Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg (26 today) and former Grand Prix driver Chris Irwin (69 today) are celebrating their respective birthdays!
London-born Irwin started racing in the early 1960s, and made his name with successes in Formula 3 where he competed successfully against the likes of Peter Gethin and Piers Courage.
He made his F1 debut in 1966 in a works-spec Brabham at the British Grand Prix, finishing seventh.
He moved to BRM for 1967, running in an entry backed by Reg Parnell Racing, while Jackie Stewart and Mike Spence drove for the works outfit – the plan was to give Irwin a year’s apprenticeship before moving him into the main team the following year.
After out-qualifying Stewart at the 1967 French Grand Prix, Irwin ran a solid fourth behind the Scot in the race until his car faltered on the last lap, handing the place to Jo Siffert. He was classified fifth in his only World Championship points’ finish.
He remained under contract with BRM for 1968, but he suffered severe head injuries when he crashed an Alan Mann Ford during practice for the Nürburgring 1000km race. He would not take to the cockpit again.