1956 Silverstone GP Formula 2 race winner Salvadori with foot on tyre of Cooper T41
12 May 1922|
Dovercourt, Essex, England,
|Died||3 June 2012(aged 90)|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Teams||Ferrari, Connaught, Maserati, BRM, Cooper, Aston Martin, Bowmaker-Yeoman Lola|
|Entries||50 (47 starts)|
|First entry||1952 British Grand Prix|
|Last entry||1962 South African Grand Prix|
Roy Francesco Salvadori (12 May 1922 – 3 June 2012) was a British motor racing driver and manager. He participated in 50 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 12 July 1952, and achieved two podiums, scoring a total of 19 Championship points. He was born in Dovercourt, Essex, to parents of Italian descent. During a varied career he also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, driving for Aston Martin and teamed with Carroll Shelby.
Salvadori began his career in 1946, racing purely for the pleasure of it, in minor events, before stepping up to an Alfa Romeo in 1947. He then decided to pursue a professional career, and drove a number of different makes as his career progressed. In the 1951 BRDC International Trophy race at Silverstone, Salvadori had a nasty accident when his car flipped two and a half times and he was ejected, ending up in the hay bales. He was in critical condition after suffering a fractured skull and other severe injuries.
However he recovered sufficiently to make his first entry into Grand Prix racing in 1952 when he drove a two-litre four cylinder Ferrari 500 in the British Grand Prix finishing eighth, three laps down. In 1953 Salvadori joined the Connaught team and competed in five Grands Prix with the Connaught "A type" but retired from all of them.
Between 1954 and 1956 Salvadori drove in Formula One for Syd Greene's Gilby Engineering team with one entry for Officine Alfieri Maserati in the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix where he did not start and the car was driven by Sergio Mantovani. However, he remained particularly active in domestic motor sport and in sports cars for Aston Martin.
In 1957, Salvadori signed with Cooper achieving only one fifth place at Aintree. However, 1958 (as team-mate to Jack Brabham) was his most successful season, finishing fourth in the World Drivers' Championship for Cooper, behind Hawthorn, Moss and Brooks. However he was not retained by Cooper for 1959 (when Brabham would win the first of his titles) but drove a privately entered Cooper, as well as the works Aston Martin, in which he achieved two sixth place finishes. The Aston Martin was a traditional front engined car, which was soon outclassed by the Cooper rear engined concept. He did, however, win the London Trophy at Crystal Palace with a Formula Two Cooper. The Aston Martin team continued into 1960 but again without success and Salvadori continued with the privately entered Cooper also.
For 1961, Salvadori moved to Reg Parnell's Yeoman Credit Racing team as partner to John Surtees, competing in five Grands Prix and achieving three sixth place finishes with the team's 1.5-litre Cooper T53-Climax. The Cooper now had strong competition in the form of Colin Chapman's Lotus cars, but Salvadori was challenging Innes Ireland for the lead at Watkins Glen when the engine failed. He continued with Parnell for 1962, now under the Bowmaker Racing Team name with the Lola Mk4-Climax, but eight attempts yielded seven retirements and one failure to start (as Surtees took the car). 1962 was Salvadori's last season in Formula One.
Throughout his Formula One career, Salvadori continued to participate in many other classes, particularly within the United Kingdom and became very well known domestically as a result. The high point of his sports car career was a win at Le Mans in 1959, partnered by Carroll Shelby, in an Aston Martin DBR1/300.
In 1963 at Le Mans he slid on oil dropped by New Zealander Bruce McLaren during the early stages of the race and flipped onto his car roof in flames, in an accident that tragically killed Brazilian driver Christian "Bino" Heins. Jean-Pierre Manzon was also involved in the mess and both he and Salvadori were severely injured. The accident ultimately led to Salvadori retiring from racing in early 1965, but he returned to Formula One to manage the Cooper racing team in 1966 and 1967. Salvadori was also involved in the early stages of the Ford GT40 project but resigned, when the machine's handling appeared problematic, without accepting a fee for his services.
Salvadori retired to Monaco in the late 1960s. He died following illness on 3 June 2012 at the age of 90.
Salvadori married Susan Hindmarsh, one of the daughters of racing driver, long distance record breaker and 'round the world' driver Violette Cordery and her husband, the racing driver and aviator John Stuart Hindmarsh.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
- "Roy Salvadori". The Telegraph. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 332. ISBN 0851127029.
- Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 333. ISBN 0851127029.
- Deschenaux, Jacques (1983). Marlboro Grand Prix Guide 1950–82. Charles Stewart & Company. p. 75.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Violette Cordery
- The Guardian, 6 June 2012, Obituary – Roy Salvadori, by Alan Henry
- "Drivers: Roy Salvadori". GrandPrix.com. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
- "Roy Salvadori". Grand Prix Racing. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
- "Drivers: Salvadori, Roy". Autocourse Grand Prix Archive. Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
|Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans