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The small F1 team appreciation thread

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  • The small F1 team appreciation thread

    There is something romantic about old school F1 where some guys could build a car in a shed or small garage and enter F1. This was largely killed off in the mid 90's but I look back fondly on the era that preceded that (from the late 80's through mid 90's) when small teams popped up and some had a decent go at it. A lot of these teams collapsed under the weight of bad management, sketchy ownership, or both but some just weren't able to keep up with the times. The last survivor of this era was Minardi but there are so many great stories of teams from that time.

    One of my personal romantic favourites were AGS, who entered F1 while still being built in the Garage de l'Avenir in the small village of Gonfaron. Eventually broken promises and a sale to someone sketchy were their downfall but they managed to score points occasionally despite budget deficits

    This thread will probably feature Roberto Moreno a lot

  • #2
    You could go back a bit earlier where a Grand Prix car was literally built in a shed. And made it to the grid.

    35626654676_1562de6a54_c.jpg
    "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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    • #3
      Life with its `magnificent` W12, repeat W12......

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      • #4
        26749199044_0459024a86_c.jpg

        It wasn't really a W, it was more \|/ .
        "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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        • #5
          I wasn't watching F1 in the early 90's to see a lot of the small teams, but was always a fan of Minardi. Watching Alonso, Webber, and Wilson try to prove themselves in a car way off the pace and the celebrations for scoring a point.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Baulz View Post
            I wasn't watching F1 in the early 90's to see a lot of the small teams, but was always a fan of Minardi. Watching Alonso, Webber, and Wilson try to prove themselves in a car way off the pace and the celebrations for scoring a point.
            Before that they gave a start to Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli as well! Agreed about Minardi, they were the last of the privateer little teams

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            • #7
              Osella. Based out of the notable town of Turin. Chronically shoestring, needed funded drivers. Launched Eddie Cheever's F1 career.
              "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dalz View Post
                Osella. Based out of the notable town of Turin. Chronically shoestring, needed funded drivers. Launched Eddie Cheever's F1 career.
                Osella is a good shout. Basically a team that employed Piercarlo Ghinzani and a.n other as drivers every year

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                • #9
                  I'll throw one more out just because they had good-looking cars...Onyx. Propped up by the questionable funds of the eccentric J.P. Van Rossem, the money employed a lot of legit drivers--Johansen, Lehto, Gachot--and team personnel before it all collapsed in less than 2 years. Steph actually put this mess on the podium once.
                  "Thank God for the fortune to be here, to be an American."--Alan Kulwicki, 11/15/92

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                  • #10
                    When Minardi F1 came to IMS I always sat in the stands with their fans during qualifications. They were fun.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

                      Osella is a good shout. Basically a team that employed Piercarlo Ghinzani and a.n other as drivers every year
                      Ghinzani is a cult hero of mine; dude could drive, he got wins in the WSC against other F1 drivers, was Euro F3 champion, and was a demon at sponsorship finding. Despite being the least fit driver in the paddock he got sponsorship from a gymnastic weights company. His F1 results belie his actual skills.

                      Also brave. When he got his sole points finish, at Dallas, a day when the greats like Prost and Lauda were hurling themselves at the barrier, he was still peeling skin from his hands when he thought nobody was watching after his fiery accident at Kyalami.
                      "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ensign14 View Post

                        Ghinzani is a cult hero of mine; dude could drive, he got wins in the WSC against other F1 drivers, was Euro F3 champion, and was a demon at sponsorship finding. Despite being the least fit driver in the paddock he got sponsorship from a gymnastic weights company. His F1 results belie his actual skills.

                        Also brave. When he got his sole points finish, at Dallas, a day when the greats like Prost and Lauda were hurling themselves at the barrier, he was still peeling skin from his hands when he thought nobody was watching after his fiery accident at Kyalami.
                        Ghinzani had very bad career timing. His move to Ligier was exactly at the wrong time while in theory a move to Zakspeed for 1988 seemed solid as they had a decent 1987 and still had turbo engines but it was not to be.

                        Another small team I want to shout out is Coloni, featuring one of my personal favourite drivers of that era, Roberto Moreno. Despite having very little money they soldiered on and even got a factory engine deal, albeit a really crappy one.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dalz View Post
                          I'll throw one more out just because they had good-looking cars...Onyx. Propped up by the questionable funds of the eccentric J.P. Van Rossem, the money employed a lot of legit drivers--Johansen, Lehto, Gachot--and team personnel before it all collapsed in less than 2 years. Steph actually put this mess on the podium once.
                          Then sold to the equally batshit Peter Monteverdi who wanted to run the team as a museum piece for his classic car museum

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                          • #14
                            How about the dreadful Andrea Moda team? Italian shoe designer Andrea Sassetti purchased the Coloni F1 team in 1992 and ran it into the ground. They qualified for one race (Monaco) and imploded before the season ended.

                            I really got into F1 in the late-80's / early-90's and there were a lot of small teams that came and went.
                            Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

                              Then sold to the equally batshit Peter Monteverdi who wanted to run the team as a museum piece for his classic car museum
                              Wasn't it suspected that he used parts from his classic car collection to replace broken parts on his F1 cars?
                              Real drivers don't need fenders!

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