Peter John Collins

Early Career and Rise to Fame

Peter John Collins, born on November 6, 1931, in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, was a rising star in the world of Formula 1 racing. His journey into motorsport began in 1952 with a modest HWM team. Despite humble beginnings, Collins showed potential early in his career, especially in Formula 2 races. He made his mark in the 1953 Eifelrennen F2 race with a third-place finish and claimed his first victory in sports cars at the International Trophy with Aston Martin.

Transition to Formula 1 and Initial Struggles

In 1954, Collins shifted his focus from Formula 2 to Formula 1, joining Vanwall. Although he didn’t make significant strides in the championship, he secured second-place finishes at Crystal Palace and Goodwood in non-championship events. 1955 was a challenging year in F1 for Collins, driving a Maserati 250F, but he found success in sports car racing, including a second-place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and victories in the International Trophy and Targa Florio.

peter collins formula 1 driver

peter collins formula 1 driver


Peak Career Years with Ferrari

The turning point in Collins’ career came in 1956 when he was signed by Enzo Ferrari. Paired with legendary driver Juan Manuel Fangio, Collins achieved impressive results: two consecutive victories in Belgium and France, second places in Monaco and Great Britain, and another second-place finish at Le Mans with Aston Martin. The season’s climax saw Collins in a position to win the World Championship, but in a remarkable act of sportsmanship, he handed his car to Fangio during the final race, enabling Fangio to clinch his fourth title.

Final Seasons and Tragic End

Collins’ 1957 season didn’t live up to expectations, overshadowed by Fangio’s brilliance. However, he won non-championship events in Syracuse and Naples. In 1958, he won the 12 Hours of Sebring and the International Trophy in F2. He added a third-place finish in Monaco and a victory at the British Grand Prix to his achievements. Sadly, his life and promising career were cut short at the 1958 German Grand Prix, where he suffered a fatal accident while leading the race.

Peter John Collins

Peter John Collins

  • Full Name: Peter John Collins
  • Date of Birth: November 6, 1931
  • Place of Birth: Kidderminster, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
  • Date of Death: August 3, 1958 (aged 26), Bonn, Germany
  • Nationality: British
  • First Grand Prix: Switzerland 1952
  • Last Grand Prix: Germany 1958
  • Best Race Finish: 1st Place
  • Best Grid Position: 2nd
  • Best World Championship Ranking: 3rd in 1956

Career Overview:

  • Total Involvements in F1: 36
  • Total Grand Prix Starts: 32
  • No Starts: 4
  • Total Teammates: 25
  • Seasons Competed: 7 (1952 – 1958)
  • Constructors Raced For: 4 different constructors
  • Engine Builders Used: 4 different engine builders
  • Car Models Driven: 8
  • Career Wins: 3 (9.38% of starts)
  • Podium Finishes: 9 (28.13% of starts)
  • Total Career Points: 47
  • Points Per Grand Prix: 1.47
  • Average Points Per Season: 6.71
  • Career Laps Led: 127
  • Distance Led: 946 km
  • Total Laps Raced: 1,400
  • Total Distance Raced: 8,722 km
  • Average Starting Grid Position: 8.94
  • Average Finishing Position: 4.19
  • Total Retirements: 20 (62.50% of starts)
  • Non-World Championship Involvements: 43

Notable Achievements:

  • Noted for his potential to become the first British World Champion.
  • Remembered for his generosity and sportsmanship, notably in the 1956 season when he relinquished his car to Juan Manuel Fangio.
  • Achieved significant success in sports car racing, including a 2nd place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and multiple victories in non-championship events.
  • Tragically passed away in an accident during the 1958 German Grand Prix, ending a promising career at a young age.
Peter Collins

Peter Collins – line graph depicting Peter Collins’ Formula 1 career points by year. This graph illustrates his performance in terms of total points accumulated each season from 1952 to 1958.

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