F1 at 70: Incredible stories by the sport's greatest writers

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The May 2020 Collector’s Edition of Motor Sport celebrates seven decades since the Formula 1 World Championship roared into life with the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

To commemorate the anniversary, we have assembled motor racing’s finest writers to take you through the heroics, the tragedy and the incredible stories from seventy years of racing.

Each writer has covered a decade in Formula 1’s history, charting the great drivers who stamped their mark on the championship, as well as the political battles, mind-boggling technical advances and key figures who have shaped Formula 1 into the world’s greatest motor racing championship.

Doug Nye begins with the story of the championship’s shaky start in the 1950s, and the story is then taken up by Nigel Roebuck, who charts its growth through the 1960s, then hands over to Maurice Hamilton for the 1970s, followed by Paul Fearnley covering the 1980s.

Simon Arron is your guide to the 1990s and Mark Hughes covers the new millennium. Andrew Benson brings the story up to the present day.

Subscribers have full access to the digital edition on the website and in our app, which can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play

If you’re not a subscriber, we’re running a limited-time free trial offer of the May issue: click below to get your copy.

The 1950s

Doug Nye, our renowned motor racing historian, goes back to where it all began and documents the Formula 1 World Championship’s stuttering start in the early 1950s.

It was a decade where Fangio built his legacy, Alfa flourished and a fleeting, game-changing Mercedes return led to battle with Ferrari.

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Hawthorn Spa 1958

The 1960s

Nigel Roebuck returns to Motor Sport’s pages to review the 1960s and the significance of Clark, Moss, Gurney… and Sergeant Pepper.

F1 may have remained dangerous, but it was also still a stylish – and simple – way of life for those with adventure in their hearts.

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Andretti 1968

The 1970s

Fleet Street’s finest observer of the sport, Maurice Hamilton, recalls the decade where everything changed as the commercial age kicked in.

As Jackie Stewart secured his second and third championship titles and Hunt battled Lauda, a former used-car salesman was quietly taking the wheel.

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1978 Lotus Andretti

The 1980s

Paul Fearnley, former Motor Sport editor, recounts racing’s ‘superpower’ decade, where two designers — equally brilliant, equally different — stamped their mark on Formula 1.

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TAG-Porsche turbo V6 McLaren

The 1990s

Simon Arron, another former Motor Sport editor and experienced Grand Prix reporter, reflects on a decade where a flurry of teams came and went, technical freedom led to constant innovation and one of the all-time greats earned his breakthrough.

Despite the tragic weekend at Imola in 1994, could the 1990s be Formula 1’s golden era?

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Ayrton Senna in the 1990 McLaren Honda

The 2000s

Motor Sport’s top-line F1 analyst, Mark Hughes, reflects on a period when spending ran out of control, leading to an end that was inevitable.

Michael Schumacher rattled off a series of Championships wins in a decade, which also brought politics, power plays and the fallout from ‘Spygate’.

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The 2010s

Andrew Benson, the BBC’s chief Formula 1 writer, assesses Lewis Hamilton’s mastery of the glitzy hybrid era, which was dominated by Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

The past ten years has seen F1 navigate a changing world, while plotting a course for its future.

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Singapore Grand Prix start