Why You Should Start Watching F1


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F1 is on the rise. The current viewership rate is 50% higher than 2020, with new viewership records being broken seemingly every race. With this all coming on the eve of sweeping regulation changes and a new budget cap, there has never been a better time to start watching.


Beginning in the 2022 season, each team will be racing a car designed to meet an entirely new set of regulations. These new regulations will completely redefine the excitement that F1 brings. Right now, a large complaint about the sport is that there is not enough action; some viewers feel that too much of cars passing (overtaking) each other occurs when teams decide to take their mandated pit stop and wish more overtake attempts happened on track. The lack of attempted overtakes is due to how hard it is for cars to follow closely behind each other, specifically when driving through a corner. With cars being able to follow each other easier it’s likely more and more overtakes will occur on track


The biggest component in modern F1 cars that affects how fast a car can go around a track is how much downforce the car has. Downforce, the term used to describe air that travels around the car and pushes the car down into the ground, is achieved via intricate wings attached to the back and front of the vehicle. The higher the downforce the faster a car can go around corners. However, once the air passes around the car, it gets disrupted, causing what is known as “dirty air”. 


With current car designs, this turbulent air is detrimental to the downforce of the following car, making it extremely difficult to follow closely behind a competitor and pass them. After 7,500 simulations, however, the governing board of F1 has landed on a car for 2022 that includes strict design requirements that will mitigate this problem.


With the combination of a new car design and the introduction of a budget cap, races are bound to become more intense. In the last decade only two teams, Redbull and Mercedes, have been able to call themselves champions. The last large-scale regulation changes were made over 10 years ago, and during that time the teams have been able to perfect their car’s performance. 


Furthermore, like in most sports, increased spending directly correlates to success. In the last decade, Mercedes and Redbull have both been in the top three for budget size. The budget cap and the new regulations are intended to fix this issue by forcing each team to rethink how they design their cars, thereby giving them all a reasonable shot at the top. 


F1 is widely considered the most prestigious racing championship in motorsports. With cars reaching speeds of around 220 mph through tight chicanes and hairpin turns, it is one of the most intense sports. However, overcoming the initial knowledge barrier, the more technical aspects of the sport, can be quite intimidating for a new viewer. Netflix’s hit series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” can help with that. Since its first season in 2018, the show has garnered a huge following and brought millions of new fans to the sport.


For any newcomer looking to get their feet wet in the world of F1, it is a great balance of entertainment and information that will surely set you up to be a fan for life.