What was Formula 1 like before it was Formula 1?

Formula 1 had two tournaments that served as the basis for its creation: the Constructors 'World Cup and the Drivers' European Championship. Here, his story ...


Although the F1 was born in 1950 few people remember that there were two tournaments that served as the basis for its creation: The Constructors World Championship, which was played between 1925 and 1930; and the European Drivers Championship, which had editions between 1931 and 1939 with a hiatus in 1933 and 1934.

Both events were audited by the International Sports Commission from International Association of Automobile Recognized Clubs (AIACR, for its acronym in French), which over time became the International Automobile Federation.

 

What was Formula 1 like before it was Formula 1?
The 500 Indianapolis 1925 was part of the Constructors' World Cup.

Unlike what happens today, the champion is the one who scores the most points; at that time the monarch was the one with the fewest units. The first three had 1, 2 and 3 points, respectively. While the rest accumulated them based on the distance they covered in the Grand Prix. Those who completed 75% added 4, those who completed between 75% and 50%, 5; those that covered between 50% and 25%, 6; and those who only made a quarter, 7.

WORLD BUILDERS CHAMPIONSHIP

The Constructors' World Championship had a good initial momentum in its first three editions with calendars of between four and five races, which were the most relevant of the moment such as the 500 Miles Indianapolis and Great prizes de France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Royal Automobile Club of Great Britain. In 1925 the crown was left for Alfa Romeo, in 1926 held Bugatti and in 1927, Delage.

What was Formula 1 like before it was Formula 1?
Robert Benoist won four of the five races in 1927 and gave Delage the crown.

In the following three years, many of these events decided not to respect the technical guidelines proposed by the AIACR and these tournaments did not have champions as the minimum of three scoring dates was not reached.

This problem forced the governing body to do new formulas to solve the regulatory issue. At first there were too many freedoms and it was decided to solve it with some limits, mainly in the weight of the vehicles and the maximum displacement of the engines. This change led to a new event for the 1930s: the European Drivers' Championship.

EUROPEAN PILOT CHAMPIONSHIP

The new tournament seasons of 1931 and 1932 were played over three GP's. The first, which was run over competitions of more than 1.500 kilometers long that required two drivers per car, visited Italy, France and Belgium. And in the remainder the first two dates of the previous year were repeated, while the closing was in Germany. Both were dominated by the Italians. In 1931 the crown was left for  Ferdinando Minoia and in 1932 for the great Tazio nuvolari. Both champions were consecrated with Alfa Romeo.

What was Formula 1 like before it was Formula 1?
Tazio Nuvolari, European Drivers' Champion in 1932.

Although the European was based on a few competitions, during the year around twenty Grand Prix and Grand Events were disputed, as the events of those countries with the greatest automobile tradition were called.

After a hiatus in 1934 and 1935, the last stage of this event was dominated by German teams and drivers thanks to the strong financial support of Adolf Hitler, then Chancellor of Germany, who wanted German brands to demonstrate the country's power on the slopes.

Mercedes and the newly founded Auto Union accepted the challenge and there began the legend of the Silver Arrows (The cars were named so because they ran on unpainted aluminum bodies to be lighter than their rivals.)

In 1935 he consecrated Rudolf caracciola aboard a Mercedes W125, which had an engine that delivered 700 hp. The duo also celebrated in 1937 and 1938. In 1936, meanwhile, Bernd rosemeyer gave the crown to Auto Unión.

What was Formula 1 like before it was Formula 1?
Rudolf Caracciola in action at the 1935 French GP.

The 1939 championship was interrupted by the outbreak of the Segunda Guerra Mundial and the AIACR decided to give up the tournament, although four races had already been played.

However, for the ADAC (the Automobile Club of Germany) there was champion: Hermann Lang (Mercedes), even though he was the escort of Hermann Paul Müller (Auto Union). Perhaps his "designation" as monarch had to do with the fact that he won two races, one more than his compatriot and leader of the contest ...

Once the war conflict ended, the AIACR came back with the idea of ​​organizing a championship with Grand Prix vehicles, although in this case of a global nature. Starting in 1946, he established a new regulatory formula that was successfully tested and was the kickoff for the new championship that began to roll in 1950. This set of rules was called Formula 1 ...

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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