Carbon fibre was firstly adopted by a Formula 1 Team back in 1981 to build the chassis.
The advantages were not immediately evident to the other teams until September 13th 1981, when an accident occurred on Lap 20 of the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Despite the terrible impact against the side wall, the pilot was able to exit the cockpit unharmed.
It was a turning point in the history of safety for motor racing. The usage of carbon fibre spread to all Formula 1 Teams, starting with the chassis and subsequently extending to the rest of the car. Today, approximately 70% of the structure of a Formula 1 car is carbon fibre.
Lightweight, stiffness, impact resistance, moldability into virtually any shape make carbon fibre prepreg the ideal material for racing cars and explain why the usage of carbon fibre has eventually leaked to all other Formulas.