Formula 1® is a powerful mirror to the world of management, where high performance relies on strong leadership, clear goals, selfless teamwork, innovation through constant learning and a winning culture to demonstrate how business can achieve optimal performance in highly competitive and dynamic environments.






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The Business of Formula 1



  • to win hands down – to win very easily
  • staggering – astonishing, overwhelming
  • high roller – one who spends lavishly and showily on entertainment
  • to pocket – to put or enclose in or as if in one’s pocket
  • payout – a large amount of money that is paid to someone
  • gifted (e.g. driver) – talented



Discuss in pairs/groups, or with your teacher.

  • Where do the successful teams get their big budgets from?
  • Do you think it`s easy to drive a race car? Why (not)?
  • Would you like to be able to sit next to a driver (if there was a passenger seat) during a two-hour Formula 1 race?
  • How important is teamwork in Formula 1?
  • What do you think of Formula 1 as a business and huge marketing success?



Practice Makes Perfect


Use the words in bold to fill in the text below. Go to learning from formula one to check your answers.


risks                pressure                      focus              

lap                         swap                    fearless                       stakes


In 1960, the Formula One World Championship was ten years old. The drivers included a few veteran racers and plenty of youngsters yet to make their names. The cars were beautiful but primitive, their pilots (1) ……… , the dangers enormous. When, that season, the organisers of Formula One decided to give the point for fastest (2) …….. to the driver who finished in sixth position instead, it wasn’t because they were worried about drivers taking (3)…… . But when they made that decision, they took away the ultimate inducement to push. The point for fastest lap wouldn’t return for 59 years – but now, F1 has brought it back.

R&D in real time

Every winter, Formula One retreats and reinvents itself. Rules change, drivers  (4)…….. teams, and the cars mutate. F1 teams face the most relentless and compressed development cycle that exists. It is R&D in real time, and the teams that get it wrong can be at the back of the grid for the rest of the year, and the years that follow. While development continues all year, and car performance ebbs and flows, getting it wrong pre-season is usually catastrophic.

Consistency and excellence

So the (5) …….. are high. Teams that are unsuccessful will  (6) ……to attract sponsorship and can disappear. Teams have swelled in size as technology has transformed the sport. Data defines everything. Ten years ago the frontier was wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics, now it is AI and predictive analytics. The old rules governing reliability and speed are changing, as real-world testing gives way to virtualisation.

Demand for precision

This puts enormous demands on planning and workflow. The lower and lower engineering tolerances involve exacting precision. And it’s a huge test on a human level, as teams are tested under enormous (7) ………. , away from home for 21 weekends a year. The premium is on consistent performance, from technical excellence to perfect pit wall judgement calls. While in the old days an individual with exceptional engineering talent could make an enormous difference, the  (8)……….. now is on leaders, teamwork and data-driven strategy.


ANSWERS: 1. fearless; 2. lap; 3. risks; 4. swap; 5. stakes; 6. struggle; 7. pressure; 8. focus


Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!


Formula 1: Drive to Survive – this series goes one step further into the world of Formula 1 as we meet the families, the teams and the drivers behind the visors in this exclusive.


Formula 1: Drive to Survive