Welcome to Formula 1. The globe-trotting carnival of motorsport has swept up legions of new fans over recent years, and we're on hand to bring you a whistle-stop guide to the sport as the first race approaches.


A stunning title duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the 2021 season and the global success of smash-hit Netflix documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive have combined to super-charge the very shape of the sport.

An explosion of interest across the US has led to three races being held stateside in 2023, while the usual plethora of iconic circuits – Monza, Silverstone, Spa, Monaco – return to the bumper 23-race calendar.

If you have entered the sport via F1: Drive to Survive or have simply been enticed by the increasingly mainstream coverage of the races, you are most welcome here.

We have picked through Google data to find the questions you are asking, the rules and intricacies you want to know more about, and we've rounded up everything we have to offer right here in this page.

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Whether you want to delve into the full F1 driver line-up or the F1 calendar 2023, whether you're desperate to know what DRS means or simply how fast F1 cars can go, we've got you covered, explained in terms that don't require decades of knowledge in the bank.

RadioTimes.com brings you our comprehensive F1 beginner's guide for the 2023 season.

How does F1 work?

F1 best tracks
The season starts in Bahrain and finishes in Abu Dhabi. Getty Images

The premise is simple. 10 teams and 20 drivers race around 23 tracks across the world. Points are awarded to the top 10 with first place receiving 25 points and those behind collecting incrementally lower amounts.

Race weekends traditionally begin with practice on Fridays, qualifying on Saturdays and topped off with the main event, a Grand Prix, on Sundays. This can vary, so keep checking our schedule page for the latest details and start times.

We have rounded up the full 2023 calendar for you, as well as a look at how long races last and how qualifying works.

Scroll down the page for more intricate details of the sport, including an explanation of a few key terms, F1 car details and some of the best F1 drivers of all time.

F1 on TV

F1 calendar 2023
Sky Sports is the home of Formula 1 in the UK Getty Images

TV coverage of Formula 1 is crucial. Attending races can be an expensive business once you start adding flights and hotels to your race weekend ticket.

That makes Sky Sports' job all the more important as they beam live coverage of every single single race weekend session directly to our homes across the nation.

F1 drivers and teams 2023

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen won the world driver's championship in 2021 and 2022. Getty Images
  • Red Bull (Max Verstappen - Sergio Perez)
  • Ferrari (Charles Leclerc - Carlos Sainz)
  • Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton - George Russell)
  • Alpine (Esteban Ocon - Pierre Gasly)
  • McLaren (Lando Norris - Oscar Piastri)
  • Alfa Romeo (Valtteri Bottas - Zhou Guanyu)
  • Aston Martin (Lance Stroll - Fernando Alonso)
  • Haas (Kevin Magnussen - Nico Hulkenberg)
  • AlphaTauri (Yuki Tsunoda - Nyck de Vries)
  • Williams (Alex Albon - Logan Sargeant)

Check out all the movers and shakers in 2023 – and their performances last season – in our F1 drivers and teams guide.


F1 flags explained
Did you know there are 10 coloured flags in F1? Getty Images

You know those questions you're too afraid to ask for fear of mocking laughter in response? Those questions you feel you ought to know the answers to, but have never actually heard them explained.

Come right this way. There are no silly questions, and here are just a few examples of the big questions you have been asking.

The best of F1

Michael Schumacher – a modern F1 legend. Netflix

We round up some of the finest drivers and tracks in the history of Formula 1. If you want to build some of your historical background of the sport, this is where you can make a solid start.

You may have heard of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, but just how good were they at their prime? And if you grew up in the '90s, Michael Schumacher was synonymous with the sport, whether you watched it or not.

Delve into the record books to check out the most successful drivers ever to land on the grid.

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide or visit our Sport hub for all the latest news.


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