Grand prix Racing evolved from an organized auto racing in France all the way back in 1894. This simple race quickly turned into a race from one town to another, and led to endurance test races. Innovations in this field led to new records in speed; however, there were a lot of accidents, because the races were held on open roads. However, this is only a short history of Grand Prix Racing, and there are a lot of interesting facts about these Races. It was difficult to pick only 5 of them; however, we managed to do so eventually. So, here are the 5 facts you need to know about Grand Prix Racing.
#1 It is over 120 years old
The first motoring contest of this kind was held on July 22, 1894, and was organized by a Paris-based newspaper Le Petit Journal. This race was 126 km long, and it stretched from Paris to Rouen. The first contestant to enter Rouen was count Jules-Albert de Dion, who managed to do so after 6 hours and 48 minutes of racing.
#2 Races were held on public roads
At that time there were no purpose-built private tracks, so races were held on open public roads. As the contestants were charging with huge speed, there were many accidents and many fatalities, both among the drivers and among the spectators by the side of the road.
#3 First Non-French Grand Prix
The first non-French Grand Prix was held in 1908, and it was held in Savannah, in the United States of America. Later, many other countries hosted Grand Prix races, including Italy, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom, etc. It has to be noted that this was still not a formal championship; it was just a loose collection of races with various rules.
#4 First timed qualifying
The year of 1933 was a huge milestone in Grand Prix Racing history, as that year was marked by a change of rules – the grid was determined by timed qualifying, and not by the luck of the draw. This happened at the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix, and all competing vehicles were painted in the color of their country: French vehicles were blues, British vehicles were green, Italian ones were red, German vehicles were white, while the vehicles from Belgium were painted yellow.
#5 Grand prix Races during World War II
Most people don’t know that the Grand prix Races were indeed held during the World War II. However, these events were limited to a small number of events. Most of the races from 1940-1942 were run in South America, especially in Argentina and Brazil, while there were no races held in 1943 and 1944. Shortly after the end of the war, in 1945, the first post-war Grand Prix was held in Paris, the capital of France.