Formula one is no doubt the most dramatic, fever-pitched motorsport event in the world. It is the highest class of open-wheel auto racing that is sanctioned by the FIA. The F1 season basically comprises a series of races known as Grand Prix (French for Great Prizes) which are held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads. The grand prize is awarded to the F1 drivers and F1 car manufacturers using a points system to determine the winners. Formula One cars are also purpose-built and are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, achieving speeds of up to 360 km/h (220 mph).

Typically, a Formula One Grand Prix event spans a weekend. It begins with two free practice sessions on Friday and one free practice on Saturday, after which a qualifying session is held to determine the starting order for the race on Sunday. The race begins with a warm-up lap (often referred to as the formation lap), after which the cars assemble on the starting grid in the order they qualified. A light system above the track indicates the start of the race. On occasion, the race may be started from behind the Safety Car if officials feel a racing start would be excessively dangerous, such as in extremely heavy rainfall or if there is an obstruction on the track.

A safety/pace car is one which limits the speed of competing cars on a racetrack in the case of a caution period by entering the track ahead of the leader. Competitors are not allowed to pass the safety car or other competitors during this period. The safety car leads the cars at a pre-determined safe speed until the end of the caution period when it leaves the track and competitors resume racing. The winner of the race is the first driver to cross the finish line, having completed a set number of laps, which added together should give a distance of approximately 305 km.