November 23 was an exciting day for car racing. Lewis Hamilton (image) of the United Kingdom won the 2014 Formula One (F1) World Drivers’ Championship after winning the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was Hamilton’s second Drivers’ Championship. His first win was in 2008. He is 29 years old.
What is “Formula One” and what is 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 300 km (200 miles). This year, 19 Grand Prix races were held in various cities around the world. The first was held in Melbourne, Australia on March 16, and the last in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Hamilton won 11 of the 19 Grand Prix races this year.
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 started in Europe in 1950. Its roots are from Grand Prix motor racing which started in the early 1900s in France.
F1 cars are quite fast. Their top speeds are over 350 km/hr (220 miles/hr). Along with “fast”, when you think of an F1 car, you think “loud”. The roaring zooms of cars come to mind. Some fans have been very unhappy with the lack of loud sounds at the Grand Prix races this year. In 2014, F1 cars were required to have a new type of engine that is more environment-friendly and less polluting. However, this engine is also quieter, which led to some complaints! Here is a video showing the sound difference and here is a video showing the highlights from the Grand Prix race held in the United States earlier this year.
Did you know?
The Guinness World Record for “the longest ramp jump by a truck and trailer” has been recently set. A truck flew over an F1 racing car and set the new record of a distance of 83 feet, 7 inches (25.4 meters). You can watch the video here.
Did you know?
Han Yue (from China) set a new world record for the tightest car parallel parking earlier this month. He parked in a spot that was just 8 cm (3.15 inch) longer than his car. The previous record was parking in a spot 8.6 cm (3.4 inch) longer than the car driven. Yue also set the record for the most spins around a car driving on two wheels in one minute.You can watch both records being set here.
Image Credits: http://www.formula1.com/ for Hamilton’s image, emperornie for Hamilton’s car image
Sources: http://www.formula1.com/ , http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/, http://www.nytimes.com/, http://www.wired.com/, www.topspeed.com