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Gérard Ducarouge


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#1 jatrob

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 09:17

Re-reading Nigel Roebuck's Inside Formula 1, together with a Motor Sport from 1983, a good deal of praise came from several sources for Gerard Larousse, specifically over his improvements or design of the Alfa Romeo (of 1982?) and the Lotus 94T.

How successful a designer was he and where did he move to after Lotus? Is he still involved in Formula 1?

As a side question two names from F1's past that are now in Moto GP are John Barnard who moved to Proton KR to design their V5 engine and also Alan Jenkins. Have others followed them?

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#2 ReWind

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 09:42

You mean GĂ©rard Ducarouge, don't you?

#3 jatrob

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 10:24

Sorry, yes, you are absolutely correct. :blush:

I was going off on a larrouse-lamborghini worm-hole, never to be seen again.

Checked the Nigel Roebuck article again, it shows a head-on shot of the Lotus 93T. Was it a folded-card design?

#4 Zawed

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 11:07

Ducarouge started off with Ligier/Matra AFAIK, then to Alfa Romeo where I strongly suspect he would have bumped heads with Carlo Chiti which helped his departure to Lotus early 83. He helped revive the team along with Senna (There's quite a good feature on Dacarouge in one of the Autocourse Annuals in 83 or 84 I think) but when Senna left and 100T turned out to be a bit of a dog, he left to go to Larrousse for 1989 to develop the Lolas. He left to go back to Ligier in the early 90s but left when Briatore bought the outfit in 94. Not sure what he is doing these days, as I recall his background was areonautics so maybe he went back to that.

#5 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 11:53

Chain smoker Gerard Ducarouge indeed went back to Matra in 1994 and worked in the Renault Espace F1 V10 program, I believe as the project leader. He remained at Matra Developments as "directeur du development" until 2002. After that he went to Venturi to become Technical Manager.

#6 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 12:38

Was Ducarouge the chief engineer at Matra Sports in 1973/1974 when they won the World Sportcars Championship?

#7 ReWind

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 17:32

http://www.grandprix...ref-ducger.html

#8 SEdward

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 17:43

He drummed up an excellent relationship with Senna in 85-87. Apparently Senna was quite upset about leaving "le Duc" at the end of 87.

Anyone who chain smokes Gauloises is OK by me.

Maybe the moderators should change the title of this thread.

Edward.

#9 Pascal

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 22:25

Originally posted by SEdward

Maybe the moderators should change the title of this thread.

Good idea.;)

Ducarouge was one hell of an engineer, and he indeed made quite an impression during his stint at Lotus when his cars managed several times to be faster than the works Renault in 1985.

Here is a picture I took in the Monaco Paddock during that year, with Senna having a chat with GĂ©rard Ducarouge under the watchful eye of their Team Manager.

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#10 jatrob

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 16:12

Yes, if the moderators could change the title to Gerard Ducarouge it would be a good idea.
My ineptitude would be hidden.

I wonder how he worked through to the solutions and obviously the manner in which he went about his work (not just the outcome) impressed the likes of Senna at lotus and Mario Andretti at Alfa.

Did he solely design or did he race engineer at the tracks too?

I wonder how Lotus funded the redesign of the 93T, presumably their budget had already been allocated.

Thanks to all for the replies; great stuff. :up:

#11 jatrob

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 12:52

Thank you moderators. :kiss:

#12 tyrrellp34

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 15:35

Duca is a strange guy, isn't it?!

#13 bigbrickz

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 16:31

The Ducarouge period was discussed in this thread Last Team Lotus Car? with Team Lotus insider AH746.

Unfortunately most of AH746's posts got erased for some reason, but you might still find something of interest in the replies.

#14 andrea

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 10:42

Gerard Ducarouge was a brilliant designer.He designed Ligier F1 in 1979 which put the team in the first league with Laffite and Deppailler both won three races from first five.And if Deppailler didn't hurt himself with stupid paraglider accident,maybe he was a Championship candidat.But in 1981 with poor results in the first half of the season and because Jabouille was not fit (Canadian GP 1980 accident) and couldn't show his talent as he had in Renault,Ducarouige was fired.He went in Alfa and started to work on 182 model.Result of this was the best Alfa F1 car-182 and with de Cesaris was on pole in Long Beach 1982.As a big fan of Andrea,I have read many times (from his interviews) that he was very close with "Duca" or "Duke" as English press called him.De Cesaris was veru opset when Pavanello fired Gerard after French GP 1983,because of empty fire-extinguisher and even had fight with Paolo Pavanello.So Ducarouge didn't have fight with Carlo Chitti who was in Autodelta,but with Pavanello who took the Alfa F1 from Autodelta.After that he went to Lotus and became very close with Senna and made some very good F1 cars.

Forza Andrea,

#15 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 11:00

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich
Was Ducarouge the chief engineer at Matra Sports in 1973/1974 when they won the World Sportcars Championship?


No one remember that?

#16 robert dick

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 11:22

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich


No one remember that?


Yes. Ducarouge was "directeur technique" and responsible for the chassis of the MS 670.

#17 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 13:35

Ok, Robert Dick! :clap:
Thanks.

So, now I'm sure it was Mr. Ducarouge the guy I saw getting the... "umbrella sign" against italian people in the tribune, from the boxes of Matra Sports at the end of 6 Hours of Vallelunga, when Cevert won the race in the car of Pescarolo-Larrousse and beat the Ferrari...

#18 tyrrellp34

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 15:14

I think the brain behind that car was Robert Choulet, right?

#19 robert dick

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 08:40

Choulet was responsible for the aerodynamics, the internal and external air flow, entirely for the Matra 640 and partly for the 670.
As far as I know, Choulet did not work directly under Ducarouge but had his own aerodynamic engineering office and was paid by Matra for his services.
The Choulet office continued to work with Ducarouge in view of the Ligier and Alfa Romeo single seaters (Formula 1).

Ducarouge has an engineering degree of the École Nationale Technique d'Aéronautique (one of the world's best schools in this field) and had met Choulet during his student days.

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#20 dolomite

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 14:35

Ducarouge at Silverstone 1985, with some Brazilian bloke

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#21 canon1753

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 16:51

Originally posted by jatrob

I wonder how Lotus funded the redesign of the 93T, presumably their budget had already been allocated.

Thanks to all for the replies; great stuff. :up:


Wasn't the 94T based around the Lotus 91's monocoques that were used in 1982? That would save some money I suppose.