Formula One can trace its roots back to the earliest days of motor racing, and emerged from the buoyant European racing scene of the inter-war years. Plans for a Formula One drivers' championship were discussed in the late 1930s but were shelved with the onset of World War Two.
In 1946 the idea was rekindled and in that season the first races were held and the following year the decision was made to launch a drivers' championship. It took until 1950 for the details to be hammered out and in May 1950 the first world championship race was held at Silverstone - the first F1 race had taken place a month earlier.
Formula One cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. While nearly every facet of the sport has been changed or altered since its inception, the spirit of the sport has never changed.