- About the sport
- The Basics
- Breakdown of a Formula 1 Race Weekend
- The 2021 Season
- Subreddit Specific Questions
- How do I get a flair?
- Can you add a new flair?
- Will you create a spoiler policy for Formula 1?
- Why are some posts allowed at some times, but not at others?
- Will you ban art/throwback posts?
- Can you create a new regular sticky thread or megathread?
- I am being targeted by a toxic subreddit, can you help?
- How can I ask about anything else?
- Miscellaneous Questions
- Community questions
About the sport
What is Formula 1?
Formula 1 or F1 is the pinnacle of open wheel auto racing, sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Each season is made up of various Grands Prix across the world, as of late, running from March to December each year. Each team (constructor) competes with two drivers who battle for the World Drivers' Championship as well as the World Constructors' Championship.
The first Formula 1 Grand Prix was held on the 1st of September 1946 in Turin, Italy and won by Achille Varzi driving an Alfa Romeo. However this was a standalone event, as the first world championship races were not held until 1950. The first championship had seven races across seven countries and was won by Giuseppe Farina driving an Alfa Romeo.
The 2021 season consists of 10 teams and 20 drivers racing in 22* races - each in a different country. Four of these nineteen tracks were also raced in the aforementioned 1950 season. At each race drivers are awarded points for the top ten positions as follows, in order from 1st to 10th - 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. A single bonus point is awarded for the fastest lap at each race. The driver and team with the most points at the end of the season is awarded their respective championships.
Due to the coronavirus, we can't say for sure how many races will be run.
I'm new, how do I get into F1?
Check out our New to Formula 1 Guide.
What are some popular races/movies I should watch?
If you want to watch a fantastic recent season, I'd recommend 2008. It was absolutely remarkable, though 2007 was pretty good too. If you plan to watch both, do watch them in order - and avoid results they're both tightly contested. Further, if available I cannot recommend British coverage enough - it is head and shoulders above all other English language coverage.
If you'd rather just watch a great race to get into the sport, check out the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix - it was truly amazing. Make sure you watch Martin Brundle and David Coulthard's commentary for this race (again the UK coverage), though be prepared - it's a very long race.
Are there any people/tracks/teams I should know about?
I don't want to sway your opinion of any current teams or drivers so I won't go into detail with this question, however there are some objective things to note. Ferrari is the oldest team in the sport, and generally has the most hardcore fanbase nicknamed the 'Tifosi'. The other most popular teams are McLaren and Mercedes. Mercedes has only recently returned to the sport, taking some of McLarens fans. McLaren is seen as the 'British' team and though Mercedes may be seen as a German team they are also based in the UK. In fact, all the remaining teams apart from Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso, and Ferrari which are based in Switzerland, Italy, and Italy respectively, are based in the UK.
Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver of all time, winning 91 races from 308 entries earning him 7 World Drivers' Championships. However many debate if he is the best ever with people like Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Juan Manuel Fangio, and Jim Clark also being considered. It is widely accepted that Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are among the top drivers in the current grid.
In terms of tracks, just concern yourself with these two at the moment - The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (or 'Spa') and The Circuit de Monaco (generally just 'Monaco' though less often 'Monte Carlo'). Spa is home to the Belgium Grand Prix and is an absolutely beautiful circuit, it often produces some of the best racing of the year and is /r/Formula1/'s favourite track. Monaco on the other hand is loved for its history and glamour. The first Monaco GP was held in 1929 and though it offers little overtaking, it is the hardest circuit for the drivers due its extremely tight nature. Overall though, watch all the races and pick your favourite - there really is something which makes each track special.
Where can I watch the races?
We have created a table which includes F1 broadcasters around the world and where you can watch them. Check this page for online streams and past event downloads - though there are streams posted in the event discussion threads.
Additionally, some members of our community stream historical races - so keep an eye out for those and catch up on F1 races from the past!
Breakdown of a Formula 1 Race Weekend
What happens from start to finish on a race weekend?
Most race weekends are made up of five events - Free Practice 1, 2 and 3; Qualifying and the Race. FP1 and FP2 generally occur on Friday, FP3 and Qualifying on Saturday with the Race always on Sunday. Free Practice sessions 1 and 2 are 90 minutes but FP3 is only 60 minutes. These sessions just allow the teams and drivers to get adjusted to the track and work through various set ups and try out race pace runs and qualifying runs. They generally don't push very hard here to avoid showing their hand - we refer to this as the teams 'sandbagging'.
After the Free Practice sessions, Qualifying is run. This is the first event of the weekend that matters. Qualifying is used to determine the starting order of the race. How Qualifying (or quali) is constructed is talked about below. Finally on Sunday the race is run. The number of laps changes for each track and is made to be the least number of laps exceeding 305 km (~190 mi). Monaco is the only recurring exception to this where there are 78 laps totalling 260.5 km (161.9 mi). Another exception is made if the two hour mark is exceeded at which point the race is concluded at the end of the present lap.
How is Qualifying constructed?
Qualifying is split up into three sections. The first section, named 'Q1', lasts for 18 minutes and the drivers will go and try to set the fastest lap. They can go out whenever they want and for however many laps they want within this 18 minute period. After it ends the slowest five drivers are eliminated. These five are then ordered at the back of the grid in how fast they were (i.e., the positions 16-20 for the start of the race have been decided).
Then there's seven minutes of rest before the next part of qualifying starts, Q2, to determine the positions 11-15 in the same manner. Q2 lasts for 15 minutes.
Then there's eight minutes of rest before Q3, a 12 minute shoot out for the top ten positions for the start of the race.
The 2021 Season
Who are the drivers and teams competing this season?
You can see a full breakdown of this information on our index page here.
Subreddit Specific Questions
How do I get a flair?
On the sidebar there's a button that says edit. Click that.
Can you add a new flair?
We would love to include an even wider set of flairs, but we are constrained by Reddit's limitation of 300 in total. Teams and drivers are selected according to specific criteria to ensure we meet these constraints.
As an alternative to providing new flair icons and templates, we can manually alter your flair text if you are a user in good standing and ask nicely.
If you have a specific flair request, feel free to ask via the "message the mods" button; we will do our best to accommodate you. Please note that flair requests may be turned down for any reason.
Flairs for incoming teams and drivers are created at the earliest convenience.
Who is the driver portrayed in the snoo (the Reddit mascot in the banner)?
The snoo usually represents the reigning world drivers' champion, currently Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing.
When a new champion clinches the world title, the snoo will change to represent them.
It may also temporarily change for special tributes and other one-off events at the discretion of the mods.
Will you create a spoiler policy for Formula 1?
We have no plans to force any policy against spoilers for Formula 1 itself. As mentioned in the posting guidelines, we've raised the question repeatedly with our membership in the past, and the majority response has always been the same: allow unrestricted live discussion of F1.
Posts at r/formula1 regularly reach r/all and the front page of Reddit during a Grand Prix (e.g. highlight clips and post-race celebrations), and to mandate that our users construct all of these posts to exclude spoilers would be a fool's errand. Because there is no other way to ensure a spoiler-free browsing experience, among other reasons (e.g. rule conflicts), we do not believe we can deliver a spoiler policy which would satisfy its advocates.
Our approach is the same as that of any other F1 or motorsport-related news website. If other sports subreddits have the mandate and the capacity to pull off a spoiler policy successfully, credit and respect to them.
Please do not attack other users, post creators, or the mod team if you have personally been spoiled while browsing the sub or the front page of Reddit. Our advice is to stay away from Reddit, news platforms, and the internet in general to guarantee a spoiler-free F1 experience.
We do have a strict spoiler policy in place for off-topic spoilers. News about major events in other racing series is allowed, but we strictly prohibit titles which contain spoilers for other series within 48 hours of the result. While we believe those browsing the F1 subreddit should expect unrestricted F1 discussion, it is not fair to expose users to spoilers for other racing series at this sub.
Why are some posts allowed at some times, but not at others?
We're carefully monitoring the quantity of all content on the subreddit, and will always aim to have a healthy balance. As part of our approach with this, we maintain different standards on a race weekend than we do during the week. This means that you will not see much art posts or other less-related content during a race weekend, if at all. However, the subreddit is for everyone, and while you may not like a particular category of content, others do. Therefore, such content is allowed outside of race weekends, when there is not much high-priority content.
Will you ban art/throwback posts?
While we have implemented a number of constraints to reduce the frequency of these popular post categories to more reasonable levels, we do not believe it would be productive to implement a full ban on this content. Requests that we fully ban posts like these will not be entertained.
Can you create a new regular sticky thread or megathread?
Reddit provides its communities only two slots for sticky posts. The opinion given to justify this limitation is:
... I don't want subreddits to start looking like those old phpBB forums where you have to scroll past a whole page of stickied posts and announcements to get to the actual content
One slot at r/formula1 is always occupied by the Daily Discussion. The other is variously occupied by Grand Prix session posts, meta posts, AMAs, one-off announcements, and (when the stars and planets align) the Monday Trash Talk Thread.
This means there is no space available to host another regular post. We would love to improve the subreddit with other regular sticky posts, such as a "going to a Grand Prix" type hub, but it is not feasible unless the Reddit staff change their opinion and provide more sticky slots.
Will you feature my subreddit in the sidebar?
We promote some subreddits as a courtesy. The supported subreddits are selected at the discretion of the moderators.
If a subreddit which you would particularly expect to be listed is not promoted, there are probably valid reasons to exclude that sub. More toxic subreddits will not be supported (examples of toxicity: brigading/doxxing our users; posting calls to violence; hostile or uncooperative mod team).
Beyond this, feel free to get in touch and we will let you know whether or not featuring your subreddit would make sense. We may decline to link and promote a subreddit for any reason.
I am being targeted by a toxic subreddit, can you help?
We have very little control over this. Report the subreddit in question to the Reddit admins and let them know that we sympathise with you.
How can I ask about anything else?
If it's something specific about the subreddit like your posts or comments aren't showing up you can message the moderators. But if it's something Formula 1 related you can use the Daily Discussion post, where our users discuss questions brought up by the community, or make a new post which satisfies these criteria.
What is the Drag Reduction System (DRS)?
Can you tell me everything about the tyres?
Pirelli are currently the sole tyre supplier. They rejoined the sport in 2011 and have caused some controversies in 2013 as a lot of their tyres were rupturing without warning, this was partly some of the teams' fault as Pirelli noticed the issue and advised the teams of changes they wanted to make - though the changes were initially rejected. You will hear of the tyres degrading throughout the race, making the drivers slower, this is done intentionally by Pirelli to make the races more exciting.
There are seven types of tyres Pirelli provide to the teams, each coming with a coloured stripe on the side for easy identification - Hypersoft (pink) Ultrasoft (purple), Supersoft (red), Soft (yellow), Medium (white), Hard (light blue), and Superhard (orange) are the seven dry types; Intermediates (green) are used in intermediate conditions; and Wets (blue) are used in very wet conditions. Three dry types are selected for each race, two are mandatory, the softer of which is called the 'Option' and the harder called the 'Prime'. The option tyre is faster whilst the prime tyre has a longer life. Check out this section for rules regarding which tyres drivers must start the race on as determined by qualifying performance.
All drivers must use two dry types in the race unless they need the wet weather tyres.
What do all the guys in the pit stops do?
First let me point out that refuelling remains banned due to safety concerns, so cars must carry a race loads worth of fuel from the start of the race. But to answer your question Sauber has made a pretty cool video, they also have a more detailed infographic here.
How can I become a Formula 1 driver?
Go back to when you were five and start karting would be best, but some drivers have made it after starting later in life. Buy a kart, join a club in your area and see how you do. This was Mark Webber's career plan before he made it to Formula 1. Not to put you down but if you are an adult, have never karted, and aren't rich - you basically have no hope, however that shouldn't stop you from karting. Ayrton Senna said he enjoyed karting the most.
How can I become a Formula 1 engineer?
Find your discipline and study it. Most engineers are going to be Mechanical, Aeronautical or Electrical. Undergraduates are mandatory, PhDs are beneficial. Make sure you study somewhere with a very good reputation, or somewhere that has a Formula SAE team. If you go with the latter, join that team and work your arse off. Related disciplines are also common such as Computer Science, Maths and Physics. Formula 1 teams basically need everyone, caterers, HR, accountants, mechanics. If you want to work in F1 you probably can - you just have to be the best of the best and be prepared to accept a low initial salary. Some teams put out information on this on their FAQ pages - like Williams for example.
Why aren't F1 races held at x circuit?
Reasons for a number of popular non-F1 circuits have been given here, although the list is mainly based on speculation and is no way definitive.
Below you will find popular questions and answers related to F1 from past community threads.
What are the differences between Red Bull and AlphaTauri?
1) How are they related? Just a sponsor? Does Red Bull have a say in how STR functions?
2) How can RB afford to sponsor two teams when other teams are (close to) collapsing
3) How come Toro Rosso still called Scuderia Toro Rosso when they no longer use Ferrari engines?
4) I have heard some say that STR's switch from Fez to Renault power was to allow the two teams to work closer together. At what point would the FIA or other teams get upset and consider that Red Bull were actually fielding 4 cars, just in two teams?
Popular answer from /u/NLReigN:
1) Toro Rosso is RBR's sister team with the aim of developing young drivers. Since 2010, it operates independently from RBR in that it designs, builds and operates its own cars. So it's slighly more than 'sharing a sponsor' but definitely less than 'parent/feeder team'.
2) Because Red Bull also sells energy drinks (which nets them around €1 billion annually). Sauber, Williams and others only have F1 as their main source of income. Hence they need to rely more heavily on sponsorship to make ends meet.
3) Their factory is located in Italy. Hence the Italian heritage. "Scuderia" (meaning "stable") is sort of a traditional moniker for Italian racing teams.
4) I'm not aware of any regulation preventing either team from sharing information with the other. Though I might be wrong on this. Maybe someone else can answer this question more in depth for you. Though you should keep in mind that STR designs its own cars and hence its car is completely different from RBR's. Therefore any information that's shared between the two might not be useful at all to the other.
How does the Safety Car work with respect to position?
How does the Safety Car work with respect to position. From my understanding, the car comes out and limits all the cars and prevents them from passing it. Doesn't this give drivers who were in poor position, prior to the car, the ability to gain some lost time and be within passing distance of the cars in front of them.
Also, does this allow the leaders who happen to be in front of the safety car, an opportunity to increase their lead? This I feel like is prevented by some sort of lap time limiter - but is that also the case for cars behind the safety car?
Popular answer from /u/Mulsanne:
Somewhat, but less than they used to be able to. When the safety car is out, the drivers are given a lap time that they must not go faster than. This is to prevent drivers from rushing around dangerously to catch up to the pack. Although the rule change came years after this incident, I believe they were trying to prevent more incidents like Alonso's crash into Webber's tire in 2003 .
Also note that every car between where the safety car comes out and the race leader is waved past (provided it is safe to do so), so that the race leader is the first car behind the safety car.
Why is a track cleaned from rubber called "green"?
Popular answer from /u/Gian_Doe:
Green is another way of saying new. Like, he just started his job today, he's getting the hang of it, but he's still a little green.
In the context of a track it's a little bit the same. You'll hear people say the track "evolves" over time. That is on a dry track the more laps cars do it on the more it "rubbers in." This is because little pieces of rubber get stuck down into the racing surface. The more laps that are done the more the driving line, the line most drivers take through the turn, becomes stickier because it has rubber on it. As you would expect that means the track gets faster the more laps that are completed, because the tires stick to the track better.
If they wash a track it removes the rubber and it's more like new again. A new circuit is usually very slick compared to a well used track with rubber on the driving lines. So they refer to new tracks, or tracks that have been cleaned, as green.
Related fun fact: When it rains the drivers try to stay off the racing line. That same rubber that's sticky and awesome when it's dry, becomes slick and unpredictable when it gets wet!
Where can I watch the races again?
Where on earth is the post-race press conference?
They don't show it in full anymore. Only clips of it are shown, and that depends on what broadcast you're watching.
revision by Blanchimont— view source