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Has a GP Driver ever Bankrupted a team?


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#1 MarkWill

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Posted 29 September 2002 - 19:43

HI,

Just saw the USGP, and noticed that Kimmi R . didn;t finish again. In the sixties and seventies was there ever a driver who had so many accidents, engine failures etc. that he bankrupted or severely dented a teams' finances? Who was the "unluckiest" (?) driver during that era?

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#2 ensign14

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Posted 29 September 2002 - 19:56

Andrea de Cesaris must have come close a few times...

One that springs to mind is Loris Kessel. Not that he bankrupted a team, but he managed to have the RAM Racing BT44s (?) impounded at Germany in 1976 as part of a dispute when he drove for John MacDonald earlier in the year. Does anyone else have details?

And Pedro Diniz' failure to take over Prost and consequent withdrawal of family funding could not have helped Alain much.

#3 WGD706

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Posted 29 September 2002 - 20:51

In the German GP of 1976, the RAM team had agreed to a deal to run Rolf Stommelen in one of the old Brabham-Cosworths but midway through practice the cars were impounded by the local police (!) as a result of legal action from former driver Loris Kessel and so Stommelen transferred into the spare factory Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45. Kessel was a 'pay-driver' who used sponsorship from Tissot watches to buy a seat.
I can't find out what the 'legal actions' were all about.
Warren

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 September 2002 - 21:15

Originally posted by ensign14
Andrea de Cesaris must have come close a few times...


And Vittorio Brambilla?

Of course, back in the fifties and sixties there wasn't much money in the game. Some teams would be missing races if an engine blew up in the one before, that sort of thing...

A driver with a lead foot could incur severe financial problems on one of those teams.

Didn't Trevor Taylor get pushed aside at Team Lotus because he was too accident prone too?

#5 MarkWill

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Posted 29 September 2002 - 23:11

Vittorio Brambilla came to my mind as well, based on my reading of his exploits in the seventies. One thing that must have made life easier in those days was the use of aluminium sheet to make things, as opposed to carbon-fibre, but then again, I understand that some teams were really close to being in the red when they appeared at races (Tyrell went some time without sponsorship).

#6 scheivlak

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Posted 29 September 2002 - 23:39

Jack Brabham -WDC in 1966 and a strong runner-up in 1967- finished just one race in the entire season in 1968...
His team boss, though, sympathized with his ill luck ;)

#7 oldtimer

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 01:20

Originally posted by scheivlak
Jack Brabham -WDC in 1966 and a strong runner-up in 1967- finished just one race in the entire season in 1968...
His team boss, though, sympathized with his ill luck ;)


Maybe, but the black looks were well in abundance on bothsides.

#8 RRT1963

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 01:29

Yes, Jacques Villeneuve, B.A.R. 2003....well that is if you believe Mr. Richards story. :eek:

#9 Bernd

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 01:44

Originally posted by scheivlak
Jack Brabham -WDC in 1966 and a strong runner-up in 1967- finished just one race in the entire season in 1968...
His team boss, though, sympathized with his ill luck ;)


Oh be fair a lot of his and Rindts problems were due to the somewhat unreliable Repco Quad Cam.

#10 oldtimer

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 01:46

Still didn't stop the black looks...

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 03:07

Originally posted by Bernd
Oh be fair a lot of his and Rindts problems were due to the somewhat unreliable Repco Quad Cam.


According to Phil it wasn't an inherent engine problem...

He postulated that the engine really needed a separate lubrication system for the valve gear, and probably a different oil... and that the Gulf oil Jack used in Europe was different to the Ampol oil they used on the dyno and which gave no problems.

The fact that Matich (and later others...) had no problems suggests that he was right.

#12 Mark Beckman

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 03:20

Graham Hill must have a rather poor finish/cost ratio for 1967 with Lotus.

And the cost of all those brake pads must have been enormous. :lol:

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 03:40

Not as much as the hospital bed and ambulance costs after Watkins Glen...

#14 Bernd

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 05:35

Erm he came 2nd at Watkins Glen in 67 Ray.

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 06:37

And in '68?

...a very different story...

#16 Mark Beckman

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 07:05

Of course Gilles must have cost Ferrari a fortune. Besides the small crashes, the Imola and Zandvoort cars were totally destroyed. I hear he crashed a couple of their road cars too.

#17 Catalina Park

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 07:59

Originally posted by Ray Bell


According to Phil it wasn't an inherent engine problem...

He postulated that the engine really needed a separate lubrication system for the valve gear, and probably a different oil... and that the Gulf oil Jack used in Europe was different to the Ampol oil they used on the dyno and which gave no problems.

The fact that Matich (and later others...) had no problems suggests that he was right.

John Judd says that it was a vibration problem in the cam drive train and once they looked at the vibration damper on the cam gears on the DFV they found the answer!

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 08:03

Never heard that before...

I would have thought Phil would have mentioned that, too... but then again, he wasn't too happy with John Judd being there at all.

#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 09:07

And in '68?


...a very different story...



I don't think so. He finished second in 1968 as well.

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 09:13

Okay... 1969...

#21 coyoteBR

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 18:36

In na interview, Wilsinho Fittipaldi said one of the strategic mistakes Copersucar/Fittipaldi teram made was to bring Emerson as a driver. Acording Wilsinho “the team had not, at that point, the structure a two-time champion demanded”.

If you consider BAR/Villeneuve now, it’s funny how the more things change, the more they remain the same.

#22 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 18:45

Might a commend you to a study of Henri Pescarolo's Formula 1 and 2 record with the Frank Williams team? Crash, bang, thump, wallop - he was ringing-up the cash register at a rate which left even the great survivor many times close to tears...

DCN

#23 oldtimer

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 19:13

The great survivor close to tears about having his cars torn up. I find that hard to imagine. Other things, very harsh things, yes. I bet Ralph didn't see any tears yesterday. :)

#24 bschenker

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 20:37

Graham Hill must have a rather poor finish/cost ratio for 1967 with Lotus.And the cost of all those brake pads must have been enormous.


On this time, Brake pads ware free of charge from Ferrodo.

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 September 2002 - 21:06

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Might a commend you to a study of Henri Pescarolo's Formula 1 and 2 record with the Frank Williams team? Crash, bang, thump, wallop - he was ringing-up the cash register at a rate which left even the great survivor many times close to tears...


And Peugeot have named a new model after him?

Good point, Beat... free items from the trade was an important part of the sport then. Today they can't pretend they don't have the money to pay for such things. Except for Minardi and Arrows, of course...

#26 stuartbrs

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 08:24

I dont know if a drivers ever bankrupted a team but didnt James Hunt ( sadly ) come close to bankrupting himself?

#27 Falcadore

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 09:54

Might Heinz-Harald Frentzen bankrupt Arrows with his $115,000 suit in the coming weeks?

Or ain't that nostalgic enough :p