When you think of racing, the most likely thing to come to mind is Formula One. You may not know that this event has a long and rich history dating back over 100 years ago. The first race was in 1897 when cars were powered by steam engines!
When it comes to motorized competitions, nothing can compete with F1 for excitement - or tradition: It all started way back at the turn-of-the 20th century! That's right folks; one hundred twelve years ago (1897) on October 26th during an exhibition drive from Paris Hilton Smyeres racetrack where they demonstrated new horseless carriages unveiled a few months earlier called automobiles, French engineer Leon Serpollet drove his 'steam tricycle'
Formula One racing developed as the premier motor sport over the past century. The early history of Formula One racing has roots in European Grand Prix racing. Formula One racing has evolved to become a global sport with fans in over 200 countries and racing circuits around the world.
During the early years of auto racing in Europe, rules (formulas) were instituted to create standards for cars and drivers. These rules challenged the racecar builders, known as constructors, to develop safer and better performing cars. Prior to World War II plans had been set for a World Championship among Grand Prix organizations. Because racing was suspended during the war, the first Formula One World Championship was not held until 1950. Giuseppe Farina won the first Formula One World Championship at Silverstone, England. During the first years the championship title was given only to drivers. Since 1958 an additional championship title has been awarded to a constructor. The award for the drive and the award for the constructor are awarded independently.
The World Champion title for Formula One racing is determined by a point system. The eight top drivers and their teams in each Grand Prix race are given points based on their finishing position. The top winner and his team each receive 10 points. The remaining seven winners and their teams receive 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 point. Because most teams have two cars in each race a team may receive points for each car if they both finish in the top eight. The driver and the team with the most points each are declared the World Champion. In case of a point tie, the driver or team with the most number of Grand Prix wins during the season wins the award.
Today Formula One racing and World Championship racing are interchangeable terms. World Championship races have always followed Formula One regulations. Prior to 1984, however, there were Formula One races that did not count toward the World Championship. As the expense of participating in Formula One racing increased it became more difficult to compete in non-world championship events. The final non-championship event was held in 1983.
Technical advances in recent years have caused a dramatic increase in the cost of Formula One racing competition. Additionally, all Formula One racing World Champions since 1984 have been sponsored by major auto manufacturers. Independent racing teams struggle to afford the technical advances without major funding. Formula One racing has lost 28 teams and continuing financial stresses are likely to eliminate additional teams. Formula One racing is an expensive and exclusive sport and has evolved into a big business marketing competition as well as a competitive sport. Recently new teams owned by auto manufacturers have begun to join Formula One racing, taking the place of the independent teams.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) regulates Formula One racing today. The Formula One racing season lasts from early spring through fall. Races are held at circuits in Europe and around the world in places like China, Australia and Brazil. The 2007 Formula One racing schedule lists 17 races around the world. Formula One racing continues to reach a wider audience. New Grand Prix locations are planned. The future of Formula One racing looks as solid as the past.