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1950s and 1960s

Pit stops in the 1950s were far more leisurely than today's perfectly-rehearsed affairs. © Allianz Bob Gerard (GBR) ERA R4A about to retire from the race. Non Championship Formula One, Festival of Britain Trophy, Goodwood, England, 26 March 1951. © Duerden/Sutton Second place finisher Jim Clark (GBR) Lotus 25 leads the field away from pole at the start of the race. Formula One World Championship, German Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 4 August 1963. World © Phipps/Sutton Graham Hill (GBR) climbs from the wreckage of his Lotus 49B, his rear wing having collapsed on the ninth lap. The accident illustrated the worthiness of Armco barriers and the inherent dangers of movable high aerofoils, which were banned shortly thereafter. Spanish Grand Prix, Montjuich Park, 4 May 1969. World © Sutton Motorsport Images

1950
The first Formula One World Championship race is held at Silverstone in England. The cars were designed purely for speed, with front engines and drum brakes - a fascinating experience without medical back-up or any form of safety net.

1955
Disc brakes are introduced, and a ‘relocation’ takes place - Australian Jack Brabham, in his Cooper, is the first Formula One competitor to drive a mid-engined, rather than front-engined, car.

1960
The first safety measures are introduced to Formula One racing.

1961
Roll-overs bars are introduced for the first time.

1963
Flag signals are introduced. Vehicle fire prevention is advanced by improvements in fuel-tank construction. Double brake circuit becomes mandatory. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) assumes responsibility for safety on racing circuits. Drivers are required to wear fireproof suits. Cockpits are restructured to allow the drivers to get out more quickly.

1968
Interrupters for electronic systems are introduced. The roll-over bar must reach five centimetres higher than the driver’s head. Additional fireproof clothing is recommended. Dan Gurney is the first driver to use a full-visor helmet in practice for the British Grand Prix.

1969
A double fire extinguishing system is introduced.