AUSTIN (KXAN) - The football fans fill Third Base Sports Bar in Central Austin. They have food and drinks in hand, and from time to time they leap out of their chairs and let out huge cheers. These fans know this sport inside and out. They know the first downs and the fumbles, the touchdowns and the turnovers. However most do not know much at all about the newest sport in town -- Formula One racing.
KXAN News asked some football fans and a couple of F1 experts some questions about the basics of the sport.
The first question -- How long does an F1 race last?
"Three and a half hours," said Kyle Freitag.
"Probably about two and a half hours," said Danny Hogan.
Actually the race at the Circuit of the Americas track will be quite a bit shorter than that.
"The race at Circuit of Americas in time -- probably no more than about an hour," said former F1 driver Bill Dollahite.
The F1 cars will reach speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour. An F1 engine is about the size of one in a Honda Accord. That is less than half the size of a Nascar engine, but the F1 engine has much more power.
"They can get somewhere between 700 to 800 horse power," said F1 Expert Jim G ewinner.
The next question -- How long does an F1 pit stop last?
"How about sixty seconds," said Susie Geilo.
"Thirty-five seconds," guessed Danny Hogan.
When the powerful cars come in for a pit stop, you better not blink.
"Most pit stops when you watch an Indy car pit stop or an Nascar pit stop, and they're running 10, 12, 14 seconds like to do tire changes," said former F1 driver Dollahite. "These things come in. They do a manual pop up of the car, and in 4 seconds they're gone with 4 new tires."
Here is another question -- How much do you think an F1 team spends on a race?
Football fans know all the fast cars and festivities at a Grand Prix race cost a lot of money, but the fans KXAN talked to were amazed at just how much money.
"A single race -- two million," said Geilo.
"Twelve million dollars," guessed Hogan.
"Formula One -- the tops teams are spending 400 to 500 million dollars per year for 20 races," said Gewinner.
Do the math, and the numbers add up to at least 20 million dollars per team per race.
Hundreds of people make up an F1 team, and they spend huge amounts of time and money developing the cars. Surprisingly, the fuel the cars run on, is very much like ordinary unleaded gasoline.
There are two drivers on each team. Each earns points based on how he places in each of the 20 races in the season. The driver with the most points at the end is the champion.
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