British GP cars 1956
With the season finished I was able to spend a memorable day at Silverstone when one of our top drivers had three different Formula One cars at his disposal to test and see if he would like to drive one of them in the1956 World Championship. All three were green, designed and built in Great Britain, and they were all capable of lapping Silverstone in a time that would have got them on the front row of any starting grid. All three, BRM, Connaught and Vanwall, are practical up-to-the-minute designs ready to take on allcomers. In one day, Stirling Moss drove nearly a full grand prix distance, jumping out of the Vanwall and into the Connaught, then into the BRM, and back into the Vanwall again.
It has been suggested that Mr Owen and Mr Vandervell, the respective owners of the BRM and Vanwall teams. should amalgamate and buy Connaughts, and the combined operation could then wipe up the Italians. It is an intriguing suggestion, but one that I am sure would fail, for during 1955 the only thing that kept Ferrari and Maserati plugging away at the might of Daimler-Benz was their own personal battle to become the best Italian team. Had they combined in an effort to beat the Germans then I am sure they would have succumbed by joining in a mutual and lonely despair. During the test day it was heartening to see the friendly rivalry as each group tried to convince Moss that their car was the best. Had they been a single unit complacency would have settled. If our three teams go all out to prove themselves to be the best British car then they cannot but help getting involved with the continental opposition and they could easily find that not only have they beaten the other green cars but some red and blue ones as well.
Denis Jenkinson was our famous Continental Correspondent for more than 40 years