The 50's

New generations of powerful engines had already been developed in the early 1950’s, but a new problem arose with regard to the safety of participants and spectators. Serious accidents involving numerous fatalities occurred, and racing events were prohibited.


Le Mans 1955: 83 spectators perish in the most severe accident in motorsport history. A Mercedes 300 SLR becomes airborne during a crash and slams into the spectators’ stand. The race is continued to avoid hindering rescue vehicles. Following the tragedy, motorsport events are prohibited in France, Germany and Spain, while circuit racing is banned in Switzerland. Courses are altered in other countries.


Mille Miglia 1957: An accident claims 12 fatalities, including five children, after which the Mille Miglia is banned in this form.


To order to strengthen Formula One’s demand for a World Championship (as, other than regular races in Argentina, Europe was the main venue for Grand Prix events), the Indianapolis 500 was integrated into the World Championship from 1950 to 1960. The Formula One World Constructors’ Championship was then introduced in 1959.