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Interesting History and Fun Facts about the Grand Prix

Updated on September 6, 2013

One of the oldest and most exciting motor sports is the Grand Prix. For over a hundred years, it has excited and thrilled audiences with its sheer speed, demanding courses, and skilled drivers.

Originating in the late 1800's, the Grand Prix was started by motor enthusiasts of France. People would gather and watch as drivers raced from one city to the next. It was followed by motor companies using it as a means of gaining publicity for their newest models. Speeds soon began to exceed 100 miles per hours, unfortunately sometimes resulting in fatalities of both drivers and spectators alike. This brought about the need for regulations.

As the years went on, the cars got faster and safer but the spirit remained the same. More and more countries joined in and the Grand Prix became an international event. Various countries also began having their own races and awards in addition to the international events. The Grand Prix still continues to draw crowds and is running strong to this date.

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Grand Prix Rules

The Grand Prix (also known as Formula One) has been going strong for over 100 years. Although the cars have gotten faster, the basic rules of the race remain the same.

Before the race even begins, the starting position of the cars must be determined. Originally, this was done by a random drawing, but this was replaced by a warm-up lap. The time a driver takes to complete this lap determines his starting position as well as gives him a chance to get a feel for that particular course.

Once all the cars are in formation, the race can begin. This can be done in two ways, either by all cars starting after a green light, or by following a safety car for one lap. Drivers can make pit stops during the race to repair damage or change tires.

In the event of an accident or bad weather conditions that would make the race extremely dangerous, the safety car is again used to set a lower speed limit for the drivers to reduce the chance of accidents. Once the accident or weather cleared up, the safety car would leave and the race will resume.

Interesting Facts About the Grand Prix

  • The first British Grand Prix was held in 1926
  • The Formula 1 championship was introduced in 1950
  • In 1957, there was two winners in the British Grand Prix
  • Jim Clark is one of the most successful drivers, having won 5 Grand Prix races
  • During an average Grand Prix race in Monaco, drivers have to change gears 54 times
  • The F1 Paddock club is a prestigious venue only for rich and wealthy. From here, they can watch the race in style.
  • In stark contrast to a normal car, the engine of a Formula 1 car will only last two hours
  • Approximately 80,000 parts make up the body and engine of a Formula 1 racing car
  • It takes a Formula 1 car just four second to go from 0mph to 160mph
  • Pit stop crews train for many months so that they can achieve a tyre change in just three seconds.

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