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Q & A Why Is It Called Formula 1?


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#1 DCapps

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 19:30

 

On the 70th anniversary of the first official Formula 1 World Championship race, F1 Hall of Fame journalist David Tremayne explains the origins of Formula 1 as we know it.

 

(https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.why-is-it-called-formula-1-and-12-other-questions-about-the-championships.1GHeel6u4jga6hMpX2eFs1.html}

 

I never cease to be utterly astounded at the depth of my ignorance of motor sport history!

 

Although it will perhaps once again send Bira spinning at about 20K rpm while hovering about a meter or two above the ground and spitting certain words (censored expletives) at me, I was under the obviously very much mistaken impression that "first official Formula 1 World Championship race" took place at Long Beach in March of 1981....

 

How could I be so misguided and mistaken? All II did, after all, was simply to read this in the appropriate FIA Yellow Books..... Apparently, J.M. Balestre misled me once again it would seem!

 

Oh, the shame, the shame....!



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#2 Risil

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 21:25

Well you do at least get this unintentional comedy:
 

The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR) was the sport’s governing body and between 1931 and 1939 it hosted the European Championship, which was a World Championship in all but name.

And geography!



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 21:45

The FIM's Motorcycle World Championship, which started in 1949, didn't actually include a non-European round until 1961.



#4 john winfield

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 08:12

I never cease to be utterly astounded at the depth of my ignorance of motor sport history!

 

Although it will perhaps once again send Bira spinning at about 20K rpm while hovering about a meter or two above the ground and spitting certain words (censored expletives) at me, I was under the obviously very much mistaken impression that "first official Formula 1 World Championship race" took place at Long Beach in March of 1981....

 

How could I be so misguided and mistaken? All II did, after all, was simply to read this in the appropriate FIA Yellow Books..... Apparently, J.M. Balestre misled me once again it would seem!

 

Oh, the shame, the shame....!

 

Yes, Don, and shame on David Tremayne for perpetuating such a heinous crime. I am sure that all of us on TNF, and elsewhere, as we enjoy our motor sport,  separate in our minds 1950-1980 from 1981-present day. Thanks again for the reminder.  :wave:



#5 Izzyeviel

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 16:44

I'm so confused.



#6 john winfield

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 17:11

Izzy, these threads (there are others...) might help. 

 

 

https://forums.autos...ld championship

 

https://forums.autos...ld championship



#7 BRG

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 18:20

I'm so confused.

 

Izzy, these threads (there are others...) might help. 

 

 

https://forums.autos...ld championship

 

https://forums.autos...ld championship

Or you could try this one.  Or even this one.



#8 uechtel

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 14:05

Well, why fuss about truth, when it comes in the way of business.

 

But I don´t understand why celebrate history one one hand and at the same time demonstrate that one doesn´t care about history at all.



#9 DCapps

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 14:49

Well, why fuss about truth, when it comes in the way of business.

 

But I don´t understand why celebrate history one one hand and at the same time demonstrate that one doesn´t care about history at all.

That might be an excellent summation regarding the relationship of history and motor sport.

 

Generally, those dwelling within the hallowed groves of Academe (whose ranks diminish every day, by the way....) apparently do not care much for either automobile or sport history (...and I speak from great personal experience on this matter...), with the combination of the two not even rising to the point where it could be dismissed as frivolous nonsense. (Although for a time in the USA it must be noted that NASCAR did attract the attention of a small band of academics resulting in some very interesting work.)

 

The Business World tends to equate "history" with "nostalgia" with the latter being seen as a marketing strategy and a means to commercialize the past.

 

For more on this notion,I suggest that you try David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (1985) or the later edition, The Past is a Foreign Country--Revisited (2015), both Cambridge University Press.

 

Keep in mind that the termination of the world championship that came into being during the 1950 season was done for strictly commercial reasons, with the FIA now owning the commercial rights of the new world championship that began with the 1981 season.

 

It was always about money and power, these being the basis for controlling the product, with the ownership of the commercial rights facilitating that goal. See, J.M. Balestre.

 

Now, one does not have accept that one world championship ended in 1980 after 31 years and that the one created in 1981 is in its 40th season, any more than accepting the belief that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west -- just as it always did before those pesky scientists told everyone that the world is round and rotates, orbiting the sun.

 

One may believe what one wishes, but Alternate Facts (https://www.psycholo...ternative-facts) tend not to be facts.

 

It is a fact that this event happened and, as a result, served as the catalyst for significant changes in not only F-1 ©, but international motor sport.

 

As they say, the paradigm shifted, much as the tectonic plates do at times -- and with similar results.

 

At any rate, so it goes....



#10 john winfield

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 11:00

Don, that's an interesting reply to uechtel's post, but isn't it also slightly insulting, or at the very least patronising? 

 

You write:

 

"Now, one does not have (to?) accept that one world championship ended in 1980 after 31 years and that the one created in 1981 is in its 40th season, any more than accepting the belief that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west -- just as it always did before those pesky scientists told everyone that the world is round and rotates, orbiting the sun.

 

One may believe what one wishes, but Alternate Facts (https://www.psycholo...ternative-facts) tend not to be facts.

 

It is a fact that this event happened and, as a result, served as the catalyst for significant changes in not only F-1 ©, but international motor sport."

 

You seem to be picking a fight without any opponent. I (and probably many others) understand, in part thanks to you, the commercial and political significance of the 1981 change. But lots of us are here on the forum because we like the sport, and the history of that sport, while the history of that sport's commercial rights and politics might seem to us to be interesting, but of secondary importance. We're not saying you're wrong, we don't believe in a flat Earth, nor in 'Alternate Facts', but we think you continue to get this topic out of proportion. 

 

You can't avoid the happy fact that the forum which you helped create attracts enthusiasts, and amateur historians, who care more for the cars, teams and drivers than for the structure of the sport. As someone posted on an earlier related thread (I paraphrase...), Niki Lauda was a three-times Formula 1 World Champion, pure and simple, and I really don't care whether his third title was achieved under a new commercial régime, or not.



#11 DCapps

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 00:32

Meanwhile, moving on past John's slightly insulting, or at the very least patronising comments....



#12 john winfield

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 08:05

I give up.



#13 BRG

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 11:33

Storm in a tea-cup.



#14 john winfield

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 12:02

Storm in a tea-cup.

 

"..it doesn't matter, you know it doesn't matter..."



#15 RA Historian

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 15:25

"..it doesn't matter, you know it doesn't matter..."

Quoting Bill Murray as Tripper in the 1979 movie "Meatballs",  "It just doesn't matter!'



#16 DCapps

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 17:39

Gosh, I am truly impressed that there are those who seem to really care a great deal that it doesn't matter. Or, as usual, am I missing something...?



#17 uechtel

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 18:51

Well, so let´s see what celebrations will come up next:

30th May 2020 - 95 years of World Championship Grand Prix Racing (Indianapolis 1925 being the first World Championship Grand Prix ever)

15th March 2021 - 40 years of Formula 1 (the official Formula 1 World Championship that started at Long Beach in 1981)

14th May 2021 - 60 years of 'true' Formula One World Championship (in which no races to other Formulae were included any more)

25th July 2021 - 75 years of Formula One Racing (GP Valentino of 1946 being the first race run according to the technical specifications that some time later became known as Formula One)

8th June 2022 - 75 years of Formula One Racing (Swiss GP of 1947, the first Grande Epreuve run under the Formula that later became known as Formula One)

26th August 2022 - 120 years of Formula One Racing (introduction of the idea of a "Grand Prix Formula", which finally developed into Formula One)

29th March 2023 - 75 years of Formula One Racing (Pau GP 1948, the first race of the International Grand Prix Formula after the introduction of Formula 2, hence the old Formula had now turned into "International Formula no. 1")

16th May 2023 - 75 years of Formula One Racing (Monaco GP 1948, same as Pau 1948, but the first Grande Epreuve, so that Formula One was obligatory)

7th July 2023 - 115 years of Formula One Racing (the Oostende Formula being the first International Formula, direct precursor to what finally develioped into today´s Formula One)

17th January 2024 - 70 years of Formula One Racing (since then uninterruptedly use of Formua One rules for the World Championship, unlike before)

2nd April 2024 - 90 years of Formula One (the 750 kg was the re-introduction of the idea of an International Grand Prix Formula containing technical specifications, which directly and uninterruptedly developed into Formula One)

...indeed history just doesn´t really matter, as it would spoil all the fine merchandising.