Confusing Matters: F1’s False History

Despite a return to Formula 1 regulations for 1954 and the eventual removal of Indianapolis from the calendar, Grand Prix races did not become exclusive for purpose-built Formula 1 cars.

Henri Pescarolo picked up 5th place overall in the 1969 German GP driving an F2 Matra

When Formula 2 engines were increased to 1.6 litres for 1967, they were brought on par with F1 levels of performance. This led to numerous F2 cars appearing on the entry lists, including Matra entries from Beltoise and Servoz-Gavin and even one from Jackie Stewart in practice at Kyalami in 1968. At the 1966, 1967 and 1969 German GP, Formula 2 cars were allowed to race and points could be counted towards the F2 championship table. The ADAC believed the crowd would find it more exciting to give the grid a boost of extra cars on this 22km long course.

In the early-1970s, an idea arose that Formula 2 cars should be entered into all championship Grand Prix. Before long, people considered whether other categories should race in Grand Prix as well. A document produced by the organisers of the 1974 Swedish GP requests that, should the entry for the Grand Prix be insufficient, F2, Indy, F5000 and Formula Atlantic cars be allowed to enter along with F1 cars, subject to permission by the FIA!

Of course, by 1974, Grand Prix racing was in political turmoil. That year, Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley created FOCA and went head-to-head with Balestre, who had combined the FIA and the CSI to create FISA. Ultimately, the climax of the FISA/FOCA war culminated in the end of the World Championship for Drivers. Believing that FISA’s methods of running the sport were “unprofessional”, FOCA and all the teams it represented threatened to break away and create a new series. The only way to prevent FOCA from doing this was to legally terminate the old World Drivers’ Championship and create a new championship under a new agreement. The FIA Formula One World Championship was created. The power to organise races was transferred away from the national clubs and no one else was allowed to stage F1 races except the FIA. Grand Prix racing would now be synonymous with “Formula One”.

Continued on Page 4…