Bernard Collomb

Bernard Collomb

7/10/1930

Bernard Collomb is a former Formula One driver from France. He participated in 6 grands prix. He almost always drove self-prepared cars, and first raced Coopers, switching to Lotuses in 1963. His best F1 result was 4th at Vienna in a non-Championship race in 1961, at the wheel of a Cooper-Climax.

Niçois Bernard Collomb-Clerc was born in Annecy, France. A garage owner from Nice and former motor cycle racer, Collomb acquired a Cooper-Climax Formula 2 car in 1960 which he raced briefly, tending to score points only when everyone else had retired. He embarke on a more ambitious programme of F1 races the following year with a Lotus 24-Climax V8. His first World Championship Grand Prix was at Reims in July 1961 although he also raced at the German GP at the Nurburgring, where he was disqualified for pushing his car. Fourth at Vienna and sixth at Naples were his best results in the car, which was replaced in mid-season by a new Cooper T53 with no discernible improvement in his results.

Unfortunately this car was burnt out in practice for the 1962 Brussels GP when he crashed, but he bought another Cooper 53 from Reg Parnell and was back in action in time for the F1 race at Solitude. With the Cooper he achieved a fifth place in the Mediterranean GP at Enna. He qualified for the German GP but went out after only three laps with engine failure.

For the 1963 season he bought a Lotus 24 - Climax V8 from the factory team, but he was ill-equipped to drive it to its full potential, and he continued the same kind of program, failing to qualify at Monaco but he did start the German GP.

The Lotus was given occasional unsuccessful outings in 1964, failing again to qualify at Monaco, before being destroyed by fire on the way back to France from the 1965 Syracuse GP, where he had finished seventh. In 1964 he did just a couple of races and after to failing to qualify at Monaco once again. He decided to give up F1 and switched back to F2 with the purchase of a Lotus 35 F2. He had little success and saw little action after Collomb crashed it in the 1966 Barcelona F2 race.

By the 1968 season he had wisely given up thoughts of success in single-seaters and could be found racing the little Alpine GT car.


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