This weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix marks a massive milestone in the history of Formula 1 as the 1000th World Championship event.
Dating back to the inaugural race, the 1950 British Grand Prix – with it, and the maiden title won by Giuseppe Farina, driving for Italian marque Alfa Romeo.
In the seven decades since that first Formula 1 event at Silverstone, the sport has been defined again and again by greatness…
Great cars…like the Ferrari 500, a weapon in the hands of the Scuderia’s first 2-time F1 world champion Alberto Ascari.
The groundbreaking, iconic McLaren MP4/4 – which netted 15 wins from 16 races in 1988, with a backmarker at Monza ruining the perfect season.
Or Mercedes’ W07, which now holds the record for most wins in a season, with 19 victories from 21 races. Red Bull taking 2016’s other two.
There have been lots of great teams, with Ferrari still the most successful with 16 constructors’ titles. Williams is next on nine, with McLaren having eight. The Silver Arrows have five, with six the goal for 2019.
Naturally, the fans will always remember the great drivers… with Michael Schumacher the benchmark with seven championships and 91 wins, his mantle though is able to be equalled.
…by Lewis Hamilton, the current master on five titles – equal with the late, great Juan Manuel Fangio. Ferrari’s top man Sebastian Vettel has four, as does great Frenchman Alain Prost…
… who is remembered most for his intense rivalry, and great battles with Niki Lauda and then Ayrton Senna. The Professor understanding the ups and downs of a long protracted intra-team fight.
SOUNDBITE (English) ALAIN PROST,
4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I remember myself when I was racing. You always had a part of your year [season] where you feel unbelievably strong. But sometimes you feel a little bit weak or tired or whatever or nervous. [and] You need to understand that.”
Milestones like the 1000th Formula 1 Grand Prix don’t come around often, with the 500th race held in Adelaide at the 1990 Australian Grand Prix.
…so the Chinese event is one to savour as we reflect on the world’s most exciting sport – and many more thrilling years to come.