Sixty years ago, the first official Formula 1 World Championship race took place at Silverstone on May 13, 1950. This year Silverstone is on the calendar again, but the cars and drivers it will play host to are a world away from where our sport started. In between there has been technical innovation, the rise of commercial sponsorship, huge strides forward in safety, men who have led great teams and designed great cars, and of course the drivers – from the gentlemen racers of the ’50s to today’s young warriors. We recall them all here, in a decade-by-decade guide to the World Championship. Each era is remembered by a different writer – in most cases they were there to witness events, or have since become an acknowledged expert on that period in time. We also chart other major world events through the years and there’s the added voice of the unforgettable Denis Jenkinson. So enjoy Motor Sport’s celebration of the World Championship, and here’s to another great season of racing.