Tony Brooks, a six-time Formula 1 race winner and former World Championship runner-up, has sadly passed away at the age of 90.
Brooks, known affectionately as the ‘Racing Dentist’ due to his family links and training in dentistry was, along with Sir Stirling Moss, regarded as one of the best drivers to not become Formula 1 World Champion.
The closest he came was in the 1959 season, finishing second behind Jack Brabham while driving for Ferrari and Vanwall, and was the final surviving Grand Prix winner from the 1950s prior to his passing.
We are sad to announce the passing of Tony Brooks, the last surviving Grand Prix winner from the 1950s. Known as the 'Racing Dentist', he was one of the greatest drivers never to have been World Champion despite six GP wins. Our thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/pVWcb9XcDF
— Goodwood Revival (@goodwoodrevival) May 3, 2022
Such was his success that only Moss, five-time World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio and Alberto Ascari won more races than Brooks in the premier class in the 1950s – with his six wins and 10 podiums coming from only 38 starts in Formula 1.
He finished third in the 1958 World Championship after several retirements that saw him finish only four races. He won three of them.
But his qualities were known beyond Formula 1, having also competed to a high level in sports car racing – winning the 1000km Nurburgring race in 1957 and the Tourist Trophy a year later at Goodwood.
Brooks largely stayed away from the limelight, to a degree where Moss is said to have described him as the “greatest little-known driver of all time”, but was honoured with a plaque outside his former home in his home town of Dukinfield, in Greater Manchester.
We at PlanetF1 would like to extend our condolences to his friends and family at this difficult time.