The cars used considerable technological advances. The first seasons were organized using pre-war cars like Alfa’s 158, featuring front engined, narrow-treaded tyres and 4.5 litre normally aspirated engines or 1.5 litre supercharged. When Formula One regulations issued in 1954 engines were limited to 2.5 litres. Mercedes Benz made major upgrade until they withdrew from all motor sports events in the aftermath of the 1955 disaster at Le Mans. In the late 1950s Cooper introduced a rear-engined car and by 1961 all manufacturers were using them. As an added incentive for the competing teams, a constructors’ championship was introduced to the game in 1958.

An era of British dominance began with Mike Hawthorn’s championship win in 1958, although Stirling Moss had been at the forefront of the competition without ever securing the world title. Between Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Graham Hill, and Denny Hulme, British and Commonwealth drivers won nine championship titles and British teams won ten constructors’ titles between the period of 1962 and 1973. The famous British Racing Green Lotus, featuring a revolutionary monocoque chassis to replace the traditional design with space-frame, was the dominant vehicle, and in 1968 the team broke new barriers when they were the first to have advertising featured on their cars

In 1970 Lotus’ Jochen Rindt won the drivers’ championship posthumously, the only man be able to achieve such record, underlining the continuing risks. His replacement was Lotus’ No. 1, was young Brazilian racer Emerson Fittipaldi, he then split the next four championships, with Jackie Stewart taking 1971 and 1973 for the new Team Tyrrell and Fittipaldi 1972 and 1974.

The cars became faster and performed better – Lotus again were the innovators when they used ground-effect aerodynamics that enabled enormous downforce and greatly improved of cornering speeds – by the early 1970s the days of private entries were all but over as the costs of racing increased rocketed. Not only that, with the advent of turbocharged cars, speeds and power also rapidly increase.