Saturday 13th May 1950
The very first round of the Formula One World Championship was held on the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, England. The event was graced by the presence of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth – the first and only time a reigning monarch has attended a motor race in Britain. Silverstone was originally a military airfield and the British Racing Drivers’ Club had organised the first post-war British Grand Prix there in 1948 after pre-war circuits such as Brooklands and Donington Park had fallen into disuse. The introduction of the ‘official’ World Championship in 1950 was the butt of much criticism from the ‘diehard’ purists in the sport and was virtually ignored by the media. Alfa Romeo went on to dominate the race and filled the first three places, with the top British driver Reg Parnell finishing third, despite hitting a hare. Italy’s Guiseppe Farina took pole position, set the fastest lap and won the 70-lap race by 2.6 seconds.