If F1 had cool manufacturers…
Perhaps one of the reasons why many people (including myself) don’t like manufacturer influence is because of the manufacturers themselves. Take Toyota, for instance – the world’s largest car manufacturer, who generally make very boring family cars at cheap prices, and the lack of character is reflected in its F1 team. It (read John Howett) also liked to throw its weight around behind the scenes, perhaps thinking it was more important to the sport than it actually was. Nobody really liked them and nobody will particularly miss them, bar a few who thought manufacturer participation was vital.
So how about if we replace those enormous global juggernauts with some cooler car manufacturers, perhaps dipping into the supercar brigade. In recent years, Spyker made an ill-fated attempt at F1, buying the Midland team just before the 2006 Chinese GP. But how about some other potential teams?
Agip Pagani F1 (Ita)
Chassis: Pagani JMF10
Pagani were founded by an Argentinean and their car, what would become the world-famous Zonda, was to be named in defence to Juan Manuel Fangio but it is an Italian company. The Pagani F1 car will pay homage to the 5 time champion in its name, whilst the engines will be supplied by Mercedes as with the Zondas
Swedbank Koenigsegg F1 Team (Swe)
Chassis: Koenigsegg CCF1-10
The ambitious Swedish supercar manufacturer recently tried to take over Saab but the deal fell through. So what about an F1 programme? Swedish influence in F1 is long overdue, with none since Stefan Johansson left. How about Marcus Ericsson as one of the drivers too?
John Guest Ascari F1 (GB)
Chassis: Ascari KZF1-10
OK, perhaps the sponsor is a bit optimistic (JG sponsor Eurotech, who run Ascaris in the British GT Championship – but wouldn’t you like to see that livery on an F1 car?), but maybe not necessarily an Ascari F1 programme – after all, they’ve competed in EuroBOSS with an F1 car that they designated as their own, albeit an updated Benetton. They also own their own race track – Ferrari-esque. Another deference there to a 1950s F1 champion too
Ginetta Cars (GB)
Chassis: Ginetta GF110
A classic British car make revitalised under new ownership in the 2000s. Ginetta, under the guidance of Lawrence Tomlinson, is on the up. Not only that, but it has taken over Zytek, and now badges that company’s LMPs as Ginettas. Zytek also build engines so the potential is there. The team would be run by Le Mans GT2 winners LNT. So who knows? It doesn’t sound so unrealistic after all
Warsteiner Veritas Racing (Ger)
Chassis: Veritas RS F1.10
Another marque with heritage, Veritas is an ex-F1 manufacturer, having entered a handful of events in the early 1950s. The name was reborn in the 2000s with small scale production of a new car. So it’s quite unlikely that this German team will reappear in F1. But then again, this whole lot is unlikely. It’s fun to dream. Veritas back in F1 would certainly be more romantic than BMW’s return. Throw in a classic German brand that’s associated with racing for good measure
Brains Connaught Engineering (GB)
Chassis: Connaught Type E
Connaught is another ex-F1 team from the early days of F1 to be reborn in recent years. They were the first British team with a British driver to win a Grand Prix for 31 years when they won the 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix, but F1 World Championship success was limited. The Connaught Motor Company, which now produces the Type D GT road car, is now based in Llanelli in Wales, adding a local edge for me. Sponsorship comes from a Welsh brewery
I could go on – there’s enough potential for a gridfull of such manufacturers. But Gumpert F1 doesn’t exactly sound as attractive. Literally…