Formula One, often referred to as F1 and Formula 1, is a form of open wheeled auto racing that began in 1950. Races, usually known as Grand Prix take place all around the world on purpose built circuits as well as temporary street circuits.
Many of the world's top car manufacturers compete in F1. The new cars are capable of speeds up to around 360 km/h (225 mph), are turbo-charged, and rev to up to 15000RPM.
The 2013 season received a global audience of 450 million people. Around 100,000 people attend each Grand Prix in person.
A Formula One race is typically 305 km (190 miles) in length and lasts around one and a half hours.
Points are used in Formula One to determine the outcome of both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships. The championships are awarded to the driver and team who score the most points over a World Championship season.
Currently points are awarded to the top ten finishes in the race; as seen in the table on the right. In the past, points have been awarded to far fewer drivers; in 1950, it was just he first five finishers and the setter of the fastest lap; for the sixies, seventies and nineties it was to the top six with nine points for a win. From 1991 ten points was awarded for victory. In 2003, the number of point scorers to eight, and the current system was introduced in 2010.
Oddly, though, it rarely has been as simple as counting up point scores. For most of F1's history, not all results counted as drivers only took their best results. Constructors only scored through the best-placed car until 1978. Double points are to be awarded at the final race of the 2014 season. Sometimes, but very rarely, half points are awarded for shortened races.
Fernando Alonso is the driver with the most points, though this total is skewed due the current points system. If the current points were to applied throughout history, Michael Schumacher would top the chart. Ferrari, having competed in every F1 season, has the most points of any team.
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