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United Kingdom John James   |  Stats  |  1951 F1 Articles

1951 Formula One Season   By Jeremy McMullen
Auto racing is a large, but still rather small and close, community. However, even amidst the smallest community there are those that come and go. Motor racing has continued to be one of those expressions of sport that draws people just for the sake of the competition—to say he or she had competed. For these people, it isn't about the fame or fortune, but, the pure love of the sport.

John James was one of those that never achieved fame or fortune in motor racing, but, he does have a little footnote in racing history marking his place. Of course the footnote is so incredibly small it is rather easy to miss it.

Born in Packwood, Warwickshire in 1914, this British privateer has one of the shortest grand prix careers in history. His motor racing career spans the whole of two grand prix races during the 1951 grand prix season.

As with any British racing fan, to be able to qualify to start a race at the famed Silverstone road course would be a real honor and exciting time. Sure enough, this is where James' story begins.

Having purchased a Maserati 4CLT/48 and entered under his own name, John James arrived at Silverstone on the 14th of July looking to take part in his first ever grand prix during Formula One's sophomore season.

Not too concerned with what Fangio, Ascari or Gonzalez were doing at the front of the grid, James concentrated on getting into the race. James managed to stay out of trouble during practice and actually was able to set a qualifying time faster than a couple of other, more seasoned racers. Out of twenty starters who qualified for the race, James would start 17th. He had managed to beat out a few of his fellow Brits, including Peter Walker, Joe Kelly and Reg Parnell in the troublesome BRM.

James had made it into the race. Now he needed to make it through the race. Unfortunately, this would not be an easy task for the man from Warwickshire.

Race day was mild and dry. The race got underway and Jose Froilan Gonzalez and Juan Manuel Fangio disappeared into the distance. Being that it was his first ever grand prix, and that it was on home soil, surely James took it rather easy, but was fighting the nerves at the same time. He needed to settle in to a pace as the race was not a short distance sprint. The British Grand Prix that year was 90 laps of the 2.88 mile facility making the total race distance over 250 miles.

To James' credit, despite the presence of faster cars all-around him, he kept his cool and never put a foot wrong. In the end, it was his car that let him down in his first-ever Formula One event. On lap 23, the radiator on his Maserati 4CLT began to overheat. He couldn't continue on with such troubles, and thus had to retire from the race. In his first grand prix, James had completed just 23 laps. He had scored no fastest laps, led not a single lap, nor won the race. But, he had the right to say he had competed in the British Grand Prix.

The only other grand prix event in which John James had ever competed came late in the season at Goodwood in West Sussex, England. The race was the 4th Goodwood Trophy race.

The 4th Goodwood Trophy race serves to create a number of questions concerning John James. Instead of the race being one in which James is simply recorded as having attended and either finishing in a retirement or a low-order finish, the race creates an enigma.

Some of the best drivers of the day were present for the short, 15 lap race, around Goodwood's 2.38 mile road course. Farina, Parnell and Moss were present, along with some more local British talent. Among those Brits in attendance was John James in his own Maserati 4CLT.

Seventeen drivers would start the event, but James wasn't to be found toward the back-end of the starting grid. James put in a solid performance that netted him a 9th place starting spot.

During the 15 lap race the attrition was incredibly high. Only nine of the seventeen starters would finish the race and James was among them that would finish. Farina and Parnell lapped the entire field at least once. A little over five seconds separated Farina and Parnell at the finish.

To James' credit, again, he never put a foot wrong the entire race and was only passed by one person that qualified worse than him. That one person was Stirling Moss. By the end of the race, James' steady drive earned him an 8th place finish.

Just like that John James was done in grand prix racing. Nothing is ever really heard from him in competition again. James had competed in only one Formula One event, but it was his nation's grand prix and a great honor for any British racing fan. James died in Malta just in 2002 at the age of 87.
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
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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