Silverstone 1950: were you there?

F1 at 70

Do you have memories or pictures of the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone? We'd like to hear from you.

Crowds around Giuseppe Farina after the 1950 British Grand Prix

Giuseppe Farina is surrounded by crowds after winning the first F1 World Championship race at Silverstone

Getty Images

As Giuseppe Farina drove to victory in the first Formula 1 World Championship race, a Silverstone crowd, estimated to number 120,000 people, looked on.

Among those were the King, Queen and Princess Margaret, elevated in a tarpaulin-covered royal box.

There are plenty of photographs of the Royals and the on-track action, but we’re interested in what the race looked like for a typical spectator, stood behind the hay bales.

Motor Sport is looking to put together a comprehensive record of the 1950 British Grand Prix, and we are appealing for any photographs and memories that you may have of the event.

If you have vivid memories of attending or pictures of the race – taken by yourself or acquired since – then please get in touch by emailing [email protected]


1950 British Grand Prix report

Motor Sport’s original report from the May 13 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which was also classified as the Grand Prix d’Europe

Start of the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

The race starts

Getty Images

The usual pre-race excitement was evident at Silverstone on May 11th and 12th, as the vans bringing the cars in the Grand Prix arrived from Italy, France and Belgium to mingle with those familiar at our meetings.

From the archive

The Royal box, between the two stands facing the pits, lent an extra splash of colour to a picturesque scene and reminded us that this should have been the meeting of the year. Everyone was in their best clothes, a party atmosphere prevailed and all was “set fair” for the 11th G.P. of Europe, except the non-arrival of the Ferraris and the R.A.C.’s dislike of such worthy racing cars as Rolt’s rebuilt Delage and Alfa-Romeo, Shawe-Taylor’s B-type E.R.A., Duncan Hamilton’s Maserati and Abecassis’ H.W.M. We all breathed more freely when the big Alfa-Romeo vans, “Alfa-Romeo, Gomme, Pirelli” on their flanks, arrived with the four “158” Alfa-Romeos, for the first time on English soil, accompanied by their attendant Alfa-Romeo lorry full of tyres and equipment.

Even more imposing were the spotless and vast E. Chaboud-bodied Citroen vans, one towing a covered two-wheeled trailer, each containing two Talbots. They wore “Dunlop” and the French flash and one had an identification lamp. Platé’s Bianchi lorry, laden with mini jerry-cans and Shell tins, brought the Maseratis; Etancelin drove up in a “203” Peugeot saloon. The Italian drivers used an Alfa-Romeo saloon with “Winner, 1,000 Miglia, 1950” on its back-panel, and the big Fargo van of Ecurie Belge, “Specialité Voitures Course et Sport,” trundled into the pit-area. Tony Curtis tested his 125 loud-speakers and seven miles of wiring, the police rehearsed the timing of the Royal tour, and the air of expectancy increased. As well-turned out as any of the Continental transports was Geoff Crossley’s Chevrolet van, bearing the slogan “Alta-Sport, Brightwell Baldwin, England.” The arrival of the cars before a Grand Prix never fails to thrill.

Read more