|First race||British Grand Prix||Silverstone||July 19, 1975||Race results|
|Last race||Caesars Palace Grand Prix||Caesar's Palace||September 25, 1982||Race results|
Brian Henton, who abandoned an apprenticeship to pursue his dream of racing, secured himself a Formula One drive with Lotus by virtue of winning the British Formula 3 title in 1974 (he followed with the Formula 2 crown in 1980). On his first drive he spun off, in poor conditions at Silverstone, and then hardly helped his own opportunities by admitting he did not particularly enjoy his experience of F1.
In 1976 he signing to drive in F2 and in 1977 became the first British driver to win an F2 race for five years. His outings in F1 that year for three different teams - the first one he founded and funded - were again uninspiring until he qualified 17th at the Dutch GP in a car which had been mothballed for a year; in the race proper he was disqualified after spinning off and pushing his car across the line.
After three years of success in F2, during which time he established a successful garage business, he returned to F1 in 1981 more mature and able to cope with the demands. He was also well known enough to be invited to appear on the BBC's Superstars.
But the Toleman he drove in 1981 was simply not good enough - he qualified only once in 12 attempts - and even then finished as the last of the ten cars to go the distance. Dropped by Toleman, he was given a drive with Arrows at the start of 1982 when Marc Surer broke his leg. After three outings he was signed by Tyrell for the remainder of the season, he finished seven of the 13 races he entered - more than he managed in the rest of his F1 career combined. However, he was dropped at the end of the year. His last Formula One outing was at the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in April 1983, which also turned out to be the last non-championship F1 race in the modern era, where he finished fourth.
He always had a good eye for business and after his retirement he ran a car dealership, moved into property development and subsequently open indoor racing tracks.
Martin Williamson November 2009