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Ultimate test driver thread!


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#1 GitarreroNils

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 15:08

Hi!

I had an idea this morning about collecting the test drivers of every team from 1950 until......let's say.....1994 or 1995. Would be cool, right??

I know, it's very difficult to find the test drivers of some teams. Because of this, I don't mind, if these drivers would be missing!!

The main thing is to find out MOST of the test drivers. Of course, every driver would be wonderful, but I can't imagine, that this is possible!!
I hope you don't mind, that this is so much to find out...... :)

Also I know, that there were teams, that had no test drivers during some years!!

So let's start it!! Have fun!

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 15:13

Interesting, but difficult. There are a lot of tests that go on that no one will ever hear about it. Forix does an excellent job of collecting testing stats for each year but even their data is incomplete. There are several instances every year where I hear from a friend who heard from a friend who knows Driver X that he did a 2 day test with Williams at some obscure track. Sometimes they are even during the testing bans. Ive even seen photos from these tests, dad taking a photo of son driving for the first time, but there's never any official times or even confirmation it went on. Also none of the straight line testing gets reported and a lot of guys gte one offs doing that for various teams, and if the teams dont release info (like a lot of the Toyota tests at Paul Ricard) Forix and the media sites simply wont know.

#3 GitarreroNils

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 15:27

Ross, you're right!

I forgot to say that I don't want drivers, who tested a car just once, like Castroneves or Takagi with Toyota this year.
I meant the OFFICIAL Test Drivers like Badoer and Burti this year with Ferrari!
Sorry, about this. I hope this makes it a bit easier!!

I got this idea, when I saw that Zonta joined Toyota as the official test driver for 2003!!

#4 Mark A

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 17:34

Did 50's 60's 70's teams have official test drivers? I thought the drivers did the testing or the occasional one off test. Including drivers from rival teams having a 'quick try'.

#5 Paul Newby

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 00:02

Isn't the "official test driver" a recent phenomena? Before then the race drivers what ever little (bar Rio in the pre-season) testing took place.

If memory serves me correctly, Emmanuel Pirro was the first. He did countless test miles in the McLaren MP4/4 Honda, mostly in Japan in 1988. And where did it get him? A drive for Benetton :lol:

#6 Marcor

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 02:34

In the 1950' and later, Ferrari had some people who worked for the factory as engineer or test driver. They tested not only the F1 but all racing and sportscars or the marque.

Martino Severi was one of them. He tested the rear-engined Dino 246 F1 before Richie Ginther continued the work. It is said that a Ferrari test driver who only drove in the Maranello track was quicker than the official driver, but the man never took part in a single race.

#7 ghinzani

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 04:54

Heres one - Franco Scapini was Lifes official test and reserve driver. I beleive he actually drove the car once at Monza as well!

#8 GitarreroNils

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 12:29

Marcor, ghinzani.......that's exactly what I want to read!! Please go on!! That's cool!! :)

Hope there can be added much more!!

Nils

#9 dmj

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 13:07

Originally posted by ghinzani
Heres one - Franco Scapini was Lifes official test and reserve driver. I beleive he actually drove the car once at Monza as well!

If he managed to drive it for at least a lap it is almost more than Bruno ever did...

#10 TODave2

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 13:31

Probably easier to start now and work back. I know that's a gobsmackingly obvious thing to say when researching history, but as Mark A and Paul Newby both mentioned, I think you'd probably have the job pretty much completed by the time you got back to the late 80s.

#11 ghinzani

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 15:07

Ok add in Mauro Baldi and then Marco Apicella for Modena team in 1990/91. Apicella was also test driver for Minardi in about 89 I think, as was Morbidelli for Minardi and Ferrari in the early 90s. Vittorio Zoboli was for Jordan in about 93 or 94 IIRC. Ferrari test drivers go something like Daniel Amaduzzo mid 80s onwards, Johnny Dumfries 1985, Moreno 88, Lehto 88/89, Montermini 92? Morbidelli/Larini early-mid 90s, Badoer up to present time + the bloke who raced for Jag and Prost whose name escapes me, no its Burti (senility). :drunk:
Paolo Barilla was also Minardi test driver in 88 or 89.

#12 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 16:22

J.J. Lehto was official Ferrari testdriver in 1989.
Mark Blundell was official Williams testdriver in 1989.
Gianni Morbidelli was official Ferrari testdriver in 1990-1993
Stefan Johansson, Roberto Moreno, Emanuele Pirro, Mark Blundell and Jonathan Palmer were all McLaren testdrivers during 1991.
Blundell and Palmer also tested for McLaren in 1992.
Damon Hill was an official Williams tester during 1991-1992.
Nicola Larini was testing for Ferrari in 1993.
Allan McNish was official McLaren testdriver in 1993.

#13 Racer.Demon

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 16:49

I have kept track since 1997, Dan Moakes from www.danmoakes.com (why isn't he on TNF?) has made a hobby out of collecting them. I'm surprised not to find them on his site.

But here are my notes:

1997
Arrows-Yamaha: J Müller
Williams-Renault: Boullion
Ferrari: Morbidelli, Larini
Benetton-Renault: Wurz
McLaren-Mercedes: Heidfeld
Jordan-Peugeot: -
Prost-Mugen Honda: Collard
Sauber-Petronas: Fontana
Tyrrell-Ford: Takagi
Minardi-Hart: Marques
Stewart-Ford: -
Lola-Ford: Montermini

1998
Williams-Mecachrome: Montoya, M Wilson
Ferrari: Badoer, Larini
Benetton-Playlife: Magnussen, Watt
McLaren-Mercedes: Zonta, Heidfeld
Jordan-Mugen Honda: De la Rosa, Wakisaka
Prost-Peugeot: -
Sauber-Petronas: J Müller
Arrows: Collard
Stewart-Ford: Haberfeld
Tyrrell-Ford: Kristensen, Boullion
Minardi-Ford: Redon

1999
McLaren-Mercedes: Heidfeld
Ferrari: Badoer
Williams-Supertec: J Müller
Jordan-Mugen Honda: Nakano, Enge
Benetton-Playlife: Redon
Sauber-Petronas: J Müller
Arrows: -
Stewart-Ford: Burti
Prost-Peugeot: Sarrazin
Minardi-Ford: Mazzacane
BAR-Supertec: Lemarié
(Honda: Verstappen)

2000
McLaren-Mercedes: Panis
Ferrari: Badoer
Jordan-Mugen Honda: Enge
Jaguar-Cosworth: Burti, Scheckter, Lotterer
Williams-BMW: Junqueira, J Müller
Benetton-Supertec: Mitsusada, Pantano
Sauber-Petronas: Bernoldi
Prost-Peugeot: Sarrazin
Arrows-Supertec: Webber
Minardi-Fondmetal: Alonso, Vinella
BAR-Honda: Manning, Lemarié

2001
Ferrari: Badoer, Giovanardi
McLaren-Mercedes: Wurz, Turner
Williams-BMW: M Gené
Benetton-Renault: Webber
BAR-Honda: Manning, Lemarié, Davidson, T Sato
Jordan-Honda: Zonta
Arrows-Asiatech: Herbert
Sauber-Petronas: -
Jaguar-Cosworth: De la Rosa, Scheckter ,Lotterer
Minardi-European: Piccini, Albers
Prost-Acer: Cochet, Janis
(Toyota: Salo, McNish)

2002
Ferrari: Badoer, Burti
McLaren-Mercedes: Wurz, Turner
Williams-BMW: M Gené, Pizzonia
Sauber-Petronas: -
Jordan-Honda: Lasee
BAR-Honda: Davidson, Manning, Fukuda, Lemarié
Renault : Alonso, Gavin
Jaguar-Cosworth: Lotterer, Courtney
Arrows-Cosworth: -
Minardi-Asiatech: Malcharek, Zlobin
Toyota: Sarrazin, Briscoe

2003
Ferrari: Badoer, Burti
Williams-BMW: M Gené, Ri Sperafico
McLaren-Mercedes: Wurz, Paffett?
Renault: McNish, Montagny
Sauber-Petronas: Massa?
Jordan-Ford: Firman Jr/Lyons?
Jaguar-Cosworth: Lotterer, Courtney
BAR-Honda: T Sato, Davidson
Minardi-Cosworth: Albers?, Yoong?, Zlobin
Toyota: Zonta, Briscoe

Oh, what a sorry person I am! :cry: :lol:

#14 Mark A

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 17:50

Rainer,

McNish was with Benetton in 1993.

His testing career is

1990, 1991, 1992 McLaren
1993, 1994, 1996 Benetton
2000, 2001 Toyota.


(all on his Website )

#15 fines

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 17:55

Sergio Sighinolfi was Maserati test driver in the mid fifties, after racing for Ferrari a few times. He was the one who crashed one of the new 250Fs into another the day before the shipping of the cars to Argentina in December 1953. I'd be interested to read what Barrie Hobkirk thinks of this incident! :cat:

And, of course, Rudolf Uhlenhaut was Mercedes-Benz test driver in the fifties, maybe already pre-war?

#16 fines

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 17:56

Oh, and of course Consalvo Sanesi and Gianbattista Guidotti for Alfa Romeo!

#17 fines

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 17:57

What about tyre companies? Pat O'Connor was official Firestone test driver in 1957, along with one or two more folks. I could investigate a little more, if you're interested.

#18 fines

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 17:59

Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi for Lancia in 1954 ;)

#19 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 18:07

Norman Dewis was official test-driver of the Jaguar D. He also raced the car at Le Mans 1955.
Jack Fairman and Ken Miles tested Ford GT40's 1963-64.

Stefan

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#20 dmj

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 18:16

Originally posted by Stefan Ornerdal
Norman Dewis was official test-driver of the Jaguar D. He also raced the car at Le Mans 1955.
Jack Fairman and Ken Miles tested Ford GT40's 1963-64.

Stefan

Not only for D. He tested a lot of Jaguar road and racing cars, most famous were his love & hate affairs with abandoned XJ13 project...

#21 Geza Sury

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 21:18

Originally posted by fines
Sergio Sighinolfi was Maserati test driver in the mid fifties, after racing for Ferrari a few times. He was the one who crashed one of the new 250Fs into another the day before the shipping of the cars to Argentina in December 1953.

Thanks for the info about Sighinolfi, Michael. I've just discovered his name while reading the Alberto Ascari book. (Man With Two Shadows by Kevin Desmond) I never heard of this driver before. I know he never entered a world chamionship event, but competed in a couple of non-championship races. Any other info about him?

#22 nigel5

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 22:54

Does anyone can confirm by any mean Franco Scapini on board a Life at Monza :confused:

About Vittorio Zoboli, I know that pictures exist (Autohebdo, I think), but from my point of view, in 1994.
If anyone can confirm the year, may be with a time and a picture, it will be great :clap:

#23 ghinzani

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 23:55

Originally posted by nigel5
Does anyone can confirm by any mean Franco Scapini on board a Life at Monza :confused:

About Vittorio Zoboli, I know that pictures exist (Autohebdo, I think), but from my point of view, in 1994.
If anyone can confirm the year, may be with a time and a picture, it will be great :clap:


All I can recall was that Zobolis sponsors (did they make generators?) signed a deal with Jordan and he came with it. Same sort of deal with Ulivetto water and Naspetti driving and testing for Jordan the year before.

#24 ghinzani

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 23:56

Oh and despite winning Italian F3 races in 1984 Scapini was often refused superlicences.. I beleive the Italian CSAI tried to intervene on his behalf when Brabham left Vitas team but to no avail.

#25 mera308gtb

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 01:50

David Letterman has mentioned several times on his show about being a test driver for Ferrari in the 60's. He said they would sip wine in the paddock until Enzo would show up and yell and them to take Parabolica flat out. :lol:

#26 ensign14

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 08:07

Originally posted by ghinzani
Oh and despite winning Italian F3 races in 1984 Scapini was often refused superlicences.

Perhaps they saw him drive... :p I think in that era did you not have to be an F3 CHAMPION to get a licence? Or score points in F2/F3000? He didn't exactly set the world alight in CART. (Not great equipment, true.)

#27 Alan Lewis

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 16:59

Just happening to have the utterly magnificent "Time And Two Seats " to hand, I see that Sergio Sighinolfi is listed in both the Italian sportscar classics of 1955 :

Mille Miglia (30th April - 1st May) finished in sixth place in Ferrari 750 Monza (0486M) number 724.

Targa Florio (16th October) shared the same car (running as number 120) with Umberto Maglioli but only completed ten of the eleven laps.

APL

#28 ghinzani

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 21:49

Originally posted by ensign14
Perhaps they saw him drive... :p I think in that era did you not have to be an F3 CHAMPION to get a licence? Or score points in F2/F3000? He didn't exactly set the world alight in CART. (Not great equipment, true.)



no your right he was shed!!

#29 oldtimer

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 00:38

There was a certain time when a certain British driver would test British F1 cars to see which one he might be interested in driving... :)

#30 Racer.Demon

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 22:06

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
I have kept track since 1997, Dan Moakes from www.danmoakes.com (why isn't he on TNF?) has made a hobby out of collecting them. I'm surprised not to find them on his site.


On my request Dan put his list on the Web. It's found here.

#31 Geza Sury

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Posted 16 January 2003 - 07:34

Originally posted by Racer.Demon
On my request Dan put his list on the Web. It's found here.

Great list, congratulations to Dan :up: After reading the list, some question popped into my head:

Wasn't Martin Donnelly the official test driver of Arrows in 1989?
Wasn't Yannick Dalmas the second test driver alongside Alliot at McLaren in 1994?
Wasn't David Coulthard on of the offcial test drivers of Williams as early as 1993?

If anyone has pictures of any of the drivers during testing please post them in the Pictures of test drivers thread!

#32 David T.

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Posted 16 January 2003 - 19:41

Don't forget Teodoro Zeccoli, who also tested Alfa Romeo F.1 cars until 1979.

#33 nigel5

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 19:40

Some additional information at the mail of Racer.Demon


1997
Martin BRUNDLE drove one time an Arrows-Yamaha.
Andréa MONTERMINI never drove the Lola-Ford.

1998
Jules BOUILLON drove a Tyrrell-Mecachrome, not a Tyrrell-Ford.
Stewart-Ford has not only Mario Haberfeld like test dirver, but also Luciano BURTI.

1999
Nicolas MINASSIAN drove the Honda in one occasion.

2002
Sébastien BOURDAIS drove the Arrows-Cosworth at Valencia.
Darren MANNING didn’t drive the BAR-Honda in 2002.

#34 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:08

Ken Richardson - BRM - for most of the late 1940's to early 50's

#35 Thodore33

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 00:17

In 1999, Nicolas MINASSIAN drove the Honda in one occasion at PEMBREY.

At the begining of the 1992 season, Alain Prost test during 2 days the Ligier Renault at the Paul Ricard, the first day with an Erik Comas helmet.

#36 Ruairidh

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 00:43

How about the 1974 (or therabouts) contracts that Lotus had with Rene Arnoux and Jim Crawford?

#37 gdecarli

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 01:42

Originally posted by ghinzani
Ferrari test drivers go something like Daniel Amaduzzo mid 80s onwards

Daniele Amaduzzi is a photographer.
I think you confuse him with Dario Benuzzi, Ferrari legendary chief development driver. He usually works on "normal" Ferraris, but he had some F1 tests at Fiorano. Somewhere I should have also some articles or photos.

Ciao,
Guido

#38 David Force

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 16:53

Tony Trimmer was one of the best test drivers around and did work with the Lotus 72 which probably Emerson got some credit for (although he too was a good tester ) Didnt make any difference to Ronnie he just climbed in and gave it one !

Jackie Oliver told me he tested the 49s quite a bit in 1967 when Jim Clark was in tax exile which was one of the reasons he got the seat after Jim's accident.

Tony also did quite a bit for Williams in the early days, after all he built his first car from bits Frank gave him.

#39 philippe7

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 17:27

Originally posted by David Force

Tony also did quite a bit for Williams in the early days, after all he built his first car from bits Frank gave him. [/B]


And he also did his first ever Formula 1 Race in one of Sir Franck's Iso-Marlboro's at the 1973 Race of Champions at Brand's Hatch , a fact which is often missed in many databases , even the best ones ( Darren Galpin's for instance )

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#40 conjohn

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 20:19

Originally posted by philippe7


And he also did his first ever Formula 1 Race in one of Sir Franck's Iso-Marlboro's at the 1973 Race of Champions at Brand's Hatch , a fact which is often missed in many databases , even the best ones ( Darren Galpin's for instance )


I have his F1 debut at the 1971 Race of Champions, driving Lotus 72C/5 for Gold Leaf Team Lotus. He then did two more non-championship races for Lotus in 1971, at Oulton Park (49C/R6) and Hockenheim (72D/5), and debuted for Frank Williams' in his March 701/6-2 at the 1971 Oulton Park Gold Cup... then he drove Frank's Iso-Marlboro FX3B/01 at the 1973 Race of Champions.

#41 philippe7

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 07:00

Conjohn ! I stand corrected ( and ashamed.....) Most databases have him starting in F1 by trying to qualify the infamous Maki !!!!

#42 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 09:41

Originally posted by fines
Sergio Sighinolfi was Maserati test driver in the mid fifties, after racing for Ferrari a few times. He was the one who crashed one of the new 250Fs into another the day before the shipping of the cars to Argentina in December 1953. I'd be interested to read what Barrie Hobkirk thinks of this incident! :cat:

And, of course, Rudolf Uhlenhaut was Mercedes-Benz test driver in the fifties, maybe already pre-war?



According to reports in The Autocar Sergio Sighinolfi was Ferrari's chief tester in 1956.

In June 1956 he crashed Fangio's Ferrari into the back of a lorry on the way to Monza for the Supercortemaggiore GP.

He was killed in an accident on the road between Formicine and Maranello when testing a new sports car in September 1956.

#43 Dudley

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 10:43

Originally posted by gdecarli

Daniele Amaduzzi is a photographer.


Just in case you didn't know, change that to a was, sadly he died 2 or 3 years ago now.

#44 David Force

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 11:33

Tony Trimmer drove the Connew also, although by then in F5000 guise, I know, I was one of the (tiny) sponsors !

Has there been a Connew thread ? Peter still has it and threatens to rebuild it.

#45 philippe7

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 12:30

Originally posted by David Force
Tony Trimmer drove the Connew also, although by then in F5000 guise, I know, I was one of the (tiny) sponsors !

Has there been a Connew thread ? Peter still has it and threatens to rebuild it.


A thread, I'm not sure....but take a look at http://members.atlas...boor/index.html

From a distinguished TNF member.....

#46 Oleksij Hrushko

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 15:59

Great list from Racer.Demon
World Championship Grand Prix test drivers

#47 ry6

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 18:00

These greats of the 1950's may qualify?

Guerrino Bertocchi (Maserati)
Rudolf Ulhenhaut (Mercedes Benz)
Martino Severi (Ferrari)

#48 Thodore33

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 21:32

Hy,

I am looking for informations and pictures of Johnathan PALMER testing formula 1.

I know that he tested for Williams in 1982 (4 and 6 wheels) and 1983.
I was told that he tested for McLaren-Honda in 1990 or 1991 (perhaps also in 1992), I don't remember well.

So does anyone possess more informations about these test (like times of some session of tests) and pictures, especialy for McLaren test ?

Thanks.

#49 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 22:37

In 1990 Jonathan Palmer tested for McLaren at least at Monza in Aug 1990 (McLaren MP4/5C-Honda V12) and at Chobham in October 1990 (McLaren MP4/5B’semiauto’-Honda V10)

I have noted Jonathan Palmer for at least a test at Silverstone in Aug 1991 (McLaren MP4/6-Honda V12) and at least at Lurcy-Levis in May 1992 (McLaren MP4/7-Honda V12).

I am convinced he appeared on several more occasions during 1990-1992 too. He did mainly development work so I don't expect that any times from these sessions would be very relevant.

#50 Geza Sury

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Posted 18 October 2003 - 15:48

Jonathan Palmer tested for ATS in 1982, when he was still racing in Formula Two. I guess it was just a one-off test. Was it Jonathan's first ever drive in a Grand Prix car? I got this this picture from Rainer, so perhaps he knows more. The driver, who is standing beside the car wearing a helmet is the team's regular driver, Eliseo Salazar.