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When started the idea of Formula 1?

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#51 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 12:02

Originally posted by jimmyc
I have a question. Prior to WWII the voiturette class was never an official internatonal formula( ie one established by the CSI), is that correct?

Originally posted by Wielki Wódz
I'm afraid that's not. CSI established the voiturette class for 1934 and next seasons as 1500 ccm supercharged cars.

Originally posted by jimmyc
Thanks; now for part two. If the CSI had two concurrent formula prior to WWII, What titles were they given? I have seen one, postwar, reference to formulas A + B existing in 1940.

Dealing with part two first: is that from the normally reliable David Hodges' "A-Z of Formula Racing Cars"? I think the less reliable Anthony Pritchard has also been known to propogate that little myth. Plain wrong.

And sorry, Piotr, but you're wrong there too. There was no official voiturette formula in the sense that we understand it today. The CSI divided racing cars into various classes according to cylinder capacity, lettered from A (over 8000cc) to H (500-750cc). 1500cc was the limit for class F.

What we now call voiturette racing evolved out of the collapse of the 1500cc Grand Prix Formula at the end of 1927 and the mainstay of the class until 1933 were the old Bugattis and Maseratis which had been built for that Formula. You're right that 1934 was the turning point, but that was purely because both ERA and Maserati started producing new 1500cc cars for sale, just at the moment where 1100cc racing was in its death throes. These new cars appealed to the private entrants who would previously have aspired to race in GPs against the works teams but who quickly realised they had no chance against the German steamroller. In addition, the German teams were less inclined to run at smaller venues, so a lot of organisers switched to 1500cc in order to attract a better field.

But - I repeat - there was no "Formula": there were no maximum or minimum weight limits and no restrictions on bodywork. Just a 1500cc maximum capacity limit, imposed by the individual race organisers.