Formula 1 through the years

Formula One single-seater auto racing is considered, by some, to be the most prestigious car racing championship in the world.

It is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950.

The word Formula actually refers to a set of rules for which the participants of the race must conform. The Formula One season is actually built up from a series of races known as the Grande Prix, which is French for grand prizes, a better translation may be great prizes, of which there are many. The races are staged at both purpose built circuits and public roads, there have been many changes to the locations throughout the history.

Formula One as a series actually originated in the European Championship of Grand Prix motor racing of the 1920s and 30s. Formula One was agreed upon after World War II during the year of 1946, the first non-championship races being held that year. However, the first official race following the war, was held in Turin in 1947. The first world championship race was held at Silverstone in 1950.

Brief Timeline:

1901 This marked the first recorded use of the term Grande Prix being associated with motor racing in, Le Mans.

1904 Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) was formed as a non-profit association established to represent the interests of motor car users and the motor organisations themselves.,

1933 The Monaco Grand Prix initiated starting positions on the grid determined by qualifying.

1935-39 Many discussions started within the motor world longing for a World Drivers’ Championship, but World War 2 brought these plans to nothing.

1946 Formula One was agreed as the recognised standard.

1947 The World Driver’s Championship was formalised.

1948 Juan Manuel Fangio starts his racing career nicknamed El Chueco.He went on to win 5 Championship of Drivers, a record which he held for 47 years.

1950 The first official Grand Prix held at Pau as a non-championship race. The first official British Grand Prix held at Silverstone May 13th.

The V16-powered BRM Type 15

1952 Lack of F1 car availability led to the Championship being raced in F2 cars this continued to 1953..

1953 The first non-European Grand Prix was hosted in Argentina.

1954 Limitatiox`n of engines to 2.5 litres.

1958 The First of the constructors Championship and a Grand Prix in Africa, Morocco.

1958 Ban of drivers sharing cars during the race.

1958 Introduction of AvGas in place of alcohol fuels. Reduction to the length of races from 500km or three hours to 300km or two hours. John Michael Hawthorn a British racing driver, becoming the United Kingdom’s first Formula One World Champion driver.

1958 Stirling Moss rear engine wins the Grand Prix, in just 2 years all teams had changed to this set up.

1961 Constructors start creating a 1.5 litre engine

1962 The first of the aluminium monocoque chassis opposed to the traditional space frame design, pioneered by Lotus and heralded as one of the most significant technological breakthroughs. Stirling Moss crash at Goodwood brings an end to his career. Graham Hill wins his first Formula One World Championship. He is the only driver ever to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport

1963 James Clark Jr. OBE, British Formula One racing driver from Scotland, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965.

1966 Constructors start creating a 3.0 litre engine

1967 The first Grand Prix televised in colour in Germany

1968 Sponsorship starts with Lotus brandishing tobacco.

1969 Sir John Young “Jackie” Stewart, OBE. wins the first of 3 Formula One World Championships, following a incident at Spa Jackie also went on to become a prominent safety advocate for F1.

Wing’s directly in front of the driver, the McLaren M7C, earned the nickname “The Guillotine”, and was quickly banned.

1970 Jochen Rindt killed in qualifying the first and only posthumous F1 champion.

1973 The first pace car unveiled at the Canadian Gran Prix

1975 Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda wins the first of his 3 Formula One World Championships.

McLaren MP4-2 1984

1976 Tyrrell introduced the 6 wheeled car to the circuit, one of which being the first Asian track in Japan.

1977 Turbo charged Renaults hit the track.

Tyrrell P34

1978 Bernie Ecclestone president of the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA).

1982 Strikes for the drivers, following the introduction of drivers licences. Lotus active suspension, which signaled the electronic driver aids increasingly being used to better the cars.

Williams FW07D

1983 Last non-Championship F1 race

1984 Only turbo cars featured at the Austrian Grand Prix and mid-race refueling was banned

1985 First world championship Grand Prix in Oceania (Australia).

1987 Alain Marie Pascal Prost OBE wins his first of 4 Formula One World Championships

1988 Ayrton Senna da Silva wins the first of 3 Formula One World Championships

1992 The British Grand Prix introduces the Safety Car

1994 Roland Ratzenberger dies during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna killed the during the race itself, the following day. These tragedies led to massive safety measures being introduced. Mid-race refueling was also reinstated. Michael Schumacher s the first of 7 Formula One World Championships

1998 Narrow tracks and grooved tyres introduced.

2002 Team orders banned due to race results being openly manipulated.

2008 The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), an organisation representing the interests of the teams, was formed. Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE wins the first of 5 titles.

2010 The ban on mid-race refueling is reinstated

2011 Pirelli become the longest running sole supplier of tyres to the sport

2016 KERS, boost systems known as kinetic energy recovery systems. These devices recover the kinetic energy created by the car’s braking process, which is converted into power that can be called upon to boost acceleration.

2018 No more grid girls! The statement read, “would no longer use female models in opening ceremonies at Grands Prix because the practice was inappropriate.”

2019 Introduction of the Halo mandated by the FIA, a driver crash protection system which has been heavily criticised, Niki Lauda claimed that this system distorts the “essence of racing cars”

Of course this is not fully comprehensive, if you would like an event added please let us know by emailing

Consecutive wins: (5) Ayrton Senna (3) Alain Prost, Nico Rosberg, Graham Hill (2) Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda, Stirling Moss
Top drivers : Ayrton Senna (6); Graham Hill (5); Michael Schumacher (5);
Top teams : McLaren (15); Ferrari (9); Lotus (7);

So that’s the history but what is to come?

McLaren Concept 2050

Formula 1’s proposals for the future

Key strategic initiatives
Power units (PU)
• The PU must be cheaper, simpler, louder, have more power and reduce the necessity of grid penalties.
• It must remain road relevant, hybrid and allow manufacturers to build unique and original PU.
• New PU rules must be attractive for new entrants and Customer teams must have access to equivalent performance.
• We believe how you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend.
• While there will be some standardised elements, car differentiation must remain a core value
• Implement a cost cap that maintains Formula 1 position as the pinnacle of motorsport with a state-of-the-art technology.
• The new revenue distribution criteria must be more balanced, based on meritocracy of the current performance and reward success for the teams and the Commercial Rights Holder.
• F1’s unique, historical franchise and value must and will still be recognised.
• Revenue support to both cars and engine suppliers.
Sporting and technical rules & regulations
• We must make cars more raceable to increase overtaking opportunities.
• Engineering technology must remain a cornerstone but driver’s skill must be the predominant factor in the performance of the car.
• The cars must and will remain different from each other and maintain performance differentiators like aerodynamics, suspensions and PU performance. However, we believe areas not relevant to fans need to be standardised.
• A simple and streamline structure between the teams, the FIA and Formula 1.

Who knows whether the changes will work, will F1 still be running in 2050 or will they be racing FE. All we can say is that it’s still a very exiting sport, despite what some say. The talent and bravery of the drivers to be taking Signes at 210 mph, still fills me with a childish glee.

 Onofre Marimón 30 July 31, 1954 1954 German Grand Prix Maserati Practice
 Luigi Musso 33 July 6, 1958 1958 French Grand Prix Ferrari Race
 Peter Collins 26 August 3, 1958 1958 German Grand Prix Ferrari Race
 Stuart Lewis-Evans 28 September 19, 1958 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix Vanwall Race
 Chris Bristow 22 June 19, 1960 1960 Belgian Grand Prix Cooper Race
 Alan Stacey 26 June 19, 1960 1960 Belgian Grand Prix Lotus Race
 Wolfgang von Trips 33 September 10, 1961 1961 Italian Grand Prix Ferrari Race
 Carel Godin de Beaufort 30 August 2, 1964 1964 German Grand Prix Porsche Practice
 John Taylor 33 August 7, 1966 1966 German Grand Prix Brabham Race
 Lorenzo Bandini 31 May 7, 1967 1967 Monaco Grand Prix Ferrari Race
 Jo Schlesser 40 July 7, 1968 1968 French Grand Prix Honda Race
 Gerhard Mitter 33 August 2, 1969 1969 German Grand Prix BMW Practice
 Piers Courage 28 June 7, 1970 1970 Dutch Grand Prix De Tomaso Race
 Jochen Rindt 28 September 5, 1970 1970 Italian Grand Prix Lotus Qualifying
 Roger Williamson 25 July 29, 1973 1973 Dutch Grand Prix March Race
 François Cevert 29 October 6, 1973 1973 United States Grand Prix Tyrrell Qualifying
 Helmuth Koinigg 25 October 6, 1974 1974 United States Grand Prix Surtees Race
 Mark Donohue 38 August 19, 1975 1975 Austrian Grand Prix Penske Practice
 Tom Pryce 27 March 5, 1977 1977 South African Grand Prix Shadow Race
 Ronnie Peterson 34 September 10, 1978 1978 Italian Grand Prix Lotus Race
 Gilles Villeneuve 32 May 8, 1982 1982 Belgian Grand Prix Ferrari Qualifying
 Riccardo Paletti 23 June 13, 1982 1982 Canadian Grand Prix Osella Race
 Roland Ratzenberger 33 April 30, 1994 1994 San Marino Grand Prix Simtek Qualifying
 Ayrton Senna 34 May 1, 1994 1994 San Marino Grand Prix Williams Race
 Jules Bianchi 25 October 5, 2014 2014 Japanese Grand Prix Marussia Race