Peter Collins  Great Britain

  • Full name Peter John Collins
  • Birth date November 6, 1931
  • Birthplace Kidderminster, Great Britain
  • Date of death August 3, 1958 (26 years 270 days)
  • Place of death Bonn, Germany
  • Teams Ferrari, HWM, Maserati, Vanwall
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1952 HWM 6 4 0 0 1 6 0 0 6 0 0 0 -
1953 HWM 4 4 0 0 2 8 0 0 16 0 0 0 -
1954 Vanwall 3 2 0 0 1 7 0 0 11 0 0 0 -
1955 Maserati 2 2 0 0 0 - 0 0 11 0 0 0 -
1956 Ferrari 7 7 2 5 5 1 0 4 2 0 0 25 3
1957 Ferrari 6 6 0 2 4 3 0 2 2 0 0 8 9
1958 Ferrari 7 7 1 2 3 1 0 2 3 0 0 14 5
Total 35 32 3 9 16 1 0 8 2 0 0 47
Race Circuit Date
First race Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten May 18, 1952 Race results
Last race German Grand Prix Nürburgring August 3, 1958 Race results
Profile

Peter Collins' initial racing experience came in the post-war 500cc competitions in a Cooper, bought for him by his parents. His break in Formula One came in 1952 (the year he won a nine-hour endurance race at Goodwood in an Aston Martin) when he replaced Stirling Moss in the HWM team, but after two disappointing seasons he moved on, taking drives with Vanwall, Maserati and BRM (his one outing for the last of these ended in a crash during qualifying). Away from F1, he continued to thrive driving for Aston Martin.

In 1956 he was signed by Ferrari on the strength of a superb drive with Moss to win the Targa Florio in Sicily - the move proved inspired - he won back-to-back races in Belgium and France. He was poised to secure the drivers' title when he handed over his car to Juan Manuel Fangio during the Italian GP and the car then suffered mechanical failure. Collins finished the season in third. While disappointed, the gesture in handing the vehicle to Fangio won him tremendous praise in Italy. Enzo Ferrari was so grateful that his relationship with Collins thereafter was described as being akin to that of a father and son.

In 1957, Mike Hawthorn joined him at Ferrari and the pair bonded immediately both on and off the track. But the car was not as competitive as it had been and two third-place finishes were the highlight of a disappointing season. All that was put right in 1958 when Ferrari introduced the Dino 246, allowing Collins to take his third and final win at the British GP.

That success left him lying third in the drivers' championship, but two weeks later at the German GP Collins was killed when, chasing race leader Tony Brooks, he lost control and his car careered over a bank. He was thrown clear but crashed into a tree and sustained fatal injuries to his head.

Martin Williamson

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August 3, 1958

Stirling Moss leads in his Vanwall on the first lap of the race

July 19, 1958

Mike Hawthorn toasts team-mate and race winner Peter Collins

July 19, 1958

Peter Collins wins the 1958 British Grand Prix

     

Peter Collins Formula 1 photos

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