Video: Motor racing's dark and dangerous past

Nic Cackett

Anyone who caught Grand Prix - The Killer Years on BBC4 recently will know the trials and tribulations that Formula One drivers went through to improve safety in their sport after decades of death and injury.

That programme touched on the earliest years of motorsport which are highlighted in this video, revealing a time of no seat belts, no protection and certainly no track safety standards.

It's very easy to watch the film in a state of horror (be warned, it is not for the faint hearted) at the risks these men were prepared to take with their lives, but the footage stands as a poignant reminder of the cost of motor racing's slow evolution into a relatively safe sport.