To mark the launch of the 2019 Formula 1 series, we take a historical look at every Grand Prix champion driver, and marque since 1950. Keep in mind the manufacturers championship was not awarded until 1958 - so that, for instance, in 1954 Fangio drove both Maserati and Mercedes to win the drivers title (1954 was the first year Mercedes entered a car in formula one since the pre-war).
A scroll through the gallery highlights the rapid changes in formula one design and technology; the last front-engined car to win a world championship was 1958 when Mike Hawthorn won in a Ferrari. Jack Brabham took the title the following year in a rear-engined Cooper-Climax, ushering in a new era. Brabham did the almost impossible in 1966 - winning the world championship as both driver and manufacturer - a feat likely never to be repeated. A few short years later, in 1970 Jochen Rindt won the championship in a Lotus with the first true aerodynamic aids. Side-mounted radiators and overhead air intakes came in to effect a few years later with the famous JPS Lotus 72 driven by Emmerson Fittipaldi. The look of the modern formula one car was born. In the 1977 and ‘78 seasons Lotus went one better with the first true ‘ground effects’ cars.
Skip to 1988 and we have Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna fighting it out for the championship in the final round at Adelaide, both driving for McLaren. It was the last year for the turbos - banned from 1989 in an attempt to reduce power. Further attempts to reduce power and speed have been introduced in the intervening years, but the heart of formula one remains true to its’ heritage - the triumph of man and machine over gravity, speed and g-forces. Long live Formula One!