8 Milestones That Forever Changed The History Of Formula 1

Many events marked Formula 1 news throughout its existence, these are the 8 milestones that in our opinion set a great precedent in the premier engine category.

F1 is celebrated. In 2020, the premier class celebrates 70 years of existence with a rich history that has been interwoven since the first official GP.

Although many things have happened in these seven decades, at Giorgiopiola.com we want to number the 8 milestones that in our opinion changed the course of the history of this sport.

  • The beginning

It seems obvious to name the beginning of everything as a transcendental milestone, but the Grand Prix of Great Britain held on May 13, 1950, which had Nino Farina as the winner with the Alfa Romeo, was the germ of everything that later happened in the top category. After that initial success, new brands and riders joined in to venture into the elite of motorsport.

  • Change in the motor location

Despite the fact that the first rear-engined cars date from pre-war motorsports, the first official Formula 1 cars had the engine in the front and from time to time the occasional dissident was signed up. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the first technological revolution occurred when they shifted the location of the engine towards the rear of the car.

This made it possible to move the car's traction to the rear, which lightened the car's weight and gave them aerodynamic advantages over front-wheel-drive cars, marking a posteriori the conception of the top-class single-seaters. 

  • Renault and turbo engines

In the midst of the 1970s and with the heyday of naturally aspirated Ford Cosworth DFV engines, Renault decided to break into F1 with an innovation that later became a benchmark and laid a foundation for the future.

At the 1977 British Grand Prix, Renault made its debut exciting Formula 1 news with the Renault RS01, the first car to have a turbocharged V6 engine. Although the beginnings with this technology were a headache for the French team, the victory in the 1979 French Grand Prix was the victorious credential and a vote of confidence in a technology that managed to hegemonize much of the decade of the 80.

At the end of the 80s, turbocharged engines were losing prominence with a series of measures that aimed to reduce the excessive and dangerous speeds they generated, and they were definitely banned for 1989, returning the center of the scene to aspirated engines.

  • The GPDA and the fight for more safety on the circuits

Formula 1 in its beginnings was extremely dangerous since the circuits had almost no safety measures and the cars were not yet developed so that the pilot had a driving experience that was further from the risk of death.

At the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix at scary old Spa-Francorchamps, Jackie Stewart had an accident while trying to navigate the challenges of rain in the race, and was thrown into a farm.

What happened that day, moved the three-time champion (1969, 1971, 1973) together with other drivers to get more involved with the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers Association, founded in 1961) with the aim of fighting for greater safety on the circuits and assert its representation in front of international motorsport organizations.

This association gave the pilots a lot of weight in front of the entities that regulated the category and served to assert their interests.

It was dissolved in 1982 but returned after the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the tragic 1994 San Marino GP.

  • Introduction of aerodynamics

In F1, aerodynamics is an extremely fundamental component when designing the car. In the early years of Formula 1, aerodynamics was not a concept held in high regard, as there had been no major aerodynamic revolutions.

However, at the end of the 60s, some teams such as Lotus and McLaren began to break the paradigms and focused on developing the first wings, forever changing the concept of Formula 1 cars. Aerodynamics became over the decades. in an indispensable factor.

  • McLaren MP4 / 1, the first carbon fiber car

The 1980s was a decade where the technology revolution continued to work its magic in Formula 1. The debut of the McLaren MP4 / 1 in the 1981 season was a milestone that revolutionized the premier class in every way, becoming the first car designed entirely from carbon fiber. The first results were discreet, but the car designed by John Barnard managed to prevail in the Great Prize of Great Britain of the same year.

This car broke all the rules since Barnard took into account both the lightness and the solidity of this material. The MP4 / 1 had only one aluminum component, compared to the average of 50 pieces of this material that the rest of the cars had.

Although in terms of performance it proved to work, the accident suffered by John Watson in the same year at the Italian Grand Prix was the baptism of fire with which carbon fiber technology offered guarantees of safety to the pilot in the event of an accident. Carbon fiber car styling is still relevant today.

  • The Ferrari sequential gearbox

John Barnard, who already had a great reputation after his time at McLaren, decided to make a risky bet with Ferrari. Looking ahead to 1989 and with a lot of hard work behind it, Barnard devised a gearbox that changed not only the history of Formula 1 but also that of motorsport.

It was the first sequential gearbox, which was driven by the paddles behind the wheel. This technology was integrated into the Ferrari 640 that won a handful of races that year.

The gearbox with paddles or paddles, would not only allow a narrower cockpit due to the elimination of the gear lever but also in the absence of a clutch pedal, the front of the chassis could also be more compact.

It also provided safety guarantees for the engine since the electronics prevented the pilot from stalling in a gear that could damage the drive plant.

Regarding the steering wheel, in the first instance, Barnard suggested the application of two buttons that allow up or down a gear, but Piero Ferrari (also involved in the design) suggested that applying the paddles behind the wheel could be much more comfortable to drive the car. pilot, so that he did not have to take his hands off the wheel to change gears.

  • The V6 Hybrid engines

In the last 15 years, Formula 1 news gave a twist, together with the main international categories, began to search for more environmentally friendly energy alternatives.

The Formula 1 Hybrids that have been in use for more than five years, consist of a 1.6-liter V6 engine with various components such as the MGU-H and MGU-K, batteries, turbocharger, and control units.

The hybrid motorization aims to reach maximum power by taking advantage of a technology that mixes the energy produced by the combustion engine with thermal and kinetic energy.

It has been a revolutionary change that despite the fact that it did not go down well with the fans, and its excessive manufacturing cost, has set a precedent in the world of motorsports from which there is no return. In this way, hybrid technology will continue as a transition towards the potential energy change that the category wants to implement from 2030


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