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Formula One Racing

Formula One racing, or F1, is known to be the most

prestigious type of auto racing in the world.

Unfortunately, in the United States F1 racing is not nearly

as popular as other motorsports such as Nascar. On a

typical Sunday afternoon if one were to flip channels on

the television, Nascar would most likely be airing on a

major station. Furthermore, if one were to watch the race

he or she would notice that the racetrack was packed with

thousands upon thousands of people. A large part of the

lack of popularity of F1 in America is that only one race

is run in the United States. All of the other races take

place in countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and

Canada. With Nascar every single race is run in the United

States, which is obviously a large contributing factor

towards its immense popularity. Despite the fact that

Nascar is the racing preference of most Americans, Formula

One racing is the best and most exhilarating type of racing

in the world.

The action that takes place during an average 190-

mile Formula One race is unsurpassed by any other

motorsport. The typical racetrack consists of 2.5 miles

and 12 turns. During the lapping of this track, the 900-

horsepower 1400-pound cars can reach speeds in excess of

200 miles per hour. Even when cars capable of these speeds

are put into the hands of world-class drivers such as

Ferrari s Michael Shumacher and McLaren s Mika Hakkinen,

mishaps are bound to occur. This is what makes this sport

so exciting to watch. Crashes however, are not the only

exciting events of the race. It is thrilling to watch a

car out brake another in order to squeeze its way ahead, or

to watch the cars bump tires in an effort to occupy the

same piece of race track to be set up correctly for the

turn ahead. Other points of interest are the pit stops and

the strategies that the various teams use in order to make

a fast pit stop. A world-class team such as Ferrari can

refuel a car, change four wheels and tires, and wipe off

the driver s helmet in as little as 6.8 seconds.

The technology used in the sport is another drawing point

of its popularity. State- of-the-art computers are used to

track the car s every movement and to mechanically keep

track of every mechanism in the car. The engine of an F1

car only has 2.0 liters of displacement, yet it can crank

out 900 horsepower. The braking and cornering ability of

these cars is also off the chart even when compared with

modern day sports cars. All of this technology does not

come without outrageous cost. A typical F1 car can cost as

much as five million dollars to build and develop!

However, the amount of money available to win far outweighs

the cost of racing.

The talent of the drivers is the most impressive

part of this sport. In order to truly appreciate the level

at which these drivers perform one must have attempted to

race a car at one point or another. The level of

concentration, physical fitness, and talent required to

race an F1 car as the Formula One drivers do is something

that the average human could never comprehend. In the

motorsports world F1 is looked upon as the pinnacle of

motorsport racing, therefore the drivers involved are

considered the best in the business. The competition

between these world-class drivers is intense. Presently in

the 1998 F1 season only 4 points going into the last race

separate the top two drivers. These drivers are Michael

Shumacher and Mika Hakkinen who are separated by the

slimmest of margins.

When people find themselves counting the hours until the

next F1 race and getting up at 7:00 a. m. on a Saturday

morning to watch it, they realize rather quickly what the

best motorsport is. Formula One is as popular in Europe as

Nascar is in the United States. If Formula One gets better

media coverage in the United States, Americans will finally

begin to see what they have been missing. Then more people

will recognize Formula One racing as being the best and

most exhilarating type of racing in the world.

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