His victory in Syracuse, Sicily, in 1955 was the first for a British driver and car (Connaught) in a Formula One Grand Prix for 32 years. In 1958, driving for Vanwall, he and Moss won three races each as a British team won the manufacturers' world championship for the first time.
A year earlier, in the British Grand Prix at Aintree, he and Moss uniquely shared victory after Moss had taken over Brooks's car during the race. ``I had been injured in a previous race and was never going to last out, so it was agreed that if Stirling had problems he would take my car," Brooks recalled.
Brooks gained six F1 world championship victories from 21 starts: four for Vanwall, two with Ferrari. He retired in 1961, working as a journalist and turning a small filling station in Weybridge, where he still lives, into a successful car dealership, which he sold in 1993.
Motor racing's love of nostalgia keeps him involved with the sport. ``It is not as exciting now, of course,'' he said. ``When I was driving, you knew that one mistake could be your last and that doesn't half concentrate the mind. But Formula One is very safe now and that's marvellous. In the Fifties, three or four drivers a year died and I lost many friends.''
Jon CulleyReuse content