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.


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