He won three Grands Prix in 1956 and 1958. He was also the third British winner of the British Grand Prix, as he won it in 1958. At the very next race, the German Grand Prix, Collins lost his life after an accident on Lap 11, becoming the second of three drivers to die that year.
Collins' debut came at the 1952 Swiss Grand Prix, but it was short, his race ending after 12 laps. Collins competed in much of the season, with a sixth place in the French Grand Prix his only finish.
For 1953, Collins remained at HWM, had two finishes and two non-finishes.
Collins, yet to score a single point or complete a full season in his career, joined Ferrari for the 1956 season and it was the season, that Collins would score his first win in Formula One. Said win came at the Belgian Grand Prix. He followed it with another victory in France a month later, and took the lead in the championship leading 5 points from Jean Behra.
However, after Collins had a disastrous weekend in Germany, his Ferrari springing a fuel leak, and also crashing in the shared car, the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio snatched that lead, and ultimately, the title, with Collins falling to third.
Collins had an average season, he scored points in France, Britain and Germany in his second season with Ferrari.
Collins started his final season on a low with two retirements in the first three races. His last win, points and podium came at the British Grand Prix, and he became the first British F1 driver to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. But tragically the next race was to be his last.
This caused his car to flip into the air, land upside-down and burst into flames.
Collins, however, was flung from his car but sustained fatal head injuries after hitting a tree. It served as another cruel blow for Ferrari, following the death of Italian Luigi Musso in the French Grand Prix the previous month. The third and final fatality was that of Vanwall driver Stuart Lewis-Evans at the season-ending Moroccan Grand Prix which cast a shadow over the whole season. The World Champion Mike Hawthorn was so disturbed by those tragedies, including the death of Collins, that he retired after the season and would himself die in a road crash in January 1959. Collins is buried in Worcestershire.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1954||G A Vandervell||Vanwall||0||NC||Report|
|1955||Owen Racing Organisation
Officine Alfieri Maserati
|Front Row Starts||8|
|Distance Raced||8722.420 km (5420 mi)|
|Distance Led||945.761 km (588 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|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|