If you were simply switching channels, landed on an F1 race, started looking at the races without any context, and felt overwhelmed or bored, I wouldn’t blame you. It’s a bit like any other sport, where if you take a bit of time to learn some more about it, or how to watch it, you can learn to better appreciate the pinnacle of motorsport. These are some tips based on my personal experience that may allow you to better enjoy it.
Take Advantage of the F1 Apps if You Have Them
The F1 TV app is quite impressive, since it allows you to alternate between the regular broadcast and the drivers’ cameras. This allows you to watch the lines your favorite driver takes more closely, look at some basic telemetry, or be the judge of a racing incident if you look at the replay from different perspectives. If you think there’s better action at another area of the race rather than the one being broadcasted, you can easily switch to that one, especially since midfield battles can be very exciting too.
Read Up On the Strategy for the Upcoming Race
Back in 2021, the races in F1, due to the dirty air of cars on the front of a race, limited the amount of overtaking that would take place in the track. In order to compensate for the lack of action in some circuits, I would read about what the strategy was for the upcoming race. The F1 app usually provides an article detailing the strategy before every race after Friday practice.
Pirelli usually gives several options based on the data collected for a race, and provides the best two or three options for it to the competing teams. They are forced to use at least two different types of tires for the race, so this obliges them to use different strategies. This is where, if you are informed, will make the race more exciting, even if there’s not much overtaking, since you have a general idea of what each team is scheming, or how they adapt their plans to unforeseen weather, safety cars, mechanical problems and or even a lucky break. The changes in position here will be when drivers transition from the pits and vice versa, and everyone will be scrambling to take a position. Pit exits with a narrow gap or an overtake can be very exciting to see!
Be on the Lookout for Starting Grid Shakedowns
In order to bring costs down, teams have a limited amount of ICEs (Internal Combustion Engines), turbos, drivetrains, and other parts that they can swap. If any of the cars have their ICEs changed, they are given a grid penalty and must start from the back of the field. When the teams with the highest performance start from the back, it creates a very interesting race. This upcoming race in Belgium this weekend, for example, will have grid penalties for Leclerc and Verstappen, the title contenders. They will be starting from the back, scrambling to climb to the top while Mercedes, without penalties, will be fighting to hopefully maintain a lead.
I’m Gabriel, a Texas A&M Commerce graduate with an avid passion for motorsports. My favorite category of racing is Formula 1. I thoroughly enjoy go karts and racing sims when not reading about anything automotive.