You can’t imagine it now though there were years in the Formula One there were plenty of test drivers per team. Or teams tested in between races to test new aerodynamics or new engines. Or just to cash extra money by letting unknown drivers, who will never arrive, experience the Formula 1.
As many of these drivers are long forgotten, and there isn’t a real overview of the test drivers, its all bits and pieces. It though well why not? Here are the drivers who tested with a F1 car in 1992.
Honda Marlboro McLaren
The team to beat in the early 1990s was definitely the McLaren team from Ron Dennis. However, 1992 would be the last year they would be powered by Honda. As well the car combined with the Honda engine were no competition for Mansell and his Williams. Several drivers tested with the McLaren. The team raced with the MP4/6B and the MP4/7 during the season.
Ayrton Senna: Tested with the McLaren MP4/7A at Kyalami and Estoril. Tested as well with the McLaren MP4/6B.
Gerhard Berger: Tested with the McLaren MP4/6B and the Mclaren MP4/7A.
Mark Blundell: Tested with the McLaren MP4/7A at Silverstone in March.
Michael Andretti: Tested with the McLaren MP4/7A at Silverstone. Tested as well with the MP4/7A at Paul Ricard the 19th of December. The car was fitted with ’93 specs tyres from Goodyear.
Jonathan Palmer: It is said that Palmer has tested for McLaren as well in 1992.
Tyrrell Racing Organisation
In 1992 Tyrrell appeared with the slighty updated Tyrrell 020B on the grid. The car was powered by the Ilmor engine. The car was reliable and de Cesaris managed to score several points during the season. While Grouillard did not manage to score any points for the team.
Andrea de Cesaris: Tested with the 020B at Imola and Hockenheim.
Olivier Grouillard: Tested with the 020B.
Canon Williams Team
The team to beat in 1992. With Nigel Mansell and Ricardo Patrese they had one of the best drivers in their car. The team used the FW14B during the season which was powered by the Renault V10 engine. The engine that would dominate for a couple of years. Several drivers tested with the Williams during the season.
Nigel Mansell: Tested with the Williams FW14B.
Ricardo Patrese: Tested with the Williams FW14B.
Johnny Robinson: Tested with the Williams FW14B with the ’93 spec Goodyear tyres at Colmaberg.
Gil de Ferran: Tested with the Williams FW14B at Silverstone.
Damon Hill: Tested with the Williams FW14B at Monza and Silverstone.
Al Unser Jr: Is said to have tested for Williams in 1992.
Alain Prost: Tested late in the year with the new Williams FW15.
Motor Racing Developments (Brabham)
1992 was the last year for the Brabham F1 team. The team lost all of its glory during the years. It had financial problems, team owners were shady as well were the sponsors they attracted. The team’s only positive not was the fact they let Damon Hill debut in the Formula One. As well they had a female driver in one of their cars. Brabham appeared with BT60B powered by the Judd V10 engine.
Eric van de Poele: Tested with the Brabham BT60B.
Giovanna Amati: Tested with the Brabham BT60B.
Damon Hill: Tested with the Brabham BT60B.
Michael Briggs: Is said to have tested with the Brabham.
Footwork Mugen Honda
1992 was one of the better years for the Footwork team. They managed to score some decent points during the season with the Footwork FA13 powered by the magnificent Mugen Honda engine. Michele Alboreto and Aguri Suzuki were the driver for the team.
Michele Alboreto: Tested with the Footwork FA13.
Aguri Suzuki: Tested with the Footwork FA13.
Derek Warwick: Tested with the Footwork FA13 at Estoril.
David Brabham: Tested with the Footwork FA13 at Silverstone.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the Footwork FA13 at Estoril or Silverstone.
A bit of the same story as Brabham in their last few years. However, in 1992 the future seemed to be a bit brighter then previous one for the team. The team debuted the year with the Lotus 2102D. later in the season they appeared with the new Lotus 107. Powered by the Ford engine. The team would be a good sub top every now and then on the track. What was seen as well at the results.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the Lotus 102D and the Lotus 107.
Johnny Herbert: Tested with the Lotus 102D and the Lotus 107.
Wayne Gardner: Tested with the Lotus 107 at Estoril.
Oliver Beretta: Is said to have tested for Team Lotus.
The team was only two years active in the Formula 1. In 1992 the team would appear with the Fondmetal GR01 and the Fondmetal GR02 powered by the Ford HBA5 V8 engine. The team did not manage to score any points in 19923. At the end of the season the team would disappear from the grid.
Andrea Chiesa: Tested with the Fondmetal GR01 and GR02.
Eric an de Poele: Tested with the Fondmetal GR02.
Gabriele Tarquini: Tested with the Fondmetal GR01 and GR02.
It was more or less a miracle that March appeared on the grid in 1992. Leyton House’s CEO’s were arrested because of some shady business stuff. The team appeared with the March CG911B powered by the Ilmor V10 engine. Because of the financial situation the team had several drivers during the season. While managing to score points in Canada with a 4th place. Several people tested with the march.
Karl Wendinger: Tested with the March CG911B.
Jan Lammers: Tested with the March CG911B at Zandvoort.
Paul Belmondo: Tested with the March CG911B.
Emmanuele Naspetti: Tested with the March CG911B.
Giovanni Lavaggi: Tested with the March CG911B at Silverstone.
Camel Benetton Ford
Benetton was one of the coming teams in the early 1990s. In 1991 the team signed a multiple years contract with Michael Schumacher. In 1992 he would already win his first race for the team and finish 3th in the championship. Benetton raced with the B191B and the B192 during the season. Powered by the Ford V8 engine. Several drivers tested for the team.
Michael Schumacher: Tested with the Benetton B191B and the B192.
Martin Brundle: Tested with the Benetton B191B and the B192.
David Coulthard: Had his first F1 test with the Benetton B192 at Silverstone.
Alessandro Zanardi: Tested in May with the Benetton B192 at Silverstone.
Giovanni Bonnano: Tested with the Benetton B192 at Silverstone.
Derek Higgins: It is said that Higgins tested for Benetton in 1992.
Also known as BMS Dallara team appeared in 1992 with the F192 on the grid. The team showed some decent results in previous seasons. However, in 1992 the team only managed to score two points. The car was powered by the Ferrari V12 engine.
JJ Lehto: Tested with the F192.
Pierluigi Martini: Tested with the F192.
Luca Badoer: Tested with the F192 at Estoril.
Another Italian F1 team was the Minardi Team. In 1992 the car was powered by the unreliable Lamborghini V12 engine. The team appeared first with the M191B. Later the team appeared with the M192. Because of the engine the team only scored one single point during the season. Several drivers tested for Minardi in 1992.
Christian Fittipaldi: Tested with the Minardi M191B and the M192.
Alessandro Zanardi: Tested with the Minardi M191B and the M192.
Gianni Morbidelli: Tested with the Minardi M192 at Estoril.
Marco Apicella: Tested with the Minardi M192.
Ligier Gitanes Blondes
After a couple of disastrous seasons the team seemed to have found the way up. The team appeared with the Ligier JS37 which was powered by the Renault V10 engine. Both Boutsen and Comas were the drivers for the team.
Thierry Boutsen: Tested with the Ligier JS37.
Érik Comas: Tested with the Ligier JS37.
Alain Prost: Tested with the Ligier JS37 at Paul Ricard to give the team feedback where they could improve the car. Interesting fact; Alain Prost tested in a white overalls while wearing the helmet from Comas.
1992 was not a good year for the Scuderia. They failed to score a single podium finish neither were they during all the Grand Prix competitive. The team appeared with the F92A and later with the F92AT on the track. Ivan Capelli was replaced for the last two races by Nicola Larini for disappointing results.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the Ferrari F92A and the F92AT.
Ivan Capelli: Tested with the Ferrari F92A and the F92AT.
Nicola Larini: Tested with the Ferrari F92AT.
Alessandro Nannini: Tested with the Ferrari F92A at Fiorano.
JJ Lehto: It is said that Lehto has tested for Ferrari in 1992.
Central Park Venturi Larrousse
The other French Grand Prix team on the grid, Larrousse. The team showed some positive progression. However, the team had financial struggles during the season. As well was the LC92 powered by the unreliable Lamborghini V12 engine. The team only scored one point during the season.
Bertrand Gachot: Tested with the Larrousse LC91 and the Larrousse LC92.
Ukyo Katayama: Tested with the Larrousse LC91 and the Larrousse LC92.
Andrea Montermini: Tested with the Larrousse LC91 at Paul Ricard in January 1992.
Paul Belmondo: Tested with the Larrousse LC91 at Paul Ricard in January 1992.
Sasol Jordan Yamaha
Where Jordan was the successful debutant. In 1992 the team failed to score any decent results on the track, and the Yamaha engine was far from reliable. Eventually the team managed to score a single point during the Australian Grand Prix. The team struggled as well financially.
Stefano Modena: Tested with the Jordan 192 Yamaha with the green livery, at that point it was not clear which title sponsor the team would have. This test was at Silverstone.
Maurício Gugelmin: Tested at Estoril with the Jordan 192 though without the new livery.
Castro Santos: Tested with the Jordan 192 at Estoril.
Rubens Barrichello: Tested with the Jordan 192.
Takuya Kurosawa: Tested with the Jordan 191Y which was fitted with a brand new Yamaha V12 engine. Test happened in July 1992.
Mark Skaife: Tested a Jordan 192 at a Carpark in Adelaide. The story is covered by V8sleuth.
Phil Andrews: Tested with the Jordan 192. He appeared as well in a program from ITV called “you bet”
Andrea Moda Formula
Who doesn’t remember the Andrea Moda team from Italian fashionista Andrea Sassetti? The team appeared the first race with the slightly, and horrible, C4B which was the Coloni car from previous year. Later in the season the team appeared with the 921. This car was based on the BMW study design the S192. Still the team failed to show any decent results, there were many financial struggles, and no spare parts. Eventually Bernie forbid the team to appear on a Grand Prix. To this day Sassetti still has his Andrea Moda’s in his home. The cars were powered by the Judd V10 engine.
Alex Caffi: Tested with the Andrea Moda C4B at Kyalami. And the 921 at Misano.
Roberto Moreno: Tested with the C4B and the 921.
Enrico Bertaggia: Test with the C4B.
Perry McCarthy: Tested with the C4B and the 921.
The Sauber team from the Swiss Peter Sauber would make its debut in 1993. In 1992 and previous years the Sauber team worked with Mercedes in the Group C. Mercedes was working on new F1 engines, and with the Group C disappearing and Peter Sauber looking towards the Formula 1 the deal was quickly made. The Sauber C12 was fitted with the Mercedes. Eventually the engine would be rebranded towards Ilmor.
Jean-Louis Schlesser: Tested with the Sauber C12 at Circuit Lurcy-Lévis and Estoril.
Karl Wendlinger: Tested with the Sauber C12 at Montemelo.
JJ lehto: Tested with the Sauber C12 at Estoril.
Tyrrell Mugen – Bridgestone Test car
There isn’t much known about this car. It probably is the Tyrrell 020 that has been used to test with. Neither is there much known about results. Some drivers are known for have testing.
Aguri Suzuki, Volker Weidler, Johnny Herbert and Mauro Martini.