Tony Brooks obituary: 1950s F1 race winner dies aged 90 – Motorsport. com
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Having started in club events in 1952, Brooks joined the Aston Martin sportscar team after impressing in tests just two years later. He then shot in order to prominence by winning the particular non-championship 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix for Connaught, while still studying to become a dentist.
It was his first drive in a contemporary Formula 1 car and was the first GP win with regard to a British driver in a British car for 31 years.
After a brief spell with the particular still troubled BRM group – which included a fiery crash at Silverstone when their throttle stuck open – Brooks joined Vanwall, creating a British F1 superteam alongside Stirling Moss and Stuart Lewis-Evans.
A fighting second to Juan Manuel Fangio’s Maserati at the 1957 Monaco GP, finishing with the raw hand thanks to clutchless gear changes on the punishing course, was followed by a crash at Le Mans while driving for Aston Martin.
Brooks was lucky to survive and has been still suffering when he started his Vanwall in the 1957 British GP in Aintree. He was running sixth when Moss’s vehicle hit trouble. Brooks had been called within and Moss took over, charging on to one of his most famous victories, as a British car won a world championship race for the first time.
Moss was the Vanwall (and Aston) number one and had first pick of the best machinery, meaning Brooks could rarely hone his own vehicle across the race weekend. But this individual played the particular team game brilliantly and often shone when Moss hit problems.
That has been no more true than in 1958. Brooks won three GPs, the Belgian in the super-fast Spa, the German from the fearsome Nurburgring and the Italian upon Ferrari’s home ground with Monza. Brooks regarded their German DOCTOR win, charging past the particular Ferraris associated with Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins, the latter of whom sadly then crashed fatally whilst chasing, as his greatest.
Moss received four times and Vanwall took the particular inaugural constructors’ title, but Hawthorn beat Moss to the 1958 drivers’ crown by a point. It might have been different had Brooks, third within the table himself, not suffered engine failure while in a position in the finale to perhaps prevent Hawthorn from getting the 2nd place he or she needed.
Tony a2z Brooks, Vanwall, 1st position, drinks through a flask with team mate Stirling Moss, Vanwall
Photo simply by: Motorsport Images
Brooks became a member of Ferrari regarding 1959 and was the undisputed group leader inside a squad that also included Phil Hill and rookie Dan Gurney. Two wins put him in title contention with Jack Brabham (works Cooper) and Moss (Rob Walker Cooper).
The cancellation of the Belgian GP and clutch failure at the start of the particular Italian DOCTOR robbed your pet of a chance to win either or both races in which usually the powerful front-engined Ferraris were well-fancied, so he went into the Sebring decider along with an outside chance associated with the crown. A hit on the start from teammate Wolfgang von Trips plus subsequent precautionary pitstop – Brooks wasn’t one to take unnecessary risk – meant the best this individual could do was 3rd. He thus finished second to Brabham in the final standings.
Thereafter, success was hard to come by and Brooks was not a fan of the particular move in order to rear-engined machines. He scored points with the Yeoman Credit Cooper team in 1960 plus finished around the podium in his final world championship begin, driving a BRM in the following year’s US GP, before retiring from the sport.
Outside of F1, Brooks was also one of the world’s leading endurance drivers. He won both the Spa DOCTOR for sportscars and the particular Nurburgring 1000Km in 1957 with Aston Martin DBR1s, within the latter event sharing with Noel Cunningham-Reid. This individual also earned the 1958 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood alongside Moss before joining Ferrari, although sportscar success with the Italian team proved elusive.
Brooks’s sublime touch and judgement made him particularly impressive within the really demanding circuits – hence those is victorious at Spa as well as the Nurburgring – and he had been arguably the finer racing driver than Britain’s 1st world champion Hawthorn. His six globe championship benefits and 10 podiums came from just 38 starts.
Moss picked Brooks and Jim Clark as the drivers he would put within a two-car team, thereby confirming that will the quiet and unassuming Brooks was one associated with the finest drivers never to be planet champion. The particular passing from the last GP winner of the 1950s marks the end of an era.