Formula One: Explained!
If you’ve been hearing about Formula 1 and are curious to learn more about it, this video is for you. In this engaging and informative video, the host shares his own journey into the world of Formula 1 and why he believes it’s such a captivating sport to watch.
He delves into the unique aspects of Formula 1, highlighting how it is not just a car race, but also the world’s highest-end tech competition. The video explores the year-long season of car races on different tracks around the world and the rich history of the sport.
The host explains the two championships within each season – the Drivers’ Championship and the Constructors’ Championship, shedding light on the fascinating dynamics of the sport. He emphasizes the importance of having the best equipment in Formula 1 and how teams are constantly working on optimizing their cars for maximum speed and performance.
Moreover, the video gives insights into the intricate rules and regulations set by the governing body, FIA, that keep the sport both fair and safe. The strict safety measures, including the requirement for every driver to use at least two different tire compounds during a race, are highlighted.
Furthermore, the video showcases the technological innovations and improvements that have been key to the evolution of Formula 1 cars, from the introduction of wings, turbocharged V6 engines, to the use of cybersecurity and safety technologies.
Overall, “Formula One: Explained” serves as an enlightening and entertaining introduction to the world of Formula 1, providing a comprehensive overview of the sport’s history, technology, and captivating racing experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or a curious newcomer, this video offers something for everyone.
– All right, so you like me, might have seen a lot of Formula 1 recently, a lot of races, a lot of famous drivers, a lot of drama and exciting stories. It’s taken over my timeline on Twitter many times. Basically, a ton of you guys have been saying it to me,
Asking, “Hey, are you watching? Are you paying attention to this stuff?” And so I finally caved and I’ve started watching it and I’m really glad I did. So in this video, I’m gonna tell you guys why I think Formula 1 is super cool, why I started watching,
And why you should probably be watching Formula 1 too. From the stories to the tech, to the innovation, to the race-day experiences. This is Formula 1 explained. So shout out to sponsor Bitdefender for making this video possible. They reached out because they are a Ferrari team partner, so they’re on the Ferrari car and the helmet and they have a lot of parallels in the tech world with cybersecurity and safety so we’ll talk more about that in a minute.
But for now, I’m so glad that y’all put this on my radar because I love it now, just because while on the surface it is just a car race, which is already pretty cool, it is also, at the same time, the world’s highest-end tech competition. It’s a science fair.
So at the most basic level, the sport is a year-long season of car races on different tracks around the world. And Formula 1 has a long and rich history. I don’t need to give you a whole history lesson here, but there’s been a massive amount of changes going from stuff like this,
Like a pretty simple looking tube with an engine and wheels, to this aerodynamic work of art made from the most advanced materials on the planet. But the most interesting part about F1 that I love is that there are actually two championships at the same time, each season. There’s the Drivers’ Championship
And the Constructors’ Championship. So yes, every driver is gonna try to get around the track as fast as possible, but the structure is: there are 10 teams, each team has two active drivers. And so every race, a driver can get points for how high they finish.
Those add up at the end of the season to get a winner. But there’s also points for the engineering teams behind each car. And they also get points that add up to a championship at the end of the year. And this, this is what I mean when I say it’s a science fair.
‘Cause look, every sport has rules, right? Like golf, all your clubs need to be within a certain spec and the basketball hoop is standardized, right? But having the best equipment in F1 is incredibly advantageous, as you might suspect, and you’re allowed, actually, encouraged even, to improve your equipment between every single race.
You are constantly working on your equipment. In so many ways F1 is the sport with the most tech involved. Like these teams are spending millions and millions, hundreds of millions of dollars to find/invent any little improvement that they can come up with to give themselves the edge every single week.
They’re fighting for tenths and hundredths of a second. It’s incredible to see. Like, you don’t get from here to here so quickly by accident. There is a massive amount of engineering and experimenting that goes into optimizing every single little part of every car to be able to get around the track
As fast as physically possible, to get as many points for the championship every season within the rules. And yes, there are still rules. This is important. So the FIA is the governing body in charge of F1 and they are charged with the impossible task of maintaining a set of rules
That keeps everything fair and safe, but still allows room for and encourages innovation and tweaking things. So you can actually look up the rule book yourself. There’s a 183-page PDF online. I’ll leave a link below the like button if you wanna flip through it yourself.
And there are so many interesting rules in here, some of them to keep racing strategies interesting, like the requirement that every single driver uses at least two different tire compounds during the race. I’ll explain that in a minute. There are also plenty of safety-related rules, which, again, is why a company like Bitdefender
Really makes sense to be here. So these are open-wheel, open-cockpit race cars, but every single one of them, as you’ll see, no matter what, has this iron-reinforced ring around and above the driver’s head called a halo. This thing is not designed by the teams.
This is designed by the FIA and the teams get them from one of the approved manufacturers and they have to put them on their car. There was initially some pushback against the aesthetics of it, but every single year since its introduction in 2018, it’s continued to prove its worth in the safety department.
Like, you can literally go watch race footage of incidents where the halo saves lives since it can literally support the weight of another entire car on top of you, or if it gets flipped upside down. So you can bet that’s why Bitdefender wanted their logo specifically on the halo
Of the Team Ferrari car. So Bitdefender is a leader in cybersecurity, which means they value innovation, safety, and quick reactions, which is tied right into F1. So you can see why it makes sense for Bitdefender’s logo to be on the most important safety features of the cars.
They’re also on the helmet too, by the way. There’s some other high-level rules around the turbocharged V6 engines they all use and the gear boxes, et cetera. My personal favorite and funniest rule to me is also one of the oldest, which is under every single F1 car
Is a plank of wood bolted to the bottom because one of the OG rules is to restrict just how low the car can ride, another safety thing. And so after every race they can inspect the plank of wood on the bottom of your car and if it’s too worn down,
Then your car was dragging too low to the ground and you have too much down force and your car is illegal, disqualified. So just think about that. Next time you see one of those jet-looking, marvel-of-engineering carbon fiber masterpieces flying around the racetrack, just know that every single one of them
Also has a plank of wood bolted to the bottom of it. So you’ve got this rule book, everybody knows the rules, and then you’ve got all these teams independently working, spending millions of dollars to try to find any experiment, any little thing that might give their car the advantage around the track.
And naturally, since it’s so competitive, these teams are incredibly secretive about everything they’re doing. But then, the beautiful thing is if some team actually comes up with something that’s good enough to give them a real advantage, even if it’s a tenth of a second, a quarter of a second,
A half a second per lap, that’s massive, eventually, all of the other teams will pick up on it and will find a way to build it and implement it themselves. It’s just this ecosystem of all these constantly-improving features and you can see them stacking on top of each other over and over again.
“So what exactly are these improvements?”, you might be wondering. Great question. Here are some of the biggest ones. And basically every single one of these has an amazing story behind it of how someone on an engineering team had an idea and then they decided to try it
And then it worked and it stuck. So one of the most obvious is the wings, right? Of course we see wings everywhere on today’s cars, but believe it or not, F1 cars didn’t always have wings. They just relied on pure mechanical grip from the tires.
But you know how if you stick your hand out the car window and then tilt it, it’ll push your hand up or down. Same thing with a wing on a car. It can push parts of the car up or down into the track for more grip and faster cornering.
So it started off as a very small experiment on the front axle and, very quickly, it started working and now they all have front wings and rear wings. Fun fact, one team did actually once try a mini extra front wing on a car in 2001. It didn’t really work out
So you don’t really see that anymore. (chuckles) The cars today have tons and tons of aerodynamic features: multi-layered front wings, small air-steering little bits, like fins near the middle of the car. It’s crazy how many details there are if you ever actually get to look at one of these things.
Another huge advancement is something called KERS, an acronym for kinetic energy recovery system. Basically, a system to capture energy created by the spinning wheel and turns it into energy in a battery that can be deployed as boosts later. So the first teams to try this kind of stuff,
They actually found it was a little bit too heavy and it worked kind of sometimes, didn’t necessarily guarantee a win. But eventually, fast forward a couple years, and it’s developed over time and paved the way for today’s hybrid F1 cars. Now, you might’ve also heard of this one, DRS.
This one’s pretty simple actually. So yeah, there’s a ton of downforce from the aerodynamic features of this car and that helps it stick to the ground during these planted turns, but that actually, technically, slows it down in a straight line. So teams engineered a drag reduction system,
A button that you press that changes the aero of the car, opens up, lets it cut through the air more quickly, and it works really well. So at this point, not only do all the cars have it, but it’s actually literally written into the rules
When you can use it to maximize racing excitement. There have been plenty of other massive technological innovations over the years that have all been pioneered by just some engineer on a team who had a good idea that have turned out to be huge, from putting the engine behind the driver,
To the monocoque chassis, to the ground-effect aerodynamics, to paddle shifters, all of them adding up to absolutely insane cars of today in 2023. These cars are clawing for maximum grip around every corner. They’re hitting 200+ mile an hour in straightaways and then pulling five to six Gs under breaking and turning.
Five to six Gs is about as much as you can feel anywhere on earth other than an airplane. So this is why F1 is often called “the pinnacle of motorsports,” and I totally agree. Like there are technically cars that are a little bit faster in a straight line from a standstill.
You might see some of these videos on YouTube. My car actually is, but the second you get to a turn, it gets really obvious the difference in braking, grip, acceleration out of a corner, just the control you have over the car. It’s honestly incredible. And it’s one thing to see it on TV,
Like you can tell they’re going pretty fast and the broadcasts are super cool. There’s sensor data everywhere, live speed readouts, cameras on every car, but seeing it in-person gave me an entirely new level of respect for all of it. So this is the Ferrari car the day before racing started
This past weekend in Las Vegas. This car is so much lower and actually bigger than you might expect it to be. There was also so many little aerodynamic shapes and pieces and carbon fiber everywhere, as I mentioned before. The tires are also gigantic
And the driver sits so much lower than you might expect. Actually, Bitdefender also let me try a full-on F1 simulator in their Performance Zone out here in Vegas. And the most noticeable thing, actually, is just how low you sit. Your feet are kind of back up in the air right below eye level,
Which is where the pedals are in the car. It’s just funny picturing all the drivers now in their cars like this. But what really got me is just seeing how fast they move. Cameras just don’t do it justice, I promise. It’s really, really impressive stuff.
And then, there’s obviously the noise and the smells and the vibration through your chest, like none of that happens through the broadcast. So when Bitdefender reached out and offered to get me to the Las Vegas Grand Prix to help make this video, I couldn’t say no.
So this is the second-to-last race of this 2023 F1 season, a super cool race built into the city of Las Vegas. Like one of the straightaways is literally the Las Vegas strip and points are available for the Drivers’ Championship and the Constructors’ Championship. So what is a race day experience actually like?
Well, here’s what to look out for. So first of all, an F1 Grand Prix is actually a several-days-long event. First, there’s practice days, then there’s a qualifying day, then there’s the race day. So the practice day is actually just a fascinating thing to watch on its own
Because it’s a practice for both the drivers and the teams engineering the cars. So there’s a set amount of time that these teams get to send the drivers out in their cars to see how much faster or slower certain setups are. They all go flying around the track at once
For the first time and drivers will literally communicate with their teams from a radio in their helmet about how things are feeling. “Oh, you know, a little more down force here would be nice. A little more stiffness here would be nice.” So they might do a quick pit stop to swap out,
Not just a different set of tires to see how those feel, but they might completely bring it back into the garage and tweak some of the entire car setup before they bring it back out for another lap and try out some more major adjustments, all within the rules, of course.
You might have seen the headlines, this Las Vegas one, the practice day got a bit interrupted because one of the cars went over a manhole cover so fast that the ground effect aerodynamic force from the car sucked the manhole cover out of the hole in the ground and damaged the car.
And so they had to go around and weld all of the manhole covers shut. Pretty insane. So then the next night is one more practice session and then qualifying. So qualifying is actually pretty simple. It’s go out and set your absolute fastest lap time with your car. Whoever has the fastest lap time
Will start the race in first place and whoever has the slowest lap time will start in last place. So even this gets pretty exciting because once again, everyone is out here now trying to set their qualifying lap as fast as possible and they’re all trying at once so sometimes there’s a little traffic
Or a little bit of drama, and there’s actually three qualifying sessions in a row, elimination style. So you start with 20 drivers. The first session eliminates the slowest five, the second session, which is a little shorter, eliminates the next slowest five, and then the third and final session
Is the top 10 fastest laps in order from 1 through 10. And so everyone is after that precious first spot on the grid, aka pole position. I think the real-time, all the data, I went down to the garage when they were starting qualifying, those guys are looking at monitors
With everything about the car in real time as it’s driving on a graph, being traced on a screen. It’s sick. It’s a science fair. So there’s no screens out here so you kinda have to follow, like, on the app, you can only see the finish line, but final qualifying, Ferrari one, Ferrari two.
I didn’t plan that, they’re just fast. So then, the third and final day of the Grand Prix is the race. And a lot of people will not get to go to an F1 race in person, but it is really intense. Like they’re all dialed in now. They’re all rolling out their absolute best
And final version of the science fair project with their best pilots and they’re all gonna now pit ’em against each other. So a race is typically about 90 minutes. It’s always 190 miles, in this case, 50 laps. And if you’re doing the math in your head, yes, that does mean they’re averaging
Well over a hundred miles an hour for the entire race, pit stops included. But then, actually one key thing to look out for while you’re watching the race is pit stop strategy. So most pit stops during an F1 race are super quick, two to four seconds, and it’s mostly just tires.
Now, they are capable of doing some more extensive repairs during pit stops, but those also definitely take longer. So sometimes if you have like a damaged wing or something, they’ll just continue on with it because it’s faster to not actually replace it. The winner of the race this week actually did that.
And so one of the last biggest rules in F1 that I haven’t even mentioned yet, amazingly, is the tires. So there’s a predefined set of tires available to all of the cars that are, again, not designed by the teams. They’re spec’d by the FIA under the rules to be exciting for racing.
And basically, there is a set of them ranging from softest and grippiest all the way to hardest and most durable depending on the rubber compound. So the softest tires are gonna be by far the grippiest and fastest around the track. They can be good for a few seconds faster per lap,
But believe it or not, they’re so soft that they will wear down incredibly quickly and can be completely cooked in 10 to 20 laps and so you will need to do a pit stop, which will cost you a little bit of time. But then, the hardest compounds
Are technically slower per lap, less grip, but they can go way more laps without a pit stop. So these drivers are not only jockeying for position to drive their best, but teams are also putting together pit stop strategies because every car is required by the rules to use
At least two different tire compounds during the race, which produces a lot of really fascinating scenarios where one driver is ending the race with a different set of tires than another, depending on their strategy. It is wild. It’s super interesting to watch. It’s like chess, but the pieces are moving
At 200 miles an hour and curves and everything. It’s amazing. It’s another reason why Bitdefender aligns itself so well with this stuff because again, they’re a leader in cybersecurity. In cybersecurity, you have to respond, you have a strategy to start things, but things can go very wrong
And so they have to be able to adapt in real time. And that’s a lot of the same things these drivers are doing, that these teams are doing. When strategies fall apart, they gotta tweak things, they gotta adjust, they gotta edit. It’s very complicated. So there’s all this technology, all this strategy,
All of these incredible machines. But at the end of the day, you just gotta get out there and win the race, you know? So get in the slipstream, play defense, attack braking zones, use your machine’s specific advantages to get that rare overtake and just all of this being put together,
It’s like art on wheels. There’s plenty of YouTube clips out there. There’s a Netflix documentary you’ve probably heard about. It is amazing to watch. And then the cherry on top for me is all of the effects that Formula 1 has on the world outside of Formula 1. It’s bigger than you might think.
Like the obvious one is that, okay, some of the highest-end, most amazing innovations from trying to make the F1 cars faster will eventually maybe trickle down into the road cars that we have today. And that’s true, that’s real. So the Ferrari team might find something cool that works on the racetrack in 2023,
And then in 2029, they’re working on a simpler, less expensive version, but that’s very effective for a Ferrari that someone can actually buy. DRS, paddle shifters, carbon fiber, there’s lots of examples of things that originated in F1 cars that have made their way to cars that exist today, which is super cool.
But then there’s some of the less obvious things like a race kind of changes a whole city forever, kind of like the Olympics. Now, a lot of races are on dedicated purpose-built racetracks, so the effect’s not as huge, but there are a few special races during the season
That are built into the city streets, which are way cooler, in my opinion, even if they present a number of very unique challenges. And then the winning, or even just participating, is a huge marketing win for all of these companies. Obviously, if you have a team dedicated to the highest end of motorsport
Pushing the envelope with innovation and engineering, the ad copy basically writes itself. So thanks again to Bitdefender and Team Ferrari for helping make this video possible. I got to learn a lot about them too. And actually the fact that Bitdefender technology is actually used by Ferrari to protect their top-secret innovations.
But now I’m a fan, I’m gonna be watching F1. I hope you enjoyed this video. My goal for this whole thing was to hopefully have you be able to watch a video, watch an F1 race, and not necessarily know everything that’s going on, but to be able to better appreciate the race
And the engineering and the spectacle of what might happen next. Thanks for watching. Subscribe for more. Catch you the next one. Peace.
Video “Formula One: Explained!” was uploaded on 12/11/2023 by Marques Brownlee Youtube channel.