DRIVERS: STUART LEWIS-EVANS

Name: Stuart Lewis-Evans
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: April 20, 1930 - Luton
Date of death: October 12, 1958 - East Grinstead, Sussex

This small-framed, rather frail young man suffered with a stomach ulcer and only enjoyed a brief front-line Formula 1 career. Even so, the statistics fail to do credit to his outstanding ability. He was signed up midway through the 1957 season as third driver for Tony Vandervell's Vanwall team and cemented his position with a brilliant display of high speed domination in the early stages of the non-Championship F1 race which took place at Reims a week after that year's French Grand Prix at Rouen-les-Essarts. Lewis-Evans was another outstanding product of the cut-and-thrust world of 500cc F3 racing during the early 1950s and emerged as a man to watch via some outings in an F1 Connaught and later as a member of the Ferrari sports car team. Partnered at Vanwall by Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks, he was nominally the third driver but his performances never suggested such a lowly status. He finished the 1957 season with fifth place at Pescara, was second in the non-Championship Moroccan Grand Prix and also took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. In 1958 Lewis-Evans played a significant role in Vanwall's successful onslaught on the Constructors' World Championship, finishing third in the Belgian and Portuguese Grands Prix and fourth in the British Grand Prix. He displayed a delicate high speed touch and earned a great deal of respect from his two more senior teammates. Tragically, on lap 42 of the Moroccan Grand Prix, the final race of the season, he crashed heavily when his Vanwall's transmission locked up and sustained serious burns. Flown back to Britain in Vandervell's chartered Viscount airliner, Stuart was immediately admitted to the McIndoe burns unit at East Grinstead hospital where he died six days later. He had only competed in 14 Grands Prix.

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