F1 is Back This Weekend

This weekend marks the start of the 2015 Formula 1 season.  Wooo hoooo, the wait is over.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_9rgPVF2hM

 

# Date Race Winner/Time (*)
1
Mar 14
Australian Grand Prix
10:00 PM (in 4 days)
2
Mar 29
Malaysia Grand Prix
12:00 AM
3
Apr 11
Chinese Grand Prix
11:00 PM
4
Apr 19
Bahrain Grand Prix
8:00 AM
5
May 10
Spanish Grand Prix
5:00 AM

Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen

Formula 1: A BBC Sport beginner's guide to the new season

New to Formula 1 but keen to learn more? You've come to the right place.

BBC Sport has compiled this handy F1 guide to answer all your questions about the 2015 season.

The race weekend

There are 20 races in 2015, starting in Australia on 15 March and ending in Abu Dhabi on 29 November.

The winner of each race receives 25 points, with the lowest-scoring position - 10th - receiving one point.

Points awarded at Formula 1 race weekends

1st - 25 points 6th - 8 point
2nd - 18 points 7th - 6 points
3rd - 15 points 8th - 4 points
4th - 12 points 9th - 2 points
5th - 10 points 10th - 1 point

VIA BBC--F1 Beginnings Guide

A race weekend consists of three practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself.

On Fridays (Thursday in Monaco) there are two 90-minute practice sessions, with a 60-minute session on Saturday morning ahead of a 60-minute qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

There are three stages to qualifying - Q1, Q2 and Q3:

In Q1 drivers have 18 minutes to clock a fast time. On a 20-car grid, as will be the case in 2015, the five slowest cars are eliminated once time runs out and will start the race in the final five places on the grid.

In Q2 times are reset and the remaining cars participate in a 15-minute session with the aim of recording a time that will secure their place in the top 10. The five slowest cars are eliminated and fill places 11 to 15 on the grid.

For the final part of qualifying, Q3, times are once again reset and the remaining cars have 12 minutes to clock their fastest possible time as they compete for pole position for the race, as well as the remaining nine places on the grid.

The race itself cannot exceed two hours, unless it is red-flagged - stopped because of an accident or poor track conditions. In such circumstances the total duration of the race and any red-flag stoppages cannot exceed four hours.

F1 flags at 1990 French Grand Prix

Flags are used to communicate vital messages to drivers. These include but are not limited to: yellow flag (slow down, don't overtake), green (track is clear), red (session suspended), blue (a faster car wants to overtake), chequered (session ended), black + car number (return to pits/disqualification)

Tyres

All F1 cars use tyres from a single supplier - currently Pirelli  - who have a range of four dry-weather compounds. These are super-soft(distinguished by red sidewall markings), soft (yellow markings),medium (white) and hard (orange).

Two of these are selected in advance of a race weekend by the supplier, determined by the characteristics of the track. The harder of these two tyres will be given the designation prime, with the softer of the two designated as the option.

Both the prime and option tyre must be used during the race, unless it rains and one or both of two wet-weather compounds are used. These are know as the intermediate (with green sidewall markings) and full wet (blue).

In total, each driver is provided with 13 sets of dry-weather tyres, four sets of intermediates and three sets of wet tyres across a race weekend.

At the start of the race, the cars that qualified for Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his fastest time during Q2.

Formula 1 tyres

Both the prime (harder tyre) and option (softer tyre) compounds must be used during a dry race

Engines

Since 2014, an F1 car's power has been provided by a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine, which produces around 600 brake horsepower, with an additional 160bhp coming from an advanced energy recovery system (ERS), which converts mechanical and heat energy into electrical energy.

Each car is limited to 100kg - or about 130 litres - of fuel per race andengines must consume fuel at no more than 100kg per hour.

Renault Formula 1 engine

New 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines including energy recovery systems were introduced in 2014

Aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of an F1 car have two vital jobs on the racetrack - producing downforce and limiting drag.

Downforce pushes the car's tyres into the road and helps it travel faster through the corners, while reducing drag - the wall of air resistance the car disturbs as it races forward - and also helps increase straight-line speed.

Every single surface of an F1 car can affect its aerodynamics and maximising efficiency is crucial to a team's success on the track. As a consequence, data is constantly examined and evaluated by teams throughout a race weekend as they look to get the edge over their rivals.

Mercedes

Front and rear wings - key aerodynamic components - did not appear on F1 cars until the 1960s

Teams and drivers

Ten teams will compete in F1 in 2015. Each team names two race drivers for each round of the championship. They compete individually in the drivers' championship while their combined points go towards the team's tally in the constructors' championship.

The driver and team with most points at the end of the season are crowned world champions.

Lewis Hamilton is the current champion, his 2014 crown added to the maiden title he won in 2008. There are four other former F1 champions on the grid in 2015: Sebastian Vettel (winner in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), Fernando Alonso (2005, 2006), Kimi Raikkonen (2007) andJenson Button (2009).

Mercedes are the reigning constructors' champions after winning 16 of 19 races last season. Other previous constructors' title winners are 16-time champions Ferrari, nine-time winners Williams, and McLaren,champions on eight occasions.

Michael Schumacher wins at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher won 91 F1 races between 1991 and 2006

History

The Formula 1 World Championship, which began in 1950, was borne primarily from the grand prix motor races that became popular around Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.

The first F1 grand prix was held at Silverstone on 13 May 1950, since when more than 900 races have taken place.

The sport's first champion was 44-year-old Giuseppe Farina, while the winner of the first constructors' title (which was not awarded until 1958) was Vanwall.

Michael Schumacher holds the record for most drivers titles (seven) and race wins (91) while Ferrari lead the way among constructors with 16 titles and 221 victories.

Monaco Grand Prix

The jewel in the crown. The Monaco Grand Prix was first staged in 1929 and has been on the F1 calendar since 1950. It is considered one of the most prestigious races in the world, alongside the Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours

Exotic Car Gala-Folsom, CA

Finding Treasure on Treasure Island