A long, long time ago, I suggested in one of my columns in the now long-defunct AtlasF1 Journal that the Championnat du Monde des Conducteurs that dated from the 1950 season was terminated at the end of the 1980 season by the FIA. I also created a thread for this interesting decision on The Nostalgia Forum (http://forums.autosport.com/topic/64873-rip-csi-wcd-1950-1980-and-long-live-fia-f1-wc-1981-present/). Re-reading the discussion some years later, especially in light of my departure from AtlasF1/TNF (2004) and then my subsequent (still unexplained) banishment from TNF (2010), it is interesting to realize just how little such things mean to most racing fans/enthusiasts. It is as if the thinking is, I-Didn’t-Pay-It-Any-Notice-Therefore-It-Didn’t-Really-Happen.
Fortunately, Mattijs Diepraam picked up the ball and then provided one of the few actual, in-depth discussions on the FIASCO War to be found anywhere, in print or digitally (http://8w.forix.com/fiasco-introduction-timeline.html). It was the FIA-FOCA conflict, best described as the FIASCO War, that of course led the FISA/FIA to terminate the existing world championship in 1980. Although several of those on TNF certainly got the gist of the point that I was providing, muddled as it may have been in retrospect, there were others that seemed to not care, their worship of Formula One such that their vision was blinded by its radiance. At least with the articles on the FIASCO War the Diepraam wrote, someone can actually read them; my old RVM four-part series on the FIASCO War, “Back to the Future: The FIASCO War,” is hidden behind the paywall of Autosport.com and not readily accessible. Besides, I think that the 8W series is much better than my effort.
Of course, history tends to be seen in a completely different light to racing fans than it does to, well, historians. Although it a topic that seems to be teeming with no end of those supposedly interested in its history, I do not believe that I have come across a book or monograph or whatever that tackles the many questions that would seem to present themselves regarding the International Racing Formula No. 1. Although the whole topic of starting and prize monies began to change in the mid-Sixties, it is rarely explored in any depth or even discussed in detail. The same with the actual regulations, both technical and sporting, for the formula and the championship. Then, of course, there are the various meetings and conferences and whatnot that took place relating to various issues over the years which are rarely mentioned, with only an occasional mention in a racing publication to whet the appetite. As hopelessly over-saturated as Formula One/Grand Prix is with those writing about its past, it seems to have attracted few actual historians, meaning that there is very much still to be written that probably will not see the light of day.
One of the aspects of the death of the Championnat du Monde des Conducteurs that bothered me then was why did I not realize it at the time? That Something Happened (apologies to Joe Heller) between 1980 and 1981 in the world championship was apparent, given the fate of the South African Grand Prix and the creation of the Concorde Agreement, but no one seemed to take the time to point it out back then. Or, if they did, it may have been in passing and, therefore, easy to miss.