On January 16, writer, former BRM chairman and Formula One safety advocate Louis Stanley passed away at the age of 92. Stanley came to Formula One through his wife, Jean Stanley, who was the sister of Lord Alfred Owen of the Owen Organization—owners of the BRM Formula One team. When Lord Owen passed away, Louis and Jean took over the running of the team, and became controversial figures in F1 over a long period of time.
Stanley was essentially a raconteur—his list of racing accomplishments spanning everything from becoming chairman of BRM to writing many motor racing and non-racing books. Stanley became a kind of father figure to the Grand Prix scene through the 1960s, and was instrumental in establishing the Grand Prix Medical Service, which provided consistent medical care to F1 drivers, where previously there was none.
Stanley was an Englishman of the “old school,” which often meant that his detractors accused him of being selfserving. He had the habit of playing a strong, hands-on role in the BRM team, which drove other team members to distraction, but he cared about his drivers, and when there was a serious accident in those days, it was always “Big Loy” who would be there to deal with the terrible tasks of looking after wives and family, and getting drivers to the hospital. When BRM’s fortunes declined in the early 1970s—even after Stanley’s attempts to get virtually anyone to become a paying BRM driver—Louis and Jean were seen less around racing, though they were welcomed back warmly at Bourn, Lincolnshire, England for a recent BRM reunion. Always active, even in recent months, Louis Stanley had another motor racing book in the works.