Aston Martin DBR4

The Aston Martin DBR4 was a racing car of the British car manufacturer Aston Martin, the factory team in 1959 and 1960 in some races of the Formula 1 World Championship brought to the start. He was conceptually outdated already on his debut and scored no World Championship points.


Aston Martin has been involved in the 1950s with a work commitment at the World Sportscar Championship. The most successful year of the company was in 1959 when Aston Martin DBR1 with the subsequently won the World Championship for the 24 - hour race at Le Mans. Parallel to participate in sports car racing, Aston Martin has developed a Formula 1 racing car, which after some initial considerations should be used for the first time in 1958. The plan, however, not materialized; the sports car project in 1958 was still considered a priority, so that the ready- basically DBR4 was cleared after several test drives, which took place on the trial grounds of the Motor Industry Research Association in Nuneaton in December 1957, for one year. He made ​​his debut in the spring of 1959.


Equipped with a front engine DBR4 was not a new development, but a " mere reconstitution of existing components." Base of the vehicle was a tubular space frame, the construction of which in their structure corresponded to the frame of the 1956 developed DBR1. Also the design of the suspension was that of the DBR1 identical: Front had the car double wishbone, rear as the last re- imagined formula 1 racing car, a De Dion axle with Watt linkage.

Was powered by a six-cylinder engine of the type RB6 2.5 liters, fitted with three twin carburettors from Weber. Each cylinder had two spark plugs. The power was 186 kW (250 hp) at 7800 rpm. The force was transmitted to the rear axle via a five-speed gearbox and a propeller shaft.

The car was one of the worst cars of the Formula 1 season 1959. Operational he weighed 636 kg. He was 90 kg heavier than the Cooper T51 and more than 140 kg heavier than the Lotus 18, both of which were already provided with means engines.

1959 created four copies of the DBR4.

Racing applications

The DBR4 was used by the Aston Martin works team, which made itself known under the name David Brown Corporation of the Formula 1 World Championship. Team boss was John Wyer, 1959 Roy Salvadori and drivers were Carroll Shelby, 1960 Salvadori and Maurice Trintignant.


David Brown debuted at the XI. BRDC International Trophy, a non- Formula 1 World Championship scoring race, which was held in May 1959 at Silverstone. Salvadori started from pole position and was behind the rear-engined Cooper T51 Jack Brabham finished second. It was the best result achieved Aston Martin in a Formula 1 race. To keep the second place, Salvadori was forced in the second half of the race, the engine to turn over repeatedly, whereby the crankshaft bearings were damaged.

The first world championship race, the Monaco Grand Prix, the team did not participate. In the World Cup it debuted at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands on May 31, 1959 Both drivers were out early after engine problems. Salvadori drove only three rounds, Shelby 25

At the Grand Prix of Great Britain at Aintree Salvadori went second in the race and came in sixth place - out of the points - the finish, Shelby fell after 69 of 75 laps due to a valve from damage.

The Grand Prix of Germany left the team again. Then it was the end of August in Portugal at the start. The Aston Martin drivers were here in qualifying 11 or 11.5 seconds slower than the pole driver Stirling Moss. They drove to finish the race, but were four or five times over rounds. Salvadori was sixth, Shelby eighth. It was the only Formula 1 race in which both Aston Martin works cars finished the race. In Italy Shelby once again came in tenth. The remaining races of the season, the team left out.


For the 1960 season, Aston Martin designed with the DBR5 a new car. There was again the front-engine concept, which had proved their worth in the past year as inferior. The DBR4 1960 only used once again: Salvadori and Maurice Trintignant drove him in not belonging to the World Cup XII. International Trophy at Silverstone. Only Trintignant crossed the finish line, but reached no points.


Even contemporary observers criticized the DBR4. In a written report in late 1959 for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands the same year the construction of the DBR4 was described as cumbersome. In the current literature of the DBR4 is generally regarded as obsolete design, the engineers would design features of the early 1950s used that were already obsolete at the debut of the car in 1959. John Wyer, the race director of the Aston Martin works team, described the DBR4 later as follows:

" In 1958, it mighthave won races. In 1959, it was a dying duck, and in 1960, it was a stinking fish. "

" In 1958, he could have won the race. In 1959, he was a dying duck, and 1960 he was a stinking fish. "

Results at World Championship races