Updated 09/25/2012 03:54 PM
Former driver shares secret to success in F1
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The scream of a Formula One car has always excited Rodrigo Sanchez. He’s a former Formula 2000 driver who says going professional typically means moving to Europe and spending a lot of money.
"Usually from go karts you go to lower-type formulas -- Formula 4 and Formula 2000," Sanchez said. "Top tier drivers and top tier teams, they keep winning races because they have the funds to develop the car."
There are only 24 drivers in the world racing Formula One cars this year. Each car must weigh at least 600 kilograms, or about 1,300 pounds. The total weight of the car includes the weight of the driver. Most teams try to stay right around that weight so they can maximize speed and distance.
To reach the finish line, you also need the right tires. A few days before the race, Sanchez says the tire producer, Pirelli will send out a team to assess the condition of the track as well as the weather forecast for race weekend. At that point, they will determine which types of tires each team will use.
"If it is soft, it is meant to react to temperature a lot more. It will stick more to the surface, but it will wear a lot faster. The opposite for the hard tires," Sanchez said.
Each team will get 11 sets of tires for the weekend. Those tires have to last through all warm-ups, qualifying rounds and the race itself.
November’s Formula One race is the first for Texas in over 25 years. Dallas hosted the U.S. Grand Prix in 1984 but hot temperatures and tire problems pitted any future races since then.
Formula One officials hope November’s event will just be the first of many races to come. Tuesday, the race director for Formula One's governing body will formally inspect the track at Circuit of The Americas.