The 2019 edition of Chinese Grand Prix will mark a milestone in the F1: holding your 1.000 races since the opening of the championship. Undoubtedly, a lot has changed in the category since that distant inaugural race on Saturday May 13 1950 on the english circuit of Silverstone that was left in the hands of the Italian Giuseppe farina (Alfa Romeo)
For starters, the number of World Cup dates, which went from seven to 21, a figure that could rise to 25 in the coming years. While Among the original GP's only five are still on the calendar: Great Britain, Monaco, Italy, Belgium and France.
In 70 editions of the tournament, including 2019, Formula 1 has visited 32 countries and 72 circuits. Currently, there are races on every continent except Africa.
By contrast, the number of pilots has dropped. Of the 26 registered in the first GP, going through the 41 of the 1953 German GP until reaching the 20 that will compete in China on Sunday.
By nationality, there were nine at Silverstone almost 70 years ago and there will be 15 at the Shanghai circuit. A curiosity, in 1950 there was a Thai on the grill, Prince bira, and in China there will be a pilot competing with a Thai license, Alexander albon.
Farina was 43 when he was the first world champion in 1950. The youngest to win the title was German Sebastian Vettel, who was 23 when he won the first of his four crowns in 2010. While the youngest driver to win a GP is the Dutch Max Verstappen, who was 18 years old when he won in Spain in 2016.
In the constructors, only two of those who made up the start of the first race will be 1.000 tests later: Ferrari y Alfa Romeo (He returned to the category this year through the Swiss Sauber team). Nevertheless, the mythical Scuderia has been the only one that has participated in all editions of the World Cup.
On a technical level, all the cars that competed in the inaugural British Grand Prix in May 1950 had the engine up front. Now they take them behind. The revolution came in the early 60s, inspired by the British engineer John Cooper. Since 2014, the single-seaters have had hybrid engines, powered not only by fuel, but also by an energy recovery system during braking and the heat from the exhaust.
In the brakes the drums have given way to the discs, now carbon. Another revolution, aerodynamics. Almost nonexistent in 1950 is now ubiquitous, since the appearance of the first ailerons in 1968.
For comparison, Farina won the 1950 Italian Grand Prix at Monza with an average speed of 176,543 km / h. In 2018, the winner of the same race, five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, did it at 239,288 km / h on average. The record top speed today exceeds 370 km / h.
When it comes to tires, the narrowness of the 1950s has given way to the wider tires, although their size has been reduced compared to the huge parts that were used in the 70s.
The evolution has also been very deep in security. In 1950 the pilots did not have belts, they ran in shirts and the helmet was reduced to a leather cap. The first rider to adopt the integral helmet, now widespread, was the American Dan Gurney in 1968.
In 2019 the pilots compete with fireproof divers, mandatory since the 60s, and since last year the cockpits are protected by a structure known as Halo to protect their heads.
Regarding the scoring system, it has changed several times until reaching the current one, in which the first ten receive points for the World Cup. The point for the best race lap, attributed from 1950 to 1959, was recovered this year to give more suspense to the tests.