How It Works

What was the first championship-winning Formula 1 car?

Asked by David Merchant

Many cars were built to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship, but the first one to win it was the Alfa Romeo 158, also known as the Alfetta (‘Little Alfa’ in Italian), in 1950. It was driven by Italian Giuseppe Farina during 1950, in which he won three races out of seven. One of the most successful racing cars ever produced, the 158 and its derivative, the 159, took 47 wins from 54 Grand Prix entered. In the hands of drivers such as Giuseppe Farina, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli, it dominated the first two seasons of the Formula 1 World Championship. It was capable of driving at 290km/h (180mph).

Alastair Dodds, Principal Curator of Transport at National Museums Scotland