When it comes to adrenaline-fuelled sports, very few compare to Formula 1 in terms of global fame. Over the past 50 years, it has gone from strength to strength. This is due to developments in automotive technology, meaning that with each passing year the speed increases, the level of skill needed becomes more attuned and thus, the action becomes all the more exciting.
It has a mass global appeal, with races occuring internationally and the competitors together with car manufacturers hail from a wide range of nations. It is the global appeal that makes Formula One on TV one of the most watched sport on TV, with a global audience of 352.3 million viewers tuning in to watch the high-octane action each year.
How does Formula One work?
The Formula One season takes place generally between March and December, with 21 races taking place in 21 different countries. At each event, competitors will take part in two practice sessions, three qualifying sessions and the actual race. The practice gives drivers a test of the track, while qualifying sessions give the drivers the opportunity to secure their place in the final race grid.
In the qualifying sessions, drivers compete in three-time trials where the goal is to secure the best time. In the first two, six cars are eliminated per round and thus, will start in the back 12 places. In the third qualifying round, the fastest driver gets pole position, with all the other cars starting behind them in the order of their times. Thus, the better your time, the better your advantage.
When you get to the final race, naturally, the goal is to win the race, or at least finish in the top 10, as only the top 10 finishers win points. Over the course of a Formula One season, the goal is to accumulate as many points as possible by getting the best results in races. The winner of the Formula One World Champions is the driver and manufacturer who has the most points.
Most Memorable moments in history and on TV
F1 is the fastest sport in the world which means not one F1 season goes by without memorable moments happening. Sometimes it's for the wrong reasons, but more often than not, it will be due to the competitive nature of the sport that brings out the best in its competitors, which is then broadcast for the world to see via Formula 1 on TV. Here are just 3 of our favourites over the years.
Hunt vs Lauda Rivalry
Immortalised in the film Rush, this rivalry was one of the most intense witnessed in F1. Englishmen, James Hunt and Austrian, Niccki Lauda clashed both on the track and off the track. The animosity between the two made for some very interesting Formula 1 on TV viewing. They were fierce rivals for nearly 6 years, which made for 6 very nail-biting seasons in the F1. Unfortunately, a horrible accident in the midst of the rivalry resulted in a life-threatening injury to Lauda. However, he made a swift return just 6 weeks later, partly inspired by the intense rivalry. Despite losing that season, Lauda will always remain the more successful driver ultimately.
2008 Brazilians Grand Prix Drama
In one of the most dramatic moments ever seen in the sport, Felipe Massa crossed the finish line first in the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, seemingly guaranteeing him the World Championship. However, Lewis Hamilton overtook Timo Glock who was driving on failing tyres in the last moments to snatch the title in the face of defeat. Having viewers at home watching Formula 1 on TV on the edge of their seats. Upon winning, Hamilton expressed the thoughts of all those sitting at home when he said, "I am speechless."
Ferrari's first World title with Schumacher in 2000
Micheal Schumacher is synonymous with Formula One today, but it all really started back in the 2000 season, when he won his first World Title for Ferrari. 5 more consecutively titles followed, a record that remains unbeaten to this day. While no one may have predicted just how far he would come in the sport, this moment was a catalyst to the glorious half-decade of success that followed.
F1 has produced some fine drivers who have honed their skills to the utmost and cemented their place in history. Here are 3 the key sportsmen who have been prevalent over the years and made Formula one on TV so exciting for its viewers.
Brazillian Senna is regarded by many F1 fans as the greatest of all time. He amazed fans with speed for which he is considered the fastest of his era. His ability is demonstrated from 41 Grand Prix wins, 81 podium finishes and three World Titles in 161 starts. He was known for his ruthless streak, most notable from when he collided with arch-rival Alain Prosthe twice in two seasons. Senna tragically died during a race in 1994 while in the lead in San Marino, shocking the world and taking Senna too soon.
Hamilton is a modern legend, having dominated Formula 1 for the best part of 10 years. He's won 5 of the last 10 World Titles, including the 2018 title, making him the second most successful driver of all-time. He doubles down on this prestige with the most all-time career points and most Grand Slams in one season among numerous other records. As such, he is not only undoubtedly one of the best of his generation, but one of the best of all time.
One of the most recognisable people in the sport, at the height of his career, Michael Schumacher was unbeatable. As mentioned above, from 2000-2005 he won the World Title every year which is a record that still remains intact. As well as this, he holds the record for the most World Titles ever, the most Grand Prix wins ever and the most fastest laps ever, making him stand out far above the crowd. He retired in 2006 before returning in 2011 only to suffer an injury in a skiing accident that left him immobilised, bringing his return to an early end. However, he remains regarded as one of the best ever.