The FAI (International Automobile Federation) introduced the concept of Formula One Racing somewhere around 1920. In fact the first ever racing event organized in this realm, was the European Grand Prix. Given the widespread acclaim and tremendous response to this event, the popularity of Formula One Racing shot up within a time span of few years. Of course, the races continued only within Europe for the next 3 decades, and it was only in 1950 when Formula One Racing was introduced at a global level. The first ever Formula One Racing World Championship was held in the UK. Another important aspect to note is that the initial trends of Formula One Racing were primarily centered on Non Championship Events. In fact, this was not just a rage in Europe, but South Africa as well. But over the years, the popularity has faded away, and Championship Races are the in-thing.
The FIA is actually a voluntary association with headquarters located in Paris. However, there are 239 member nations and the World Rally Championship Motor Racing is also organized by the association. Together with the Formula One Grand Prix Events, these constitute the most important racing events at a global scale.