I can’t remember exactly when I started watching Formula 1 races, but I do remember cheering for the likes of Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Rubens Barichello, Ralf Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Felipe Massa. I didn’t regularly watch the races (on TV) at that time yet because we didn’t have cable TV then, but watched videos and followed F1 news.
I began watching the races regularly in the mid-2000s. In 2020, Formula 1 races became a weekend habit for my husband and I. It has become a part of our weekly routine.
Not a lot of people, my friends included, understand why I love watching Formula 1 races; why I like the sport. Here are five reasons that might give them an idea:
- The sound
I love the sound of the race cars. I can’t explain or describe the feeling I get, but it’s a sound that I find exciting, exhilarating, and adrenaline-pumping.
2. The action and the speed
The sound + the action + the speed. Also, F1 race cars are the fastest in the world when driving around a race track, so imagine every race with 20 drivers trying to outlast and outspeed each other. You’ll see more action in a race track than in an actual action movie.
3. The engineering, science, and technology
A lot of engineering, science (mostly physics), and technology are involved in every F1 race. I marvel in the fact that teams have to adjust or improve all three after every race (depending on the car’s performance). The engineers, science experts, and technology gurus of F1 teams deserve all the recognition in the world for the awesome work that they do race after race. Most teams actually start working on their strategies at the beginning of the year, so these geniuses don’t really rest!
FYI: each team has five engineers – race, controls, performance, engine systems, and engine performance engineers.
As for technology, there are some terms that tell you how awesome (and, sometimes, confusing) F1 technology is. DRS or the Drag Reduction System (you’ll hear this a lot during the race) and the ADR (accident data recorder) are just some of these terms.
4. The drivers
Formula 1 drivers are close to being super athletes. They follow a specific workout routine programmed to help them stay inside a cockpit with a 140º F temperature while driving at high speeds (more or less 200mph) for hours, wearing a helmet and fireproof race suits, driving through dangerous corners while following race rules (and making sure the competition doesn’t overtake), and monitoring multiple inputs and outputs, among many others. They do not have room to move around or stretch while driving. They cannot stop to rest; tire changes and other adjustments must be done in seconds (the faster, the better). And they race almost every weekend once this season starts (typically in March).
Lastly, F1 drivers drive with unbelievable speed and control.
5. It’s a passion that my husband and I share
This is the best reason for me. My husband and I watch the races together. When I have to work (I work online), I take breaks so I can still watch. He updates me if I’m not home during a race. I do the same when he’s not able to watch as well. Formula 1 has become our way of bonding,; it’s like our weekend at-home date night. What can be more awesome than that?
I know that Formula 1 is not for everyone. Some people will find it boring, too dangerous, or technical. BUt, you can always try. 😉