Just seven decades have passed since the first competition in the category, the 1950 European Grand Prix, was held in Silverstone (England). That first official race of the most popular and prestigious motor sport championship in the world, held that May 13, it was held to seventy laps and it was the Italian pilot Giuseppe Farina, better known as Nino Farina, who, at the controls of his Alfa Romeo and with the ovation of more than a hundred thousand spectators, obtained, not only the ‘pole position ‘the day before, but also the victory in that emblematic circuit.
It is important to clarify that, although the first Grand Prix of the Silverstone Drivers’ World Championship in 1950 was the race that was referenced as the opening of Formula 1, the birth as such of the championship dates back four years ago, in 1946, just after of the Second World War, when the first races were held under the new regulations of the category.
That same year, the International Sports Commission (ITUC), a sports subsidiary of the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR), wanted to give new life to motorsports and named Mr. Augustin Perouse as president, a person who opened up questions about a new formula of the Grand Prize. Likewise, the AIACR was renamed the International Automobile Federation (FIA), as we know it today.
The definitive name of Formula 1 was also born this year and it was thanks to the fact that the Commission came to the conclusion that this denomination described in all the word a racing division, so they decided to choose it, among others such as Formula A and International Formula.
In 1947 when the Drivers’ World Championship was created and from then on until 1950, non-specific competitions of the World Championship were held, but in 1949 it was already officially announced that in 1950 the Formula 1 World Championship would start as such.
For that first championship there were only seven rounds, starring circuits as well known as those of Silverstone, Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps, Indianapolis and Monza, as well as others that have already disappeared, such as the Bremgarten in Switzerland and the Reims-Gueux, in France.
The success predicted to be part of this category of motorsport from the beginning, since the first race on Saturday, May 13, 1950 was historic, not only because the first Grand Prix of the official World Championship was on the scene, but because personalities such as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended the competition accompanied by Princess Margaret and the couple of Counts Mountbatten. The season was won by Nino Farina with a spectacular closing at Monza.
Initially, the interest of automotive manufacturers was notorious. There were 21 cars on the track. For example, Alfa Romeo debuted recharged with four repowered Alfetta 158s, powering 400 horsepower from supercharged L8 engines. Six Maserati, four ERAs, five Talbot Lago, and two Alta also joined. It was learned that Ferrari did not dare to compete that inaugural year for fear that their cars were not at the level of the Alfa Romeo.
But royalty was not only present in the stands, but among the 21 pilots who took the start. Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh (known as Prince Bira), a member of the Thai royal family and Swiss Baron Emmanuel “Toulo” of Graffenried stood out.
One fact that is very striking is the age of the pilots of seventy years ago, which on average was around 39 years, much more than currently pilots with average ages of 25 years. Even three of the 21 drivers who gave their all on the road that May 13 at Silverstone were 50 years old, while there were others who had more than that.