The forgotten Aston Martin F1 car | Thank Frankel it’s Friday

The car followed the DBR1’s specification with a spaceframe chassis, double wishbone front suspension, a De Dion rear axle and Girling discs. It was conventional but thoughtfully done with the engine angled so the driveshaft could run alongside rather than below the driver, enabling a lower driving position.

Tony Brooks was one of the first to drive it and as he was also a works Vanwall driver at the time, could scarcely have been better placed to assess the two. And he far preferred the Aston. He liked its handling and its brakes, but noted it lacked power compared to his rival. John Wyer who ran the race team at the time, and a man incapable of overstating the facts estimated that it would be extremely competitive during the 1958 season.

So what was the problem? Simply that almost unbelievably, Aston Martin decided not to race it in 1958, a decision Wyer described in his usual forthright way as ‘fatal’. The reason was that Aston had been trying to win the World Sports Car Championship since 1952 and that took precedence. In the event the team didn’t even manage that in 1958.

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