Ken Wharton  Great Britain

  • Full name Kenneth Albert Wharton
  • Birth date March 21, 1916
  • Birthplace Smethwick, Birmingham, Great Britain
  • Date of death January 12, 1957 (40 years 297 days)
  • Place of death Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Teams Cooper, Frazer-Nash, Maserati, Vanwall
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
1952 Frazer-Nash, Cooper 4 4 0 0 2 4 0 0 7 0 0 3 13
1953 Cooper 5 5 0 0 2 7 0 0 9 0 0 0 -
1954 Maserati 5 4 0 0 3 6 0 0 8 0 0 0 -
1955 Vanwall 2 2 0 0 1 9 0 0 15 0 0 0 -
Total 16 15 0 0 8 4 0 0 7 0 0 3
Race Circuit Date
First race Swiss Grand Prix Bremgarten May 18, 1952 Race results
Last race Italian Grand Prix Monza September 11, 1955 Race results
Profile

A motor agent and engineer from the Midlands, Ken Wharton was one of the most versatile drivers of his generation. A leading hillclimber in the 1950s, he won the British title in four consecutive years from 1951. Even by then he was a highly experienced driver as he started out racing an Austin Seven in 1935 and went on to make his name in sprints. In 1952 he made his Formula One championship debut in an old-fashioned Frazer-Nash but to his credit finished fourth in Switzerland.

He only broke into the top six once more in his career, again in Switzerland two years later. In that year he managed second in the non-championship New Zealand Grand Prix after a terrible crash at Albi. In 1955 he was set to be Vanwall's No. 2 driver behind Mike Hawthorn when he was burned after crashing in the non-championship International Trophy at Silverstone and quit F1. He was killed while driving a Ferrari in a sports car race in New Zealand.

Martin Williamson November 2009

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