New Delhi: Stage is all set to host Formula One race for the first time in the country on October 30 at BIC in Greater Noida. The die-hard fans of speed will be thrilled to face off one of the fastest moving cars in the world.

Everyone knows about the Formula One is, but there are big formulas involved in making these mean machines.
Let’s have a look at the ‘Formula’ behind the Formula One cars and the Grand Prix.

Formula One is also known as Formula 1 or F1 and its official called as the FIA Formula One World Championship.
It is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The ‘formula’ in the name refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix held on F1 circuits. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors (manufacturers and owners of racing cars).

Formula One cars are considered to be the fastest circuit-racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce.

Formula One cars race at speeds of up to 360 km/h (220 mph) with engines limited in performance to a maximum of 18,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5 g (Gravitational force) in corners.

The highest straight line speed recorded during a Grand Prix was 369.9 km/h (229.8 mph), set by Antonio Pizzonia during the 2004 Italian Grand Prix.

The performance of the cars is dependent on several things like aerodynamics, suspension and tyres.

Modern Formula One cars are mid-engined open cockpit, open wheel single-seaters. The chassis is made largely of carbon-fibre composites. The whole car, including engine, fluids and driver, weighs only 640 kg - the minimum weight set by the regulations.

Engines must be 2.4 litre naturally aspirated V8s, with many other constraints on their design and the materials that may be used. Engines run on unleaded fuel closely resembling publicly available petrol.

Carbon disc brakes are used for reduced weight and increased frictional performance. They provide a very high level of braking performance and are usually the element which provokes the greatest reaction from drivers new to the formula.

Formula One had a total global television audience of 600 million (approx) people during the course of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Even with the limitations on aerodynamics, at 160 km/hr (99 mph) downforce generated due to aerodynamics is equal to the weight of the car. Downforce of 2.5 times the car's weight can be achieved at full speed.

The driver's head is pulled sideways with a force equivalent to the weight of 20 kg in corners. Such high lateral forces are enough to make breathing difficult and the drivers need supreme concentration and fitness to maintain their focus during the course of the race.

With annual spending crossing billions of US dollars, Formula One's economic effect is significant, and its financial and political battles are widely reported. Its high profile and popularity make it a merchandising environment, which results in great investments from sponsors and budgets in the hundreds of millions for the constructors.

A Formula One Grand Prix event spans a weekend. It begins with two free practice sessions on Friday and one free practice on Saturday. Additional drivers or the third driver are allowed to run on Fridays.

Only two cars may be used per team, requiring a race driver to give up his seat. A qualifying session is held after the last free practice session on Saturday. This session determines the starting order for the race at the starting grid on Sunday.

Every team in Formula One must run two cars in every session in a Grand Prix weekend, and every team may use up to four drivers in a season. A team may also run two additional drivers in Free Practice sessions.

Qualifying:

The qualifying session is split into three periods or rounds. In each round, drivers run qualifying laps to attempt to advance to the next round, running as many laps as they wish, with the slowest drivers being knocked out at the end of the round and their grid positions set, based on their best lap times.

Cars are eliminated in such a way that in the third round only 10 cars remain on the track to attempt for pole position.
For each round, all previous times are reset, and only a driver's fastest lap in that round counts.

In the first two rounds cars can run on any tyre compound and drivers eliminated in these rounds are allowed to change their choice of tyres prior to the race. Cars taking part in the final round for the pole must start the race with the same tyres used during their third qualifying round. They are only allowed to change tyres if it rains, in such weather F1 car require wet-weather tyres.

With refuelling not allowed during races from 2010, the final session is run with low-fuel configuration and the cars are refuelled after the qualifying rounds.

The Race

The race begins on Sunday with a warm-up lap or the formation lap, after which the cars assemble on the starting grid in the order they qualified.

The warm-up lap allows drivers to check the condition of the track and their car. It also helps the driver to heat up their tyres to get much-needed traction.

Once all the cars have formed on the grid, a light system above the track indicates the start of the race. Five red lights are illuminated at intervals of one second; they are all then extinguished simultaneously after an unspecified time (less than 3 seconds) to signal the start of the race.

Under normal circumstances the winner of the race is the first driver to cross the finish line having completed a set number of laps, which when added together should give a distance of approximately 305 km.

Race officials may end the race early using a red flag due to unsafe conditions such as extreme rainfall, and it must finish within two hours.

Drivers may overtake one another for position over the course of the race and are 'Classified' in the order they finished the race.

A driver who fails to finish a race due to mechanical problems, accident, or any other reason is said to have retired from the race. If a driver completed more than 90% of the race distance, he will be classified in the result.

Throughout the race drivers may make pit stops to change tyres and repair damage (until the 2010 season they could also refuel). Different teams and drivers employ different pit stop strategies in order to maximise their car's potential.

After the race is finished the winner is awarded championship points. As of 2010, the top ten cars are awarded points and the winner gets 25 points. The order of awarding points is 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for the top 10 across the line.

The total points won at each race are added up and the driver and constructor with the most points at the end of the season are World Champions. If both a team's cars finish in the points, they both receive Constructors Championship points.

(TARUN SHARDA/JPN)