When was the first F1 race?

Category: F1

1950 The launch of the drivers’ world championship with the first race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on May 13. It was won by Guiseppe ‘Nino’ Farina.

The first official F1 race, a non-championship event at Pau, was held the previous month.

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The ‘Three Fs’ were pre-race favourites

Alfa Romeo’s 158 may have been 13 years old by the time of the first world championship race, but the 1.5-litre supercharged machine was still the car to beat, and that helped the Italian manufacturer sign three of the era’s biggest names: Guiseppe ‘Nino’ Farina, Luigi Fagioli and Juan Manuel Fangio, affectionately known as the ‘Three Fs’.

The trio duly qualified their scarlet cars in the top three grid slots, with British driver Reg Parnell a second down the road in fourth in the final Alfa Romeo entry. In the race Farina, Fagioli and Fangio predictably ran away from the rest of the field, which was otherwise made up of a mixture of ageing Maserati’s, ERAs, Talbots and Altas.

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[if IE 9]><![endif] The Alfa Romeos of Luigi Fagioli,'Nino' Farina, and Juan Manuel Fangio at Silverstone for the very first World Championship Grand Prix After 70 laps and nearly two and a quarter hours of racing – during which the leading trio had traded places several times – it was Farina who triumphed, leading fellow Italian Fagioli across the line by 2.6s. But it was Parnell and not Fangio who completed Alfa’s clean sweep of the podium places after the Argentine had been forced into retirement with a broken oil pipe – possibly as a result of clipping a straw bale at Stowe.

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Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan

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