By Brandon Christiansen | December 27, 2010
Having just come off the most exciting Formula 1 season in decades, I found myself asking why there aren’t more F1 fans in America. Why are so many automotive enthusiasts drawn to antiquated 1950’s technology on tracks that only turn left? I think the words “Coors” and “Keystone” have a lot to do with it but I think the fact that Nascar dominates the airwaves here in the good ol’ U S of A has a bit more influence. To help curtail the long spreading plague of 3500+pound, carbureted V8 “stock car” racing we’ve compiled the top 3 reasons why you need to be a Formula 1 fan this new year.
Formula 1 is just that, a technology formula that each and every team must adhere to. Each team has to build its own car according to the specific rules, or “formula” provided. Where it gets exciting is in each teams interpretation of the formula in order to make their car .01 second faster than the competition’s. This year saw 2.4 liter V8 engines producing 740+hp at 18000 rpm, 18000!
No major engine changes are in store for 2011 but the reintroduction of the hybrid energy KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) will take place. Originally introduced in 2009 this system takes the kinetic energy produced from braking and uses it to charge an onboard battery and power generator to give the driver an extra boost of about 100hp at the push of a button. Last I checked Nascar was still using drumb brakes! (Just kidding)
Do the names Nürburgring, Spa Francorchamps, Monza, Silverstone or Monte Carlo ring a bell? If not, Formula 1 is the BEST way to see and learn these truly world class tracks. It’s also a proven fact that you can improve your Gran Turismo 5 lap times by a full second just by watching F1 drivers take the perfect line around these world famous tracks. (Not an actual fact)
The biggest reason to pick up F1 this year is to be up to speed on the series when it make its triumphant return to the U.S. beginning in 2012. A brand new purpose built track is (hopefully) under construction just outside of Austin, Texas.
The 2010 season saw an amazing 4 individual world champions compete for the title including Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and the great (but not so great this season) Michael Schumacher. There will be 5 world champions competing in 2011. Having so much talent in such technologically advanced machines means the competition is always (for lack of a better term) fast and furious. Each team’s strategy and driver’s move plays out before you creating drama that even TNT can’t provide. This year the championship went down to the last race with 4 drivers in the running for the title. Third ranked “wunder kind” Sebastian Vettel took it all in amazing fashion upsetting number 1 seeded Fernando Alonso.
So instead of watching overweight, carbureted Camry’s and Impala’s that don’t look “Stock” at all race around in a circle and hit each other at 200mph, step up to Formula 1. The 2011 season will feature 20 races across the globe with 5 world champions and 19 other drivers gunning for the title.