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Lewis Hamilton leads the field through the first lap of the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton leads the field through the first
lap of the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.

Formula One, abbreviated to F1, and currently officially referred as the FIA Formula One World Championship is the highest class of auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and is currently in its 60th season. The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must comply. The Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held on purpose-built circuits, and to a lesser extent, former public roads and closed city streets. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors. Formula One cars race at high speeds, up to 360 km/h (220 mph). The cars are capable of pulling in excess of five G-forces in some curves. Europe is Formula One's traditional centre, where all of the teams are based, and where around half the races take place. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly in recent years and Grands Prix are held all over the world. Events in Europe and the Americas have been dropped in favour of races in Asia and the Middle East; of the eighteen races in 2008, nine were outside Europe. Formula One is a massive television event, with millions of people watching on TV each race worldwide, the Formula One Group being the legal holder of the commercial rights. As the world's most expensive sport, its economic effect is significant, and its financial and political battles are widely covered. On average about 55 million people all over the world watch Formula One races live.

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Maurício Gugelmin

Maurício Gugelmin (born April 20, 1963 in Joinville) is a former racing driver from Brazil. He took part in both Formula One and the Champ Car World Series. He participated in 80 Formula One grands prix, debuting in 1988 for the March team. He achieved one top-three finish and scored a total of ten championship points in the series. He competed in the Champ Car series between 1993 and 2001, starting 147 races. He won one race, in 1997 in Vancouver, finishing fourth in the championship that year. His best result in the Indianapolis 500 was in 1995 where he started and finished in sixth position, leading 59 laps. For a period, he held the world speed record for a closed race track, set at California Speedway in 1997 at a speed of 240.942 mph (387.759 km/h). Gugelmin retired at the end of 2001 after a year that included the death of his son. He runs the family business in Brazil along with his brother, Alceu, and has also done consultancy work for Mercedes-Benz subsidiary AMG. Both his surviving sons compete in go-kart events.

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Nick Heidfeld

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A Fittipaldi FD-01

Fittipaldi Automotive, sometimes called Copersucar after its first major sponsor, was the only Formula One motor racing team and constructor ever to be based in Brazil. It was formed during 1974 by racing driver Wilson Fittipaldi and his younger brother, double world champion Emerson, with money from the Brazilian sugar and alcohol cooperative Copersucar. In 1976 Emerson surprised the motor racing world by leaving the title-winning McLaren team to drive for the unsuccessful family outfit. Future world champion Keke Rosberg took his first podium finish in Formula One with the team. The team was based in São Paulo, almost 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away from the centre of the world motor racing industry in the UK, before moving to Reading, UK during 1974. It participated in 119 grands prix between 1975 and 1982, entering a total of 156 cars. It achieved 3 podiums and scored 44 championship points.

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Current World Championship standings

Drivers' Championship Constructors' Championship
Name Team Points Constructor Points
United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn GP 95 United Kingdom BrawnMercedes 172
Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 84 Austria Red BullRenault 153.5
Brazil Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP 77 United Kingdom McLarenMercedes 71
Standings at the conclusion of the 2009 Formula One season.

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2010 Bahrain Grand Prix
Round 1 of 19 · 12-14 March
Bahrain International Circuit
Bahrain Grand Prix
2009 Abu DhabiBahrain Grand Prix2010 Australian
Attending or watching this race? Following the teams, cars, or drivers? Upload freely-licensed images to Commons, contribute to Wikinews where original reporting is accepted, and keep Wikipedia up to date!

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