Why I Love Formula One Racing

Now for something totally not related to handcrafted soaps.  I hope you enjoy it.

Many people don’t know that I am a huge Formula One fan. I once told someone that I was a huge fan and they were like “Formula One?” Many folks don’t know but Formula One races are held all around the world, not just in Europe as many believe.  F1 has races in Asia (China, Korean, Japanese, India), United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, North and South America (Canada, US, Brazil) just to name a few.  For 2014, additional races are planned for Moscow and New Jersey.

How did I get started watching F1.  My love for Formula One began in back in 2010.  My husband was watching a race one afternoon and he said “come on sit and watch this with me”, I showed no interest in watching racing.  I have given Nascar a chance many times and I just couldn’t get into it. Not because I did not understand it or know the ins and outs of the it, I just didn’t care for cars constantly going around in a circle for all those laps.  I think most like to tune into Nascar just to see the crashes and I don’t want to watch those horrible crashes and plus I always fall asleep when watching it.  So I decided to give Formula One a chance like I did Nascar and I liked it.

I spend Sunday mornings glued to the television learning about everything there is to know about F1 from knowing the difference in the tires, the drivers, the teams, knowing how it works and what is involved.  I would really love to see some women F1 drivers and there have been some women drivers trying to get in, but it is tough.  Not just anyone can become an F1 driver.  There is a long list of drivers wanting to become an F1 driver.

I love Formula One because racing is exhilarating.  Formula One sets the ultimate challenge for Man and Machine.  An F1 car is the most technically sophisticated racing machines built today.  It's not like I don't like Nascar, its just that F1 cars are so complex everything from the aerodynamics to the engines to the steering wheel.  It's incredible how a small tweak here or there can change the performance on the car.  Look at the front wing, yes these cars have wings that work in complete opposite as a plane wing.  The front wings are a piece of art with all the little winglets and curves on them just to direct the air flow to where it can be used. Look at the cock pit.  A structure built with high tech materials that are stronger than steel but lighter to protect the driver.  Look at the engines.  Built to rev to 18,000 rpms and are very reliable.  Look at the gear boxes, what a work of art and technology.  There's nothing the roar of an F1 engine revving at 18,000 rpms.  Look at the driver.  Look at the F1 car, what an awesome piece of machinery has man built.  Watch them take a turn at a high rate of speed, unbelievable and only possible because of the technology that goes into the tire design.

Then you have the KERS or Kinetic Energy Recovery System.  This device recovers the kinetic energy that is present in the wasted heat created by the car’s braking process.  It stores that energy and converts it into power that can be called upon to boost acceleration.

How does it work?

There are principally two types of system - battery (electrical) and flywheel (mechanical), although F1 teams have so far all opted for the battery system.  Electrical systems use a motor-generator incorporated in the car’s transmission which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa.  Once the energy has been harnessed, it is stored in a battery and released when required.

Then there's DRS.  The Drag Reduction System alters the angle of the rear wing flap to reduce drag. It's use is strictly controlled and intended for the straight away portions of tracks to provide a more challenging environment for the races by enabling more passing opportunities during the race.

Drivers are free to activate the DRS as they wish within the designated DRS zones during practice and qualifying, but during the race they may only activate it when they are within one second of the car in front (indicated to him via a dashboard light) at the DRS detection point.

The DRS is disabled (resetting the rear wing flap to its original position) the first time the driver uses the brakes after activation.

In race conditions the DRS is available for use after two laps, but the race director may choose to suspend its use in poor weather conditions or if there are yellow flags in the DRS activation zone.

Check out this advanced steering wheel. The steering wheel is also used to house instrumentation, normally via a multi-function LCD display screen and - more visibly - the ultra-bright 'change up' lights that tell the driver the perfect time for the optimum gearshift.  Race control can also communicate with the driver via a compulsory, steering-wheel mounted GPS marshalling system.  This displays warning lights, with colours corresponding to the marshals’ flags, to alert drivers to approaching hazards, such as an accident, on the track ahead.

There are buttons that activate devices such as the DRS overtaking aid, KERS power-boost, and even the drinks tube inside the drivers' helmet.

The driver can also communicate to his team through the radio and the pit-confirm buttons, for example.
Those conversations from the pit crew to the driver will affect how the driver uses the dials on the steering wheel to control many of the car's parameters, including fuel consumption, tyre and engine settings and the differential, which distributes engine power to the rear wheels and affects driveability.

One of the incredibly historic race venues is Monaco. Monaco has been hosting F1 since 1929 on the tightest, most scenic course in the world—the 160-miles run right through the streets of Monaco, past the famous casino, down through practical alleyways of diamond and designer boutiques, around a harbor burgeoning with $50-million yachts and up through verdant hills dotted with whitewashed villas.  Meanwhile grandstands packed with thousands line the main drag, with celebs and the rich and famous. The entire course is curtailed by waist-high silver panels backed by spectators five feet deep.

So now you see why I love Formula one. Thank you for stopping by.
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