Having served in World War II, Leston began racing in the early 1950s, acquiring a 500cc Cooper. After winning the Luxembourg Grand Prix in 1952, he was hired as a works Cooper driver in 1954 where he won the British Formula 3 championship.
In 1956, he made his Formula One debut with Connaught at the 1956 Italian Grand Prix. It was a short race for Leston, as his car's suspension failed after just six laps. He entered two other Grand Prix the following year. The first was the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix with Cooper, but he failed to qualify. His final Formula One appearance was at the 1957 British Grand Prix with the Owen Racing Organisation, but his car again let him down and he failed to finish the race.
Outside of Formula One, he competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with various teams. He was entered into the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans to drive a Lotus 23 with Tony Shelly, but did not participate after the team's car was banned by the event organizers. He also participated in British touring cars and some rally events.
In 1958, he suffered burns from an accident while racing his Formula 2 Lotus, after which he began to focus on an automotive accessories business. He pioneered the marketing of flameproof overalls. At the time, most racing drivers simply wore shirts. Graham Hill was an avid promoter of Leston's overalls.
In the late 1960s, Leston was hired by the BBC as a Formula One pit reporter, eventually being replaced by Barrie Gill.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.|
|1957||Cooper Car Company||Cooper-Climax||0||NC|
|Owen Racing Organisation||BRM|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||272 km (169 mi)|
|Complete Formula One Results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|18th†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|4thP||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|