10 things you probably don’t know about Formula One

Did you know Jenson Button failed his first driving test? Find out more.

Picture: Corbis

Are you ready for one of the world’s most anticipated events this weekend? Before you rev up your engine and bask in the adrenaline-pumping action that is the 2010 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix, read on for some fun facts about Formula One (F1).

1. Did you know besides F1, there are also other single-seat racing car categories like Formula Two (F2), Formula Three (F3), Formula Atlantic, Formula Renault, and Formula Ford? Basically, the vehicles used in these other categories are slower and less sophisticated.

2. Here’s a solution to lose those annoying few kilos: be a F1 driver. F1 drivers can lose up to five kilos per race due to insanely high speeds, heat and dehydration. Oh, by the way, a F1 race never exceeds two hours. Go figure.

3. F1 drivers aren’t the only ones losing weight; each car tyre loses about 0.5kg per race due to high friction.

4. Race cars can accelerate from zero to 200km/hr and back to zero in seven seconds flat. What happens when a F1 driver applies full brake to the car? 55 metres and 1.9 seconds are all it takes before coming to a standstill.

5. It takes about 80,000 car components to make up a F1 car. Even if it’s missing, say, 0.1 per cent of the components, the car won’t be allowed to go on the track because that means it’s lacking 80 car parts.

6. Two hours is not only the time limit for one F1 race (the drivers may suffer from severe neck and body strains if they exceed the limit), it’s also the lifespan of the F1 car engines. FYI, a normal car engine lasts about 20 years.

7. Many drivers have their own good luck charm, but some are more superstitious than others – David Coulthard, for example, wears his old underwear when he races (let’s just hope he washes it after), while Fernando Alonso sings before every race.

Picture: Amber Lounge

8. Jenson Button (above) may be known as one of the best F1 drivers to some – well, mainly to his fangirls, but he actually failed his driving test when he was 17-years-old.

9. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher – he’s won a record of 91 Grand Prix titles, no joke! – is back on the fast track this year after his retirement in 2006. If that’s not reason enough to watch the race, here’s another: this year’s Singapore Grand Prix is not only a new circuit for the legendary driver, it’s also his first ever night race.

10. Music lovers can expect one of the largest outdoor stages ever constructed for a concert in Singapore, the LG Live at 2010 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix, at the Padang. The whopping $600,000 stage, which has been used by superstars like Robbie Williams and Rain, is specially imported from overseas to our giant field and is about the size of a basketball court. This year’s line-up is especially exciting, with headlining acts like Mariah Carey, Adam Lambert and Missy Elliot. Which leads us to…

…Important things to note for the LG Live at 2010 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix
OK, let’s be honest; while there are a considerable number of female F1 enthusiasts, some are just hoping to ogle Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and gang up close.

But there’s also a very large community who are more interested in “live” performances at racing events. And looking at this year’s entertainment line-up at the LG Live at 2010 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix, we can only expect the community to grow.

If you haven’t already bought your golden ticket to the music extravaganza, here’s what you need to know:

• Majority of the tickets are already sold out. Still available* are three-day passes to the Grand Stand (Pit Entry, $1,288; Connaught, $698; Padang, $598; Bay, $298) and one-day Walkabout passes (Friday, September 24, $38; Saturday, September 25, $108).

• Stage and performance areas have limited capacity and are on a first-come-first-served basis. This means even if you purchase the cheapest ticket, i.e. the $38 one-day Walkabout pass, you’ll be able to see the music performance as long as you practise what Singaporeans do best – “chope” your seats early. 

• For a complete listing of the artistes’ performance schedules, click here.

*Accurate at publishing time.