13.05.

1950: A Thai Prince Participated in the First Formula 1 Race

1950: A Thai Prince Participated in the First Formula 1 Race
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maserati_8CM_at_Goodwood_FOS_2012.jpg

On this day in 1950, the first race in the world championship of Formula 1 was held. It happened on the British track at Silverstone, a hundred kilometers northwest of London. Among the audience were also British King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II), his wife Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and Princess Margaret. There were 21 competing drivers.

Giuseppe Farina (nephew of the famous Pinin Farina, who founded the Pininfarina design company) in an Alfa Romeo qualified for the first starting position. The third starting position was held by the famous Juan Manuel Fangio, probably the best Formula 1 driver of all time.  Thai Prince Bira (grandson of the Thai king from the film “Anna and the King”) qualified for the fifth starting position.

After 70 laps, the race was won by Giuseppe Farina (that year he became the first world champion in Formula 1 history). The top three places were all won by the drivers of Alfa Romeo. They drove the Alfa Romeo 158, also known as the Alfetta. It remains one of the most successful racing cars in the entire history of Formula 1. It had a straight-8 engine with only 1,479 cc, but with the help of a supercharger it can produce 350 hp. Fangio retired from the race due to an oil leak and the Thai prince had to give up because he ran out of fuel.

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