With the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix happening this weekend, Shell reminded a few guests what the Spa-Francorchamps track and Belgian countryside were like in 1955. That year the petroleum company made a 30-minute movie about the grand prix - this is back when the track was called the Francorchamps National Circuit, near the town of Spa, and a list of its important corners didn't include a mention of Eau Rouge - where it was doing the same thing it still does today: working on fuels and lubricants via its technical partnership with Ferrari.

To create the mood, journalists were invited to a vintage cinema where they mingled with Ferrari F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and other extras in period fifties gear, and watched a screening of 1955 Belgian Grand Prix. You can scroll down for a screening of your own, as well as the press release, minus the petits-fours and pinups.
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SHELL RELIVES THE WORLD OF 1955 FORMULA ONE™

Today Shell offered media the opportunity to relive the budding years of Formula One, taking over a 1950s cinema in Malmedy for a special screening of its '1955 Belgian Grand Prix' film.

Scuderia Ferrari official drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa joined guests at the retro venue to be immersed in a bygone era, surrounded by vintage 1950s cars, traditional cocktails and a boogie-woogie band in the evocative setting.

The Scuderia Ferrari drivers swapped their modern race suits for 1950s drivers outfits to give media a one-off photo opportunity before ushering guests into the theatre for the screening of the '1955 Belgian Grand Prix' film – celebrating over 60 years of the Shell technical partnership with Ferrari in Formula One.

The two companies first joined forces to contest the inaugural Formula One World Championship together in 1950, a season that marked the beginning of a new era in global motorsport. Since then the collaboration has become one of the most long-standing and successful partnerships in the history of motorsport, contesting over 500 races together and winning 12 Drivers' Championships and 10 Constructors' Championships.

"We are very proud of our partnership with Ferrari and this event is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase where our shared history began," commented Richard Bracewell, Shell Global Sponsorships Manager. "We have been working together for over 60 years and, although many things have changed in that time, the importance of this partnership to us is as great now as it was then."

With a period band setting the scene, guests were transported back in time to the early years of Formula One, taking in the sights, sounds, smells and feel of the young World Championship. Cocktails in hand, guests were free to explore the selection of classic 1950s cars, including a Ferrari 250 GT Boano, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce, a Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider and a Fiat 600 Multipla.

As 1950s policemen walked the beat and grease-stained mechanics tinkered with the cars, members of the media were invited to bring the '50s setting to life by dressing in period clothing, with leather jackets, bow ties and fedoras proving the fashion hits of the day.

About the '1955 Belgian Grand Prix' film
Shell partnered Ferrari in the inaugural Formula One World ChampionshipTM of 1950, a season that ushered in the beginning of a new era in global motorsport. In that time, Shell has become not only the most successful oil company in the history of motorsport but one of the most recognisable and ever-present brands at race tracks around the world.

The film was made by Shell to underline its commitment to and involvement in the sport to fans and customers alike. This practice continues today with Shell's Title Sponsorship of the 2013 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix – a classic race on the calendar and the backbone of Shell's work within Formula One and with Ferrari.

In 1955 Shell supported several teams, of which Ferrari was one, but since then, Shell has gone on to develop an exclusive relationship with the Italian team that is unrivalled in the sport.

The Technical Partnership has become synonymous with power, performance and reliability in modern motor racing and is an aspirational symbol whose roots are firmly based in a shared passion between the two companies.

The screening of the '1955 Belgian Grand Prix' film serves as a special reminder of the longstanding history of Shell's Technical Partnership with Ferrari in Formula One within the context of the Shell Belgian Grand Prix.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      autocross77
      • 1 Year Ago
      If I were there, I would watch from behind a tree.
        stevenh
        • 1 Year Ago
        @autocross77
        the spectators were just as brave as the drivers
      Scott Coffin
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think current F1 broadcasts should watch this film. Great stuff
      Luis A. Martinez
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lancia D50 the beast,Ferrari end up with the whoe racing team back on early 60's
      stevenh
      • 1 Year Ago
      safety, what safety? track lined with ditches, houses, trees, hydro poles and the errant dog. Race suit was a cotton T-shirt
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      samagon0
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome
      Bobby_Sards
      • 1 Year Ago
      Amazing how close spectators and pit crew are to the action. I'd love to hear one of those cars up close. Fangio is a boss!
      onewayroll
      • 1 Year Ago
      Skill beyond compare, awesome!
      Georg
      • 1 Year Ago
      real man with real steel balls ...fantastic sound best is Mercedes sport chief... no computer command stand ..just three stop watches hanging above his big belly and a flag in his hand :)
      Trent
      • 1 Year Ago
      I watched the whole video. Amazing how fast these cars were for their day and would give anything to go back in time and be there to see it.
      edward.stallings
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fantastic film. High quality production and sound! Thanks Autoblog and Jonathon!