Peter Collins (racing driver)

Peter Collins ( born November 6, 1931 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, † August 3, 1958 in Bonn) was a British racing driver.

  • 7.1 Grand Prix wins
  • 7.2 Le Mans results

The Formula 3 driver

Collins was the son of an automobile dealer. Even as a 17 -year-old, he scored his first 1949 race win in Formula 3 He continues proven itself as two years older Stirling Moss in the European Formula 3 with 500 cc engines beginning of the 1950s.

Entry into the automotive world championship with HWM

In 1952, he signed as Moss at HWM, there to drive the inferior dovetail car whose Alta engine with 30 hp less fought against the preponderance of the chassis. Also in 1953, he remained with the team, but the odds were now fallen yet, as the cars were unreliable. Only in parallel to the World Championship races, which were run with Formula 2 car, he scored races held the second rank in Les Sables d'Olonne and the Eifel race on the Nürburgring success.

Probation in the sports car Aston Martin

The team leader of Aston Martin, John Wyer, had already become aware of Collins and signed him for the coming years until 1955, where he played sports car racing for his livelihood and with the Aston Martin DB3 win in 1952 at the 9- hour race at Goodwood could. His victory at the Northern Ireland RAC Tourist Trophy brought his team in 1953 even the first victory in the World Sportscar Championship. More podiums for Aston Martin followed, the second rank in 1955 was the largest success in the 24 - hour race at Le Mans.

Interlude at Vanwall and B.R.M.

But before he started with a Vanwall at the Grand Prix of Great Britain and Italy, however, the " British Ferrari " in 1954 were still too unreliable in the regular race. In the same race one saw him in 1955 - this time with a private Maserati, another race for BRM was provided from the outset with a strong handicap, as the car arrived too late to the correct voting. For once, he drove this year on a Mercedes 300 SLR on the side of Moss, the Targa Florio and won.

Success for Ferrari

Formula 1 season 1956

Enzo Ferrari signed him for the 1956 season, which was to be his best racing year. Two race wins in Spa -Francorchamps and Reims, and three second places held him until the end of the World Cup every chance of winning the title open because he was behind on points with the Maserati - pilot Jean Behra thanks to 22 points just seven points behind Fangio.

But when his team -mate Juan Manuel Fangio turned out at the race in Monza with his own cars due to a broken steering arm, wanted to direct the traveling in third place Ferrari driver Luigi Musso to the pits the Ferrari team management in the face of lying in fourth place Behra to Fangio to secure a top pilots through the exchange of vehicle the necessary points. However Musso refused this exchange on home soil and in the fight for the victory.

In the 35th round Peter Collins drove, this time on the second rank, for a tire change and saw the demoralized Fangio; Collins then offered him his car. Fangio moved the vehicle to win the world championship. This " fair play " gesture he reckoned Collins just like the Italian fans to high.

Formula 1 season 1957

The following year, 1957 Mike Hawthorn drove again for Ferrari. During this time, the two became close friends. Both fought in that year with the Lancia - Ferrari against Fangio and Moss ( Vanwall ) for the title. The Argentine was changed from frustration about his treatment at Ferrari Maserati and was able to keep the younger rival by his experience and the use of sophisticated Maserati 250F at bay.

Stakes in Ferrari sports car

During his work with Ferrari Collins also denied successful bets on sports cars from Ferrari. A second place in the Mille Miglia in 1956 on a Ferrari 860 Monza, the victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida and the success in the 1000 km race from Buenos Aires with a Ferrari 250 showed the success of these missions.

Death in the Grand Prix at the Nürburgring 1958

At the start of the Formula 1 season 1958 Peter Collins was the title aspirant next to Hawthorn, Moss and Tony Brooks. A victory at his home Grand Prix at Silverstone made ​​additional hopes.

Two weeks later, the Grand Prix of Germany at the Nürburgring, he struggled with his Ferrari against Brooks Vanwall to the lead as he exit of the " nursery " Valley turned into a right turn, lost control and the rollover in a low embankment of the cockpit was thrown, where he collided with the single tree that stood there.

Collins was brought by helicopter to a hospital in Bonn, where he died the following night to his severe head injuries. He is survived by his wife Louise King, an American-born, who he married in 1957.


Grand Prix victories

Le Mans results