Wednesday 10th April 1929
Born on this day, Mike Hawthorn, British racing legend. He became Britain’s first Formula One World Champion driver in 1958, whereupon he announced his retirement, having been profoundly affected by the death of his Ferrari team-mate and friend Peter Collins two months earlier in the 1958 German Grand Prix. He finished his F1 career with 3 wins and 18 podiums from 45 starts. Hawthorn also won the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, for Jaguar, but was haunted by his involvement in the disastrous crash that marred the race. Three months later Hawthorn died in a road accident on the Guilford bypass in his 3.6 litre Jaguar saloon months after retiring; he was suffering from a terminal illness at the time. The Hawthorn Memorial Trophy has been awarded to the most successful British or Commonwealth F1 driver every year since 1959. Nigel Mansell has won the award the most times, taking the trophy on seven occasions in eight years from 1985 to 1992. The current holder is Lewis Hamilton, the 2015 World Champion.