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Hesketh using Ferrari engines?


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:20

BBC Radio 4's Today programme has just done a short piece on the 'Rush' film and James Hunt, in the course of which they spoke to Lord Hesketh and John Watson to get their recollections of James and the period. Lord Hesketh came out with something which surprised me, the gist of which was: 'If the Commendatore hadn't respected the Hesketh team he wouldn't have invited me to Maranello to talk about us using Ferrari engines'.  Does anyone know more about this?



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#2 HaydenFan

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 14:49

There is a Top Gear article about Hunt being courted by Ferrari. Things didn't work out and they instead hired Lauda. Not sure if just puffery to pump up talk dealing with that movie or these things did go down, it reveals more about the sport during a time when politics seemed to actually take a short step back. 

 

http://www.topgear.c...www.google.com/



#3 Allen Brown

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 21:11

The Hesketh-Ferrari was widely reported at the time.

#4 john winfield

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 21:48

Tim, Allen,

If this Luca Montezemolo quote is correct, and he has his facts right, it looks as if Alexander Hesketh visited Maranello in 1973, prior to Lauda being confirmed for the Ferrari drive. Could there have been a bit of 'you give us Hunt and we'll provide you with engines for the new Hesketh'?  Or was the Hesketh-Ferrari idea much later?

 

http://formula1.ferr...table-seventies


Edited by john winfield, 07 September 2013 - 21:49.


#5 LittleChris

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 23:10

Were Ferrari aware that Hesketh were going to build their own car in 1974 and if so did they see them as a good substitute if the 1974 Ferrari had been as disastrous as the 73 one ?


Edited by LittleChris, 07 September 2013 - 23:10.


#6 eldougo

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:36

The Hesketh-Ferrari was widely reported at the time.

Do you have any more details to this Allan, sounds intriguing story.



#7 arttidesco

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:07

I have a clear memory of Hesketh being associated with stories about two engines apart from the DFV namely the Hesketh V12 and Ferrari flat 12, I don't remember in exactly which order but, IIRC we are talking about early 1974.



#8 eldougo

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:26

All i remember the story about the HeskethV12 & Harvey Postlethwaite connection . Ferrari were very keen on him as a designer.



#9 Allen Brown

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:02

It was one story after another with Hesketh.  As well as the Hesketh-Ferrari, there was then a story in July 1974 that the Hesketh would have an Alfa engine and by the end of the year, when Ferrari were struggling, somebody threw in a story about a Hesketh-engined Ferrari.

 

The Hesketh V12 did exist by the way.  McNally Engineering's forthcoming [sic] 1974 F1 car was due to use them and in the spring of 1975 McNally Engineering were trying to sell six of the V12s.  I wonder where they went.



#10 eldougo

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:27

If they were found i would expect a Hesketh V12 lineing up on the hillclimb at Goodwood in 2015  :drunk:..  :up:.



#11 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:22

It was one story after another with Hesketh.  As well as the Hesketh-Ferrari, there was then a story in July 1974 that the Hesketh would have an Alfa engine and by the end of the year, when Ferrari were struggling, somebody threw in a story about a Hesketh-engined Ferrari.

 

The Hesketh V12 did exist by the way.  McNally Engineering's forthcoming [sic] 1974 F1 car was due to use them and in the spring of 1975 McNally Engineering were trying to sell six of the V12s.  I wonder where they went.

 

Are you not confusing the Alfa story with Graham Hill's Embassy team?



#12 Allen Brown

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 13:17

Are you not confusing the Alfa story with Graham Hill's Embassy team?

 

Yes, quite sure, but thanks for asking.  :)

 

Autosport 18 July 1974 page 2.



#13 William Hunt

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 20:33

The thought of James Hunt driving a Ferrari... that would have been so exciting. I guess that at the end of 1973 Ferrari was not the most attractive option for top drivers since they had a terrible season and also had a strike in their factory. It has always been my impression that it was very much thanks to Clay Regazzoni that Niki Lauda would join Ferrari. Lauda had shown promise in the BRM but, at least imho, nothing to suggest that he would become a dominant world champion afterwards.



#14 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 14:15

The thought of James Hunt driving a Ferrari... that would have been so exciting. I guess that at the end of 1973 Ferrari was not the most attractive option for top drivers since they had a terrible season and also had a strike in their factory. It has always been my impression that it was very much thanks to Clay Regazzoni that Niki Lauda would join Ferrari. Lauda had shown promise in the BRM but, at least imho, nothing to suggest that he would become a dominant world champion afterwards.

 

Correct. It was Regazzoni who, after re-joining the Scuderia by the end of 1973, first "promoted" Lauda. He was impressed by the Austrian who qualified 5th in the Monaco GP (Regga being 7th or 8th, don't remember).

During 1973, as you said, Ferrari was not attractive... Jacky Ickx was fired after the Italian GP (he even had raced for McLaren at the Nurburgring, and drove a Williams at the Glen), and only one car for Arturo Merzario was enetered in the final rounds, Canada and USA. 



#15 William Hunt

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 14:45

During 1973, as you said, Ferrari was not attractive... Jacky Ickx was fired after the Italian GP (he even had raced for McLaren at the Nurburgring, and drove a Williams at the Glen), and only one car for Arturo Merzario was enetered in the final rounds, Canada and USA. 

 

Ickx (who drove much better as his teammate Merzario) was not fired at all from Ferrari, he left them because he thought it was unacceptable that Ferrari was missing races. During that race in Germany he even finished on the podium for McLaren. I never understood why he didn't sign for McLaren for 1974, Lotus turned out to be a bad choice. He should have stayed at Ferrari off course but who could have known that Ferrari would be so competitive after such a dreadful season in 1973.


Edited by William Hunt, 12 September 2013 - 23:23.


#16 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 14:59

During that race in Germany he even finished second for McLaren.

 

He was third, behind the Tyrrells of Stewart and Cevert. :)



#17 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 15:08

Ickx (who drove much better as his teammate Merzario) 

 

...

 

Are you sure? in 1973?

 

With the 312B3S. which was NOT a good car, Merzario started from the 5th position in Austria (where Ickx refused to race), and outqualified the Belgian at Monza (7th vs. 14th place).

I don't think at all that Ickx could remain with Ferrari for the next season. Yes, he was not fired, but their separation was... consensual.

 

For many weeks in autumn of 1973 Merzario (and the Italian press) believed that he was the only choice for 1974. Then Rega came back to Maranello and he proposed the young Austrian with mouse teeth. Niki Lauda as a Formula 1 driver was still pretty unfamiliar, I remember a contemporary Italian newspaper that titled: "Il nuovo pilota Ferrari: Luana".

:p



#18 William Hunt

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 22:51

But why didn't they go for a pairing of Fittipaldi & Ickx then? Hulme was going to be 38 years old in 1974 and still they kept him for another year. It surprises me if they had not even talked with Ickx after he scored a podium place for them, in a car he didn't know, at the Nürburgring.


Edited by William Hunt, 12 September 2013 - 23:23.


#19 William Hunt

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 23:23

Are you sure? in 1973?

 

With the 312B3S. which was NOT a good car, Merzario started from the 5th position in Austria (where Ickx refused to race), and outqualified the Belgian at Monza (7th vs. 14th place).

I don't think at all that Ickx could remain with Ferrari for the next season. Yes, he was not fired, but their separation was... consensual.

 

For many weeks in autumn of 1973 Merzario (and the Italian press) believed that he was the only choice for 1974. Then Rega came back to Maranello and he proposed the young Austrian with mouse teeth. Niki Lauda as a Formula 1 driver was still pretty unfamiliar, I remember a contemporary Italian newspaper that titled: "Il nuovo pilota Ferrari: Luana".

:p

 

Arturo Merzario was a great sportscar driver but in no way was he of the same level of talent as Ickx. Just because he outqualified Ickx twice doesn't mean he outperformed him.

 

Besides, let's look at the '73 Merzario & Ickx Qualifying (and race) results in detail:

 

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Ickx: 3rd, 1:11.01  (race: 4th)

Merzario: 14th, 1:12.54   (race: 9th)

 

2. Saõ Paulo, Brazil

Ickx: 3rd, 2:32.0  (race: 5th)

Merzario: 17th, 2:37.7  (race: 4th)

 

3. Kyalami, South Africa

Ickx: 11th, 1:17.16  (race: DNF)

Merzario: 15th, 1:17.64  (race: 4th)

 

5. Montjuich, Spain

Ickx: 6th, 1:23.5  (race: 12th)

 

6. Zolder, Belgium

Ickx: 4th, 1:23.10  (race: DNF, oil pump)

 

7. Monte Carlo, Monaco

Ickx: 7th, 1:28.7  (race: DNF, driveshaft)

Merzario: 16th, 1:29.5  (race: DNF, oil pressure)

 

8. Anderstorp, Sweden

Ickx: 8th, 1:25.604  (race: 6th)

 

9. Le Castellet, France

Ickx: 12th, 1:51.44  (race: 5th)

Merzario: 9th, 1:51.17  (race: 7th)

 

10. Silverstone, Great Brittain

Ickx: 19th, 1:18.9  (race: 8th)

 

11. Zandvoort, Netherlands

neither Ickx nor Merzario entered, no Ferrari cars

 

12. Nürburgring, Germany

Ickx: 4th, 7:09.07  (race: 3rd) in a McLaren

 

13. Zeltweg, Austria

Merzario: 6th, 1:36.42 (race: 7th)

 

14. Monza, Italy

Merzario: 7th, 1:36.37  (race: DNF, front suspension)

Ickx: 14th, 1:36.99  (race: 8th)

 

15. Mosport, Canada

Merzario: 20th, 1;17.350, 15th

 

16. Watkins Glen, USA

Ickx: 23rd, 1:43.885  (race: 7th)  in a Williams

Merzario: 11th, 1:41.455  (race: 16th)

 

So in total the comparison in Qualifying is: 4-2 for Ickx but each time Ickx beat Merzario it was with a big margin, on the 2 occasions that Merzario beat Ickx the margin was rather small.

 

But if anything is clear that is that in 1973 Ferrari was a sh!t team, they often entered just 1 car and in Zandvoort even no car at all and as usually they blamed their drivers for designing a poor car.


Edited by William Hunt, 12 September 2013 - 23:26.


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#20 arttidesco

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 23:29

But why didn't they go for a pairing of Fittipaldi & Ickx then? Hulme was going to be 38 years old in 1974 and still they kept him for another year. It surprises me if they had not even talked with Ickx after he scored a 2nd place for them, in a car he didn't know, at the Nürburgring.

 

I believe Stewart & Cevert locked out the top two spots on the podium at the 'ring in 1973, might have been Stewart's last win and certainly their last 1-2 finish  ;)



#21 Catalina Park

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:49

It was a pity that Merzario didn't get a run in Ferrari in 74. I think he would have done well. 
I also think that Ickx would have been a good choice for a Yardley Mclaren drive in 74. 

It seems that there was a great deal of shuffling going on to get a seat in 74 and quite a few decent drivers made very bad career choices.



#22 William Hunt

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:36

then enlighten us dear Mr. Regazzoni.



#23 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:59

Even if there had been a McLaren drive available, I doubt that Ickx would have taken it in preference to the Lotus offer. Lotus were very much the top team at the end of 1973, having won two Constructors' and one Drivers' Championships in the past two seasons. It was known that Lotus had the 76 on the way, and with Chapman's record and reputation most people expected it to be a winner. The dramatic turnaround in 1974, with the amazing renaissance of Ferrari and the rapid plunge of Lotus into the doldrums, would have been foreseen by very few, if any. I'm sure that Ickx at the time would have thought he'd won first prize in terms of the available drives.


Edited by Tim Murray, 13 September 2013 - 08:21.


#24 William Hunt

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 14:50

I don't come here to enlighten, but to be enlightened myself, having a civil discussion with like-minded people.

Bullying posts down the end of the corridor on the right - RC.

 

I did not insult you , in fact you were insulting me and you are doing that again now. You claim that i don't know what I am talking about concerning 1973. I give you the facts (results) of Qualifying to show that Merzario was not consistently outqualifying Ickx (he only outqualified him twice), aparently you find me uncivilized because of showing those results.

 

Then you start to insult me, claiming that I understand nothing of what actually happened in 1973 at Ferrari. I ask you politely to enlighten us and you refuse to elaborate and start to insult me even more, even claiming that I am bullying you. Aren't you the one bullying me?

 

And I am sorry but I was born after 1973 so all the information I have is from books or documentaries. Unlike you I don't claim to know everything about that period, that's why I also visit this forum. Now as a civilized person, can you inform me what I am wrong about and can you please inform us what you do know that can add to the understanding?


Edited by William Hunt, 13 September 2013 - 14:51.


#25 William Hunt

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 14:57

A sentence that unsurprisingly tells quite a lot about you, Mr Hunt

 

This is what I call bullying. Personally attacking other members is very rude, insulting and uncivilized. I am a member on this forum since 2001 and not even once has someone started to call me uncivilized, accused me of bullying or insulted me. I think it tells more about you than about me that you are the first.

 

Sure maybe I should not have said that Ferrari was a sh!t team in 1973 but unlike you I was not personally offending anyone else on the forum with that.


Edited by William Hunt, 13 September 2013 - 15:06.


#26 stiffy

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 15:07

What has this dispute to do with a Hesketh V12.



#27 D-Type

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 19:07

~

As a general note, sitting here now, we can only cross reference the sources – press of the time, books, biographies, interviews, etc - with a healthy dose of common sense and scepticism.

Agreed.  But we must also accept that:

- one person's interpretation will differ from another's;

- what one person considers to be obvious, another may not and will ask for clarification (possibly by asking "enlighten me");

- different people are perfectly entitled to hold different opinions, or if you prefer different interpretations, but they must be prepared explain and justify them if challenged


Edited by D-Type, 13 January 2014 - 17:55.


#28 HistoryFan

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 16:09

In the 50s there were some private Ferraris but in the late 60s and then in the 70s onwards there were no Ferrari chassis used by other teams. Why not? Now Ferrari wants something like that? Just after Enzo Ferrari?

 

And then there were no Ferrari engines used by other teams until Minardi in 1991! Were there no teams who spoke with Ferrari about that (alongside Hesketh)? Why were there no Ferrari engines for other teams? Just because of the Cosworth engine?



#29 BRG

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 19:06

And then there were no Ferrari engines used by other teams until Minardi in 1991! Were there no teams who spoke with Ferrari about that (alongside Hesketh)? Why were there no Ferrari engines for other teams? Just because of the Cosworth engine?

Why would you want the hassle and (probably) the expense?  You could buy a better, lighter, faster, more reliable engine from Cosworth and not have any of the politics that using a Ferrari would have involved.  Unless you were some romantic Italian, why would you want to go on bended knee to Maranello and beg for a engine that would never be the latest version, and when you would always have to give way to the works cars?



#30 Roger Clark

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 17:24

I don't think that Enzo Ferrari was ever interested in supplying cars or engines to other teams.  When asked, he allegedly said "How would that help me to win races?"  The deal to supply engines to Minardi apparently came at the prompting of Gianni Agnelli, and followed increased Fiat influence following Enzo's death.  Even then Minardi didn't get the latest engines; for much of 1991 they had 1989 specifications.  

 

Nowadays of course, the rules mandate that any F1 engine manufacturer supplies a fixed number of teams and that they all are of the same specification.  Despite that, only one world championship race has been won by a customer Ferrari engine, and that in very exceptional circumstances.



#31 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:11

In the 50s there were some private Ferraris but in the late 60s and then in the 70s onwards there were no Ferrari chassis used by other teams. Why not? Now Ferrari wants something like that? Just after Enzo Ferrari?

 

And then there were no Ferrari engines used by other teams until Minardi in 1991! Were there no teams who spoke with Ferrari about that (alongside Hesketh)? Why were there no Ferrari engines for other teams? Just because of the Cosworth engine?

Ferrari started out in the 40's making his first cars. Immediately he got the attention from the racing world. Of course he needed money to survive and had only his racing cars to sell. The civil car business was set up following the racing department. So as there was demand for his immediately popular fast racing cars (125, 166, 212, Sports or GP) he could make some needed money. As Enzo at times said when asked what his best car was: "The next one." So all resources available were used. 

 

Later when Ferrari did started to sell exclusive cars to a certain quantity the need to sell at least the GP cars died out. As said indeed to keep away unwanted competition (Thinwall Spl and the like).

 

Ferrari did offer his last season's GP cars later on to collectors (even at GP's).



#32 HistoryFan

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 23:01

Colin Crabbe should run an private Ferrari in 1971...



#33 PeterElleray

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 00:23

Colin Crabbe should run an private Ferrari in 1971...

what would be your source for this, assuming its something you have read and not a suggestion?



#34 HistoryFan

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 09:37

"For 1971 Crabbe turned down an offer to run a privateer Ferrari 312, and opted not to continue racing. Crabbe said of his time in Formula One "I like to think I was the last of the serious privateers in F1, excluding Alexander Hesketh who was in a class apart, and Rob Walker, who had retired by then... I was under some serious pressure from family trustees to pack it in so decided to call it a day... Anyway two years of the most enormous fun and a great deal of experience learnt."

 

http://en.wikipedia....n_Crabbe_Racing



#35 D-Type

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:02

Wikipedia quote the Classic Driver website who in turn quote an article in 'Cars for the Connoisseur' magazine.  Has anybody heard of it - I don't think I've ever come across it.



#36 Peter Morley

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:44

Cars for the Connoisseur was a newsletter/magazine produced by Charles Harford who was a minor aristocrat and had all their usual financial troubles, he committed suicide in 2012 sometime after selling the manor house and moving into an apartment.

The magazines aren't easy to find (apparently even if you'd paid the subscription) but at least one of them had an interview with Colin Crabbe.

Hopefully Colin will get round to finishing his book and revealing many of his interesting tales.



#37 PeterElleray

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 00:03

i suppose the trail leads back to Coiln Crabbe himself then (via wiki and the other magazines..).

 

can't help finding it a bit of an odd choice for Ferrari to make at that point, unless the end game was to secure the services of Ronnie Peterson (which they did of course, except only in the sportscar team, and in  the following year (1972)).