Formula One is a popular car racing tournament in which the “formula” refers to a set of rules that all participants and cars manufacturers must follow and was originally and briefly recognized as Formula A. The race can trace its roots date back to the earliest time of motor racing, and developed from the buoyant European racing scene of the years since inter-war. Plans for a Formula One drivers’ championship began in the late 1930s but were postponed during the onset of World War Two.
In 1946 the idea was reignited and in that season the first races were organized and the following year the decision was made to officially host a drivers’ championship. It took until 1950 for the details to be rolled out and in May 1950 the first world championship race was organized at Silverstone – the first F1 race had been hosted a month earlier in Pau. Only seven of the twenty something Formula One races that year counted towards the title but the championship was up and running. Even as more races were included in the championship, there were countless number of non-championship Formula One races. Non-championship races continued throughout the 80s until 1983 when rising costs made them unprofitable.
There were no shortage of privateers – drivers who compete on their own terms and who bought and raced their own cars. Nonetheless, the formula was prevalent and dominated by major pre-war manufactures such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Mercedes Benz. Although Giuseppe (“Nino”) Farina got the inaugural title, the key drivers in the 1950s was Juan Manuel Fangio who got the drivers’ championship many times in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957 using cars of five different manufacturers.
It was not an easy start. In 1952 and 1953, there were lack of manufacturers joined which meant the authorities ran races to Formula Two regulations. In which, Alberto Ascari won the championship in both years. Of the 20 manufacturers joined the race in 1950, most were soon forced out by the high cost. Only Ferrari have competed since the off. The death toll in races was gruesome in which there were 13 drivers died in F1 cars in the first decade.