“Formula One”, a simple mention of those two words will grab the attention of all motorsport enthusiasts in the room. Adding on, a motorsport enthusiast could even go on all day talking about this. In fact, Formula One is so popular that it’s nearly impossible to find a person who has not heard of it.
So what exactly is Formula One? Formula One is a global motor racing championship, quite often regarded as the epitome of racing. It first started in the year 1950, featuring seven races around the world, with ironically most of them being in Europe. It has evolved since then, undergoing great technological advancements and changes. In the present day, Formula One is more popular than ever and not long ago, celebrated its 70th anniversary.
Currently, the 2021 season has 10 teams, 20 drivers, and 22 races conducted all over the world.
The current season just ended, and the competition really heated up. At the end of every championship, the driver and team with the most points racked up will be declared as the world champion. In previous seasons, the champion would often be declared with a few races still to go. However, this season was an exception. The main competitors of this season were Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Hamilton, from Mercedes, has arguably been the most dominant driver in the last few years, with seven world championships to his name. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen, from Red Bull is a very talented driver, having made his debut at the age of 18, which makes him the youngest driver ever to race in Formula One. Throughout the season, these two drivers have been at each other’s tails, and constantly competing. In fact, the championship went right down to the wire, and that it in itself is like an understatement. Prior to the last race, both Verstappen and Hamilton were tied, with 369.5 points each. Hamilton, in spite of starting behind Verstappen, managed to take the lead of the race and was able to hold his position for quite a while. All hope seemed to be lost for Max Verstappen fans, with Hamilton leading the race with just a few laps left. However, a last-minute safety car, and a miraculous last lap overtake, gave Verstappen his first-ever title in quite a dramatic fashion. If I’m being honest with you, this sounds like something you would see in a movie, and not in real life.
Like the two drivers, their respective teams, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes, have been competing the entire season. Mercedes, popularly known as the silver arrows, has been the most dominant team in the past few years. In fact, they have won every championship since 2014. Meanwhile, Red Bull, also a strong team, has struggled to overcome this dominance. Even their battle came right down to the last race. Unlike the battle between the drivers, Mercedes came out on top to clinch an incredible eighth title.
This year’s championship felt a lot like the Indo-Pak cricket matches. Fans from both sides had been passionately cheering on their favourite drivers while also throwing insults at each other. However, any motorsport fan can agree that this year’s championship was very refreshing to see. For years now, we have had to endure Mercedes’ dominance over the entire field, and it’s great to see them finally have some competition. We have also seen smaller, midfield teams like McLaren step up their game, and show their potential.
Now, why should you watch Formula One? Well, to be frank, Formula One is for everyone. Formula One races are always on Sundays, so anyone can tune in, and not be disturbed from their work. It’s also enjoyable for everyone. Kids love to see the brightly-coloured, fast cars, while adults love to cheer on their favourite drivers. For young adults like us, it’s like a stress-buster and an escape from studies. For some, Formula One is about representation. After last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, Formula One launched the “We Race as One” initiative to address issues like racism. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton have also been very vocal about issues like inequality and racism.
Overall, it was one incredible Formula One season, and arguably the best in the last few years. With new regulations coming into play from next season onwards, we can only expect more competition and better racing.