F1 @ 40

F1 @ 40 - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston

2021 sees the 40th anniversary of the ‘FIA Formula One World Championship’. To explain, here’s something I put together for the 2020 “70th Anniversary Grand Prix”.

So it’s time for the “70th Anniversary Grand Prix”… but 70 years of what? Not Formula One, not the F1 World Championship…

F1 @ 40 - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston

It’s 70 years since the thing that was 70 years ago! The 1950 British Grand Prix. The 5th British Grand Prix, and the 3rd Formula One British GP at Silverstone. (If you include the ’48 RAC International Grand Prix.)

Formula One: 1948 International Grand Prix, Silverstone - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
Formula One: 1948 International Grand Prix, Silverstone

The 1950 ‘RAC Grand Prix d’Europe Incorporating The British Grand Prix’ was the first race of a new World Drivers Championship. The first Grand Prix world championship since the 1925-30 World Manufacturers Championship, that morphed into the 1931-39 European Championship.

The final race of the AIACR European Championship - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
The final race of the AIACR European Championship

The World Drivers Championship was more successful than it’s predecessors, although lack of entries forced it to run to Formula 2 regs in 1952 & ’53. There were no Formula One world championship races in ’52 & ’53.

After running successfully for 30 years, it was replaced… thanks to Bernie Ecclestone and the new Concorde Agreement. The final round of the World Drivers Championship was at Watkins Glen in 1980.

1952 Belgian Grand Prix – Formula 2, for the World Drivers Championship - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
1952 Belgian Grand Prix – Formula 2, for the World Drivers Championship
The final race of the World Drivers Championship - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
The final race of the World Drivers Championship

From 1981, until the present day, Grand Prix drivers & teams have competed for the ‘FIA Formula One World Championship’.


I look forward to hearing what F1 have planned for 2021, the 40th anniversary of their championship!

So happy 70th birthday, Drivers World Championship.

Formula One, you look good for 74.

…and hang in there F1, life begins at 40!

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