Formula One Register was established in 1966 by Duncan Rabagliati, Paul Sheldon and John Thompson to address the issue of incomplete factual information available in English-language sources.
Duncan had been collecting results and programmes from organisers all over the world, and many constructors and teams provided information on chassis numbers. This was continued and earlier years back-filled where possible.
Following a book by John Thompson on the 1961 – 1965 Formula 1, the Register went into serious production of motor racing record books in the late eighties with Paul Sheldon’s highly acclaimed “Record of Grand Prix & Voiturette Racing”, often referred to as the “black books”. These were based on Duncan’s archive and Paul’s visits to Continental Libraries and Museums.
Since then our scope has been extended to cover a wider range of racing, particularly Formula 3, Formula Junior and US National Championship races.
John Thompson dropped out and more recently Richard Page joined the Register. Today a programme of updating the “black books” is underway, and the publications have been brought closer to today with the Year Book series.
Duncan began by reading the pages of Autosportfrom cover to cover when he was at school. His particular interest was in statistics; chassis numbers, race results, and race records. He saw his first race, the 1957 German Grand Prix when he was 12 years old. From that event his passion for motorsport grew. Duncan is the chairman of the Formula Junior Historic Racing Association, actively races his well-known orange Alexis and is actively involved in many aspects of the organisation of historic motorsport. He is historian for the 500 Owners Association and by profession is a practicing solicitor.
Richard’s life-long interest in motor racing started with a visit to Brands Hatch in 1959 as a reward for passing school exams. Following early retirement from a career in accountancy in 2001 he was encouraged by Robert Barker to tackle a detailed history of motor racing at Crystal Palace as a companion to Robert’s book on Goodwood. “A Record of Motor Racing at Crystal Palace” was the result and was published with the help of Paul Sheldon by the Formula One Register in 2006. This led in to a more general involvement with Formula One Register and the Formula Junior Historic Racing Association. He is now a partner in Formula One Register and maintains the F3 and FJ records and is co-authoring with Duncan Rabagliati a multi-volume series covering Formula Junior as a historic racing category. Richard handles the Register’s sales, administration and book-keeping.
Despite growing up seeing and hearing about motor racing, Stuart’s own interest didn’t really develop until his late teens when he began following Formula 1 more closely. Whilst visiting the USA in the mid 90’s he discovered a motorsport TV channel and realised there was a whole world of racing beyond F1. From then on he was hooked and began keeping records of as many different championships as possible. Stuart’s involvement in the Register came about somewhat by chance when he offered to check some of the modern championships against his own records. Then following a career change at the end of 2012, he took a more active role assisting with book sales, IT solutions, and keeping the records of all contemporary non-F1 series up to date. In 2015, he was invited to be a partner in the Register.
The late Paul Sheldon’s interest in motor sport began in 1954 when his mother bought him two copies of Motor Cycling when he had some sort of terrible disease. These happened to be the TT issues. The interest spread to cars and he met up with Duncan and John Thompson in 1962. Paul was the main author of the Formula One Register and small duplicated booklets were followed by the first volume of a “Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing” in 1987. Paul was a doctor by profession. In 2015 he retired from the Register but continued to follow motor racing and worked on other projects of interest. His contribution to preserving motor racing history and records is immeasurable.
The late Robert Barker was bitten by the motor racing bug at Goodwood in the fifties and was a supporter of F1R from its early days. Having written the definitive work “A Record of Motor Racing at Goodwood” published by F1R and another book on the circuit, Robert became an acknowledged expert on the Sussex track. The Register greatly misses his expertise on matters relating to Goodwood and the “Goodwood-era” generally.
David’s passion is Formula 1 and he helps with this aspect of the Year Books and the Grand Prix & Voiturette series.
Yves de la Gorce
Yves is the owner and editor of the local French newspaper (for Paray le Monial) La Renaissance. He was a very early customer for the books and trawled the files of l’Auto/L’Equipe to build up data on the period from 1894 to 1949. He continues to keep records and help with French information and suggested the current “Year Books”.
John was part of the original Formula One Register and wrote the landmark book on the 1500cc F1 1961-65.