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Incredible pictures look back at the first Grand Prix as F1 World Championship approaches 1,000th race – and the Royal box has come a long way

A LOT has changed since 22 international drivers strapped themselves in for the first F1 World Championship almost 70 years ago.

Improvements to cars, tracks and arenas have seen drivers smash record-breaking times on some of the most difficult circuits around the world.

International drivers representing Alfa Romeo and Maserati competed in the original race

But a willingness by drivers to throw themselves into life-threatening situations remains the same.

As the sport prepares to celebrate it’s milestone 1,000th race, an incredible collection of images reveal how it all began.

Held at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, the first F1 World Championship event attracted drivers from Italy, France, Germany and the UK.

The 70-lap race was won by Italian racing legend Guiseppe Farina who was driving an Alfa Romeo 158.

Drivers take off at the start of the Grand Prix at Silverstone
Members of the Royal family watch on from a very basic box
Members of the Royal family watch on from a very basic box

After starting in pole position, Farina finished with a race time of 2:13:23.6 – averaging just over 90mph.

Racing fans were able to get a close look at the action, with only a few hay bales standing between them and the track.

And some spectators had an even better view.

Italian driver Guiseppe Farina won the first World Championship held at Silverstone
Italian driver Guiseppe Farina won the first World Championship held at Silverstone
Racing fans get up close look as the cars speed past

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and their daughter Princess Margaret were all in attendance at the race, watching on from a very basic Royal box made from metal scaffolding – a far cry from the luxury enjoyed by today’s VIP spectators.

This Sunday, the racing world will celebrate the 1,000th F1 World Championship race at the Chinese Grand Prix held at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Drivers averaged around 90mph during the 70-lap race
Juan Manuel Fangio had to retire from the race due to an oil leak

F1 bosses had originally considered moving the British Grand Prix – which is held at Silverstone – to this weekend to pay homage to the original race.

But some drivers were against the move.

Mechanics doing last minute repairs before the race
British driver Bob Gerard finished in sixth place


Lewis Hamilton, five-time Formula One World Champion, said: “I’m not one with birthdays, I’m not one for anniversaries, I’m not one for special days like this.

“It’s no different to any other race for me, I’m here to do one job, and one job only, and that’s winning. Doesn’t matter if it’s the thousandth or two thousandth or ten thousandth, it’s an irrelevant figure for me.

“I’m glad it’s not Silverstone now, because the weather’s not particularly great back home in the UK. I like the Silverstone GP being where it is.”

Source: The Sun Motors – Incredible pictures look back at the first Grand Prix as F1 World Championship approaches 1,000th race – and the Royal box has come a long way

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