Formula racing is a term that refers to various forms of open wheeled single seater motorsport. Its origin lies in the nomenclature that was adopted by theFIA for all of its post-World War II single seater regulations, or formulae. The best known of these formulæ are Formula One, Formula Two, and Formula Three. Common usage of "formula racing" encompasses other single seater series, including the GP2 Series, which replaced Formula 3000 (which had itself been the effective replacement for Formula Two). Categories such as Formula Three and GP2 are described as feeder formulæ, which refers to their position below Formula One on the career ladder of single seater motor racing. There are two primary forms of racing formula: the open formula that allows a choice of chassis and/or engines; and the control or "spec" formula that relies on a single supplier for chassis and engines. Formula Three is an example of an open formula, while Formula BMW is a control formula. There are also some exceptions on these two forms like Formula Fordwhere there is an open chassis formula but a restricted single brand engine formula.
Main article: History of Formula One
In the process of reviving Grand Prix racing after the end of World War II, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile's Commission Sportive Internationale was responsible for defining the standardised regulations of Formula One in 1946. The first race to be run to the early Formula One regulations was a non-championship Grand prix at Turin in September 1946. The first officially recognised Drivers' World Championshipwas held in 1947 and the Formula One World Championship was inaugurated in 1950. This was the first example of formula racing.
A typical F3 chassis from the late 1960s
The Formula Two regulations were first defined in 1947 as a form of B-class below Formula One.It was not unusual for some Formula One events to include a number of F2 entries in the same field and the entries in the World Championship seasons of 1952–53 comprised exclusively F2 cars for reasons of cost. F2 had a patchy history until the inauguration of the European Formula Two Championship in 1967. F2 was an open formula that allowed the use of any chassis that met the prescribed regulations; it was well supported during the 1970s, with chassis from Tecno,March Engineering, Toleman, Ralt, Matra and others. The European championship ran continually until the creation of its successor, Formula 3000, in 1985. In 2008 it was announced by the FIA that Formula Two would return in 2009 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship. Formula Three
Formula Three has a longer history, with at least ten active championships around the world. It was created by the FIA in 1950 as the low cost entry point to single seater formula racing. In 1959, it was replaced by a technically similar formula called Formula Junior, before Formula Three was reintroduced in 1964. Like the other FIA-derived formulæ, F3 is an open class that permits a choice of chassis and engines. Notable championships include the Formula Three Euroseries, the British Formula Three Championship, and the Formel 3 Cup. Formula Four
Lastly, Formula Four is a championship held in Great Britain; this championship is not very useful for gaining experience and success in the competition is not helpful for drivers wishing to enter more prestigious Formula racing competitions. Formula Four cars are considerably less powerful than their Formula One counterparts.
Racing and strategy
Main articles: Formula One racing, Racing flags, and Formula One regulations
Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg on the street circuit of Albert Park in the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. A Formula One Grand Prix event spans a weekend. It begins with two free practice sessions on Friday (except in Monaco, where Friday practices are moved to Thursday), and one free...
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