$Revision: 2.145 $, $Date: 2008/05/01 16:17:34 $
The FAQ is divided into several sections.
Introduction (Part 1)
1. Rules, regulations and governing body (Part 1)
2. The teams and cars (Part 1)
3. The drivers (Part 2)
4. The races (Part 2)
5. The circuits (Part 2)
6. Television (Part 2)
7. Sponsors (Part 2)
8. Manufacturers (Part 2)
9. Technical stuff (Part 2)
10. Miscellaneous (Part 2)
Corrections and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The drivers
Q: Who will be driving for whom in 2008?
A. As announced by the FIA on January 4, plus known test drivers:
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
1. Kimi Räikkönen (SF)
2. Felipe Massa (BR)
BMW Sauber F1 Team
3. Nick Heidfeld (D)
4. Robert Kubica(PL)
T. Christian Klien (A)
T. Marko Asmer (EST)
ING Renault F1 Team
5. Fernando Alonso (E)
6. Nelson Piquet Jr. (BR)
T. Romain Grosjean (F)
T. Lucas DiGrassi (BR)
T. Sakon Yamamoto (J)
7. Nico Rosberg (D)
8. Kazuki Nakajima (J)
T. Nico Hulkenberg (D)
Red Bull Racing
9. David Coulthard (GB)
10. Mark Webber (AUS)
T. Sebastien Buemi (CH)
Panasonic Toyota Racing
11. Jarno Trulli (I)
12. Timo Glock (D)
T. Kamui Kobayashi (J)
Scuderia Toro Rosso
14. Sebastien Bourdais (F)
15. Sebastian Vettel (D)
Honda Racing F1 Team
16. Jenson Button (GB)
17. Rubens Barrichello (BR)
T. Alex Wurz (A)
Super Aguri F1 Team
18. Takuma Sato (J)
19. Anthony Davidson (GB)
Force India Formula One Team*
20. Adrian Sutil (D)
21. Giancarlo Fisichella (I)
T. Vitantonio Liuzzi (I)
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
22. Lewis Hamilton (GB)
23. Heikki Kovalainen (SF)
T. Pedro de la Rosa (E)
T. Gary Paffett (GB)
T = Test driver
*formerly Spyker F1
Q: How much does driver x make?
A: According to /F1 Magazine/, August 2005 (with previous estimates
from April 2005):
M Schumacher $70m ($42m) half from personal sponsorship, etc.
R Schumacher $25m ($18m)
K Räikkönen $22m ($19m)
JP Montoya $15m ($12m)
J Trulli $10m ($7m)
R Barrichello $10m ($9m)
G Fisichella $9m ($4m)
F Alonso $9m ($7m)
J Button $8m ($7m)
M Webber $4m ($6m)
F Massa $2.5m ($1m)
A Wurz $2.5m (-)
T Sato $2m ($1m)
J Villeneuve $2m ($3m)
D Coulthard $1.5m (-)
N Heidfeld $1m ($2m)
P de la Rosa $500k (-)
C Klien $350k (-)
T Liuzzi $350k (-)
A Davidson $250k (-)
T Monteiro $250k (-)
C Albers $250k (-)
N Karthikeyan $250k (-)
P Friesacher nil (-)
Q: Who won the drivers championship in the year ....?
2007 Kimi Räikkönen (SF)
2006 Fernando Alonso (E)
2005 Fernando Alonso (E)
2004 Michael Schumacher (D)
2003 Michael Schumacher (D)
2002 Michael Schumacher (D)
2001 Michael Schumacher (D)
2000 Michael Schumacher (D)
1999 Mika Häkkinen (SF)
1998 Mika Häkkinen (SF)
1997 Jacques Villeneuve (CDN)
1996 Damon Hill (GB)
1995 Michael Schumacher (D)
1994 Michael Schumacher (D)
1993 Alain Prost (F)
1992 Nigel Mansell (GB)
1991 Ayrton Senna (BR)
1990 Ayrton Senna (BR)
1989 Alain Prost (F)
1988 Ayrton Senna (BR)
1987 Nelson Piquet (BR)
1986 Alain Prost (F)
1985 Alain Prost (F)
1984 Niki Lauda (A)
1983 Nelson Piquet (BR)
1982 Keke Rosberg (SF)
1981 Nelson Piquet (BR)
1980 Alan Jones (AUS)
1979 Jody Scheckter (ZA)
1978 Mario Andretti (USA)
1977 Niki Lauda (A)
1976 James Hunt (GB)
1975 Niki Lauda (A)
1974 Emerson Fittipaldi (BR)
1973 Jackie Stewart (GB)
1972 Emerson Fittipaldi BR
1971 Jackie Stewart (GB)
1970 Jochen Rindt (A)
1969 Jackie Stewart (GB)
1968 Graham Hill (GB)
1967 Denny Hulme (NZ)
1966 Jack Brabham (AUS)
1965 Jim Clark (GB)
1964 John Surtees (GB)
1963 Jim Clark (GB)
1962 Graham Hill (GB)
1961 Phil Hill (USA)
1960 Jack Brabham (AUS)
1959 Jack Brabham (AUS)
1958 Mike Hawthorn (GB)
1957 Juan Manuel Fangio (RA)
1956 Juan Manuel Fangio (RA)
1955 Juan Manuel Fangio (RA)
1954 Juan Manuel Fangio (RA)
1953 Alberto Ascari (I)
1952 Alberto Ascari (I)
1951 Juan Manuel Fangio (RA)
1950 Giuseppe Farina (I)
Q: How many races has y won?
A: See the next answer.
4. The races
Q: Who won x race? Who raced car y in z?
A: The best source for this is Forix at http://www.forix.com
- it has
comprehensive results for championship and non-championship races
extending back before 1950. Unfortunately in early 2003 they converted
to a subscription service. Free sources of some of this information
are out there, including http://www.grandprix.com/gpemain.html
; other recommendations are welcome.
Q: What is the calendar for 2008?
A: Confirmed by the FIA 24 October 2007:
16 Mar Australia (Melbourne)
23 Mar Malaysia (Sepang)
06 Apr Bahrain (Sakhir)
27 Apr Spain (Barcelona)
11 May Turkey (Istanbul)
25 May Monaco (Monte Carlo)
08 Jun Canada (Montréal)
22 Jun France (Magny-Cours)
06 Jul Great Britain (Silverstone)
20 Jul Germany (Hockenheim)
03 Aug Hungary (Budapest)
24 Aug Europe (Valencia)
07 Sep Belgium (Spa Francorchamps)
14 Sep Italy (Monza)
28 Sep Singapore
12 Oct Japan (Fuji)
19 Oct China (Shanghai)
02 Nov Brazil (São Paulo)
Singapore will be a night race, starting at 8 PM so that
live TV coverage in Europe will be at an attractive time
(1 PM CET).
Q: Why does the Monaco Grand Prix move around in the calendar?
A: The Thursday of the Monaco meeting has traditionally been
Ascension Day, therefore moving with Easter. This tradition
was violated in 1957, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2008 (suggesting
it's pretty much been thrown out the window of late).
Q: What time is practice, qualifying, and the race?
A: The official weekend schedule is practice from 10 to 11:30
AM and 2 to 3:30 PM on Friday, and 11 AM to noon on Saturday.
Qualifying is 2 to 3 PM on Saturday, and the race commences
at 2 PM on Sunday. There are many exceptions, most notably
for the night race in Singapore, so be sure to check for any
Remember that at Monaco the "Friday" program takes place on
Thursday. permitting the streets to be reopened on Friday for
normal (i.e. expensive) commerce.
Q: Where can I get lap charts for races on the web?
A: Graphical depictions and tables of running order lap-by-lap are
fairly common (e.g. through www.fia.com
). All lap times for each
driver for any race can be found on Forix (http://www.forix.com
and complete charts through the F1 yearly overview pages at
Autosport (e.g. http://www.autosport.com/f1/2006.html
) - both
however available only to subscribers.
5. The circuits
Q: What circuits are known or rumoured to be getting races?
A: New tracks in Valencia, Spain (European GP) and Singapore
will debut in 2008.
A contract has been signed for a Grand Prix at a track being
built in Abu Dhabi for October 2009. Another contract
calls for a South Korean GP from 2010 at a track to be built
in South Cholla province. Plans for a 2010 race in India
continue to move ahead with the identification of two
potential track sites near Delhi and the preparation of
draft contracts. With 18 races on the 2008 calendar
that would make 19 in 2009 and 1 or 2 more in 2010.
Suzuka, which lost the Japanese GP in 2007 to Fuji, will
get it back in 2009 and the two tracks will alternate
thereafter; Hockenheim and the Nürburgring have a similar
arrangement in Germany. A replacement for Magny-Cours is
being actively sought for the French GP; Disneyland Paris
and a site in nearby Versailles have been proposed.
Sydney officials are studying lighting their Eastern
Creek track in case resistance to holding a night race
elsewhere puts the Australian GP in play after 2010.
The Losail circuit in Qatar has announced plans to upgrade
from MotoGP to F1 standards.
Rumors have at various other times mentioned tracks in or near
Las Vegas (USA), South Africa, St. Petersburg or Moscow (Russia),
Algarve and Portimao (Portugal), Greece, Iran, Libya, Egypt,
Toronto (Canada), Rio de Janeiro (a bid to get the Brazilian
race back from São Paulo), and Cancun (where a contract for a
Mexican GP was actually announced before insurmountable
environmental and legal problems arose). Clearly a Grand
Prix is widely viewed as a very desirable property! Note,
however, that the current sporting regulations set a maximum
of 20 races.
Q: What circuits are known or rumoured to be losing races?
A: Generally, those without the robust financial support of a
national government! Spa's problems led to the cancellation
of the 2006 race, although it returned in 2007. Imola was
dropped from 2007 because required track upgrades were not
carried out by the organizers. Hockenheim's debt was such
that organizers agreed to alternate their German GP with the
European GP at the Nürburgring. Looking forward, the French
GP was briefly off the calendar for 2008 because of poor
attendance at Magny-Cours; all indications are that it will
relocate for 2009. There will be no USGP at Indianapolis
in 2008 (and hence no USGP) because Tony George and Bernie
were unable to agree to terms; major sponsorship is being
sought to close the gap in 2009. The British GP is
continually under threat because Bernie is unhappy with the
facilities and infrastructure of Silverstone. And he's
said the Australian GP is history after 2010 unless it
converts to a night race, which race organizers and
local government officials are claiming is out of
the question - particularly given persistent financial
Q: Where can I find maps of the circuits used in F1 racing?
A: An excellent source of such information (through 2005) was
recently ressurected again at
There's a fascinating repository of files
that, with the Google Earth application, let one take virtual
tours of present and past F1 (and other) tracks using real
Most of the big F1 sites have current track maps.
Q: I've heard about digital or pay-per-view F1. How did that work?
A: From a commercial point of view, not well enough. Bernie Ecclestone's
Formula One Management, which had sent crew and equipment to each GP
to provide seven channels of custom programming to pay-per-view
subscribers in several European countries, pulled the plug after
2002 due to lower than expected subscriptions. It was then promised
the digital resouces would be focussed "on providing the best live
feed to our free-to-air broadcasters." This apparently proved
and the operation was mostly mothballed. Most broadcasts are still
produced by a local TV operation - but some are contracted out to FOM.
Q: How come the television viewing figures for F1 are bigger than the world
A: It is a figure used for comparison by the advertising industry and
value as an absolute. That's the way the Olympic Games is counted
the way the Football World Cup is counted, so it's the way F1 is
For example the claimed viewership for 1999 was
57,754,361,716. This starts to make more sense when you realise that
every "viewing" counts. If you watch the race, and the
that's 2 for a start. Then remember it's 16 times a year (17 this
year...), so that's 34. Do you watch the qualifying? Add another
you see any clips on the news? Several? Add another 60 or so. OK, so
you alone viewed F1 probably 100 times last year...
Significant erosion of F1 viewing figures was noted in most
the course of the 2002 season. In addition to sparking a host of rules
change proposals to make racing more competitive, this may have played a
role in the death of digital pay-per-view in favor of improved
coverage for 2003.
Q: I'm visiting the United States. Is there TV coverage of F1 events
A: In 2008 most events will be carried live on the Speed Channel
), a cable and satellite service that
is widely available - but often not carried on, for example, hotel
systems. Speed's package includes live coverage of second Friday
practice, Saturday qualifying, and all but 4 races. Those four
races will be carried by Fox, a broadcast network of the same
ownership with near-universal availability. In 2008 these will be
Canada (live), France, Great Britain, and Germany (tape delayed).
The usual Speed broadcast team (Bob Varsha, ex-driver David Hobbs,
ex-mechanic and author Steve Matchett) cover the Fox events as well;
Speed's TV contract includes GP2 events and runs through 2009.
Q: When did the CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale, forerunner of FISA)
allow outside sponsorship for F1 cars?
A: For the 1968 season.
Q: Which team first had a sponsor, the first race with sponsor, and the
A: At the 1968 Spanish GP, Lotus appeared in the red and gold livery of Gold
Leaf Cigarettes. If privateers are included then one must credit
John Love and Sam Tingle, whose "Team Gunston" Brabham-Repco and
LDS-Repco ran in the colors of that cigarette brand at the season-
opening South African event.
Q: What team brought Marlboro into F1 and when?
A: Marlboro came into F1 as teams sponsor in 1972 with the BRM team.
They 'eased' their way in with a low-key personal contract for Jo
1970. Seppi carried logos on helmet and overalls for two seasons, as
STP March in '70 and his Yardley BRM in '71. This may well have been the
genesis of Marlboro's 'World Championship Team' concept, the umbrella
name for individual driver sponsorships which were additional to team
Q: What is the longest running team/sponsor connection (current
A: In 2008 the Marlboro/Ferrari partnership will enter its 25th season
(sponsor since 1984, title sponsor since 1997). This leads the
23 seasons of Marlboro and McLaren (1974-1996) for the all-time title.
Due to a 2001 marketing agreement among tobacco companies (and to
EU and other anti-tobacco legislation) it was indicated that Marlboro
branding would not actually appear on the cars themselves from 2007.
Marlboro, however, then withdrew from the agreement, and branding
was used where permitted by local law (Bahrain, Monaco, China).
Q. Who will be the major sponsors for each F1 team in 2008?
BMW: Petronas (petroleum), Intel (electronics), etc.
Ferrari: Marlboro (cigarettes) 
Honda: none 
McLaren: Vodafone (telecommunications)
Red Bull: Red Bull (energy drink)
Renault: ING (financial services)
STR: Red Bull (energy drink)
Force India: Kingfisher (airline and beer)
Super Aguri: TBA
Toyota: Panasonic (electronics)
Williams: AT&T (telecommunications)
 See "longest running team/sponsor connection" above
 Honda continues 2007's eco-friendly "earthdreams" theme
in 2008, with more restrained livery
Q: Had Jaguar ever been in F1 before buying Stewart?
A: Clemente Biondetti drove a Jaguar-engined Ferrari 166 in the 1950
Italian GP. He qualified it 32 seconds (27%%) behind Fangio, and
retired from the race on lap 17 with a blown engine.
When Moss, Dean Delamont and John "Autocar, not Cooper" Cooper
were casting about for bits for a new F2 car for him (the project
that eventually became the first of the two Cooper-Altas) there
was apparently an attempt to secure an experimental 2.0l 4-cyl
Jaguar engine for that.
Paul Emery fitted a 2.4 Jag engine with fuel injection to his
Emeryson special, and did one F1 clubbie in '57. (The car had
started life with a linered-down Aston Martin engine for 2.0l
F2, then acquired a bored-out Alta for 2.5l F1...)
Q: Who owns Ilmor?
A: DaimlerChrysler completed its buyout of the original Illien-Morgan
engine business in 2005; it's now known as Mercedes-Benz High
Performance Engines. The company currently known as Ilmor
Engineering is a subsequent startup by Mario Illien, involved in
the American IRL and NASCAR series (and an apparently abortive
foray into MotoGP); it has nothing to do with F1.
Q: Who owns Cosworth?
A: Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, co-owners of the US-based
Champ Car series. With Ferrari, Renault, Honda, and Toyota
providing engines to a total of 5 other teams in 2007 it looks
like Cosworth is out of F1 for the forseeable future.
9. Technical Stuff
Q: What is a desmodromic valve?
A: Conventional poppet valves are opened by the direct or indirect
mechanical action of a cam and are closed by the action of a spring,
the latter being a coil or hairpin of metal or (in recent
F1 engines) a chamber of compressed gas. Desmodromic valves are
both opened and closed by mechanical action, for example by an
additional cam lobe on the camshaft acting through fingers or
Although desmodromic valves were used in Grand Prix racing as
early as 1914 and sporadically thereafter, significant success
was not achieved before the Mercedes Benz W196 of 1954-55.
Q: What is the fuel made of?
A: Essentially the fuel must be made from the same
components as pump fuels and with limits on the proportions of
individual components which are currently more stringent than those
applied to pump fuels in Europe.
Within those strict parameters, the fuel companies can - and do -
tailor the fuels to specific engines, engine maps and circuit
configurations. There is constant research and as many as three or
four different blends may used throughout a season, in line with
engine developments and circuit requirements.
A sample of each new batch of fuel is sent to the FIA to be tested to
ensure that it complies with the rules and is then 'fingerprinted'.
Samples are taken at the circuits to ensure that the fuel being used
in the cars matches this 'fingerprint'.
Q: What colour is British Racing Green?
A: There isn't just one colour. See David Betts' photos at
for many examples (free registration required).
Q: What are the national racing colours?
A: Country; car colour; number colour:
Egypt; light-lilac; red on white
Argentina; car:blue/bonnet: black; red on white
Belgium; yellow; black
Brazil; light-yellow/green; black
Bulgaria; car: green/bonnet: white; red on white
Chile; car: red/bonnet: blue/rear end: white; half blue and half red
on white or entirely red
Germany; white (yes, white was indeed Germany's official colour); red
Finland; black; blue on white
France; blue; white
Great Britain; green; white
Ireland; green (horizontal orange stripe); white
Italy; red; white
Luxemburg; grey; white on red
Monaco; white (horizontal red stripe); black on white
Netherlands; orange; white
Poland; white/rear end: white; red
Romania; navy blue/rear end: red; yellow
Sweden; lower part: blue/upper part: yellow/3 yellow stripes on the
Switzerland; car: red/bonnet: white; black
Spain; car: red/bonnet: yellow; black on yellow/white on red
Thailand; car: light-blue/wheels: light-yellow/horizontal yellow
stripe; white on blue
Czechoslovakia; car: white/bonnet: blue and white/rear end: red; blue
Hungary; car: white/bonnet: red/ rear end: green; black
USA; car: white/rear end: blue; blue on white
Q: What about drug testing in F1?
A: From an FIA statement on 1/10/99 "For several years, the FIA and the FIM
have strictly applied the regulations of the International Olympic
Committee, with numerous and repeated controls. Both federations are
fully prepared to intensify checks should the need arise."
Q: What are those strips sticking out of the ground in the pit lane?
A: They are there to ground the static electricity that builds up in the
car during a race, and try and prevent a pit lane fire.
Q: Who is Nazir Hoosein?
A: An (in)famous movie theater owner from Mumbai, India, who currently
represents China on the WMSC. Hoosein was Chief Steward in Brazil
in 1998, when the decision was taken to disallow McLaren's braking
Hoosein was also Chief Steward in Brazil in 1997, when the drivers
had problems with a white line on the pit entry (they were told at
first to not cross it, but they managed to convince the stewards
that it was more dangerous to avoid it). You might have noticed
that the pit entry since 98 was much longer and the reason is
probably to avoid that "problem," which seemed to exist only on
After the administrative mistake at the British GP in 98, he
voluntarilty gave up his Steward licence. He has since had it
given back. He resurfaced as Chief Steward at the 2002 Malaysian
GP, where Juan Pablo Montoya was given a controversial "drive-through"
penalty, and was also one of the Stewards at the 2003 German GP,
where Ralf Schumacher was penalized for causing a first-corner
accident. It must be sheer coincidence that he was also Chief
Steward for the USGP of 2005.
Hoosein heads the Motorsports Association of India, which displaced,
under somewhat murky circumstances, the older Federation of Motor
Sport Clubs of India as India's National Sporting Authority (ASN)
as recognized by the FIA.
Q: What was the music the BBC used for the Grand Prix?
A: "The Chain", by Fleetwood Mac, on the album "Rumo(u)rs"
Q: Are there any novels based on Formula 1?
A: Alistair Maclean's "The Way to Dusty Death" is one of the better
Bob Judd wrote a series of "throbbing groin and motor racing" novels
called "Formula 1", "Phoenix", "Indy", "Monza", "Silverstone" and
in the UK, but they have slightly different names in the US
is known as Spin in the states, and "Phoenix" as "Burn" for example).
Sally Armstrong wrote a novel called "Racers" which it claims was
researched with help of Williams Grand Prix Engineering. It is very
much a throbbing groins novel, and does beg the question exactly
what was going on at Williams in the early 90s...
Another few are "Eye of the Cobra" by Christopher Sherlock and
"White Death" by Andrew Neilsen, "The Last Open Road" by
B.S. Levy, and "Oversteer" & "Dead Pedal" by Ken Vose, plus
"Fine Tune" by Gerald Hammond.
Douglas Rutherford wrote a whole series of books in the 1950s,
including "Grand Prix Murder", "The Gilt-Edged Cockpit" and
"The Chequered Flag".
S. Thomas' "Miracle at Monaco" is a vanity press product, but worth
mention for the sheer weirdness of the concept: a 50-year-old
monk races a one-off Morgan F1 car at Monaco with the help of God.
Q: What is a "Jordan Stopwatch" and a "Ferrari Ruler"?
A: The first of these terms refers to the old practice of Jordan
having stunning testing times, only to falter during the season.
It is sometimes used as a ruse to increase sponsorship in a team,
as a fast car is easier to sell to corporate bods.
A Ferrari Ruler, on the other hand, is the idea that if you measure
something in a specific way then it is legal. It comes about from the
1999 Malaysian Grand Prix, where if you measured the bargeboards in a
specific way, then they were legal.
Q: What is "Remus?"
A: Remus is an ERA (English Racing Automobiles) - specifically, ERA R6B.
One of the three raced by Prince Bira before the war, the others being
Romulus and Hanuman.
Raced as a GP car post-war, being driven by John Bolster amongst
others. It was then owned and raced by Bill Moss for many years in UK
club motorsport and then historic events before passing to Patrick
Lindsay and, after his death, his son Ludovic.
Probably the most raced car ever.
For more information, see