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  • F1 Throwback: Rare footage shows 1st F1 Drivers' World Championship race held at Silverstone in 1950
The start of the 1950 F1 British Grand Prix (Image via formula1.com)

F1 Throwback: Rare footage shows 1st F1 Drivers' World Championship race held at Silverstone in 1950

F1 as a sport started back in 1950 after the newly formed FIA announced the racing series. Although a race based on F1 rules was already held in Turin in 1946, it was not until 1950, that the first official championship would commence in Silverstone. It was the first of seven races in the first F1 season.

Back then, the Silverstone circuit was essentially an airport used as a Royal Air Force station. The roads that outlined the airport were used as a track for the first race. The first F1 race surprisingly had two names: the Grand Prix d’Europe and British Grand Prix. This was the first F1 spec race to be allowed to be held outside Italy or France.

Fantastic footage from the paddock of the first official #F1 Drivers World Championship race held at @SilverstoneUK in 1950

Recently, brilliant footage of the first race was shared by a Twitter account @aut0mob. In the video, a general view of the paddock can be seen with all the cars getting ready for the race. Everyone from team managers to mechanics and drivers was working on their race cars.

One commentator spoke about all the details of the race and what was happening in the paddock. The race was held in May of 1950, and the weather was sunny and clear. Surprisingly, the entire footage is in color, which is quite fascinating to see. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and other royal guests were also invited to the race.


In the race, Alfa Romeo cars dominated the field and finished first, second, and third. Nino Farina won the first Grand Prix for Alfa Romeo and scored nine points, followed by his teammates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell, scoring six and four points respectively. Farina kept the lead for the majority of the race, with Fagioli taking the lead on a few laps. Juan Manuel Fangio, despite being one of the favorites in the sport, had to retire his Alfa Romeo car due to engine problems caused by a broken oil pipe.


Multiple F1 world title holder didn't have a regular driver's license

It is quite fascinating to see several drivers tearing the tarmac and racing each other at such a young age, despite not having a regular driver's license. There was, however, one Formula 1 driver who won five world titles but didn't have a regular driver's license. Moreover, he was one of the oldest drivers on the grid at the time.

Juan Manuel Fangio drove in F1 from 1950 to 1958 and won five world championships in his prime years. He, however, didn't have a regular driver's license at the time. He was 39 years of age when he raced in the first Formula 1 season with Alfa Romeo. Throughout his career, he didn't have a regular driver's license and still dominated the field for several years. In the end, when the Argentine retired from the sport, he managed to get his license.

When Verstappen debuted in ‘15, he didn’t have a driving license as he was under 18

However, did you know that Fangio won 5 Drivers’ World Championships without having a driving license?!?

He went on to get one after retiring… crazy stuff! #F1

As of now, the FIA has mandated a driver's license for any driver who is willing to enter the sport. They also have to be at least 18 years old, which automatically makes them eligible for a regular driver's license.

Edited by
Anurag C
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