The son of a Derbyshire garage owner, Philip Robinson raced a 500cc Cooper during the 1950s with some success. He was a member of the works Alexis Formula Junior team in 1961 and 1962 and he made a brief Formula 1 appearance that second year. That was in the Oulton Park Gold Cup when he qualified the team’s ex-Parnell Lotus 18-Climax in 16th position. However, Robinson retired from his only F1 race with engine failure after just one lap.
Instead, he made another one-off start, this time in Formula 2, when retiring Ian Raby’s Merlyn 9-Cosworth from the 1965 Rome Grand Prix at Vallelunga. Entered by W.A.Jones for the next two seasons, Robinson competed occasionally in F2 and his Lola T55-Cosworth was eighth at the Nürburgring in 1966 when the entry had been reduced to 13 cars due to a clashing event.
A new 1600cc F2 was introduced in 1967 and Robinson competed on a more regular basis with an Alexis Mk8-Lotus. This included four races in the inaugural European F2 Championship. The category attracted stars such as Jim Clark and Jochen Rindt who battled for glory and prize money, but were not allowed to score points.
European F2 points
Although Robinson finished four laps off the pace at Silverstone and was only classified 11th, six such ineligible star drivers finished ahead of Robinson and he thus earned two points as the fifth best non-graded driver. That was enough to be 15th equal in the 1967 European F2 Championship. The rest of the season was distinguished only by a couple of practice accidents but Robinson had his place among F2’s points’ scorers.