Formula One, abbreviated to F1, and currently officially referred as the FIA Formula One World Championship is the highest class of auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must comply. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held on purpose-built circuits, and to a lesser extent, former public roads and closed city streets. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors, with both drivers and constructor teams required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the highest class racing licence issued by the FIA.
Formula One cars race at high speeds, up to 360 km/h (220 mph) with the engine revving up to 20,000 RPM-although the new rule changes for the 2009 Season limit engines to 18000 rpm. The cars are capable of pulling in excess of 5 G-forces in some curves. The performance of the cars is highly dependent on electronics (although Traction Control and driving aids have been banned since 2007), aerodynamics, suspension and on tyres; However the formula has seen many evolutions and changes through the history of the sport making for distinctive looks and performance changes every time a modification to the specifications is introduced.
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