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British Grand Prix 70th Anniversary

The 13 May 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the first round of the official FIA Formula 1 World Championship which was held at Silverstone on the 13 May 1950.

An estimated 150,000 spectators attended the event including His Majesty King George VI and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth together with Princess Margaret – it remains the only time a reigning monarch has attended a British Grand Prix.

Giuseppe Farina won the 1950’s race in an Alfa Romeo at an average speed of 90.95mph. Farina went on to win the 1950 World Championship title. Click to see all the Grand Prix winners over the decades.

Read the 1950 Race Report

In attendance of the 1950s race was Motor Sport Magazine correspondent, who filed the race report. Read the fascinating account containing details about the atmosphere and the circuit that many of today’s race fans will instantly recognise as being unique to Silverstone.

Hear from Race Legends

Silverstone have teamed up with Motor Sport Magazine to explore the past seven decades which has seen some truly epic battles take place. Read more from world champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton and more, as they to recall how the races unfolded.

Do you have memories of the 1950 race?

This year we’re celebrating the 70th anniversary and we want you to help bring this historic day to life. Do you hold memories of the race or know somebody who does? Maybe a relative attended or worked at the race?

Share your memories with us

Send us your photos, your stories and memories by Facebook or so that we may share them and mark this historic day at Silverstone.

Film courtesy of Mr. Autosportfan 

Your memories from the 1950 British Grand Prix


Memories from Chris Cory

“I was born in Syresham, just a couple of miles from, what was then Silverstone Aerodrome. My first memory of it, as a motor Racing circuit was of 1950,when as a four year old I was taken by my elder brother, to sit beside the A43 main road which ran through the top of the village.

The traffic was very heavy and this was probably the beginning of my being able to recognise, and name of virtually every make and model of vehicle in existence. We waited and waited, and finally were rewarded, when two huge Daimler limousines came into view, carrying the King and Queen, Princes Margaret and Earl Mountbatten.

We waved our little Union Jacks wildly and the Royal Party waved back.”

Memories from anonymous

My dad was at the event. He has a programme with many autographs, and a single, oily-thumb printed piece of paper with the autograph of champion-to-be Giuseppe Farina!


Memories from Robert Floyd

“My late parents were at the 1950 British Grand Prix, and I still have the official programme in storage. Apart from the Grand Prix itself it is interesting to note that in the supporting Formula 500 race two of the drivers were Sir Stirling Moss and Bernie Ecclestone!

One of my father’s memories was that there were a number of on course bookmakers who didn’t know the sport and over rated the British drivers. When they saw how the race was developing they all packed up and left to avoid being cleaned out by fans who knew who the real contenders were.”

Memories from Jon Gaunt

“My wife’s grandfather was a steward at the first race, sadly he passed away two weeks ago. He loved the GP. We have attended for many years now and he was thrilled that we live so close and were attending races at Silverstone.”


Memories from Dick 

“I do remember it well as I went in the back of my Uncle Bob, s SS 100 with my dad in the driving seat. Roads were so full I got to steer as the men pushed to save fuel. My memory of the circuit as a 10 year old was the gutters carrying pea to a hole in the ground and hay bales forming the circuit.”

Memories from Julian Hilton-Johnson

“My wife’s grandmother was Raymond May’s cousin. Raymond entered the 1950 BGP but withdrew, I’m not sure why. My wife and our children are proud to be related to him. We have a few pictures of him up in our house and we’ve been to Shelsey Walsh to watch his ERA doing the hill climb and to see the plaque there that is dedicated to him.”


Memories from Dave Taylor

“May 13th 1950 as a school boy I attended the Grand Prix at Silverstone with my older brother and my motor racing father.

We left home in Cumbria in the early hours of race day and arrived after a long trip to find the bus parked about two miles from the circuit. After a long walk we found a patch of grass to sit on at Copse corner not a very good view and no audio. The trip home was long and tiring but as young lad a great adventure.

I have attended approximately 50 British Grand Prix at all our circuits mainly as an marshal out on the circuit. Also as a marshal, spectator at countries from Japan to U.A.E. and the United States .

These memories are great but the 1950 Grand Prix is and will remain the best.”

Memories from Vernon Fortune

“I was seven years old and if my memory serves me correct Donald Cambells Blue Bird car was paraded along the pit straight before the race also the record breaking motor cycle.”

Watch two first hand accounts from the 1950 race.


Interview with Hamish Brown, whose family has a special connection with Silverstone.

John 1950 interview

Interview with John, a Silverstone fan who attended the 1950 race.

720 programme

View the 1950 Grand Prix race programme

720 motor sport

Motor Sport editors have pulled together a special edition celebrating the 70th anniversary of Formula 1. 
Download your FREE copy using the app. 

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See all the British Grand Prix winners across the 70 years.

720 Royals

The race including a royal visit by His Majesty King George VI, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. It remains the only time a reigning monarch has attended a British Grand Prix.

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On the starter grid

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An estimated 150,000 people attended the race

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Reg Parnell, Britain’s ace driver, drove this Alpha Romeo in the Italian team

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Selected as co-driver of the B.R.M Peter Walker competed in an ERA

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A close-up of one of the powerful supercharger engines. This is a Maserati 4 C.L.T.

F1 70th Footer




In partnership with Motor Sport Magazine


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