China Provides Backdrop for 1000th Formula 1 Grand Prix

April 23, 2019 6:21 pm
FERRARI SF90 / Charles Leclerc / MCO / S” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Renzopaso

After nearly 70 years of racing, the 1000th Formula 1 World Championship race will take place in 2019, with Shanghai providing the venue.

The story began with the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone and will continue on one of the competition’s newest circuits, a fitting reminder of how far F1 racing has come in that time. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two of the milestone races from F1 history.

The 100th Grand Prix

The 100th race was held at the Nürburgring in Germany in 1961. It was the 23rd race to be held in the country and the 21st to be labelled the ‘European Grand Prix’. At the time, there were just eight races in the season. Due to the monster 14.2 length of the circuit, the race covered just 15 laps over a distance of 213 miles. The race was won by British motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, who bagged his 16th and last Grand Prix win in a Lotus-Climax, driving for the Rob Walker Racing Team.

Moss finished more than 20 seconds ahead of Ferrari driver Wolfgang von Trips, while Phil Hill took the third spot in the other Prancing Horse. It was the first time in four races that Ferrari had not claimed the victory. However, their second and third place finishes were enough to secure the Constructors’ Championship.

The 500th Grand Prix

The Formula 1 World Championship reached the 500-race milestone at Adelaide on November 4, 1990. It was the 55th race to bear the Australian Grand Prix title and the sixth to be held on the streets of Adelaide. It was also the sixth time that the Aussie Grand Prix formed an official part of the F1 World Championship calendar. The race covered 81 laps over a distance of 306 kilometres.

The race was won by veteran Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet who brought his Benetton-Ford home three seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Nigel Mansell. Frenchman Alain Prost completed a two-three for the Italian team. Pole-sitter Ayrton Senna had led for much of the race but eventually crashed on lap 61 with a gearbox problem.

The race came at the height of the feud between Senna and Prost – the latter had accused the former of deliberately trying to take him out in the first corner of the preceding Japanese Grand Prix. As a result, Prost did not take part in the celebratory photo session to mark the 500th race.

Who will win the 1000th Grand Prix?

Frenchman Charles Leclerc is favourite in the F1 betting to win the next landmark race. The Ferrari pilot will be hoping the 1000th Grand Prix can provide him with a debut win after an engine problem cost him victory in the 999th edition in Bahrain.

FERRARI SF90 / Charles Leclerc / MCO / S” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Renzopaso

The very first Grand Prix in 1950 was won by Giuseppe Farina driving an Alfa Romeo. In a twist of fate, the Alfa Romeo racing team returned to the sport in 2019 after the rebranding of the Sauber outfit. Lead driver Kimi Raikkonen is priced at 1000/1 to bring his Ferrari-powered car home first in the 1000th race. The Finn finished eight and seventh in his first two races for his new team and won his one and only Chinese Grand Prix representing Ferrari back in 2007.

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