Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and buckle up, because we’re about to untangle the key actors involved in F1.
We’ll zoom through everything from governing bodies to the Concorde Agreement and the teams themselves. If you’re new to F1 this is exactly what you’ll need to get up to speed.
A fantastic pit crew makes a good F1 car great, and so it is with the motorsport itself.
Let’s begin by introducing you to the top brass, the pivotal trio of FIA, FOM, and Liberty Media, each with a crucial role on this high-speed stage.
Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
Think of the FIA as the doting parent of the motorsport world. Since its 1904 foundation, the FIA’s been keeping an eagle eye on safety, making rules, and meting out justice when drivers misbehave.
From crash testing to race regulation enforcement, the FIA ensures that racing isn’t just about speed but also about ensuring everyone gets home safely.
Formula One Management (FOM)
The FOM is like the savvy business manager behind a rock band, turning up the volume on F1’s commercial success.
If F1 is a global concert, the FOM sets the tour dates, negotiates contracts, and even manages the Herculean task of moving the entire circus from one venue to another.
In 2021, Stefano Domenicali took over as maestro of this orchestra, succeeding Chase Carey and ushering in a new era after Liberty Media’s $4.4bn acquisition of F1.
Liberty Media is a titan of a media conglomerate, its fingerprints all over our F1 experience. Imagine them as the promoters, ever keen on building the F1 brand.
From launching fan surveys to partnering with AWS and Netflix, they are all about enhancing our engagement with the sport. The Netflix series Drive to Survive is their brainchild, now shooting for its sixth season!
The ‘New’ Concorde Agreement
The Concorde Agreement is a bit like the peace treaty that keeps all ten teams playing nice. This agreement outlines how the teams race and how the TV revenues and prize money get divvied up.
The latest update in 2020 keeps all teams bound to the world championship for another five years and introduced a budget cap from the 2021 season and changed the prize money distribution.
The new Concorde Agreement seeks to protect the value of the incumbent teams, by requiring new entrants to pay 200 million dollars up front, shared equally among 10 existing teams, in exchange for having the right of revenue share in its first year of competition. Previously, new entries only received the prize money from their second year onwards.
A Pit Lane Tour: F1 Teams
Now, let’s shift gears and get up close with the stars of the show – the teams.
Picture F1 as a three-tier cake. At the top, you have the crème de la crème battling for the championship. The next two layers, dubbed ‘the midfield’, are often the most exciting. Here, unpredictability is the name of the game.
F1’s ten teams can be split into two main types: Works Teams and Constructors Teams.
Works Teams create both the body and soul of their F1 cars – the chassis and the engine.
Constructors Teams, on the other hand, build their own car but plug in an engine bought from a supplier.
Williams F1 and Mercedes are a perfect example of this partnership – Williams has been using Mercedes engines since 2014, illustrating that there’s more to F1 than just the driver or car.
The teams that currently build and sell engines are Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault (now called Alpine). There was also Honda, which manufactured engines but didn’t have a team and left the sport last year(only to announce earlier this year that they will return in 2026).
Each year, we witness a thrilling duel between the teams for the coveted Formula One World Constructor Championship. This contest is as fierce and gripping as the one for the driver’s title, adding another layer of excitement to each race.
The Evolution of F1 Teams
Team History of Every F1 Driver since 2008 via reddit
Since F1’s birth in 1950, the grid has seen numerous transformations. Teams evolve, drivers come and go, but the spirit of racing persists.
We’ve been accustomed to seeing two drivers and 10 teams on the grid for the last nine years, but that hasn’t always been the rule. There were times when as many as 13 or 14 teams would line up on the grid.
However, to prevent overcrowding, rules like the 107% rule ensure that only the fastest cars make the cut.
According to FIA regulations, there can be a maximum of 26 cars admitted to the Championship, with each team allowed to enter two cars. So, the maximum grid size can be anywhere between 20 to 26 cars. The last time we had a grid of 26 cars was for the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix.
🚨 RELATED: Stefano Domenicali is pushing to have 12 teams on the F1 grid for 2026. Talks are already underway with potential entrants – the entry fee could be revised to around $1 billion. – Read more(IT)
If fewer than 12 cars are available for a Grand Prix, the FIA reserves the right to cancel the race. This rule was influenced by the 2005 US Grand Prix, where only six cars made it to the start line, creating a rather ‘slim’ spectacle.
While a team typically fields two main drivers, it’s also allowed to have up to four different drivers. This includes reserve drivers, who are the understudies of the F1 world, ready to jump in if one of the main drivers can’t race.
From the boardroom politics to the technical wizardry and heart-stopping competition on track, Formula 1 is a thrilling roller coaster of speed, technology, and human endeavor.
Whether you’re an F1 aficionado or just getting your wheels wet, there’s always something exciting to discover in this fast-paced world. Make sure you keep following us to learn everything there is to know about the sport.