season. 


2023 Teams, Cars and Drivers

The grid comprises the following teams, drivers and cars (at the time of writing the 2023 cars are yet to be launched, so the 2022 cars are referenced and will be updated) 

Scudaria Ferrari S.p.A 

Scuderia Ferrari S.p.A. is the racing division of luxury Italian auto manufacturer Ferrari and the racing team that competes in Formula One racing. Based in Maranello, Italy, the team first raced in 1950 and is the longest-competing marque on the grid, with 16 world titles to their credit. 

In 2023 the team is headed up by Frédéric Vasseur and contracts Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as their primary drivers. 

Ferrari is a Works team designing and building their own Power Unit. The 2022 chassis was registered as F1-75. 

Oracle Red Bull Racing

Winner of the constructor’s title in 2022, Red Bull Racing is a UK-based team with five titles to its name. 

The team’s origins go back to 1997 when it first entered under Stewart Racing. In 1999 it was sold to Ford, who ran it as Jaguar Racing. Red Bull took over in 2005 and today runs it as a Works team with their own Red Bull Powertrains PU. 

Christian Horner has headed the team since 2005, and in 2023 Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are contracted to drive the RB18 chassis. 

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is a works team, formally Brawn GP. First entered in 2013 and won eight consecutive constructors titles (2014 – 2021). And seven drivers championships (2014 – 2020).

The 2022 car famously struggled with a phenomenon referred to as porpoising. 

Based in Brackley (chassis) and Brixworth (Power Unit) England, the team is headed by Toto Wolff. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are contracted to drive. The 2022 chassis is known as the W13. 

McLaren F1 Team 

Founded by New Zealander Bruce McLaren in 1963. Today the team is based in Woking, Surrey, UK.

The Mclaren team boasts eight constructors titles and 12 drivers titles from 183 wins. McLaren has collected many famous names over the years, including Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, and Ayrton Senna, who all added world titles to the team’s trophy case. 

Lando Noris and Oscar Pistari will drive the 2023 car under the leadership of Zac Brown and Andrea Stella.

BWT Alpine F1 Team

An F1 constructor with a factory base in Earnstone, UK and Viry-Châtillon, France. The team was previously known as the Renault F1 Team, having purchased the Lotus F1 team in 2016. 

Considered a mid-field team, they finished 4th in the 2022 season. The team have two world titles for each of the constructor and driver under the Renault marque. 

The team is headed by Otma Szafnauer, with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly contracted to drive the 2023 chassis. 

Scuderia AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri is an Italian Formula One racing team and constructor running the Red Bull Power Train.

Previously entered under the name Toro Roso, AlphaTauri is the sister team to Red Bull. The team’s involvement in Formula One can be traced back to the 1985 season when they first competed as Minardi.

Based in Faenza, Italy, the team is headed by Franz Toast, and Yuki Tsunoda and rookie Nyck de Vries will pilot the cars for 2023.

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1

Aston Martin is a UK-based F1 team running a Mercedes PU. 

The team’s Grand Prix history can be traced back to 1922 at the French Grand Prix. From its debut, via privateer heroics and a first attempt on the World Championship in 1959-60, to the modern-day and their comeback campaign in 2021, Aston Martin has a rich legacy in Formula One.

With a new factory in Silverstone, UK. The team is headed up by Mike Krack, and Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll will drive the cars. 

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN is the sponsored name of the Sauber Motorsport team, part of a Swiss motorsport engineering company.

Founded in 1970 by Peter Sauber, the team had several motorsport triumphs and first entered F1 in 1993. The team has been to the podium on several occasions but is yet to secure a win. However, the team took the top step in 2008 after selling it to BMW. Alpha Romeo has won from their earlier entries, including the prestige of winning the first-ever GP in 1950

Today the team is based in Switzerland, headed by Andreis Seidl with Valtteri Bottas (No 77) and Zhou Guanyu (No 24). The team runs a Ferrari Power Unit.

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited

Williams Racing is a British Formula One motor racing team and constructor. Owned and operated by Dorilton Capital which purchased the team from the Williams family in 2000. 

The team is amongst the most successful, with nine constructors titles, seven drivers titles and 114 victories to its name. 

For 2023, James Vowles will take over the leadership role with Alex Albon, and rookie Logan Sargent will be contracted to drive.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team is an American Formula One racing team established by NASCAR Cup Series team co-owner Gene Haas in April 2014.

The team is yet to make it onto the podium, and its record currently stands at one pole, two fastest laps and a fourth place once (end of 2022 season).

Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg are contracted to drive the team led by Gunther Steiner. 


Formula 1’s Famous names 

Over the years, there have been many famous and well-known teams, cars and drivers.

Teams, names from the past and on the grid today.

Teams like Ferrari, Mclaren and Williams have had long and successful pedigrees. Past teams include names like HRT, Jordan, Hesketh, Brawn and Brabham. And several car brands have tried their luck, including BMW, Honda, Jaguar, Lotus, Renault and Toyota.

Cars, iconic cars from over the years

The following list of iconic cars comes from

.1. Lotus 72,     2. McLaren M23,     3. Williams FW14,     4. Mercedes W05,     5. McLaren MP4/4,     6. Ferrari F2004,     7. Ferrari F2002,     8. Red Bull RB9Read the article and see the images – here

Drivers, famous names over the centuries of F1

Further to the champions currently on the grid – Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen – here are some of the greats…

  • Michael Schumacher (308 races, 91 wins,  7 drivers championships)
  • Sebastian Vettel (299 races, 53 wins, 4 drivers championships)
  • Alain Prost (199 races, 5wins,  4 drivers championships)
  • Ayrton Senna (161 races, 41 wins, 3 drivers championships)
  • Nigel Mansell (187 races, 31 wins, 1 driver championship)
  • Jackie Stewart (99 races, 27 wins, 3 drivers championships)
  • Niki Lauda (171 races, 25 wins, 3 drivers championships)
  • Jim Clark (72 races, 25 wins, 2 drivers championships)
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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

00. F1Newbie the ultimate guide for the F1 Beginner


Welcome to’s guide to Formula 1 is a website dedicated to sharing easily accessible, simple and concise information about the world of Formula 1. The site is for all fans of the sport but with a particular focus on informing those with an emerging interest – Newbies.

Having read The Four Hour Work Week, the plan was to write a book and live off the royalties. But I soon realised it was unlikely that my writing skills or my chosen subject would get me onto the best sellers’ lists and fund my retirement. Having thought about it a lot, I realised that there is a massive emerging fan base, and maybe I could provide a resource to help these Newbies navigate the highly complex sport of Formula 1. 

I decided to give it a go so next was the decision about the delivery method. And given the rapidly changing dynamic nature of F1, a website seemed like the ideal format. I imagined a place where I would organise and construct posts that delivered entertaining and informative insights. To which, I imagined, the internet would ‘blow-up’ with likes, follows, shares and comments. “Build it and they will come”. Well, six months and countless hours into the build, I can report that this is not the reality. 

The reality is that the internet is largely apathetic, people will give you a few seconds to deliver or they move on. Our stats show a global audience (that’s good right), averaging around 25 visitors and 50 views per day. A very low return on time invested… 

F1 Beginner Forum 

As an aside, one of my very first posts was to promote Max Verstappen as the 2021 World Champion. A significant event and worthy of special mention. Within a few short hours, a notification popped up that I had a new comment. I was beside myself, my first post, and the internet is responding. All I could think was “This thing is going to be huge“… Well, this is the reality. The comment was from a very angry and bitter person who believed Lewis deserved the title and Michael Massey was a cheat. 

I genuinely wish to encourage discussion about the sport and would love nothing better than to have people commenting on the site, but this guy was too intense for the intended audience of Since then, I have had the pleasure of moderating one further comment, which happened to be from my wife. “Build it, and they will come” continues to be my mantra.

So here we are; despite the lower-than-expected uptake and considerable time commitment, I’m 100% committed and cracking on… 

The Guide is a website constructed around a step-by-step Beginner’s Guide and an F1-based FAQ, with the sport’s most extensive Glossary* linking names, phrases and terms for immediate reference. Hover over any underlined word to preview the link or click to open in a new window. 

We employ a powerful search engine to deliver the most relevant results for your search terms. 

To be a complete ‘go-to’ reference, we maintain current data on Teams, Drivers and Tracks, and we share relevant updates such as Race Reviews and Podcasts. We are not a media outlet, and we don’t deliver day-to-day news. There are screeds of established resources for that, and where relevant, we provide links to these sites.  

We will do our best to provide updates on ticket sales and point you in the direction of cool F1 stuff like merch, wallpaper or playlists.

So whether it’s an introduction to F1, a question like “why did the car have green lights at the back”? or if you want to know what a particular term means, is your comprehensive beginner’s guide to the sport. 

The guide comprises

00. The Beginners Guide To F1.

01. How to. An introduction into what to watch and how. 

02. F1 Overview. A high-level overview of the sport.

03. The Tournament. The Drivers and Constructors World Championships.

04. Teams, Cars and Drivers. Who competes?

05. Practice And Qualification. What are these sessions?

06. The Race. Before, during, and after. 

07. The Pits. Pit stops are critical.

08. Power and Aero. How can F1 cars be so fast?

09. Wheels and Tyres. Super sensitive and critical to success.

10. Rules and Regulations. The FIA and their rule book.

11. Safety. Integral to everything F1 – drivers, teams, marshals and fans. 

12. The Road to F1. Progression of young talent.

*   This status is self-proclaimed, but with over 800 terms in our Glossary, we doubt there is another that will be able to take the title. 

If you do like what you are reading, please like, share or comment. 



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2024The GuideTickets

2023 Calendar, Guides and Tickets

Formula 1 and the FIA have revealed the calendar for the 2023 F1 season, which will feature 23 races spread out over the year.

Formula 1 is set for its busiest season ever in 2023, as the FIA have confirmed a 23-race calendar and the schedule for the upcoming season.

2023 F1 Calendar – Dates, Tracks, Guide and Tickets*

5th March 2023 – Bahrain Grand Prix (Sakhir)  –  Guide  –  Won by Verstappen in his Red Bull

  1. 19th March 2023 – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah) – GuideWon by Perez in his Red Bull

  2. 2nd April 2023 – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, Melbourne) – GuideWon by Verstappen and is Red Bull.

  3. 30th April 2023 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Baku City Circuit  –  Guide  – Sprint won by Perez and his Red Bull. Won by Perez in his Red Bull.

  4. 7th May 2023 – Miami Grand Prix (Miami)  –  Guide  –  Won by Verstappen in his Red Bull

  5. 21st May 2023 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix (Imola  –  Guide –  Race Cancelled due to extreme weather

  6. 28th May 2023 – Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo). –  Guide –  Won by Verstappen in his Red Bull

  7. 4th June 2023 – Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya). –  Guide –  Won by Verstappen in his Red Bull

  8. 18th June 2023 – Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal). –  Guide –  Won by Verstappen in his Red Bull

  9. 2nd July 2023 – Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring) – Guide –  Sprint and Race won by Verstappen in his Red Bull

  10. 9th July 2023 – British Grand Prix (Silverstone). –  Guide  –  Tickets  

  11. 23rd July 2023 – Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest). –  Guide  –  Tickets.   

  12. 30th July 2023 – Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps). –  Guide. –  Tickets   

  13. 27th August 2023 – Dutch Grand Prix (Zandvoort) –  Gude. –  Tickets 

  14. 3rd September 2023 – Italian Grand Prix (Monza)  –  Gude. –  Tickets

  15. 17th September 2023 – Singapore Grand Prix (Marina Bay). –  Guide. –  Tickets

  16. 24th September 2023 – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) – GuideTickets

  17. 8th October 2023 – Qatar Grand Prix (Losail) – GuideTickets

  18. 22nd October 2023 – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas  –  Guide  –  Tickets

  19. 29th October 2023 – Mexico City Grand Prix (Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez) – GuideTickets

  20. 5th November 2023 – Sao Paolo Grand Prix (Interlagos  –  GuideTickets

  21. 18th November 2023 – Las Vegas Grand Prix (Las Vegas) – GuideTickets

26th November 2023 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina)  –  Guide  –  Tickets

2024 Ticket sales are now selling – CLICK HERE to stay updated…

*There are many places to purchase your F1 tickets. We provide a link to for information concerning availability only. Please do your own research before selecting your supplier. 

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The Guide

01. F1 how to…

F1 how to… Whether it was binging Drive to Survive through Covid lockdowns, an increase in social media presence or talk around the cooler at work, something has sparked your interest in F1. And now you find yourself daunted by a hugely complex sport, entwined in copious rules and riddled with strange jargon. is here to help you find your way, answer your questions and unravel the jargon. Our goal is to do this in short, simple and concise bites. 

So what are you watching? 

We’ll explain the sport in the next post, but here we’ll talk about what you’re not watching and how to best engage with the sport. 

While you see ten teams and 20 drivers take to the track, you need to understand that they are not all equal and technically, they are not all competing against each other. The field tends to default into three groups, the leaders, the midfield and the backmarkers. So, in 2022 the fight at the front was between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. The midfield was hotly contested between Alpine and McLaren and then a decent gap to the rest. 

How do you watch it? 

Pick a team and choose a driver (they don’t need to be in the same team). Work out who they are competing against and remember, a driver’s number one competition is his teammate. This is because they are in equal cars and their performance is measured against each other.

Engage with your driver, watch their interview, follow their social and listen to a podcast (Beyond the Grid) and as you ‘bond’ to your team(s) and driver(s), you will naturally become more engrossed. And you will be surprised about who will respond to your comments and becomes your new F1 buddy. 

I support McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo (2022) but cheer for Max at the front of the field. Nearer the back of the field, I always favour the Rookie. 


Media commentary and interviews will provide a great insight into how the weekend is shaping up, what is expected and what variables might impact the weekend. 

Free Practice

Free Practice will give you a good idea of where the car sits going into Qualifying and how the teammates are placed. The results here are only indicative as the times recorded are affected by the team’s run plan – fuel loads, aero adjustments, long run and short run. 


Qualifying is where you will see the cars at their absolute fastest, over 300kph. The pace exhibited here can only be sustained for one or two laps at a time. Consider the difference between a 100m sprinter and a 10,000m runners – athletes can’t run the 10,000 at the same speed they can over 100m. 

Qualifying is in three parts so as Q1 draws to an end you are willing your driver to be 15th or lower to make it into Q2, then 10th or lower to get into Q1 and then how high up the order they finish becomes their starting position for the race. How did your driver compare to his teammate? 

Watch the sector times where purple shows the best for the session; green indicates a personal best and yellow shows the sector has been completed but with no improvement. If you are supporting a midfield driver and their sectors are all green, they are improving on their last performance and should improve their position, although this can be short-lived. 


An f1 race is approximately 305 km’s or two hours, whichever comes first. The cars will be in the grid for half an hour prior to the start, and at the scheduled start time they leave the grid, in order, to carry out a formation lap. This is the final chance to check the car and warm up the tyres. 

Once all the cars are in their grid box, the start procedure begins with a series of five red lights coming on, holding and then going out. The race is underway, and the next key part is the launch, followed by an acceleration to maximum speed before breaking heavily into the first corner. 

This is one of the highest risk areas of the race as all 20 cars arrive at the corner at virtually the same time and avoiding a collision while maintaining position, is crucial. The remainder of the first lap is also high risk, and often crashes are noted as “first lap incidents”. 

Hopefully, your driver has managed to avoid the chaos and early retirement. Now comes consistency, management and strategy. Teams will have decided before the race what their pit stop strategy will be, but there is always Plan B, C or even D…

Remember, the car’s position is not always its true position as pitstop timing will cause variances.

Points are awarded to the top ten finishers, and a single point is awarded for the fastest lap, provided the driver is in the top ten. 


Immediately following the race the top three finishers are interviewed to get their reaction to the race, and the rest of the drivers are interviewed in the pen. They are required to attend, so even if they had a bad day and don’t want to, they must complete their media duties.


There are many resources online to get your F1 fix; dive deep into the detail or follow your favourite driver. 

Where to watch and follow? 

  1. F1TV offers insights, race coverage and interactive content. You can select to follow your driver through his onboard camera – check it out here
  2. App – the F1 App is a great place to track progress during the session. See what tyres your driver has on, check lap times and listen to radio messages. Access the app here
  3. Broadcasters – This international sport is broadcast to every corner of the globe. Find your provider here
  4. Live – You can’t beat being trackside. Read our post on buying tickets here
  5. Podcasts – As with everything these days there are very informative podcasts. We have some favourites that you can find here
  6. Websites and Social Media – there are countless. is the starting place; it is comprehensive and always current. The teams and drivers have their own sites and social accounts. 
  7. Films and Documentaries – shows like Netflix Drive to Survive, Schumacker and Senna.
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The Guide

03. F1 The Tournament

f1 tournament

F1 The Tournament 


Formula 1 traces its roots back to the earliest days of motor racing. But it wasn’t until 1946 that it became an officially sanctioned motorsport tournamet. 
From the start, it was established as the highest tier of single-seater, open-cockpit racing in the world. And it has, for the most part, lived up to that definition. 
Over the years, the cars have evolved, as have the teams and the tracks. Technology has played an increasing role, aiding the design and progressively pushing the boundaries regarding the build. Constant advances can be seen in testing, racing and upgrades bought during the season. 


The term “formula” refers to the regulations set by the sport’s governing body, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). These rules have been ever-changing from the beginning, sometimes multiple times within a single season. The rules are in place to maximise safety, increase competition, and drive innovation.

More recently, changes have sought to even the playing field between the teams and slow the rampant pace of the wealthy teams. Examples include implementing a cost cap and rationing wind tunnel time with more time available to those at the bottom of the field.

F1 Today

Formula 1 is a truly global super sport with a rapidly growing fan base and venues in exciting cities worldwide. Currently, there are ten teams and 20 drivers competing over a 24-race season (2023 – with a Chinese replacement to be announced), all fighting to accumulate points, secure the titles and maximise their share of the prize money.

Formula 1 is hugely competitive and super expensive, but the amount of money a team can spend is capped. This is an attempt to ensure the smaller teams can keep up with well-funded entries like Ferrari, Mercedes’ and Red Bull. Prize money is allocated based on where the teams finish. 

F1 is available to audiences to addend live and through F1TV, local sports channels, YouTube channels, podcasts and social media. It is the subject of TV shows, books and movies. Drive to Survive on Netflix is a recent addition, proven popular with a wide audience and responsible for drawing in more fans.

Titles and other competitions

There are two primary competitions in Formula 1, the World Constructors Title and the World Drivers Title. The Constructor’s title is about the team’s overall performance, based on the combined points from two cars (irrespective of who is driving, specifically, a reserve driver’s points count). The team’s ranking determines the share of the prize money they will receive.

The drivers are contractors fighting as individuals for the Drivers title. The fight for the two titles can cause conflict throughout the season as the best strategy for the team may not be the best for the driver and team orders may be used. 

Several other ‘competitions’ run over the course of the season, such as pole position, fastest lap, driver of the day and fastest pit-stop.

Liberty Media 

Ae US-based investment company, Liberty Media, owns Formula One Group, which in turn owns the commercial rights to Formula 1. Liberty acquired Formula 1, a global motorsports business, in Jan 2017, valuing the enterprise at $8.0 billion.
They run the events and share part of the revenue with the teams. Each team receives a share of the TV rights, approximately $36m, and prize money based on where they finish (from approximately $60m down to $10m). In addition, there are bonuses, legacy payments and a few other peculiar allocations.
The details are stipulated in the Concorde Agreement, a contract between Formula 1, the FIA and the teams that compete in F1. Its name is due to the first iteration of the document, which was drafted in 1981, being discussed at the FIA offices on the Place de la Concorde in France’s capital Paris.

The FIA 

The FIA is the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organisations. Founded in 1904, with headquarters in Paris, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is a non-profit making association responsible for the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users across the globe.

It brings together 244 international motoring and sporting organisations from 146 countries on five continents. Its member clubs represent millions of motorists and their families.

For F1Newbies, the FIA is the governing body for Formula One, responsible for setting and monitoring the rules and regulations that prioritise the safety of all involved while running a fair, competitive and entertaining event.

The FIA appoint a Race Director and Stewards as well as run the Safety Car, Medics. They provide the head Marshals to run the events with the aid of hundreds of local volunteers. 

Regulations and application

The FIA set F1 technical and sporting regulations covered in a 112 page document (copy available here). 

Clause 1.1 starts…

“The FIA will organise the FIA Formula One World Championship (the Championship) which is the property of the FIA and comprises two titles of World Champion, one for drivers and one for constructors. It consists of the Formula One Grand Prix races which are included in the Formula One calendar and in respect of which the ASNs and organisers have signed organisation agreements with the FIA”. 

The technical regulations cover all aspects of the sport in minute detail, including chassis, engine, refuelling and tyres. Parc fermé, race procedure, scoring, flags, penalties, and pit-to-car communications. 

An FIA-appointed Race Director, Stewards and Marshals, manage the race weekends. They are present in the pits, scrutinising and monitoring team activities. They can call a car into the weigh station anytime over the weekend and carry out checks post-race: e.g. fuel sampling. 

During on-track sessions, the stewards are responsible for ensuring the teams follow protocol, staying within track limits, giving way where required and observing safety measures such as pit lane speed limits.

Drivers must hold a Super Licence and demerit points can be applied for dangerous driving or repetition of minor infringements. Teams and drivers can also receive grid penalties or fines for breaking the rules. In Formula 1, this can be considered the lesser of two evils, and teams may take the penalty to benefit from the breach.


In 2023 there will be ten teams entering 20 cars and competing in 24 race weekends across the globe.

The FIA stipulates a maximum of 26 cars on the grid, but the cost for new entrants is high. In addition to the cost of the car, Power Unit, Senior Staff and Drivers (circa $300m per annum), there is the entry fee and a one-off payment of $200m. Further, any new team on the grid will not qualify for prize money in the first year. 


Sponsorship is a key part of funding F1 and provides opportunities for companies to partner with F1, exposing their brands to millions of viewers while providing necessary funding for teams to function.

Sponsorship opportunities are numerous, from Regional Sponsorship to Title, Track, Team and Driver. The cost of sponsorship begins at $100,000.00 and reaches up to multi-millions. The value of sponsorship to F1 is rumoured to be $30B per annum.

Race Schedule

Liberty is responsible for setting the schedule, and over the years, there have been 69 venues, ranging from street circuits to fixed racetracks. Several events under the current schedule have been on the calendar from the beginning, like Silverstone, Monaco and Monza. The latter has hosted 71 events in total, having missed 1980.

Today we have a mix of day or night races, adding to the challenges for the teams to overcome. Other aspects to manage include downforce level, track surface, temperatures, altitude, weather conditions etc…

In 2023 F1 will host 24 race weekends with six sprint-format races. See the full schedule here and follow our calendar here


The FIA grades circuits from 1 to 6, with a Grade 1 circuit being the standard set for F1. Promotors and hosts invest millions of dollars to create and maintain the facilities to these exacting standards. The payoff is global exposure for the city, millions of viewers, hundreds of thousands of attendees and tens of thousands of visitors. All are paying for the pleasure, and those visiting the town are spending money. 

Circuits vary considerably from dedicated race tracks to temporary street circuits. Straights, corners, climate, altitude, track surface and whether the race is day or night all play a part in how the cars work. 


Formula 1 never stops, well, nearly never. As soon as the season is over, the team is focused on the design and testing of next season’s car. Developing the design, testing scaled models in the wind tunnel and refining the aerodynamics.

The Power Unit must be assembled, fitted to the chassis and fired up before the team’s official launch and initial scrutiny by the sports pundits. The finished car must be packed up and shipped with all the team’s equipment in time for the official test. Working to a February launch and official test session, to be held in Bahrain over the weekend of 22 – 24th Feb 2023. 

Testing and practice are limited, with teams allowed to run the car for a maximum of 100kms for a media day and then the three days of preseason testing. They will have a further testing day at the start of the summer break. Apart from this, the car can only be run during official sessions over the race weekend. 

Teams have a mandatory two-week shutdown over Christmas and the new year. at Launch – Testing – media day – Preseason, testing, first half, summer break, second half, tyre tests 

Race Weekend

Race weekends are busy times for the drivers and team management, and the team responsible for the cars. Drivers and Team Principals have media duties as well as their own sponsor hosting obligations. 

The standard format is three Free Practice sessions, each for an hour. This is where teams will run set run plans to simulate aspects of Qualifying and the Race, collecting data to inform the strategists. Terms used include Quali run, race simulation, and high fuel run. Drivers will have the opportunity to do a practice start at the end of Free Practice. 

Qualifying, or Quali, is held on Saturday afternoon. Quali is a one-hour session used to determine pole position and the order the rest of the cars will line up behind pole. The hour is structured in three knock-out sessions – Q1 at 18 minutes (five slowest care eliminated), Q2 at 15 minutes (next five slowest cars eliminated) and Q3 at 12 minutes to set the order for the top ten. 

The race is held on Sunday afternoon and is approximately 300km. Drivers will participate in a drivers parade before the grid opens, and the cars carry out an installation lap before being positioned in their grid box for final checks. 

The teams will set their own strategy based on the gathered data; the cars will have one mandatory pit stop and must run a minimum of two tyre compounds. 

In 2023 there will be six sprint events where a shorter 100km race will be held on Saturday afternoon. Friday will see the cars run one practice session and qualification. Saturday morning is for Free Practice 2 before the sprint race on Sunday afternoon.

The finishing positions of the sprint race determine the order of the starting grid for the race on Sunday. 

Prizes and Points

Podium positions are awarded to first, second and third. Points are allocated to the first ten finishers (first eight in the sprint), and a bonus point is available for the fastest lap of the race, but the driver must finish in the top ten.

Awards are given out for Pole Position and fastest pit stop. 


The logistics of F1 are massive. With partners DHL, the FIA is responsible for moving the cars, and the team’s entire set-up from one event to the next with enough time to get the garage, car, pit wall and hospitality centres set up before the first practice session. Curfews are in place to prevent crews from working excessive hours and making an error through being over-tired. 

The logistical exercise is complicated further when the schedule presents back-to-back events or a triple header. Truck fleets are utilised for short haul across Europe, and a fleet of jumbo jets for what are referred to as ‘fly away’ events in the Americas.  



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