October 27 was an exciting day for car racing. Sebastian Vettel of Germany won the 2013 Formula One (F1) World Drivers’ Championship (WDC). This was Vettel’s fourth consecutive drivers’ championship. He was the youngest person to ever win this title with his first win in 2010. He is just 26 years old. He won the Formula One WDC after winning the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi, the capital of India.
Wait a minute, we were talking about “Formula One”, so what’s a “Grand Prix”? F1 consists of a series of races called Grand Prix. The number of Grand Prix races held in a year can change. The results of all the Grand Prix races are combined to determine the overall winner of the F1 Championship. The length of each race is around 190 miles (300 km). This year, 19 Grands Prix races will be held in various cities around the world. The first was held in Melbourne, Australia on March 17, and the last will be held in São Paulo, Brazil on November 24. The Indian Grand Prix was the 16th race this year. So how can the winner of 19 races be decided after only 16 races? Vettel has been in great form and has built such a big lead that no one can catch up to him in the 3 remaining races!
Out of the 64 times that the Formula One races have been held, the winner was decided in the final Grand Prix race only 25 of the times.
F1 is one of the most prestigious open-wheeled races in the world. Open-wheeled cars are those that have wheels outside their main body. F1 pit stops are famous for the speed at which the crew can change all 4 tires of a car. In this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, the Ferrari crew took 1.95 seconds to change tires. Here is a video.
F1 started in Europe in 1950. Its roots are from Grand Prix motor racing which started in the early 1900s in France.
Did you know?
F1 cars are quite fast – their top speeds are about 350 kph (220 mph), and they can go from 0 to 160 kph (100 mph) in about 1.5 seconds.
Image Credits: Ryan Bayona for Vettel’s image, http://formula1.ferrari.com for the pit stop’s image, formula1.com for Formula One’s logo
Sources: http://www.shell.com.au, http://www.formula1.com, http://formula1.ferrari.com