Formula 1 in the 1960s was truly extraordinary, an era defined by gladiators that defied the belief of onlooking fans as they drove beautifully engineered cars around legendary circuits like the original 14.1km Spa-Francorchamps or the 154-corner Nordschleife.
Video: This is an astounding insight to ‘60s F1
For the most part our only way to experience it is through grainy archive footage and the stories that those around at the time have to tell. We will, however, be eternally grateful to the team behind the 1966 film ‘Grand Prix’ which captured some genuinely incredible and ground-breaking footage of F1 racing during that era.
While some of the racing action is quite contrived – although there is some genuine footage mixed in – we’re more interested in onboard footage of the Spa circuit littered throughout this video. It simply beggars’ belief. Driving past unforgiving grass banks, telegraph poles, houses… even people as they wander across the track. If ever you needed proof that F1 drivers in the ‘60s were of different stock, this is it.
It is incredible to look at, but how on earth drivers had the courage to race around places like this will remain a mystery until the end of time. Formula 1 is now unrecognisable from its roots, and some aspects are more than a little sterile in comparison, but we are so glad this period of racing lives on at the Goodwood Revival.
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: This is what it’s like to start the 6 Hours of Monza
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