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What is Formula One? A guide to the rest of the 2018 F1 season

The Formula One season is in full swing after the running of the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the most famous races in auto racing, that took place on Sunday.  

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Formula One this season or ever, then boy do I have a story for you.

Now, for those of you who don’t know what Formula One is, imagine Indy Car racing (the open-wheeled cars that you only see when you watch the Indianapolis 500), but with more money.

Unlike American auto racing, Formula One only has 20 drivers. There are two World Championships, for drivers and constructors (teams who build the vehicles), and the titles are determined through a points system based on where drivers place in races.

Basically, it’s Mario Kart minus the items and the blue shell. Whoever gets the most points at the end of each race in the circuit, or whoever is the most consistent at getting points during races will finish at the top.

With six races now completed in the Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton is the current leader with 110 points after finishing third in Monaco, and there are five drivers in total who are competing for the driver’s championship this season.

Lewis Hamilton: Hamilton is a four-time F1 World Champion and quite the fashion icon as well. Hamilton has made a name for himself in the last five years, winning three World Championships. Forty-two of his 64 career wins have come since 2014, including three straight years of 10+ wins. Hamilton currently has a 24-point lead in the standings, with two wins and three other top-3 finishes to his name this season.

Sebastian Vettel: One of Hamilton’s main competitors, Vettel is also a four-time World Champion, currently sitting in second place in the standings with 96 points. Vettel won his championships in four straight years, and has finished in the top five in the four seasons since. If there was anyone on the circuit right now comparable to Hamilton, it’s Vettel without a doubt. Vettel has two wins this season, and another top-3 finish to his name.

Daniel Riccardo: The greatest Australian export since Hungry Jack’s and Outback, Riccardo won in Monaco, putting him in third place in the standings with 72 points. Riccardo now has two wins on the season after Monaco and has had his best start to a F1 season since joining the circuit in 2011, winning two of the first six races of the season. He hadn’t won a race this early in the season since 2014, when he won the seventh race of the season, the Canadian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas: Bottas is currently fourth in the standings with 68 points and three top-3 finishes this season. Bottas finished third last year, his best F1 finish to date. He’s only won three races to date, all coming last year. He also had 10 other top-3 finishes last year, so if he wants to compete at all this season, already 42 points behind Hamilton, he needs to string together a stretch of top-3 finishes and wins.

Kimi Räikkönen: First off, there’s no way I’m gonna say his last name more than once because that’s way too much to do, so I’ll just refer to him as Kimi. Kimi is one of the older racers on the circuit at age 38. He has one World Championship in 2007, and has won 20 F1 races over his career. Kimi is fifth in the standings with 60 points, and three top-3 finishes this season, but he has to make up a significant amount of ground for the rest of a season to even have a chance.

As they say in Formula One, let’s do that Formula One.

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