Here's How the Championship Works

Before we get into the things to look out for the new season, let's run through some of the ground rules and discuss how a Formula 1 season works.

  • There are 12 teams, each with two drivers.
  • There are are now 20 races (called rounds) taking place in 20 different countries around the world.
  • There are two championships at stake: The Driver Championship which is awarded to the driver who accumulates the most points over the course of the 20 races, and the Constructors' Championship which is awarded to the team that accumulates the most points over the 20-race season.
  • Grid positions are determined by a three part qualifying session on the Saturday before the Grand Prix in which the slowest cars are eliminated after each round
  • In 2010, Formula 1 banned refuelling during pit stops. All cars must finish the race with the same tank of gas with which they start. Only tire changes are permitted during pit stops.
  • Formula 1's tire supplier—now Pirelli—supplies four types of dry-weather tires: Prime (medium or hard) and Option (soft or super-soft). The softer the tire, the faster a car is able to go around the track due to the better grip. Each team is allowed to bring two kinds of tire to each race. Each tire is marked by a different color logo on the sidewalls.
  • To receive points, a driver must finish in the top 10. 1st place gets 25 points, 2nd place gets 18 points, 3rd place gets 15 points, 4th place gets 12 points, 5th place gets 10 points, 6th place gets 8 points, 7th place gets 6 points, 8th place gets 4 points, 9th place gets 2 points, and 10th place gets 1 point.