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What do you get when you combine billions of dollars, the newest technology, the world’s best athletes and smartest engineers, incredible speeds, pin-point turns, and awe-inspiringly beautiful race tracks? The pinnacle of Motorsports: Formula One racing. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved watching Formula One races.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A guy from Texas openly saying he prefers Formula One to NASCAR? He must be crazy! But think about it. Let’s say you spend $15 million on NASCAR advertisements, and you get your name across the hood. You’d be one of the car’s major sponsors. But in Formula One, that kind of money wouldn’t get you more than a tiny sticker on the side of the car. The difference in money invested and earned is so massive, it’s hard to fully comprehend. Some of the top Formula One drivers are making close to $50 million a year. Top Formula One teams spend over $510 million per year to fill two cars, whereas NASCAR teams could spend just over $50 million for two cars. It’s truly the best of the best in motorsports.

Formula One is pretty similar to how soccer is viewed in the U.S. Soccer may be the most popular sport played worldwide, but it pales in comparison to the NFL. Behind soccer, Formula One is the second most-watched sport in the world. During any given race, upward of 530 million people will be watching, whereas NASCAR only reports having 75 million fans altogether; and the sheer amount of people watching means one thing: money. A single car employs over 500 people, and each and every one of them embodies perfection. Everything, from their uniforms to how their trucks are parked, is regulated. It’s flawless.

These races happen all over the world, in some of the most beautiful and remote locations, like the Formula One crown jewel, the Monaco Grand Prix. They also hold a race here in Austin, Texas, every October, known as the US Grand Prix — a race I’ve been lucky enough to attend the last two years. The drivers can go from 150 mph to less than 50 mph in the blink of an eye. Just to withstand up to 6 G-forces is incredible. And regardless of wet or dry conditions, if there is a race, they race.

My favorite race to watch is the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. It’s one of the older tracks, and it’s full of soul. The newer tracks are too cookie cutter; they lack substance. This race at Spa, it’s like you’re actually driving somewhere, not just doing the same thing over and over. Is one of the driver’s all-time favorite tracks. The Spa track is incredibly difficult, allowing the best drivers to showcase their skills. Now, without a doubt, my favorite team to follow is Ferrari.

One of their former drivers, Michael Schumacher, was my favorite driver. He’s a German, who raced for Ferrari as well as Jordan, Benetton, and Mercedes. He holds the record for the most world championships titles (7), pole positions (68), podium finishes (155), and wins (91). With Ferrari, he yielded an unprecedented five consecutive titles. He eventually went on to retire from racing in 2012. Regrettably, he was in an accident in 2013 while on a ski trip. His injury put him in a coma for over 12 months. For years, he survived crashes, controversy, and the fastest speeds in sports, just to be sidelined by a vacation. Luckily, he’s home now, but he’s still recovering as one of the best Formula One racers of all time.

Formula One has influenced my life in more ways than just being my favorite sport to watch. The amount of dedication these teams put into a single car, how they only accept the absolute best, and how they are constantly implementing new technology and standards — these are the same qualities I strive to bring to every one of our clients. Castro Roofing is your pit crew, your engineers, and your fans. And we always provide you with the very best of the best.

Written by Rudy Rodriguez

March 11, 2017

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