Aston Martin is so symbiotic with sportscar racing that its shortlived foray into Formula 1 is rarely recalled – hardly surprising, given that the project epically underachieved compared with the manufacturer’s exploits in endurance racing.
Due to sportscar racing commitments, the development programme for David Brown’s grand prix car, the DBR4/250, was lengthy and stuttering. It took at least three years to move from a germ of an idea to reality, but by the middle of 1958 the likes of Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks were testing it.
In fact, it was something of a surprise that the DBR4/250 got built at all, because during its gestation motorsport’s governing body, the CSI, announced a sea change in F1.
Autocar reported: “At one time, when the CSI announced the new grand prix engine formula of 1.5 litres for 1961, David Brown seriously considered abandoning the whole project, but his better judgment which prevailed him to keep it going is to be applauded, for it will increase competition during the two years the current formula has to run.”