Formula One: 7 Curiosities from This Racing Competition

16th April 2019
Formula One has maintained its essence throughout the years, probably more than we realize when watching it every Sunday. Keep reading to discover some interesting curiosities about this racing competition.

Formula One is a thrilling world. Its glamour, the circuits, the competitiveness…and so much more, make Formula One curiosities even more interesting. In this article, we’ll discover seven Formula One curiosities, some of which, only a few people know about!

Formula One curiosities: six-wheel cars

Nowadays it might sound crazy, but the engineers at Formula One used to experiment with six-wheel cars. There was a total of five cars with this characteristic, and the most famous one is the Tyrrell P34.

formula one six wheel car

The engineer, Derek Gardner was the first to bring about the idea of adding six wheels instead of four. He was trying to reduce aerodynamic resistance and achieve a faster speed.

All of these cars were developed and built in the late 70s and early 80s but none of them were ever used in competition. Despite this, they have earned their spot in the Formula One curiosities and the history of motorsports due to their peculiar appearance.

Formula One curiosities: the curse of number 13

Formula One drivers are generally superstitious people. For that reason, the number thirteen has had a particular significance in the history of this competition.

The curse of the number thirteen in the motorsport’s world dates back to 1925. It was then when driver Paul Torchy suffered a deadly accident, on the Lasarte circuit, when he crashed against a tree. His car was the number 13.

Years later, the driver Giulio Masetti dared to add the number 13 on his car. He also passed away in a car accident. Decades later, any driver who dares to use the number 13 on their car, hasn’t had much better luck.

When, in Formula One, the numbers were distributed according to the past year’s results, they went from number 12 to number 14. Nowadays drivers can choose their own number, but no-one wants to pick the cursed number 13! A Formula One curiosity indeed.

Little known Formula One curiosities: driver’s salary

Drivers salaries are very unequal. Some make millions, while others have to pay to have a seat in the competition.

To this date, the best-paid driver is Lewis Hamilton, who will earn $564,52.250.00 dollars in the 2019 season. Not too far behind we have Sebastian Vettel who will earn $451,61.800.00. Carlos Sainz, the other Spanish driver on the list will have an income of $300,50.000.00.

formula one, lewis hamilton

Record-breaking pit stops

Pit stops are getting faster each time. In a blink of an eye, the mechanics can remove all four tires and replace them with new ones.

Team Williams holds the record until this day. During the Baku circuit, they performed a pit-stop in 1.92 seconds. This is incredibly spectacular. It seems difficult for any other team to break this amazing record.

The oldest champion driver

Currently, the driver’s average age is becoming younger. A decade ago the average age of drivers was a lot higher. Today it’s unthinkable to have a driver still competing after his forties.

The driver that holds the record of being the oldest to win a race is Luigi Fagioli. The Italian won the Grand Prix in France in 1951 at the age of 53. One record that seems very unlikely to be taken away from him.

The maximum speed in Formula One

Valtteri Bottas has the highest speed record. The Finnish pilot reached a speed of 378 km/h during the Baku Grand Prix in 2016. Until that day, Felipe Massa had the record with a speed of 372,6 km/h that he set during the Monza Grand Prix in 2004.

formula one fastest speed

How many people follow Formula One?

Formula One has followers across the world. In each city where there’s a motor circuit race, it becomes packed with spectators. It’s one of the sports with the most media coverage. But how many people watch Formula One?

During the last few years, the audience has significantly dropped because of a lack of excitement. Despite this, it’s estimated that the sport had around 400 million spectators. A stratospheric figure that is only surpassed by a few other sports.

Even though it’s a high figure, we must keep in mind that ten years ago, Formula One was followed by 100 million more people. Now, year by year, the audience number keeps dropping and it seems difficult to achieve the previous figures.