After some 50 years of automobile racing, the Grand Prix Formula or Formula One was formed by the FIA (Federation Internationale de L’Automobile) in 1950 with its first race, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. This was to be the first World Drivers Championship, in the world’s most technically advanced single-seater racing cars. In 1958, the World Constructors Championship was added. Now one would at last know who the best driver in the world was, as well as which manufacturers had constructed the best racing car. FISA was Formula One’s administrative body, which saw that everyone played by the ever-changing rules. In this guide, I am going to cover the period 1966–1983 for cars built to a 500-kg to 585-kg weight minimum, and powered by 3-liter normally aspirated engines.
Formula One started from very humble beginnings. Teams were comprised of a group of talented people working out of small garages, trying to find the money to go racing. During this time frame, the miracle of the racing sponsor was created, and teams grew in size. Great inventions were designed, such as the 3-liter Cosworth DFV engine, the slick racing tire, aerodynamic aides such as simple wings and full ground effects. This was the beginning of the English racing car industry with manufacturers who relied heavily on Cosworth engines and Hewland gearboxes, as well as the racing comeback of Alfa Romeo. World championship drivers included Andretti, Brabham, Fittipaldi, Hill, Hulme, Hunt, Jones, Lauda, Piquet, Rindt, Rosberg, Scheckter, and Stewart.