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TAG/Porsche, questions about the engine.


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#1 Megatron

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 07:49

I have always been a big Porsche fan, so I have some questions about Porsche's span in Formula One in the 1980's.

1. Why were there NO Porsche decals on the car. I know that it was an expensive engine and TAG (I think I have this right) paid for it, but even still, why did Porsche not put their name on the car. The only place I have found the Porsche name anywhere during the project was on the turbo, and that was very small.

2. I know that it won 3 drivers and 2 constructors titles, but was it really that good of an engine? McLaren had the best chassis and the best drivers at the time, so what was the scope on the engine (I am talking specifically about 1984-1986, I know that Prost talked a lot during 1987 about how it was down on power).

3. I watched a story on McLaren and on the show, Ron Dennis stated that Porsche did have plans to build a N/A engine for 1989, but then when McLaren dumped Porsche for Honda, Porsche quit all together. Why did Porsche not pursue another team?

Also, I would like to have any information on the aborted 1991 attemp with Footwork. Why did Porsche bail so soon?

Any help for a Porsche fan would be greatly appericated.

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#2 Dennis David

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 10:47

Mega, If nobody adds anything I'll get back to you in the next century! I've got some cool quotes on the 917 also! Saw the cars run again at Laguna Seca last year. Awesome!

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[This message has been edited by Dennis David (edited 12-24-1999).]

#3 Statesidefan

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 10:58

It was a very ood, reliable engine that was overhauled by the Honda and BMW engines. The BMW had the disadvantage of being in Benneton, Arrows and Brabham. Enough said....

The Honda was developed in the Williams so that by '86 it was clearly superior. The McLaren advantage was twofold: Prost and team orders. The Wiliams duo of Piquet and Mansell engaged in a fratricidal team rivalry which saw them robbing points from each other. Prost was joined by Rosberg who was left in Alain's wake.......

A great season. We don't see that anymore.

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"The strategy of a Formula One race is very simple. It's flat out from the minute the flag drops." Mario Andretti 1976


#4 PDA

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 12:51

the reason the engine was labelled TAG was becasue the design and construction was commissioned by TAG and they paid for it. This is little different than MB giving a load of money to Ilmor and calling the result a Mercedes. In the past, Cosworth engines have been labelled Ford for the same reason.

One of the reasons for its success was that the design parameters were specified by John Barnard so that the engine design was totally integrated with the chassis from the beginning. This resulted in the overall package being very good. Once the Bosch fuel injection had been sorted, it was at least as powerful as its opposition. having Prost and lauda to drive was hardly a disadvantage either.

#5 Duane

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 08:34

It also had a flexible power band, for a racing engine; as well as excellent fuel mileage. Thus, it was both easier to drive and could run at a marginally higher race boost without running out of petrol.
Another funny thing is that they concentrated mainly, almost entirely, on race performance and ignored developing a qualifying version, as most others did at the time. Even though they were down on power in qualifying, they were still very quick, and were of course able to pass and make their way to the front during the race - back when passing happened.
The car and engine also benefited front the Michelin radials, which had better wear qualities than the Good-Years, as well they also benefited from the BMW's fixation on blowing up!


#6 PDA

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 21:19

Duane - "were of course able to pass and make their way to the front during the race"

Wash your mouth out with soap. Its people like you spreading these evil tales that are making people expect passing in todays GPs. Now Unle Max has told us that pit stops are much more exciting, so atop these scurrilous rumours!

#7 Duane

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Posted 24 December 1999 - 22:42

;)


#8 Marco94

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Posted 03 January 2000 - 19:57

If I am not mistaken, the Porsche engine was commisioned by TAG Turbo Engines (TTE). John Barnard gave a number of specifications and Porsche designed and build the engine. Just from the top of my head. I'll dig a little in my archives.

#9 fbarrett

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 23:14

I have always been a big Porsche fan, so I have some questions about Porsche's span in Formula One in the 1980's.

1. Why were there NO Porsche decals on the car. I know that it was an expensive engine and TAG (I think I have this right) paid for it, but even still, why did Porsche not put their name on the car. The only place I have found the Porsche name anywhere during the project was on the turbo, and that was very small.

2. I know that it won 3 drivers and 2 constructors titles, but was it really that good of an engine? McLaren had the best chassis and the best drivers at the time, so what was the scope on the engine (I am talking specifically about 1984-1986, I know that Prost talked a lot during 1987 about how it was down on power).

3. I watched a story on McLaren and on the show, Ron Dennis stated that Porsche did have plans to build a N/A engine for 1989, but then when McLaren dumped Porsche for Honda, Porsche quit all together. Why did Porsche not pursue another team?

Also, I would like to have any information on the aborted 1991 attemp with Footwork. Why did Porsche bail so soon?

Any help for a Porsche fan would be greatly appericated.


Megatron:

I suspect that no Porsche decals appeared on the cars because: 1) TAG paid Porsche for the project, hence they got the credit, and 2) Porsche knew from experience that if the project was a disaster, they could easily distance themselves from it, and if it succeeded, they would get credit, at least among the people who really counted (other possible customers).

McLaren stopped using the engine because they cost a lot of money, and Honda began offering them engines for free!

The Footwork saga was sad. First, Porsche miscalculated that a V12 was the way to go instead of the better (shorter, lighter, less internal friction) V10, then Footworks' Alan Jenkins designed a weak transmission. Porsche's contract called for a certain weight and power output, but they couldn't meet either requirement. Both parties were frustrated because they couldn't integrate successfully on lubrication, cooling, structural, drive systems, controls, etc. Neither party was responsible for the entire car, so problems turned into a "blame" situation; there was no "team" approach, so solutions didn't appear easily, if at all.

Frank

#10 canon1753

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 00:31

I think on the plenum the TAG mentioned Porsche. It was a no BS motor designed to fit in the car as best as John Barnard could do.

Porsche did get some resulting good P/R about it, but if it had been like the Footwork situation, Porsche would have been insulated to a degree since it was a customer project.

McLaren made a great car in 1984 which carried them through 1986. Having Lauda, and Prost (at his absolute prime) and Rosberg be the drivers was a great line up. But the engine was powerful enough and very drivable. Ergo a winner.

#11 jcbc3

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 06:34

I have always been a big Porsche fan, so I have some questions about Porsche's span in Formula One in the 1980's.

1. Why were there NO Porsche decals on the car. I know that it was an expensive engine and TAG (I think I have this right) paid for it, but even still, why did Porsche not put their name on the car. The only place I have found the Porsche name anywhere during the project was on the turbo, and that was very small.
...


Am i the only one, that finds your name and first sentence somewhat at odds?  ;)

Aside from that I seem to remember that the turbos were manufactured by KKK? Surely, they wouldn't cast Porsche on them?

#12 fines

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:37

Aside from that I seem to remember that the turbos were manufactured by KKK? Surely, they wouldn't cast Porsche on them?

Why not? Porsche probably designed them. You know, like the early McLaren carbon chassis were manufactured by Hercules, but still carried the McLaren name, of course.

#13 jcbc3

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 09:22

Why not? Porsche probably designed them. You know, like the early McLaren carbon chassis were manufactured by Hercules, but still carried the McLaren name, of course.


hmmm, weren't they off-the-shelf units? (I don't give in easily  ;) )

Let's see the pics and let it be settled thus.

#14 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:46

As already stated, McLaren ordered the engine and then added TAG as the sponsor to finance it.
They were not prepared to go into F1 on their own but if someone was willing to pay, they accepted the job.
Thee were plans to use the engine for other purposes too: small helicopters. never

That it was so good was primirily because it was the first of the second generation bespoked design turbocharged F1 engines. Just about all other F1 engines that mattered were bvased on existing engines. The Renault, BMW and Honda were derived from F2 engines, the Hart was pretty much newly designed (monobloc versions) but also based on an existing Ford block.
The Ferrari V6 was bespoke design, yet originated from the late '70's.

On top of that, Porsche pretty much got a free hand of diong what they wanted for auxilliary equipment and they cooperated closely and intensly with Bosch for engine electronic and management systems.

#15 Henri Greuter

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:53

As already stated, McLaren ordered the engine and then added TAG as the sponsor to finance it.
They were not prepared to go into F1 on their own but if someone was willing to pay, they accepted the job.
Thee were plans to use the engine for other purposes too: small helicopters. never `came off the ground` so to speak.

That it was so good was (I think) primarily because it was the first of the second generation bespoked design turbocharged F1 engines. Just about all other F1 engines that mattered were bvased on existing engines. The Renault, BMW and Honda were derived from F2 engines, the Hart was pretty much newly designed (monobloc versions) but also based on an existing Ford block. The Alfa V8 was doomed once fuel consumption became an issue.
The Ferrari V6 was bespoke design, yet originated from the late '70's. it began to age rapidly from late 1984 on.

On top of that, Porsche pretty much got a free hand of diong what they wanted for auxilliary equipment and they cooperated closely and intensly with Bosch for engine electronic and management systems. Don't be surprised if the lessons learned in Gp C with the 956 in a fuel consumpion formula were of some help when F1 became such too from 1984 on.
With McLaren on top of the hill thanks to John Barnard in the chassis dept, and getting Lauda and Prost as drivers, success was there for the take. the more once the engine was fully sorted out and reliability no problem anymore.
Late '83 and during the winter of '83/'84, reliability was still a major problem but once the season started ....


Henri

#16 jgm

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 18:35

Wasn't the Footwork engine supposed to be, effectively, a doubled up version of the TAG V6? One of the reasons that the V12 was so big and heavy is that Porsche put the cam drives up through the centre of the engine thus ensuring that the cylinder blocks were always going to be very long and heavy.

Edited by jgm, 04 May 2009 - 18:37.