Tomorrow, Wednesday 13 May 2020, marks 70 years since the very first FIA Formula One World Championship race and the only team who remain in the sport from that day is Alfa Romeo – who also happened to be the victors too.
Victory came thanks to the magnificent Alfetta 158 in the hands of Formula One’s inaugural champion Giuseppe “Nino” Farina at Britain’s still-legendary Silverstone Circuit.
When you look back at this race and period of motorsport, it couldn’t look more different to today’s world, or at least today’s world without a global pandemic…
Helmets were not only open face rather than full face like they are today, but they were optional. Speeds are wildly different too as we see 220mph rocket ships compared to 1950s’ cars, which averaged 90mph at the first F1 race.
That first race saw Alfa Romeo not only win, but Farina took pole position and the fastest lap, with his teammates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell completing the podium. A completely monopolised Alfa Romeo podium.
Along with Farina and Fagioli, one Juan Manuel Fangio also drove for the Italian team and together they became the “3Fs” and were unbeaten in the 1950 season.
Together, they won all eight races with a further twelve podiums and five fastest laps in just 1950 alone. Farina eventually went on to win the title that year before Fangio won the second British Grand Prix the following year
And while they haven’t reached those heights since their return to the sport in 2018, the company believe they weren’t the same without F1, and maybe F1 wasn’t the same without them.