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Old Rumour Mill

Did you know? Fact, stories and anecdotes 5

Did you know? A series of articles about stories, facts, news and anecdotes about the Formula One the most of us have forgotten. It are those forgotten little facts that make the sport we love so interesting. As I love to dig into a lot of magazines such as Autosport, MotorsportMagazine and have a huge archive it would be a lost if i would do nothing with it!

Did you know: That the cars for the Leyton House team were sabotaged during the USA Grand Prix in 1991 on Phoenix? In the night of Friday to Saturday the brake lines were cut and some more sabotage was mode. It was done in a way that it was seen before the car would go on the track. According to Chris Murphy it had to be someone who knew what he was doing. Perhaps an angry employee?

Did you know: That Team Lotus intention was to build a new Lotus car for 1992, the Lotus 103. However, due to the financial position of the team they ditched the Lotus 103, which was already penned. Instead, the team attracted Chris Murphy from Leyton House. Leyton House was in the same position as Team Lotus. However, Murphy already penned their new challenger CG921. He took the designs with him to Team Lotus. In fact the Lotus 107 was the Leyton House CG921.

Did you know: That Leyton House, soon to become March F1 Team, was close to drop out of the Formula One in late 1991? The 16th of December director of the team Mike Smith resigned. As well several other key persons within the team were to leave as well. Eventually the team was saved by Henny Vollenberg.

Did you know: That when Vollenberg purchased the March team he found a warehouse full of spare parts and machinery? Enough to keep the team on the tracks for two or three years.

Did you know: That when Lotus Cars build their Lola T95/30 an in-between car, a mix if 1994 and 1995 regulations, announced the 3th of November 1996 that had intentions to build it’s own engine? The Lola V10 car would debut in 1998. It was the year the Lola T98/30 would debut. We all know what happened! Mastercard came in as sponsor, and it basically killed the realistic F1 goals.

Did you know: That Tyrrell had no clue in late 1991 which engine would supply their new successor for 1992. Neither did they have signed any drivers. Roberto Moreno, Mauricio Gugelmin, Alex Zanardi and Gianni Morbidelli were rumoured at that point.

Did you know: That the March F1 Team was chasing after Beta to become one of their sponsors for 1993? As known the team was on the entry list for 1993. Arrived in Kyalami in 1993 though never made it to the grid. Imagine Beta back on the car, like it’s the 1970s all over again!

Did you know: That Alex Caffi was in speaking terms with Frank Williams and Patrick Head for a seat in 1990?

Did you know: That at some point in the silly season of 1992 Damon Hill and Paul Stewart were named as the driver for the Tyrrell team? Eventually Hill made his debut in the Brabham. While Paul Stewart sadly never made it as a driver in the Formula One. Eventually he became a team principal of his own team!

Didyou know: That Il Barone Rampante was working on a plan to appear on the grid in 1993? Rumours went that the team would use Ilmor or Judd engines. As well several drivers were circulation to race for the team. Some of them were Roberto Moreno, Pierluigi Martini and Christian Fittipaldi.