Peter John Collins was a British racing driver from England. Debuting on 18 May 1952, he participated in 35 World Championship Grands Prix, winning three races with nine podiums, and scored a total of 47 championship points. In common with many British drivers of the time, Collins began racing in the 500 cc category (adopted as Formula 3 at the end of 1950), when his parents bought him a Cooper 500 from the fledgling Cooper Car Company. Collins joined the Aston Martin sports car team in 1952, and scored a sensational victory at the 1952 Goodwood Nine Hours race. Collins joined the Aston Martin sports car team in 1952, and scored a sensational victory at the 1952 Goodwood Nine Hours race. The following year, he took the Aston Martin DB3S he shared with Pat Griffith to victory in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod. Collins got his Formula One break in 1952, driving for the HWM team, replacing Stirling Moss. Results did not come the team's way, and Collins left after the 1953 season. Following spells driving for Vanwall and Maserati, together with a brief outing in a BRM which ended with a crash in qualifying, Collins signed with Ferrari for the 1956 F1 season. Collins' 1956 season with Ferrari proved to be a turning point, with a solid second place finish behind Moss at the Monaco Grand Prix, and wins at the Belgian and French Grands Prix. Indeed, Collins was on the verge of becoming Britain's first F1 World Champion when he handed his Lancia-Ferrari D50 over to team leader Juan Manuel Fangio after the latter suffered a steering-arm failure toward the end of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Collins eventually finished second, but the advantage handed to Moss, and the extra points gained by Fangio's finish, demoted Collins to third place in the championship. In 1957 Collins was joined at Ferrari by Mike Hawthorn. The two became very close friends, even arranging to split their winnings between each other, and together engaged in a fierce rivalry with fellow Ferrari driver Luigi Musso. However, despite a third-place finish at the Nurburgring, Ferrari were disadvantaged for much of the season as the 801 model (an evolution of the 1954 Lancia D50) was overweight and underpowered. 1958 saw the introduction of the new, improved Ferrari Dino 246 and results started to improve for Scuderia Ferrari. Although achieving few results in the first half of the season, Collins improved and won the non-championship International Trophy.

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