Most of us know what Formula 1 or F1 is all about, as the premier racing event is widely advertised and covered in the media. However, the term ‘Formula 1’ seems a bit odd and it makes us wonder how it got that name. If you have similar thoughts, here’s a quick look at how Formula 1 started and got its name.
Did car racing exist before Formula 1?
The answer is yes and the event was referred to as the European Championship. Although the name had ‘European’ in it, the event was essentially a world championship. It was governed by the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR). The event started in 1931 and continued till 1939, when it was stopped due to the start of World War 2.
How did Formula 1 start?
Post World War 2, the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) decided to revive motor racing. It is to note that CSI served as the sporting arm of AIACR. The organization chose a new president, Augustin Perouse, who started work on devising a new Grand Prix formula. The AIACR title was also replaced with Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) at that time. This new title is still in use.
It’s a bit difficult to determine who first came up with the idea of organizing a Formula One World Championship. However, the credit is often given to Marquis Antonio Brivio-Sforza, who represented Italy at 1946 FIA. Marquis was a former Grand Prix racer and quite passionate about racing.
Upon several rounds of discussion, the term ‘formula’ was thought to best represent the world racing tournament. Various names were suggested such as Formula Internationale, Formula A, etc. However, the organizers finally settled for Formula 1, as it gave a clear idea about the event’s premium nature.
What were the original rules of Formula 1?
Originally, Formula 1 rules covered cars that had 4.5 liter naturally aspirated engines. In case of turbocharged engines, the capacity was limited to 1.5 liter. These rules were followed from 1950 to 1953.
Formula 1 current rules
Over the years, rules & regulations of Formula 1 have been updated several times. These rules cover various aspects such as chassis, engine, tires, refueling, driver and crew roles, scoring and penalties. For example, a F1 car’s width and height cannot exceed 200 cm and 95 cm, respectively. Another key rule is that the combined weight of driver and car should be more than 680 kg. The engine has to be 1.6 liter V6 with power output in the range of 800-850 bhp. Fuel limit per race is 110 liter.
Formula 1 rules are updated regularly to provide for new technologies, ensure fair play and meet expectations of millions of racing enthusiasts globally.