I’m usually very reluctant to make any mid-season changes to the API but recent events have required a change to keep the API running. There was an increasing number of very large queries (some attempting to download all results since 1950!) which have put a heavy load on the server, in terms of memory and processor time. Since the API currently uses shared hosting this has caused problems for other websites and I was asked to take action to avoid the API being suspended.
The on-going change is a new maximum value of 1000 for the ‘limit’ query parameter. This will let you download a full season of results or a full list of all drivers, constructors, circuits etc. However, please use the smallest value that your applications requires, preferably only requesting the information you need to present in the current view. Please also implement caching as much as possible, either (or both) on your server and in your applications. This will improve the performance of your applications and for other API users. If you require large amounts of historical data please consider downloading the database image rather than polling the API.
Meanwhile, the Ergast site will be moving to a Virtual Private Server to improve performance and reduce the impact of heavy traffic on other websites.