Formula One reaches 1,000 races
Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai was the 1,000th race in Formula One history. Over the years the motor racing circuit has seen many big winners, bad accidents and charismatic personalities.
The first winner
The Formula One circuit kicked off on May 13,1950 at Silverstone in England. Italy's Giuseppe "Nino" Farina (pictured here) won the first-ever F1 race and would go on to win two more of the total of seven races to win the first drivers' title.
Star of the early years
Juan-Manuel Fangio dominated F1 in its its early years, driving for Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes and Ferrari. He won the drivers' title a total of five times (1951, 1954-1957) - a record he would hold until 2002 when Germany's Michael Schumacher went one better. His ratio of starts to wins is still unparalleled though, having won 24 of the 51 races he competed in.
The German Grand Prix
The German Grand Prix became part of the Formula One circuit in 1951, Initially, the race was run on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. Later, it was run on the AVUS in Berlin (1959) and the Hockenheimring (since 1970). It has almost always been part of the F1 calendar since 1951, but it's long-term future is far from clear.
The posthumous champion
German-born Jochen Rindt grews up with his grandparents in Graz and represented Austria during his career. He died in a crash during a practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 1970. Still, Rindt had such a hefty lead in the drivers' standings at the time of the death he wound up being crowned champion - posthumously.
A distinct minority
Only five women have ever got behind the wheel of a Formula One car. The first was Maria Teresa de Filippis of Italy in 1958. The most successful female driver was her compatriot Lella Lombardi (left), who competed in 12 races between 1975 and 1976. In 1975 she finished sixth in the Spanish Grand Prix, making her the only female driver to earn points in the drivers' standings.
The longest (almost) minute
On August 1, 1976 Niki Lauda loses control of his Ferrari on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring and crashes into a rock face. His car goes up in flames and it takes about 50 seconds until Lauda can be pulled from the wreckage. The reigning world champion from Austria suffers severe burns but returns to the cockpit only 42 days after his crash.
A legendary career cut short
How many times could Ayrton Senna have become the drivers' champion had it not been for his tragic accident at Imola? The Brazilian was already a motorsport icon: young, good looking and fast. On May 1, 1994 Senna raced into a boundary wall in his Williams at Imola and died. He was only 34 years old and had won "only" three drivers' titles.
The most titles
Michael Schumacher won the driver's title a record seven times. After winning two titles with Benetton, Schumacher moved to Ferrari where he dominated the circuit beginning in 2000, winning five consecutive drivers' championships. He retired retired in 2007 but made a comeback with Mercedes three years later. At the end of the 2012 season he retired for good.
The biggest celebrity
Lewis Hamilton is not just the most successful driver of recent years, but he is also by far the sport's biggest celebrity beyond the track, and is often seen at fashion shows or movie premieres. With five drivers' titles to his name, it may only be a matter of time before he catches up to or overtakes Michael Schumacher's record seven world championships.
Bernie Ecclestone is the man who made Formula One what it is today. A former motor racing driver himself, in the early 1970s he started marketing the circuit to television, turning it into a business worth billions. The diminutive Briton ruled with an iron fist, sometimes drawing the ire of the teams. In 2017 he sold F1 to US mass-media corporation Liberty Media.
The raw numbers
Lewis Hamilton has the most career world championship points (3,061) as well as the most pole positions (84). Michael Schumacher holds the record for most wins (91), drivers' titles (7) and fastest laps (77). Rubens Barichello has competed in the most races (323), while Schumacher shares the record for most wins in a season (13) with Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari is the team with the most wins (235).
In recent seasons Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have battled for the drivers' championship, but one young driver looks like he could soon challenge them. Charles Leclerc has joined Vettel at Ferrari for this season, and many believe that it is only a matter of time until the 21-year-old Monegasque wins a drivers' title.