Formula 1, in acronym F1, in English Formula One and indicated in Italian as Formula One, is the highest category of single-seater open-wheel racing cars on a circuit defined by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
The category was born in 1948 (in a sort of replacement of Formula A, in turn only two years earlier, in 1946), then becoming world-wide in the 1950 season. Initially defined by the International Sports Commission (CSI) of the International Association of the Recognized Automobile Clubs (AIACR), a forerunner association of the International Automobile Federation, today Formula 1 is regulated by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) of the FIA.
The “formula”, present in the name, refers to a set of rules to which all the participants, the cars and the term drivers, must adapt; they introduce a number of restrictions and specifications into cars, in order to avoid excessive disparities between cars, to limit their development techniques and to reduce the risk of accidents. The formula has undergone many changes throughout its history. For example, there were different types of engines, with designs ranging from four to sixteen cylinders and with displacements from 1.5 to 4.5 liters.
The ownership and organization of the competition is owned by the Formula One Group controlled by Liberty Media.