F1 World Championship, where it all started

The 1950 British Grand Prix, held on 13 May 1950 at the Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, England, was the first World Championship Formula One race, and was the first race of seven in the 1950 World Championship of Drivers.

The race was also designated as the Grand Prix of Europe for 1950, this very first World Championship round was attended by George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and the Earl & Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

In all, there were 22 competing, 21 qualified for the race, and 11 classified. Numbers 7 and 13 were not assigned. On race day, 21 drivers from 9 countries were represented at the old Silverstone airport: 4 from France, 2 from Italy, 1 each from Belgium, Ireland, Monaco, Argentina, Thailand and Switzerland, and 9 from the UK.

The Alfa Romeo factory team arrived at the circuit with four 158s for Fangio, Farina, Fagioli, and Reg Parnell. Ferrari decided not to take part. Maserati sent a factory car for Monegasque driver Louis Chiron. Scuderia Ambrosiana prepared two more Maserati for David Hampshire and David Murray. Enrico Platé entered two drivers of aristocratic origin, Prince Bira of Siam and Baron Toulo de Graffenried. also in Maseratis. Joe Fry entered another and Scuderia Milano entered Felice Bonetto in yet another Maserati, but he did not arrive. These cars were raced in Italian Rosso Corsa livery. Talbot-Lago sent over two factory cars in the traditional French pale blue color to be driven by Yves Giraud-Cabantous and Eugène Martin. Other private Talbots were entered by Louis Rosier, Philippe Etancelin and Belgian Johnny Claes, in a yellow car. The rest of the field was made up of British machinery, which included four E.R.A.s and two Altas, in British racing green.

Eventual race winner, Giuseppe Farina was fastest in qualifying and the other three Alfas were alongside him on the front row. The second row consisted of Prince Bira of Siam in a Maserati and the two factory Talbots. In accordance with the standard at the time, the rest of the grid consisted of rows of four and three alternating, up to the sixth row. Felice Bonetto was the only driver who did not take part in qualifying and would not take part in the race.

The race drew more than 200,000 spectators. At the start of the race, Farina took the lead with Fagioli and Fangio in pursuit. In the early laps they switched around between themselves several times to keep everyone amused. Fangio retired with engine troubles and so Farina led Fagioli home by 2.5 seconds with Parnell a distant third despite hitting a hare during the race. The nearest challenger was Giraud-Cabantous two laps down, Bira having retired with a fuel problem. Crossley and Murray duelled at the back before retiring, de Graffenried had done so on lap 34, while Chiron was demoted to the role of viewer 10 laps earlier. Giuseppe Farina led for 63 laps (1–9, 16–37 and 39–70). Luigi Fagioli led for 6 laps (10–15). Juan Manuel Fangio led for 1 lap (38). Joe Fry drove car #10 for the first 45 laps, then Brian Shawe-Taylor took over for 19 laps for a total 64 laps, distance 297.536 km. Peter Walker drove car #9 for 2 laps, then Tony Rolt drove for and additional 3 laps, totaling 5 laps, a distance of 23.245 km.

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 2 Nino Farina Alfa Romeo 70 2:13'23.6 1 9
2 3 Luigi Fagioli Alfa Romeo 70 2.6 2 6
3 4 Reg Parnell Alfa Romeo 70 52 4 4
4 14 Yves Giraud Cabantous Talbot-Lago-Talbot 68 + 2 Laps  6 3
5 15 Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago-Talbot 68 + 2 Laps 9 2
6 12 Bob Gerard ERA  67 + 3 Laps  13
7 11 Cuth Harrison ERA  67 + 3 Laps  15
8 16 Philippe Etancelin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 65 + 5 Laps  14
9 6 David Hampshire Maserati  64 + 6 Laps  16
10 10 Brian Shawe Taylor Maserati  64 + 6 Laps  20
11 18 Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago-Talbot 64 + 6 Laps  21
Ret 1 Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 62 Oil Leak 3
NC 23 Joe Kelly Alta  57 + 13 Laps 19
Ret 21 Prince Bira Maserati  49 Out of fuel 5
Ret 5 David Murray Maserati  44 Engine 18
NC 24 Geoff Crossley Alta  43 + 27 Laps 17
Ret 20 Toulo de Graffenried Maserati  36 Engine 8
Ret 19 Louis Chiron Maserati  26 Clutch 11
Ret 17 Eugene Martin Talbot-Lago-Talbot 8 Oil pressure 7
Ret 9 Peter Walker  ERA  5 Gearbox 10
Ret 8 Leslie Johnson ERA  2 Compressor 12

Article based on Wikipedia's 1950 British Grand Prix