Understanding Formula One Boat Racing

When the phrase ‘Formula One’ is mentioned, what comes to most people’s minds is Grand Prix racing. Names such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are most familiar. There is another version, however; one that is fast gaining popularity across the world: Formula One (F1) Powerboat Racing.

How Does It Work?

The race brings together powerboats which have set a qualifying time from qualifying heats. Depending on the time clocked in qualification, the boats then line up in a grid. The boats then set out to cover the race distance along a marked circuit. The competition may take place on a river, bay, dock or a racing circuit. There is special timing equipment to clock the times.

How Fast Do F1 Powerboats Move?

The race takes about 45 minutes. During this time, boats can achieve speeds of up to 250 km/h. After take-off, the boats can accelerate to up to 65 km/h within the first five seconds. This activity is fuel consuming as the boat burns more than 100 litres of fuel in a single race. Many people show up to bet on boats and witness the result as they cross the finish line, which usually has a spectator area.

Popular Riders

The US, UK, Italy and France have produced some of the most prolific F1 Powerboat racing drivers since the inception of the competition in 1981. Shaun Torrente of the US was the winner of the 2018 championship, taking over from Alex Carella of Italy who took the 2017 crown.

Carella had dethroned Philippe Chiappe after the Frenchman took three consecutive titles. Chiappe had himself knocked Carella down from a similarly unbeaten run. Can Torrente hold the two off in future championships? It is the exciting stuff many fans wait to see, and people are full of speculation.

Guido Cappellini is the most celebrated F1 Powerboat driver, having won an outrageous ten titles in a long career spanning between 1993 and 2009.