MAY 15, 2000
Happy Birthday Formula 1
THE FIA Formula 1 World Championship was 50 years old on Saturday. The first event (of 651 to date) took place at Silverstone on May 13, 1950 with King George VI and his daughter Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) both present to see the Alfa Romeo factory team dominate the racing with Giuseppe Farina leading home an Alfa 1-2-3 followed by Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell.
Since then 88 different drivers with 17 nationalities have won World Championship races. Of these 88 winners, a total of 17 were British, 15 were Americans (largely because in the 1950s the Indianapolis 500 was included in the World Championship), 13 were Italian and 12 were French. The British are the dominant drivers with a total of 183 victories between them. Brazil and France have both collected 79 wins while Germany has a total of 44 victories (38 of them for Michael Schumacher).
Only three manufacturers have won more than 100 races with Ferrari remaining the most successful team with 128 victories. McLaren has 125 and Williams 103.
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