September 3, 1950: Giuseppe “Nino” Farina becomes the first Formula One World Drivers’ Champion. The 1950 season was the first FIA World Championship of Drivers and was a series of seven races held between May 13 and this date. The series had six Grand Prix races in Europe and the Indianapolis 500 (run to AAA National Championship regulations). There were a number of other Formula One races held, but they did not count towards the World Championship. Alfa Romeo dominated the season with their supercharged 158 which won all six European Grands Prix. None of the regular drivers who competed in Europe competed in the Indianapolis 500 since it did little at the time to attract European drivers. To be fair, few of the 500 racers entered any of the Grand Prix races.
Points were awarded to the top five places in each of the Grand Prix races with first places getting 8 points and later places getting 6, 4, 3, and 2 and 1 point was awarded for the fastest lap of each race. Points were shared evenly between shared drivers, regardless of how many laps each drove. The first was the British Grand Prix and Farina won it and took the fastest lap as well. In the Monaco Grand Prix, Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina won the race and had the fastest lap. Farina was in second place when a wave from the harbor flooded the track and he spun out and crashed and eight more cars were involved in the pile up (out of 19 drivers).
Johnnie Parsons won the Indianapolis 500. Farina had intended to drive the race, but his car never arrived. Next up was the Swiss Grand Prix and again, Farina took first place and had the fastest lap. The Belgian race was won by Fangio and Farina had the fastest lap but came in fourth. Even so, after this race, Farina was in first place with 22 points to Luigi Fagioli’s 18 and Fangio’s 17. The French Grand Prix was next and Fangio again won it and the fastest lap. Farina came in second. This put Fangio now in first place with 26 points, Fagioli had 24, and Farina had 22. Only one more race to run.
This day’s event was held in Monza, Italy. The race covered 80 laps for a distance of 504 km or 313.171 miles. The weather was hot and sunny. Fangio had the pole position and during the day, he took the fastest lap, but Farina won the race. Fangio retired twice during the race, the first time after his own car broke down and the second when he took over for another driver. As the day ended, Farina had 30 points while Fangio had 27 and Fagioli ended the series with 24. Farina became the first World Drivers’ Champion. He also has the distinction of being the only driver to win the title in his home country. Michael Schumacher of Germany has been the only driver to win five consecutive times as well as taking the most wins at seven. The 2014 Champion is Lewis Hamilton of England. The 2015 season has nineteen races scheduled with the last held at Abu Dhabi and scheduled for November 15.
Near the point of impact, time accelerates to the speed of light. – Joyce Carol Oates
But the speed was power, and the speed was joy, and the speed was pure beauty. – Richard Bach
Should I abide by the rules until they’re changed, or help speed the change by breaking them? Better start rushing before the rush begins! – Ashleigh Brilliant
As a rule, for no one does life drag more disagreeably than for him who tries to speed it up. – Jean Paul
Also on this day: Terror at Beslan School – In 2004, the Beslan School takeover came to a bloody end.
Left; Right – In 1967, Sweden switched which side of the street they would drive on.
Republic – In 310, San Marino was founded.
Poetry – In 1802, William Wordsworth wrote a poem.
Going Pro – In 1895, John Brallier became a professional American football player.