A brief history of Formula 1, before Formula 1 existed


Hans Heyer
In a moment of boredom, i've stuck my head in book a had a look at the very, very old days of motor racing. With my brain still warm from information overload, I thought you may like to see how Formula 1 came into existence.


1861 – The first four-cycle internal combustion engine is patented.

1885 – The Benz Motorwagen is patented, it is the first ever car.

1887 – The first ever motor race is upon us! Sadly only one person turns up.

1894 – The first proper motor race is the Paris-Rouen Trial it is completed at an average speed of 19km/h

1895-1903 – Races are popping up everywhere on open roads, but this comes to a halt following the disastrous Paris-Madrid Trial, where nine people were killed, and the race abandoned.

1906 – The Grand Prix de l’ACF, is the first ever “Grand Épreuve”, and is held on a 65 mile road course outside Le Mans.

1907 – The first purpose built track in the world is Brooklands.

1907-1914 – There are four more Grand Prix de l’ACF, before they are stopped after war breaks out.

1921 – Grand Prix racing is back and it includes the Italian Grand Prix this year at Brescia.

1922 – Monza hosts its first ever Grand Prix.

1925-1927 – The ”AIACR World Manufacturers' Championship” is the first motor racing world championship. It is won by Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, and Delage.

1931 – The first “AIACR European Championship” is held with races at Spa, Monza, and Montlhéry.

1933 – The Monaco Grand Prix Grid is decided by qualifying times.

1939 – The last European Championship ends with confusion after the points system was considered to be changed, but never was. Of this period Rudolf Caracciola dominates, winning the championship 3 times.

1939 – There’s been another war, racing in Europe stops.

1946 – The FIA have standardized “Formula A” rules, the first race to be run like this is the 1946 Turin Grand Prix.

Nice review Tooncheese, I'm currently half way through a book called Motor Racings Strangest Races which, if you can find a copy, covers many of the events you have listed and is a fabulous read.

One important date for F1 you have neglected from you list:

28th October 1930 - Bernard Charles Ecclestone born :snigger:
The supercharged engines in the pre-WW2 Mercedes and Auto Unions produced in excess of 600bhp, a figure that Formula One cars didn't reach until the turbo years of the early 1980s.
However a lot of this power was wasted - The napier Railton had a 24 litre aeroplane engine, and has the lap record at brooklands, of just 145mph*.

*I cant remember exactly
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