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United Kingdom Charles Anthony Standish 'Tony' Brooks

Races: 39
Podiums: 10
Career Points: 75

1956United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation Maserati   Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6, BRM P25 2.5 L4 Maserati 250F 
1957United Kingdom Vandervell Products    Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 VW5 
1958United Kingdom Vandervell Products    Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 VW 5 
1959United Kingdom Vandervell Products    Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 VW 59 
1959Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 32 Ferrari 155 2.4 V6 Ferrari 246 F1
1960United Kingdom Vandervell Products    Vanwall 254 2.5 L4 VW 11 
1960United Kingdom Yeoman Credit Racing Cooper   Climax FPF 2.5 L4 Cooper T51 
1961United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation BRM Climax FPF 1.5 L4 P48/57 

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Tony Brooks: Greatness in Humility

By Jeremy McMullen
Page: 1
It is hard to conceive that a driver, considered by such legends as Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham, to be one of the best in Formula One history could be so easily forgotten and overlooked. Considered by Moss, 'the greatest unknown racing driver there has ever been', Tony Brooks would be driven to succeed, but more often than not, it would be his humility that would carry him to victory.

It would be a hectic, yet controlled scene. Moss was out of the race, but Brooks had made a deal before the race with his fellow compatriot. Brooks was running well, but he was hurting. Pain from an accident suffered at Le Mans still coursed through his body, but instead of allowing his pride to get in the way and carry on in such condition he would come into the pits to turn his car over to Moss for the remainder of the race. At the time, Brooks had been running around 5th place at the time he would be called in to hand his car over to Moss. Moss would turn that 5th place into a surprise victory, but, had it not been for Brooks humility there may not have been a victory for a British manufacturer and driver that day. History would have lost one of its truly memorable moments. Brooks is to deserve much of the credit for this.

Brooks' humility would come from a sober estimation of himself. Born in 1932 in Dukinfield, a small town settled in Greater Manchester, England, Charles Anthony Stanford Brooks would grow up in an area of Manchester that had come to prominence during the industrial revolution. Therefore, the young lad would learn lessons of hard work and would learn not to take things for granted.

At just 20, Brooks would take part in his first races. Starting out in club racing with a Healey and a Frazer-Nash, Brooks would be quite successful but would never really take a racing career seriously. He would approach racing as something to enjoy while he had the opportunity.

Tony would prove his dedication while also having fun. From 1952 through 1954, Brooks would prove incredibly talented as he would consistently finish on the podium. Especially at the wheel of the Frazer-Nash, it seemed a given Brooks would either win or be on the podium by the end of any race. His calm demeanor would also make him a talent to have in long distance race. As a result, Brooks would quickly earn a seat with the Aston Martin sports car team in 1955. Even still, Tony would not take such an offer as a sign he would have a career in motor racing. Therefore, Brooks would enroll at Manchester University studying dentistry; hence the nickname the 'Racing Dentist'. Brooks' first race with Aston Martin in 1955 would not be very successful, but it would be a new beginning for Brooks. In a matter of months, he wouldn't just have a racing career, he would be considered one of the British favorites.

It would really all begin for Brooks at Syracuse in October of 1955. Never having sat in Connaught's B-Type before, the dental student threw himself at the exam before him and would come out the other side with a victory absolutely nobody in all of Europe expected. Brooks' Formula One career was born in that moment. On the way to Syracuse Brooks was busy cramming for his dental exams. When he left the island, he would be busy preparing for his first season in the Formula One World Championship.

Suddenly, Tony would find himself with offers from Formula One teams. Despite earning his breakthrough victory with Connaught, Brooks would not a strong future with the team. Therefore, he would sign with Owen Racing to drive their BRM.
1961P48/57Climax FPF 1.5 L4
1960Cooper T51Climax FPF 2.5 L4
1960VW 11Vanwall 254 2.5 L4
1959VW 59Vanwall 254 2.5 L4
1959156Ferrari 155 2.4 V6
1959Ferrari 246 F1Ferrari 155 2.4 V6
1958VW 5Vanwall 254 2.5 L4
1957VW5Vanwall 254 2.5 L4
1956Maserati 250FMaserati 250F1 2.5 L6, BRM P25 2.5 L4

Coming to the team, he would find himself a teammate to Mike Hawthorn. More than once throughout the course of the season Hawthorn and Brooks would show the potential of the team's new BRM 25. Unfortunately, there was one strength the car lacked—reliability. Hawthorn would find this out while leading in the British Grand Prix. Brooks would also find this out in a painful way in the very same race. The throttle on the BRM would fail causing Brooks to crash and overturn. Though he would get out of the car relatively unharmed, he would still have a broken jaw as a result of the incident.

This was all the evidence Tony needed to determine it was time to move on from driving the BRM. Therefore, for the '57 season, Brooks would make an important decision. He would leave Owen Racing and would make the move to Vandervell's team where he would pilot the ever-improving Vanwall.

While changing teams in Formula One, Brooks would continue driving with David Brown's Aston Martin sports car team. Often paired with Reg Parnell, Tony would continue his strong performances in sportscar races ending up on the podium in many cases and taking a win here and there. The following season would see limited action for Tony given his commitments with the Vanwall. Still, when he did take to the circuit, he was very hard to beat. In fact, the only competitor that seemed to have any consistent luck against Tony in sportscars was Le Mans where the Brit consistently struggled to finish the 24 hour race. The 1957 edition of Le Mans would be painful in more than one way. Not only would he fail to finish the race, yet again, but he would suffer an accident that would leave him in serious pain for a couple of months to come. He wouldn't have a broken bone from the accident but he would suffer some very deep abrasions. In fact, he would still be in the hospital right up to the day before the first day of practice for the famed British Grand Prix at Aintree.

Joining Vandervell's team, Brooks' first race of the '57 season would come at none other than Monaco. Carefully making his way through the melee at the chicane that took out no less than three favored Brits, Tony would find himself chasing the great Juan Manuel Fangio. Unfortunately, the Vanwall was not a car ideally-suited to the tight Monaco circuit. Brooks would do his best, but a 2nd place result would be the best he could achieve up against the great World Champion.

But then came that day at Aintree in mid-July. The humble driver would earn a shared victory while still recovering from terrible wounds from Le Mans. What is incredible about that weekend is the fact that he would show up from the hospital and would go out and earn a front row starting spot.

The 1957 season would be very special, but it would not allow Brooks' talent to shine like what 1958 would. Fully healed, the man from Dunkinfield could truly show his worth. He would capture some attention after he started the Monaco Grand Prix from on pole, but then there would be the Belgian and German grand prix.

T51  T51  246 F1  246 F1  250F  250F  
At Spa, Brooks would disappear into the distance and would demonstrate absolute control when he took the lead for good from Peter Collins on the 4th lap of the race. Then, at the German Grand Prix, Tony would come back from a poor start to absolutely blow by Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins to take over the lead. The pace Tony would apply would be so surprising that it would force Peter Collins to take ill-advised chances and it would eventually result in his death after he failed to negotiate a blind right-hander. His dander was up as he pursued Brooks to retake the lead he had enjoyed for more than a few laps. Brooks' perhaps most dominant performance of his Formula One career would be overshadowed by the death of his fellow Brit.

After victory in the Italian Grand Prix, his third of the season, Tony would finish the season in 3rd place in the championship standings. When combined with victories in sportscar races at the Nurburgring and two at Spa, it is immediately understandable how Brooks would be held in such high esteem by his fellow drivers.

Things would only get better for Brooks in 1959. Vandervell's withdrawal from Formula One would open the door for Brooks to get a drive with none other than Scuderia Ferrari. He would take advantage of this opportunity immediately by finishing 2nd in the Monaco Grand Prix. He would then earn victories in the French and German grand prix. A 3rd place in the United States Grand Prix at the end of the season meant Tony finished the year 2nd in the drivers' standings.

United Kingdom Drivers  F1 Drivers From United Kingdom 
George Edgar Abecassis
Henry Clifford Allison
Robert 'Bob' Anderson
Peter Arundell
Peter Hawthorn Ashdown
Ian Hugh Gordon Ashley
Gerald Ashmore
William 'Bill' Aston
Richard James David 'Dickie' Attwood
Julian Bailey
John Barber
Donald Beauman
Derek Reginald Bell
Mike Beuttler
Mark Blundell
Eric Brandon
Thomas 'Tommy' Bridger
Thomas 'Tommy' Bridger
David Bridges
Anthony William Brise
Chris Bristow
Charles Anthony Standish 'Tony' Brooks
Alan Everest Brown
William Archibald Scott Brown
Martin John Brundle
Ivor Léon John Bueb
Ian Burgess
Jenson Alexander Lyons Button
Michael John Campbell-Jones
Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman
Max Chilton
James 'Jim' Clark, Jr.
Peter John Collins
David Marshall Coulthard
Piers Raymond Courage
Christopher Craft
Jim Crawford
John Colum 'Johnny Dumfries' Crichton-Stuart
Tony Crook
Geoffrey Crossley
Anthony Denis Davidson
Colin Charles Houghton Davis
Tony Dean
Paul di Resta
Hugh Peter Martin Donnelly
Kenneth Henry Downing
Bernard Charles 'Bernie' Ecclestone
Guy Richard Goronwy Edwards
Victor Henry 'Vic' Elford
Paul Emery
Robert 'Bob' Evans
Jack Fairman
Alfred Lazarus 'Les Leston' Fingleston
John Fisher
Ron Flockhart
Philip Fotheringham-Parker
Joe Fry
Divina Mary Galica
Frederick Roberts 'Bob' Gerard
Peter Kenneth Gethin
Richard Gibson
Horace Gould
Keith Greene
Brian Gubby
Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood
Bruce Halford
Duncan Hamilton
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton
David Hampshire
Thomas Cuthbert 'Cuth' Harrison
Brian Hart
Mike Hawthorn
Brian Henton
John Paul 'Johnny' Herbert
Damon Graham Devereux Hill
Norman Graham Hill
David Wishart Hobbs
James Simon Wallis Hunt
Robert McGregor Innes Ireland
Edmund 'Eddie' Irvine, Jr.
Chris Irwin
John James
Leslie Johnson
Thomas Kenrick Kavanagh 'Ken' Kavanagh
Rupert Keegan
Christopher J. Lawrence
Geoffrey Lees
Jackie Lewis
Stuart Nigel Lewis-Evans
Michael George Hartwell MacDowel
Lance Noel Macklin
Damien Magee
Nigel Ernest James Mansell
Leslie Marr
Anthony Ernest 'Tony' Marsh
Steve Matchett
Raymond Mays
Kenneth McAlpine
Perry McCarthy
Allan McNish
John Miles
Robin 'Monty' Montgomerie-Charrington
Dave Morgan
Bill Moss
Sir Stirling Moss
David Murray
John Brian Naylor
Timothy 'Tiff' Needell
Lando Norris
Rodney Nuckey
Keith Jack Oliver
Arthur Owen
Dr. Jonathan Charles Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Michael Johnson Parkes
Reginald 'Tim' Parnell
Reginald 'Tim' Parnell
Reginald Harold Haslam Parnell
David Piper
Roger Dennistoun 'Dennis' Poore
David Prophet
Thomas Maldwyn Pryce
David Charles Purley
Ian Raby
Brian Herman Thomas Redman
Alan Rees
Lance Reventlow
John Rhodes
William Kenneth 'Ken' Richardson
John Henry Augustin Riseley-Prichard
Richard Robarts
Alan Rollinson
Tony Rolt
George Russell
Roy Francesco Salvadori
Brian Shawe-Taylor
Stephen South
Michael 'Mike' Spence
Alan Stacey
William Stevens
Ian Macpherson M Stewart
James Robert 'Jimmy' Stewart
Sir John Young Stewart
John Surtees
Andy Sutcliffe
Dennis Taylor
Henry Taylor
John Taylor
Michael Taylor
Trevor Taylor
Eric Thompson
Leslie Thorne
Desmond Titterington
Tony Trimmer
Peter Walker
Derek Stanley Arthur Warwick
John Marshall 'Wattie' Watson
Peter Westbury
Kenneth Wharton
Edward N. 'Ted' Whiteaway
Graham Whitehead
Peter Whitehead
Bill Whitehouse
Robin Michael Widdows
Mike Wilds
Jonathan Williams
Roger Williamson
Justin Wilson
Vic Wilson
The victory in the German Grand Prix in 1959 would be a special moment in Brooks' career. First of all, the race would mark a special occasion as it would take place on the AVUS circuit situated in West Berlin. It was just the second time since 1926 that the German Grand Prix had not been held at the Nurburgring. Furthermore, the victory would come following Tony starting from pole and setting the fastest lap of the race. And, finally, it gave Tony back-to-back victories in the German Grand Prix, and at two different circuits. Incidentally, Stirling Moss would also end his career without a World Championship, and, he would never achieve two victories in the German Grand Prix. Thus, Tony's reputation is well-deserved.

Following the runner-up result in 1959, Tony would leave Ferrari to drive a Cooper. Over the course of the 1960 season, he would come away with three top five finishes, but would never set foot on the podium. In fact, he would not set foot on the podium again until his final year and in his final race.

Page: 1

'Drivers: Tony Brooks', ( ESPN F1. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

Greene, Tony. 'F1Biography: The Racing Dentist & the 1955 Syracuse GP', ( F1Biography. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

Muelas, Felix. 'Vanwall's Breathrough Win', ( 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

Muelas, Felix & Diepraam, Mattijs. 'The Flying Dentist', ( 8W: The Stories Behind Motor Racing Facts and Fiction. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

'Drivers: Tony Brooks', ( Retrieved 12 February 2014.

'Complete Archive of Tony Brooks', ( Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

'USA 1961', ( Stats F1. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

GP Silverstone 1956. Video. (1956). Retrieved 12 February 2014 from

Wikipedia contributors, 'Dukinfield', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 October 2013, 16:42 UTC, accessed 12 February 2014

Wikipedia contributors, 'Tony Brooks', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 December 2013, 02:02 UTC, accessed 12 February 2014
Formula One World Drivers' Champions
1950 G. Farina
1951 J. Fangio
1952 A. Ascari
1953 A. Ascari
1954 J. Fangio
1955 J. Fangio
1956 J. Fangio
1957 J. Fangio
1958 M. Hawthorn
1959 S. Brabham
1960 S. Brabham
1961 P. Hill, Jr
1962 N. Hill
1963 J. Clark, Jr.
1964 J. Surtees
1965 J. Clark, Jr.
1966 S. Brabham
1967 D. Hulme
1968 N. Hill
1969 S. Stewart
1970 K. Rindt
1971 S. Stewart
1972 E. Fittipaldi
1973 S. Stewart
1974 E. Fittipaldi
1975 A. Lauda
1976 J. Hunt
1977 A. Lauda
1978 M. Andretti
1979 J. Scheckter
1980 A. Jones
1981 N. Piquet
1982 K. Rosberg
1983 N. Piquet
1984 A. Lauda
1985 A. Prost
1986 A. Prost
1987 N. Piquet
1988 A. Senna
1989 A. Prost
1990 A. Senna
1991 A. Senna
1992 N. Mansell
1993 A. Prost
1994 M. Schumacher
1995 M. Schumacher
1996 D. Hill
1997 J. Villeneuve
1998 M. Hakkinen
1999 M. Hakkinen
2000 M. Schumacher
2001 M. Schumacher
2002 M. Schumacher
2003 M. Schumacher
2004 M. Schumacher
2005 F. Alonso
2006 F. Alonso
2007 K. Raikkonen
2008 L. Hamilton
2009 J. Button
2010 S. Vettel
2011 S. Vettel
2012 S. Vettel
2013 S. Vettel
2014 L. Hamilton
2015 L. Hamilton
2016 N. Rosberg
2017 L. Hamilton
2018 L. Hamilton
2019 L. Hamilton

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