The Formula 1 World Championship began on this day 70 years ago at the home of British motor sport, Silverstone, and the circuit is marking the landmark anniversary with memories of its famous races and recollections from spectators who sat behind the straw bales on May 13, 1950.
The colour, character and atmosphere of the first race is brought to life by fans such as John Walduck, who tells of waking up at the crack of dawn and arriving at Silverstone as the gates opened to bag his favourite spot at Club Corner.
In a video interview on Silverstone’s commemorative web page, he talks of crawling through the legs of ten-deep spectators and sitting on the straw bales at the edge of the track to get the best view.
Hamish Brown talks about his father, Jimmy, and mother, Kay, who were integral in running Silverstone and managing the 140,000-strong crowd that attended the first World Championship race.
Some of the most memorable on-track moments are revisited thanks to a partnership between Silverstone and Motor Sport. We are sharing a treasure trove of archive material, including the original race report from May 13, 1955, detailing how Alfa Romeo’s Giuseppe Farina took victory in front of a crowd of around 150,000.
Other features explore the most famous races of the last seven decades held at Silverstone. Highlights include the momentous slipstreaming affair between Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt in 1969 and Nigel Mansell’s famous home victory in 1987, featuring insight from the stars who took part.
Click to see more of Silverstone’s celebrations of the 70th F1 World Championship race.