Peter Whitehead  Great Britain

  • Full name Peter N. Whitehead
  • Birth date November 12, 1914
  • Birthplace Menston, Yorkshire, Great Britain
  • Date of death September 20, 1958 (43 years 312 days)
  • Place of death Cros, France
  • Relation Brother - AG Whitehead
  • Teams Alta, Cooper, Ferrari
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1950 Ferrari 3 2 0 1 2 3 0 0 18 0 0 4 9
1951 Ferrari 4 4 0 0 1 9 0 0 8 0 0 0 -
1952 Alta, Ferrari 3 2 0 0 1 10 0 0 13 0 0 0 -
1953 Cooper 1 1 0 0 1 9 0 0 14 0 0 0 -
1954 Cooper 1 1 0 0 0 - 0 0 24 0 0 0 -
Total 12 10 0 1 5 3 0 0 8 0 0 4
Race Circuit Date
First race Monaco Grand Prix Monaco May 21, 1950 Race results
Last race British Grand Prix Silverstone July 17, 1954 Race results
Profile

Peter Whitehead got into racing early, aided by support from his family wool business, and in 1935, with one year under his belt, made a successful switch to drive an ERA. His first major win came in 1938 at the Australian Grand Prix. After serving as a pilot in the war, he returned to racing in 1947 with continuing success, although he missed the 1948 season after suffering injuries in a plane crash.

His breakthrough came in 1949 when he became the first privateer to persuade Enzo Ferrari to sell him one of his Formula One cars. He won that season's non-championship Czechoslovakian Grand Prix, and finished third in the championship French Grand Prix after leading before suffering a gear-box failure. That was to be his only podium in 12 championship starts between 1950 and 1954.

In 1950, partnered by Peter Walker, he won the Le Mans 24 Hour and continued to record good finishes in Formula Two before turning his main attention to sports cars in 1953. He finished second at Le Mans in 1958 co-driving with his half-brother, Graham, but a few weeks later was killed in the Tour de France when their Jaguar 3.4-litre saloon, which Graham was driving, plunged off a bridge into a ravine. Peter was killed, his half-brother escaped with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Martin Williamson November 2009

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