The History And Origin Of Formula One

April 18, 2016

Girls go obsessed with the latest fashion trends and make-up combinations, men also have some things to be busy about. Aside from getting updated to the latest NBA champion, men, especially those who belong to the upper class of the community, make sure that they get to enjoy themselves over fast and expensive cars. Lots of leisure car events happen everywhere every day, from simple college bets to professionals showing off their newly purchased Ferrari or Mercedes Benz.

One of any racer’s dreams is to compete in Formula One, the grandest and most renowned one-seat auto racing in the world. It is considered to be the highest form of racing since its inauguration in 1950 and it has a series of races known as the Grand Prix, to which racers and constructors from all over the world prepare for that one big fight of their lives. While a lot of people now are fond of the modern-day Formula One, many have forgotten the roots to where the famous name really originated from.

Scuderia Ferrari

Photo source: www.mediacollective.nl/stylepark/il-motore-a-dodici-cilindri

While it’s very easy to go over the internet and search for the timeline of Formula One’s origin, it is also important to bring into life the other details that seem important. How did the famous F1 start and reach its reputation?

Humble Beginnings

Formula One started in Europe as a simple motor racing scene during the war. It was on the rough roads of France in the 1890’s that racing had pioneered and had become an interesting sport to watch. The Grand Prix- a series of international formula for car racing- wasn’t popular yet at that time but later on people started to think that it’s much better to organize events for racing. Back in 1895, the first ever proper motor racing competition was held. It was a 1,200-kilometer road race that started in Paris and ended in Bordeaux. It took about 48 hours to know the winners. It was successfully achieved by Émile Levassor. But one of the most successful drivers at the time was Fernand Charron, who attended the 1899 race.

The First Winners

Later on, championships were planned but was temporarily shelved because of the beginning World War II. People needed to focus on saving themselves from bombings and death rather than plan for a competition. Eventually, in 1946, the idea of making a Formula One driver’s championship was brought to life again, races were conducted and it took more years to finalize the details. Formula One was the new formula agreed among the organizers (Formula One got its name after the formula approved by FIA (Federation Internationale de I’Automobile) in 1947 , which is the set of rules and regulations that all participants must comply). Formula One was originally named as Formula A. In May 1950, the first world championship race under the care of FIA was held in a Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom. It was won by the Italian racer Giuseppe Farina in his Alfa Romeo. His teammate from Argentina, Juan Manuel Fangio, was barely defeated by him. However, the year after that Fangio won the race and had won another four consecutive world championships (1954, 1955, 1956, and 1957). His record of holding the most number of race winning was his to brag for forty-five years until German driver Michael Schumacher won his sixth title in 2003.

Fangio, though the record was already defeated, is still considered the “Grand Master” of Formula One. During that time, privateers-people who bring and maneuver their cars and race them on their own- were common and abundant. Nevertheless, the event was dominated by big companies that manufacture cars. Some of them were Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Masirati, and Mercedes Benz. Fangio, the five-title holder, had his cars manufactured by different manufacturers all throughout his racing career.

In 1952, due to lack of support from the race organizers of F1, Formula Two cars were run during the World Championships. At this time, Fangio suffered from an injury that is why he had to sit down while the whole event took place. Even if more races were included in the championships, there were plenty of non-championship competitions going on. These non-championship events gave the winners the chance to go through the championships.

The First Accident

In 1955, the first ever reported death because of the event occurred. It was that of Alberto Ascari riding his Ferrari. Ascari had won the 1952 and 1953 F1 world championships, right next to Fangio. After his death, Fangio won the 1954 championships. Lots of deaths have occurred during the race but that didn’t stop the racers from continuing the race.

It was also during that year that a Mercedes Benz, driven by Frenchmen Pierre Levegh, crashed into an area full of watchers, killing 81 and hospitalizing a hundred more. The accident caused lots of changes in the event. In 1958, championships for constructors followed. National championship Formula One events existed not just in the UK as what is used to be done. It happened in Africa the two years after the constructors championship was realized. Non-championship events of F1 were allowed for some time but when organizers realized that it has become non-profitable and costly, it was stopped.

Formula One Car

Photo source: http://feelgrafix.com/group/formula-1.html

The last of these constructor championships occurred in 1983. The first world championship in Australia happened in 1985. In 1994, deaths of Ayton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger called the attention of the manufacturers and the event organizers to create a safer and less accidental event. The year was the last to produce deaths at the wheel of a Formula One car.

The Formula One Champions

It was mentioned above that Giuseppe Farina won the first ever Formula One World Championships in 1950. However, lots of drivers have become more popular including Juan Fangio who won five championship titles. Michael Schumacher defeated this record by winning a total of seven championships, from 1994-1995, and from 2000-2004. More than thirty separate drivers have won in more than fifty world championship events. In the list of winners of the event, United Kingdom holds the most number of wins and has been the most successful in the sport, with 10 drivers holding 14 championships and 214 wins from 19 drivers all in all. Mexico got the second lowest number of wins with only two won by Pedro Rodriguez in South Africa in 1967 and in Belgium in 1970. However, in 1971 he was killed in a Ferrari in Nuremberg, Germany.

Constructors: the Brains of Engines and Chassis

Before we go on to the list of constructors, let us first identify what it is. According to FIA Sporting Regulations, a constructor of an engine or chassis (the frame upon which the main parts of an automobile are built) is the person- including any corporate or unincorporated organizations- which has the intellectual right to the car parts that they make.

In 1960s-1970s, Brabham and Lotus chassis were abundantly used by different teams. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some companies have been commissioned to design and build a chassis for a team, like Lola for Larrousse and Scuderia in Italy.

From 1950 up to now, only Ferrari has been consistent in joining all the seasons of Formula One world championships. It also has the most number of wins as a chassis and engine constructor. Statistically speaking, Ferrari is so far the best company to make body parts for race cars. Add the fact that the seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher used Ferrari in six of his seven world championships.

In more than 50 seasons the Championship has taken place, only 15 different constructors have made it to the limelight. Not all constructors have remained active in Formula One. Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, and Renault are some of the constructors which continued up to date. Scuderia Ferrari had 16 titles including 1999 to 2004 consecutive wins. The United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, France, and Germany are the only countries to have produced winning constructors, with the UK giving the highest number.

Formula One is a price for every racer all around the world, just to be a part of it is probably and actually a big thing for them. History tells how it started as a simple racing event using heavy and slow cars on rough roads to the fast and light cars on especially made laps. So much has happened to it and its evolution somehow becomes a very big thing.

Knowing that these cars can improve from good to great, it is quite possible that in the future, Formula One will give a more spectacular show to its viewers. Although there had been serious disasters that had happened at the expense of lives lost, it will not tarnish the reputation that has been built. It cannot erase the fact that the event has produced champions and inspiration to lots of people all over the world. Sports enthusiasts who look up to their favorite car racers, hoping one day to be just like them. History is just a small piece of what the future of Formula One has to offer. We can never tell what the future brings. Probably soon, we can see cars race without really hitting the ground, or whatever our imagination has to offer. And if it ever happens, we need to live longer to find out.

Leave a Comment: