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What was up with Porsche in F1?


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#1 Megatron

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 15:14

They won one race in 1961 with Gurney, then quit. They won three titles in the 80's with McLaren, albeit under the "TAG" banner, then quit.

But I really wondering why they quit so soon after doing a few races with Footwork in 1991.

Can someone tell me why Porsche has never fielded a top of the line F1 program for any length of time?

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#2 Dave Ware

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 16:41

Likewise, they fielded a CART team with Derrik Walker running the team and Teo Fabi driving. Teo won the Mid-Ohio race in '89. I'm quite sure that they just supplied the engines, that the chassis was probably a March or Lola or whatever was competitive at that time (I could be wrong.) But the same deal. They were there for a couple of years and then vahmooshed.

Maybe they never felt they got the marketing results they wanted from non-sportcar racing??

D.

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 21:00

I'm sure that the 1962 victory (should have been two, but Dan had the fire extinguisher rolling round at his feet in the rain at the Nurburgring!) was an expensive one for them, and expensive for their Sports Car campaign, too.
The TAG venture was doomed as the Hondas and Renaults began to outstrip the Porsche-designed engines, and I think it was simply a matter of McLaren cutting them off when they saw they needed more power and could get it at the expense of one of the other teams by going to Honda.
Their domination of Sports Cars series has been long and complete, however. Perhaps they see this as a greater priority and having more impact on road car sales.

#4 karlcars

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 21:35

All will be revealed in my update of 'Excellece was Expected', which is my current writing project.

The TAG project was a completely customer-funded effort, not a Porsche project, and one of the ultimate bones of contention was that Porsche was being given rather too much credit for the results achieved.

The Indy V-8 project mentioned was phased out because Porsche in fact did decide to go Formula 1 racing with the V-12 it ultimately built and supplied to Arrows. In this case Porsche chose the wrong team with which to work and the results were embarrassingly poor. The project was suspended for further development and never revived.

#5 MN

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 01:10

Originally posted by karlcars
......The Indy V-8 project mentioned was phased out because Porsche in fact did decide to go Formula 1 racing with the V-12 it ultimately built and supplied to Arrows. In this case Porsche chose the wrong team with which to work and the results were embarrassingly poor. The project was suspended for further development and never revived.


It sounds like BAR/Honda this year....;)

#6 Megatron

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 08:41

Although I don't understand much about Porsche in F1 (obviously), I can add to thier aborted CART program.

Porsche ran thier own team with March chassis. They originally wanted Bobby Rahal, but the heads of the company wanted a Euro, so they shiped Teo Fabi in from Benetton in F1.

It was a white car, with the only noticeable sponsorship besides Porsche being Quaker State.

Anyway, they got out after a decent 1990 because in the preseason, they had developed an all carbon chassis. CART officals got wind of it, and didn't want Fabi cleaning house every single race. It was banned before Porsche knew what hit them. Porsche was upset and that is the reason (at least the main) they dumped CART.

#7 Marco94

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 09:18

Mega,

Your mixing up two different periods! The car you talk about is the 1979 (?) Indy car with flat 6. Porsche had their second attempt in the mid 80's. First with their own car and later with the March. The team was run by Al Holbert of Porsche North-America.

Marco.

#8 William Dale Jr

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 09:21

Didn't Porsche also have an earlier abortive attempt to get into Indycars?

#9 Megatron

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 09:53

What am I mixing up? Yes, the late 1980's/1990 Porsche team with a March chassis and Teo Fabi as a driver, winning one race at Mid Ohio.

I have a handout that was passed out from the team telling all about it.

Then Holbert was killed in a plane crash (?).

Not sure what I am mixing up there.

#10 Marco94

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 11:34

Mega,

Seems I misunderstood your remark. If I understand correctly, you claim that CART didn't allow full carbon chassis because of Porsche. I have always been under the impression that CART had never allowed carbon chassis, because they thought it to be to brittle. They did allow a hybrid construction with part aluminium and part carbon skin. This decision had theirfor not been taken as a result of Porsche's choice of full carbon chassis

Porsche had attempted to compete in 1979 (?) and later did compete in the late 1980's. As said first with their own chassis and later with a custom adapted March chassis. Just like Alfa-Romeo by the way.

Marco.

#11 Maldwyn

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 12:39

Originally posted by karlcars
...Porsche in fact did decide to go Formula 1 racing with the V-12 it ultimately built and supplied to Arrows. In this case Porsche chose the wrong team with which to work and the results were embarrassingly poor.


Was it really the wrong team or did Porsche seriously underestimate what was required to build a F1 engine? Footwork were clearly not the most competitive team but would have been able to produce good results if the engine had been reasonable.

#12 david_martin

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 18:51

I don't Porsche quit as much as Arrows (sorry Footwork) gave them marching orders. From what I read the Porsche V12 was an abomination - wide, long, tall, heavy, underpowered and undrivable. The engine also turned out to be a really poor fit into the Arrows chassis (crank too high IIRC) and the engine arrived late, worsening the situation for the team. Perhaps the Antithesis of a good F1 engine.

By the time the team got to Monaco it was obvious that the engine was a lost cause and Alan Jenkins (Footwork Technical director) pulled the pin and got Brian Hart to prepare some first generation DFR based V8's for the remainder of the season (Cosworth could not do it - they were already doing works HB engines for Benetton, and customer DFR units for Jordan, AGS and Fondmetal).

The team could not get the new engines and chassis/gearbox modifications ready in time for the "fly away" races in Canada and Mexico, so they were forced to stick with the Porsche engine for those two rounds. The DFR powered chassis were ready by the time the circus got to Magny-Coeur and that was all that was ever seen of the Porshe V12.

It was a pretty aweful season by any measure, but the last 10 races with the DFR were at least a bit better than the start of the season with the Porsche. The Porsche powered car did not finish a single race, Michele Alberto only qualified it 4 times (a best of 21st in Canada), the second car only made it onto the grid once when Stefan Johansson qualified 25th in Canada. Alex Caffi failed to qualify the second car 4 times and Johansson also failed once. Pretty abmismal for a notionally factory engine from a prestigeous marque like Porsche with such a rich sporting (and winning) heritage.

#13 SteveB2

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 21:21

This question came up on the post-race radio show after the USGP. It was a call in show with Donald Davidson (the speedway's resident historian). His answer was better than I anticipated. He said that someone from Prosche told him that Porsche prefers endurance racing to F1 or CART, because when you win in endurance racing people remember the car that won and not the drivers. In F1 and CART, people remember the driver and the engine is somewhat incidental. It's all advertising and perception. Which is the point of a manufacturer being in racing, after all.

I'm probably a good example. I'm not a rabid endurance fan so I could tell you that AUDI won LeMans this year (I'm going to be embarrassed if I've gotten that wring) and I think that Allan McNish drove it (or was it Pirro? Or was that last year?) But I couldn't tell you any of the co-drivers.

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 00:35

As well as that, in endurance racing - at least in years past - they could make money out of selling the cars to privateers.

#15 William Dale Jr

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 05:57

I think Porsche aborted their earlier effort after CART changed the engine rules to prevent something, I don't remember exactly what, it might have been reducing boost or something like that. I also think AJ Foyt had a say in it, but until I find the source of the above information, I really can't back that up.

Which team did Al Holbert manage? I doubt it was the earlier team, because Holbert was racing his own car in the 'reborn' (or should that be 'rehashed F5000'?) CAN-AM series in 1981, funnily enough he was battling in the championship against Fabi. Yes, he was killed in a plane crash. That was sad, from what I remember he was flying back home to take his son to a baseball game. I'll check my Auto Actions tomorrow.

#16 desmo

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 06:53

Posted Image



#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 06:55

This is the woodwork?

#18 david_martin

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 11:08

Desmo,

Is that the March all carbon fibre chassis that CART gave the thumbs down to in 1989 and resulted in Porsche walking away from the formula?

#19 William Dale Jr

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 08:35

I could be wrong, but if it's a Quaker State sponsored car, then it's from the 88 or 89 season. The 1990 March car was sponsored by Fosters. With the carbon car being banned at the start of the season, I'm guessing that the March they ran in 1990 was at least 1 or perhaps 2 years old, and only they and the Alfa-Romeo team cars were still running March chassis, or in the '90 Indy 500 anyway. They did have the odd good qualifying result, John Andretti qualified 10th for the 500, and I think Fabi put it on pole in Denver.
Back to the car in question, even if the car has been repainted in Quaker State colours, the nose sort of reminds me of the nose on the later March chassis, but I don't recognise the sidepods. If only the writing on the stand was just a bit clearer.

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#20 rainern

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Posted 14 October 2000 - 14:29

Porsche should not deserve to mentioned among failures but their V12 of 1991 was really a big disappointment.
The then Arrows/Footwork designer Alan Jenkins most depressing moment came in late 1990 when the first Porsche V12 engine was delivered to them. It was very bulky and massively overweight at 180kg. It didnĀ“t produce much power either so it failed utterly. The engine had a 80degree vee-angle and had the power taken at centrally, similarly as used in their 917 flat-12 engines of 1970-71. Arrows did not even persevere for the whole season and the Porsche was unceremoniously dumped mid-season and Arrows installed Hart DFR V8 engines instead.
Alboreto barely qualified four times and Johansson qualified the Porsche powered FA12 once. Caffi never got the car into the grid. Porsche has never returned to Formula 1.

Rainer

#21 desmo

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Posted 15 October 2000 - 04:59

Sorry it took so long, here is the text on the sign next to the Porsche Indy car in the image I posted:


The Car that would be King

After its success in Formula One, Porsche entered the world's other great open-wheel racing series - CART and the Indianapolis 500. The all new V8 engine, based on lessons learned with the TAG V6, ran its first full CART season in 1988 in a March chassis. Porsche contracted March Cars to develop a new chassis for the 1989 season - the March 89P. The March-Porsche's first victory came at the 1989 Mid-Ohio CART race. During the season, driver Teo Fabi captured two pole positions, led four races, and brought home two second places, a third, and five fourth places for fourth place in the season standings. Porsche campaigned the car through the 1990 season, finally withdrawing from CART to once again concentrate on Formula One.


Engine:
Porsche Type 2708, 2649 cc, 90-degree V8, water cooled, turbocharged, four gear-driven overhead cams, four valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery system: Bosch Motronic engine management
Drivetrain: Five-speed manual transmission
Horsepower: 710 hp @ 11,500
Body and Chassis: Aluminum/composite sandwich monocoque
Weight: 703 kg (1550 lbs.)