Motorsports fans rejoice!

Today is 70 years since the F1 World Championship began. Featured contributor Merin @_SlackOverflow will soon share some amazing stories and memories of this thrilling sport.

Strap in for a fun ride! Get ready for when the five lights go out.....
Hello! I’m @_Slackoverflow

Growing up an only child impossibly desperate for an elder sibling, I clung on to Schumacher for life.
Themes of projects I picked while in school, colour of my clothes, choice of fake helmets from Shivajinagar, debates that settled/ destroyed friendship, my dog’s name, my email ID – everything was centred around Schumacher and F1.
10 years and bucketloads of luck later, I managed to land a social media job for @pumamotorsport that I swear I did for reasons besides photos like this one.

PS - That's @danielricciardo :-)

PPS - That’s my F1-atheist, yet 100% fantastic boss cringing in the background.
In 2000 when I first saw an F1 poster at my cousin’s,he had me believe this guy was the world’s most famous Shoe-maker, sitting on the world’s biggest roller-skate.

A week later, I chanced upon an F1 race while avoid conversation with visiting relatives.

Love at first sight.
Very soon, I’d stand in front of the TV before every race and recite the German national anthem for good luck.

To this day, I am truly grateful my parents only fought the habit and didn’t sell the TV.

Here's some fascinating facts and stories about this sport I love so much.
The beginning:

Formula 1 traces its roots back to the early days of motor racing in the 1900s. After World War II, the first world championship race was held at Silverstone on 13th May 1950.
While Giuseppe Farina won the inaugural championship, the star driver in the 1950s was Juan Manuel Fangio.

Fangio won the drivers' championship five times in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957, a record that stood 46 years with five manufacturers (no one’s replicated this!)
Fangio is considered the most gifted racer of all time.

He started as a mechanic in Argentina, built his own car and raced with it. A smart businessman,he purchased trucks for cheap,hoarded on tires that were in short supply and sold them for big gains when the economy revived.
Fangio made his way from South America to Europe in the late 40s and to F1 in 1950 for the inaugural season at the age of 39. (today, most drivers debut ~20)
After dominating the 1950s Fangio arrived in Cuba with great confidence in 1958 having won that race the previous year.
The night before the race two gunmen burst into Hotel Lincoln in Havana and kidnapped Fangio. At the time, Cuba was going through monumental changes as Castro’s forces attempted to take control of the country and implement a communist state.
To highlight their cause, kidnappers attempted to take Fangio and rising star Stirling Moss hostage. The kidnappers let Moss go after Fangio lied that Moss was ‘on his honeymoon’. The kidnapping was carried out as a statement to the Cuban Government under Batista.
The incident caused a stir worldwide, with the Batista Government’s forces left red-faced as they frantically tried to find Fangio. The kidnappers released him the next day. Fangio told the media that he was treated with great care while in captivity and that he held no ill-will.
In fact, he was told that when the revolution would be successful, he would be invited to Cuba as a special guest.

Fangio did not return to Cuba till 1981, when, in a strange twist of fate, he brokered a deal to supply Mercedes trucks to Castro’s government.
The tradition of spraying champagne to celebrate victory celebrations wasn’t a thing until 1967.

Dan Gurney began Champagne spraying on the victory podium at Le Mans by placing his thumb over the open bottle, shaking and intentionally spraying the onlookers.
In 1986 Ayrton Senna, Jacques Laffite, and Nelson Piquet were stumped to find bottles with the cork tightly intact on the podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Watch as they fiddle around before they managed to finally get to the festivities.
A few variations exist for the champagne tradition.

At the Bahrain GP, drivers spray carbonated rose water. And just maybe, when @LandoNorris gets his first podium, he might do an Indy500 tradition and get himself some milk!
Ayrton Senna - Without debate one of the best drivers in the history of the sport, he’d been racing F1 for over 6 years, collecting 2 championships, but without a win at his home GP.

His eventual win at the 1991 Brazilian GP didn’t come easy.
Senna drove the last leg of that race with a faulty gearbox. He was gradually losing gear after gear, and by the last dozen laps, he was down to only having sixth gear. Having to drive this way was like trying to drive a tank at Grand Prix speeds.
Senna, although a marvelously conditioned athlete, was at his physical limits. He later said he would have retired from the race if it had been anywhere but in his home country—he felt he had to win the race for Brazil.
Through sheer willpower, Senna managed to get the car around the course so no one caught him. After he won, he was so exhausted he had to be helped from the car.

The whole of Brazil nominated him for Sainthood for his stunning victory.

Watch -
Flying Finns – or Finns known for their speed have been celebrated across sports.

My favorite is the infamously-hilariously monotonous Kimi Raikkonen, known for his curt “Leave me Alone” remarks on the radio or his BWOAHs in nearly every interview because he couldn’t care less.
On the rare occasions when Kimi does speak, his voice sounds low, deep and slightly gravelly. This is because when he was five he fell off his bike and hit his throat on the handlebar, damaging his vocal chords irreparably.
Even as a child Raikkonen spoke so less that his parents brought him anxiously to the therapist. And he sent him back home after half a day. With a letter in his pocket: “Your son is above average intelligence. That could be the reason why he chooses to remain silent…”
F1’s original Flying Finn was a chap named Keke Rosberg, champion in 1982 He sported facial hair that current drivers could only dream of growing.

Decades later, a Finnish company called Rovio decided to pay tribute to Rosberg. Looks familiar? :-)
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