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Silverstone 1954: when seven drivers earned 1/7 of a point each

Formula 1 in the '50s was in any way similar to the sport we know nowdays. And the 1954 Silverstone GP was no exception.

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Silverstone 1954: when seven drivers earned 1/7 of a point each
Fuente imagen: Formula1.Ferrari.com

For the 2019 Formula 1 season the FIA re-introduced a one championship point reward for the driver that sets the fastest lap of the race, in order to make the drivers push a bit more at the end of the race even if they are in a safe position.
There's a peculiar story that links this rule and the race we're heading to, and it goes back in time to the 1954 Silverstone GP.
From 1950, year of birth of our beloved sport, to 1959 one extra championship point was assigned for the fastest lap of the race. This rule was then dropped in 1960, before being implemented again 60 years apart, for the 2019 season.

The 1954 British GP was peculiar in a number of ways. Maserati decided to put nine cars on track, one of which -driven by Onofre Marimon- managed to grab a podium finish with a third place under the checkered flag. Also, the gaps at the end of the race were massive with the second place of Mike Hawthorn being 1 minute and ten seconds away from Grand Prix winner José Gonzales, Marimon himself being lapped and with Maurice Trintignant, in fifth position and therefore last among point scorers, three laps down from the leader.
Still, the craziest thing of the race was how the single point for the fastest lap was awarded.



Back in the days there was no such thing as GPS and neither eletronic timing. Times were written down on a piece of paper by some stewards that checked their stopwatches lap after lap. There was therefore no way to be accurate, with the times rounded up to the tenth of a second, instead of the 'thousandth' as it happens nowdays.
Once the race was over the stewards met to compare their timings and award the point. When they came out of the room the result was amazing: Ascari, Behra, Fangio, González, Hawthorn, Marimón and Moss all set the equal fastest lap time of 1:50.0.
Equal fastest lap times of course had already happened before, but usually between two drivers only, each one of them was awarded with half a point. What the stewards decided, therefore, was to split the single point between all the seven drivers, adding one seventh of it to each one's final result.

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