The History of Formula One Motor Racing by Matthew Roddan
Today, F1 or Formula One is considered as the most prestigious single-seat auto racing competition, which is regulated by FIA, short for, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. While Formula One races were in vogue till 1983, FIA Formula One World Championship was the undoubted leader in racing since its inception in 1950.
The term “formula” actually refers to the rules adhered to by the participants. The F1 season includes numerous races called the Grand Prix that are held on specially built public roads F1 circuits or public roads, globally. Results are announced based on conclusions arrived using points system for each year, where two World Championships are declared, one each for drivers and constructors. The racing drivers should hold Super Licences, which are the highest racing class license issues by FIA.
Matthew Roddan says “The Formula One series started with European Grand Prix Motor Racing back in the 1920s and 1930s. Formula One refers to the new sets of rules agreed to post World War II in 1946 and the first non-championship races were held the same year. However, since racing was suspended during this time, World Drivers’ Championship wasn’t formally recognized till 1947. As a result, first championship race was held in 1950 in UK”.
In the year 1946, Formula One got its definition from Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) of FIA, the forerunner for FISA, as premier single-seater racing in worldwide motorsport and it came to effect in 1948. The two championships, one for drivers and one for constructors was not the norm originally and it was a change brought about later.
Cars with front engines typically Mercedez was used during the races until 1957, and rear engines were launched around 1958. The type of racecars underwent constant changes and evolution over the years and regulations were incorporated to ensure safety during the races. By 1970, cars became more sleek and faster and turbocharged cars were in vogue for racing, power and speed.
Numerous deaths and accidents called for desperate measures and changes were made to make the races safer, while also being commercially viable. As a result, turbochargers were banned in 1989. During this time there were issues with FIA accusing participating drivers being irrelevant to racing, though a truce was established two decades later.
Senna’s death in 1994 at the wheel during an F1 race brought about new restrictions to further improve car safety. During the 90s, Ferrari and Michael Schumacher ruled the roost by winning five driver’s championship and six constructor’s championship consecutively, an unparalleled feat. There were accussations of rigging and tinkering of results, which brought on flak and there was uproar about overt commercializing in Formula 1 racing. Even with all these controversies and other issues cropping up from time to time, Formula 1 has upped their ante and kept up with regulations and reformations to ensure the sport remains popular.
Produced by Matthew Roddan