You can’t imagine it now though there was a time a lot of drivers tested in the Formula One. 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 1993.
The team to beat in 1993. After Mansell left the Formula One to race in America, the team appeared with Damon Hill and Alain Prost on the grid for 1993. Alain Prost would win his last Championship with the Williams FW15C, while we all know what would happen with Damon Hill a couple of years later. The team was powered by the powerful Renault V10 engine. A bunch of drivers tested for the team. There was also a test for Journalist (mostly former racers) these will be mentioned apart.
Alain Prost: Tested with the Williams FW15B, which was a hastily converted FW15 for the 1993 regulations. Later on he tested with the Williams FW15C.
Damon Hill: Tested as well with Williams FW15. As well with the FW15B.
David Coulthard: Tested with the Williams FW15C.
Alain Menu: Tested with the Williams FW15C.
Denis Chevrier: Sources say that Chevrier tested with Williams in 1993.
Perry McCarthy: Sources say that McCarthy tested with Williams in 1993.
In the early morning of the 30th of November 1993 the garage door opened at the Williams garage at Paul Ricard. It would be a special day. Several former F1 drivers, some well-known commentators and as well some employees of Williams would test with the Williams FW15C. David Coulthard was at the test as well to “mentor” some of the testers. Sadly I don’t have all the test times.
1. David Coulthard Time: 1:05.5
2. Jochen Mass (47) Time: 1:06.6
3. Allard Kalff (31) Time: 1:07.63
4. John Watson (47) Time: 1:07.9
5. Derek Daly (40) Time: 1:08.7
6. Jean Ragnotti (48) Time: 1:09.4
7. Kelvin Burt (26) Time: 1:14.4 (on a track that was slightly wet)
8. Kenny Bräck(27) Time: 1:14.9 (on a wet track)
Later on that day Bernard Dudot, Adrian Newey and Patrick Head appeared behind the wheeler of the Williams FW15C as well. I’m not sure if there are test times available about their tests. I couldn’t find them. As well do sources say that Jean-Pierre Jarier tested that day as well with the Williams.
Tyrrell Racing Organisation
Tyrrell… from a team which managed to score regularly points to a team that failed to score a single point in 1993. Tyrrell appeared on the grid in 1993 with Ukyo Katayama and Andrea de Cesaris as their drivers. The first few races the team kept on racing with the Tyrrell 020C before the team came with their new challenger the 021. Powered by Yamaha it would become one of the worst seasons of the team. Only a couple of drivers tested for the team.
Ukyo Katayama: Tested with the Tyrrell 020C and with the Tyrrell 021.
Andrea de Cesaris: Tested with the Tyrrell 020C and with the Tyrrell 021.
Eric van de Poele: Tested with the Tyrrell 021 at Silverstone.
Kelvin Burt: Tested with the Tyrrell 021 at the 22nd of December at Silverstone.
Camel Benetton Ford
In 1993 the Benetton team was on its way up, winning a race with their star driver Michael Schumacher, however they still were far from the top. The had to let McLaren in front as well for Williams. Still the team arrived at the top and we all know what happened in 1994. Benetton appeared the first part of the season with the Benetton B193. Later on they would appear with the B193B which had a better engine.
Michael Schumacher: Tested with the Benetton B193 and the B193B.
Ricardo Patrese: Tested with the Benetton B193 and the B193B.
Jordi Gené: Tested with the Benetton B193B in December 1993 at Catalunya.
Luca Badoer: Was offered by Benetton to test the Benetton B193B after Scuderia Italia collapsed. To see who could become Schumachers teammate after Patrese left the Formula 1. Badoer would become Minardi’s test driver.
Michele Alboreto: Was offered by Benetton to test the Benetton B193B after Scuderia Italia collapsed. To see who could become Schumachers teammate after Patrese left the Formula one. Alboreto would go eventually to Minardi.
Paul Belmondo: Tested with the Benetton B193B at Silverstone.
Allan McNish: Tested with the Benetton B193 in February at Silverstone.
Andrea Montermini: Tested with the Benetton B193.
JJ Lehto: Tested with the Benetton B193B in late December at Estoril.
Gianni Morbidelli: Some sources say that Morbidelli tested for Benetton in 1993, besides being Ferrari’s test driver.
Alessandro Zanardi: Some sources say that Zanardi tested for Benetton in 1993.
Jos Verstappen: There is a story that Jos Verstapen tested with Benetton in late December 1993, some secret test. I have no more info about it!
Behind Williams McLaren was the team to beat in 1993. The team appeared with the McLaren MP4/8 on the grid powered by Ford. Michael Andretti and Ayrton Senna. However, Andretti was replaced for the last two races of the season by Mika Häkkinen. During the season several drivers tested for the team. As well some guy named Jos Verstappen at Estoril.
Ayrton Senna: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8.
Michael AndrettI: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8.
Jos Verstappen: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8 at Silverstone in November.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8.
Oliver Gavin: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8 in October at Silverstone. For winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 1991.
Gareth Rees: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8 in October at Silverstone. For winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 1990.
Yannick Dalmas: Tested with the McLaren MP4/8 at Barcelona in December.
Michele Alboreto: Some sources mention that Michele Alboreto tested with the McLaren in late 1993.
Gil de Ferran: Ferran seems to have tested with the McLaren MP4/8 at Goodwood.
Footwork Mugen Honda
While the team was powered by the Mugen-Honda engine the results were poor. The team managed to score only in two races a few points. Derek Warwick and Aguri Suzuki started the season with the Footwork FA13B and later in the season the team appeared with the new FA14. Several drivers tested for the team.
Derek Warwick: Tested with the Footwork FA13B and the Footwork FA14.
Aguri Suzuki: Tested with the Footwork FA13B and the Footwork FA14.
Jos Verstappen: Tested with the Footwork FA14 at Estoril the 28th of September.
Paul Stewart: Tested with the Footwork FA14 at Silverstone. He was rumored at that time to be one of the drivers in 1994.
David Brabham: It seems David tested with the Footwork FA13B in early season.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the Footwork FA14 the 16th and 17th of June at Silverstone.
Gil de Ferran: Tested with the Footwork FA14 the 16th and 17th of June at Silverstone.
The last year of the Team that they were more or less competitive. The team appeared with the Lotus 107B on the grid powered by the Ford V8 engine. Alessandro Zanardi and Johnny Herbert were the driver for the team. Pedro Lamy replaced Zanardi for the last three races of the season. With 12 points the team ended as 6th in the standings.
Alessandro Zanardi: Tested with the Lotus 107B.
Johnny Herbert: Tested with the Lotus 107B.
Pedro Lamy: Tested with the Lotus 107B.
Wayne Gardner: Tested in June with the Lotus 107B at Snetterton. Where he did 25 laps with the setup from Monaco.
The team who was impressive at their debut though struggled a lot during the seasons afterwards. Also in 1993 Jordan had some trouble with the car. Eventually the team managed to score some points in the Japanese Grand Prix with a double point finish. Jordan appeared with the Jordan 193 on the grid powered by the Hart V10 engine. Only Rubens Barrichello drove all the races. While the other car was switched between four drivers.
Rubens Barrichello: Tested with the Jordan 193.
Ivan Capelli: Tested with the Jordan 193.
Thierry Boutsen: Tested with the Jordan 193.
Marco Apicella: Tested with the Jordan 193.
Emanuele Naspetti: Tested with the Jordan 193.
Eddie Irvine: Tested with the Jordan 193.
Martin Donnelly: Tested with the Jordan 192 at Silverstone. It was a promise from Eddie Jordan to let him test with the Jordan after his horrible accident. Side note; The 192 was originally fitted with the Yamaha engine. This 192 was powered by the Hart V10.
Phil Andrews: Tested with the Jordan 193 at Donington Park after the European Grand Prix.
Vittorio Zoboli: Tested with the Jordan 193 at Silverstone. As preparation for the exhibition race at the Bologna Motor Show.
George Fouché: Tested with the Jordan 193 at Silverstone because of the sponsor Sasol.
March F1 Team
March was on the entry list for the South African Grand Prix. The team was in South Africa however there were no engine and there were no tyres for the team. Jan Lammers even paid with his own money the debt the team still had for the Ilmor engine. However, it was not enough to appear on the grid. The winter of 1992/1993 is a really interesting story.
Jan Lammers: Was to test with the March CG911C powered by the Ilmor V10 engine.
Jean-Marc Gounon: Was to test with the March CG911C powered by the Ilmor V10 engine.
A similar story as Team Lotus. It was the last year that the team was competitive. Larrousse scored a handful points in the end of the season. The team was unlucky to use the Lamborghini V12 engine. The team would eventually have a similar winter as March had. Érik Comas and Philippe Alliot drove most of the races. While Toshio Suzuki replaced Alliot for the last two races of the season.
Philippe Alliot: Tested with the Larrousse LH93.
Érik Comas: Tested with the Larrousse LH93.
Toshio Suzuki: Tested with the Larrousse LH93.
Olivier Beretta: Tested with the Larrousse LH93 at Silverstone.
Jean-Marc Gounon: Tested on the 28th of January at Paul Ricard with the Larrousse LH92 to test new aerodynamics for the LH93.
Lola BMS Scuderia Italia
BMS Scuderia Italia switched from chassis manufacturer for 1993. The previous years the team used the Dallara chassis with some good results. In 1993 the team appeared with the Lola Chassis. The Lola T93/30 was far from good. The car looked bulky and besides the Ferrari V12 engine in the back the team could not impress at all. At the end of the season they disappeared from the grid.
Michele Alboreto: Tested with the Lola T93/30.
Luca Badoer: Tested with the Lola T93/30.
The early 90s were the most successful period for the Minardi Team. In 1993 the team managed to score 7 points. The Minardi M193 was fitted with the Ford V8 engine. While the team used four drivers during the season. As funding was still an issue for the small Italian team, besides the decent results.
Christian Fittipaldi: Tested with the Minardi M193.
Jean-Marc Gounon: Tested with the Minardi M193.
Fabrizio Barbazza: Tested with the Minardi M193.
Pierluigi Martini: Tested with the Minardi M193.
Michele Alboreto: Tested with the Minardi M193 at Estoril at the end of the season.
Ligier Gitanes Blondes
In 1993 the team seemed to get out of the spiral that went down the drain since the late 1980s. The team appeared with the JS39 on the track powered by the Renault V10 engine. With a strong driver duo with Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle the team showed it’s potential.
Martin Brundle: Tested with the Ligier JS39.
Mark Blundell: Tested with the Ligier JS39.
1993 was a bit better than the previous season for the Scuderia with a few podium finishes. However, the team was far from the top. With Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger the team had a strong drivers duo for the Ferrari F93A powered by their own V12 engine.
Gerhard Berger: Tested with the Ferrari F93A.
Jean Alesi: Tested with the Ferrari F93A.
Nicola Larini: Tested a couple of times with the Ferrari F93A at Fiorano, Monza, Imola and Reggio Emilia airport.
Gianni Morbidelli: Tested with the Ferrari F93A.
Team Sauber Formula 1
In 1993 the new team on the Grid. Backed by Mercedes Sauber made it’s debut in the Formula One this season. The Sauber C12 was powered by the Ilmor V10 engine which was basically the Mercedes engine. Karl Wendlinger and JJ Lehto were the drivers for the team during the season and scored some decent results.
Karl Wendlinger: Tested with the Sauber C12.
JJ Lehto: Tested with the Sauber C12.
Jean-Louis Schlesser: Tested with the Sauber C12.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Tested for the first time with the Sauber C12 the 13th of December at Barcelona.
The Bravo story is an interesting one. The team was close to appear on the track. It was said that the team was planning to debut their S931. While the FIA said in late 1992 that the team would not allowed to appear on the grid. The project was on its way, though with the dead of Jean-Pierre Mosnier the Bravo project disappeared. Read the story about the Bravo project here.
Jordi Gené: Was to test with the Bravo S931.
McLaren – Lamborghini MP4/8B
In the search for a new power supplier for 1994 McLaren came in contact with Lamborghini. During the weekend of 27th – 29th of September 1993 McLaren fitted the Lamborghini V12 in their MP4/8. The MP4/8B was tested by Ayrton Senna after the Portuguese Grand Prix for the first time. His first impression was good. It is said that he asked Ron Dennis to fit the Lamborghini V12 in the back of the MP4/8 for the last two races. Ayrton Senna tested the car a couple of times. However, Mika Häkkinen tested as well with the MP4/8B car. Eventually McLaren did not choose the Lamborghini engine as Chrysler asked from McLaren to put money in the engines development. While Peugeot would give their engines for free.
Ayrton Senna: Tested with the McLaren – Lamborghini MP4/8B at Estoril.
Mika Häkkinen: Tested with the McLaren – Lamborghini MP4/8B at Estoril.
Williams FW15C CVT
In 1993 Williams was trying out to adapt the Variomatic (CVR) system, which came from DAF, for their Formula One car. It were they hay-days of experimental technologies in the Formula One. Alain Menu did some straight testing with the car. Eventually David Coulthard seriously tested with this Williams and was much faster then any other F1 car. Soon, the FIA forbid the system to be used in the F1.
David Coulthard: Tested with the Williams FW15C CVT
Alani menu: Tested with the Williams FW15C CVT
Bridgestone Test Car Tyrrel 020 Mugen-Honda
In 1993 Bridgestone was already testing their F1 tyres as they were preparing to debut in the Formula One. Most of the testing happened at Japanese Suzuka circuit by Heinz Harald Frentzen and as well Aguri Suzuki.