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F1 2022

When motor racing was included as an Olympic sport

The Winter Olympics are currently taking place in Beijing, featuring an array of sporting categories. Motor racing is not classed as an Olympic sport at the time being, but this has not always been the case.

Formula 1 is not a part of the Olympic Games but, in the distant past, motor racing was included in the line-up. During the 1900 Summer Olympics, several car races were organised, and there were even different races for different classes.

A distinction was made between touring cars, small cars, taxis, vans and trucks. In addition, two long-distance races were also held. A total of fourteen races were organised at this edition of the Olympic Games.

The events were held in France, and the majority of the participants were indeed French. Only one non-French entry was registered; the German brand Mercedes were already involved in the sport at the time, and Renault also participated.

No traditional medals handed out

Of course, medals were handed out, but they were not the traditional gold, silver and bronze medals of today. The winners of the races received vermeil medals, featuring a layer of gold over a silver medal.

Instead of handing out silver and bronze medals to the drivers who finished second and third, all drivers who achieved an average speed of more than 60 km/h received a silver plaque. Those achieving average speeds of over 40 km/h were awarded a bronze medal.

The winners in the touring cars category won an 'art object', whereas the victors in other classes received a real gold medal. The results were determined by a jury, and therefore several entries could achieve the same result. Consequently, four people won the gold medal in the truck category.

A cameraman was also present at the 1900 Summer Games. These iconic images can be seen in the video below.

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