Tony Brooks: A lap of Silverstone circa 1952

Tony Brooks represents the first group of British Grand Prix drivers to make an impression in Formula 1 in the 1950s. He retuned to Silverstone to drive at Coys when Jose Froilan Gonzalez fell ill and dropped out. Brooks found himself driving the Argentinian's Ferrari around a circuit somewhat different to the one he experienced in the 50s. Autosport.com caught up with the veteran racer

Tony Brooks: A lap of Silverstone circa 1952



"I was deputising for Gonzalez, because unfortunately Gonzalez was unwell. He had to go into hospital because he had some sort of heart trouble. His car was a 1952 Ferrari 625 model, I think they call it.



Yes it was, because there aren't many runners these days. There's a static display in the 50 years exhibition, but unfortunately they weren't able to get a runner here to drive.



How it differs? I prefer the circuit the way it was in our day. It was a flowing circuit a series of flowing fast corners. The only bit that is faster today is in fact Copse.

There are more wiggles before Maggotts than there used to be - those aren't too bad - but they've ruined Stowe in my view. But were talking about competitive 1950s. Now it's a very slow corner which goes on a bit, whereas before it was a very fast right-hander.

They have also slightly ruined the next corner [Club]. In effect it's got a wiggle before it and that used to be a fast corner too. Abbey is the same for us [historic cars] but for the Grand Prix they have put a chicane in.

And these Brooklands corners? Well they're so slow, and they just go on and on. Which for me, in a car from the 1950s, doesn't feel right.

The real skill comes in driving through medium to fast corners. In slow corners there's not a lot you can do apart from brake as late as you can and get on the power as soon as you can. So I much preferred the original... It doesn't give me the satisfaction that driving on the Silverstone of the 1950s gave, because it was all medium to fast corners, which is great.



Certainly not! I'd like to swap the pay packets though.


shares
comments
GP greats defend Silverstone

Previous article

GP greats defend Silverstone

Next article

Irvine back on track for Germany

Irvine back on track for Germany
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021