ATLAS F1   Volume 6, Issue 29 Email to Friend   Printable Version

Atlas F1   The F1 FAQ

  by Marcel Schot, Netherlands

Have a question about Formula One statistics or history? Well you're not the only one, and it's about time someone came up with the answers to Formula One's most Frequently Asked Questions. Send us your questions, to - we may not know everything, but we will sure make the effort to find out

"Was there ever a European GP at Brands Hatch in '75, or was it just a "non-competition" race? My father says that there was one, and it was won by Tom Pryce, but I can't see any points scored for it, or the victory being even acknowledged. I am trying to find out a bit more about Tom Pryce, as I am possibly related to him. Any info/photos?"

On 16 March 1975, the Race of Champions, a non-championship race, took place at Brands Hatch and was indeed won by Tom Pryce in a Shadow. Pryce also set Pole Position and the fastest lap. In the same season he also took Pole Position in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, his only Pole in a World Championship event.

"Perhaps you could clarify the following rule for me and for many others. Minimum weight for a Formula 1 car is 600kg. I understand that includes all hardware and fuel. Is the driver's weight included in that 600 kg? What other conditions apply to this minimum weight rule?"

Article 1.9 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations says it all : "1.9 Weight : Is the weight of the car with the driver, wearing his complete racing apparel, at all times during the event." In article 4.1 the 600 kg number is mentioned : "4.1 Minimum weight : The weight of the car must not be less than 600kg." The rest of Article 4 then goes on about ballast etc. The full Technical Regulations can be found on the FIA site at

"Could you tell me if, in the history of Formula 1, there has been a race where no car has completed the race, or conversely, where every car has finished the race?"

To my knowledge there hasn't been a race where no car finished. However, there has been a race where all cars from the grid finished the race. On 22 May 1961, all 15 who started the Dutch Grand Prix finished it. The result was a 1-2 for Ferrari, Von Trips winning ahead of Phil Hill, with Jim Clark finishing third in his Lotus. After a little over 2 hours, Carel Godin de Beaufort and Hans Hermann, both driving Porsches, finished 3 laps down in 14th and 15th respectively, enough to be classified.

"what ever happened to the traditional laurel wreath for the podium celebrations? I see them draped around many a winning driver in Grand prix podium pictures from yesteryear, but the ritual seemed to have disappeared in recent times."

The traditional laurels indeed have been long gone. At some time during the 1980s it gradually disappeared. I have been looking through a few books on Formula One history and the most recent winner with laurel wreath I came across was John Watson when he won the USA-West Grand Prix at Long Beach in 1983. The reason for getting rid of this tradition? Probably money, since the wreath kept quite a few sponsors' names out of view.

"What are the possibilities of Team Lotus re entering F1 again?"

At this time, the chances are quite small that Lotus will re-enter Formula One. The FIA rules limit the number of teams to 12 and as we already have 11, there is only one spot left. This place, however, will be taken by Toyota in 2002, so the only chance Team Lotus would have is to buy one of the currently competing teams. In 1997, Team Lotus announced plans to rejoin Formula One - - but these plans haven't since turned into reality.

"F1 drivers seem to be different to us mere mortals. They are credited with faster reaction times, greater concentration powers and the ability to "slow' down the action occurring around them (something that only happens to others in extreme situations). What I want to know is if any studies have been done on the brain/nervous and other anatomical systems of F1 drivers to determine if there are different to 'mere mortals'? If so, what were the conclusions? If not or if the studies are not recent, can I suggest that it would be a great research topic with the possibility of needing to travel to various F1 events to collect information. Collection of information on a driver during a race could be an extension of the existing telemetry process. Can I suggest to Atlas readers, to Max, to Bernie, the F1 Teams and their sponsors that there is an opportunity for F1 to further contribute to society."

Although not exactly on the difference between us ordinary people and Formula One drivers, Formula One's medical chief Professor Sid Watkins describes his experiences about the limits of the human body in Appendix I (The Physiology of Motor Racing - The Limits of Human Performance) of his book 'Life at the Limit - Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One'. Despite having not a lot of understanding about the actual medical terms Professor Watkins uses, I found this a very good read. The book contains several anecdotes as well as a detailed description of how the medical service at Grands Prix has improved over the decades. It also contains several figures displaying pulse of for instance Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi, in which we can see that even for two persons doing the same thing, there can be a great deal of difference in how the body reacts.

"I was browsing your site and was interested by your entry for 1980 regarding the Concorde Agreement. How did Bernie Eccestone manage to secure the TV rights - why did the tracks not win them ? If you are able to send me any further details on the Concorde, I would be very grateful."

The Concorde Agreement was signed in the heat of political battle. Eventually this battle didn't remain in the offices alone, but also found its way onto the track. At Zolder and Monaco the audiences didn't notice much, but drivers of several teams refused to take part in the manditory drivers' briefings, which cost them rather large fines as well as FISA threats of withdrawing their licenses. The point where the audience really suffered was the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, where Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Renault didn't race because the FISA, then the governing body of Formula One, had declared the race illegal. The other teams drove the race, now sanctioned by Bernie Ecclestone's FOCA, but it was never entered in the recordbooks.

The next race was to be the French Grand Prix and was under serious threat until both parties finally agreed in a nine hour meeting five days before the race. All this fighting had a negative influence on the audience who just wanted to see racing and no political mayhem influencing things. TV ratings had taken a sharp drop throughout the season and sponsors feared their investments were going down the drain, so they stepped in with more cash to ensure the TV coverage. In all of this, the circuits were never a party of importance as they were already in a position where they had to pay over $500,000 for the circus to show up in the first place.

"what was the first colour of Bruce McLaren's first car?"

The first McLarens in 1966 were white with a black nose and a black line running from the nose to the cockpit. After that there was a short period where McLaren used black cars with an orange nose, followed by entirely orange cars until 1972, when they turned white again. First with some orange parts, but from 1974 they ran the famous red and white Marlboro livery. This continued until 1997 when West replaced Marlboro as main sponsor and the cars received the silver and black look they still have today.

"What I do relly enjoy is the Grand prix Previews with the maps, and all the timing sectors etc. What I am looking for is a copy of all the tracks ever raced on.I am busy compiling my own Database onm grand Prix tracks, and would dearly love to have a picture of all the prvious tracks since the 1950's. Would you kindly assist if possible, or alternately suggest an alternate web site that would provide me with this information."

Darren Galpin has an excellent collection of tracks on his website at On FORIX, you can find information on every Formula One circuit that has been used in a World Championship race at

"I am interested in finding a good Internet site that will tell me the results of practise and the races in Formula 3000. So far I have experienced nothing but total frustration! Are you able to direct me to a site (or sites) that will give me the information for each race?"

Since the start of this season, FORIX also provides Formula 3000 results at

"I just read your response regarding why there is no car number 13. It begs the question: when was the last time a car wore number 13 in an F1 event? Thanks, J. R."

This has been discussed over at The Nostalgia Forum on AtlasF1's Bulletin Board. Twice the #13 has graced the racetracks of the world in World Championship Grands Prix. Moises Solana raced a BRM P57 at the 1963 Mexican Grand Prix for Scuderia Centro Sud. After qualifying 11th the car finished, well, was classified 11th, and last. The car had had an engine failure after completing 57 of 65 laps, but it was enough to be classified.

Editorial Remark:

  • Some of the questions we receive have already been replied to in previous F1 FAQ columns. Therefore, before sending in a question, we suggest you have a look at the back issues, by searching the FAQ database. Not that we mind getting so much mail, just that we feel bad for those who feel they are left unanswered...

  • We receive quite a few questions from you all, and it is absolutely impossible for us to research and respond to each of you, be it here or privately. Please, don't feel discouraged if your question was not replied to; it might come up in the next column. And don't forget - you can always look for answers at the Atlas F1 Bulletin Board.

Marcel Schot© 2000 Kaizar.Com, Incorporated.
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