The 1993 season could have been very interesting with two new teams to enter the paddock. There were a couple of stories in 1992 stating that there were several groups and teams interested to enter the grid. Some of these stories had an Atndrea Moda like vibe others were a bad joke. However, there were a couple serious attempts planning their debut. Two new teams came even close to enter grid. Sadly, due to several circumstances, they were forced to withdraw their plans for 1993.
It is somewhat interesting to see the interest from several groups to enter the Formula One in 1993. The main issue was the financial situation during 1992 and later. It was far from stable with several suffering a bad economic climate. Obviously, it was the reason that several teams disappeared during 1992 or simply wouldn’t return on the grid in 1993. Andrea Moda was forced to leave the grid already in 1992, while they had plans for the next season.
The Fondmetal team from late Gabriele Rumi closed it’s doors after the end of the season due to the financial situation. It didn’t matter the team already started working on their new challenger. It is said that those designs were eventually used for the Forti FG01 that made it’s debut in 1995 with Pedro Diniz and Roberto Moreno. Also the Brabham team disappeared from the grid. They were already in jeopardy and there were several rumours that they team would stay in the Formula One. A couple of years ago I met Alan Mertens who told me how they were to revive Brabham only to pull the plug eventually.
Then there was also the March F1 Team that appeared in Kyalami for the first Grand Prix of the season. However, with no engines and no tyres they were unable to bring the cars on the grid. In an act of desperation, Jan Lammers even paid a couple of the bills that were still open from 1993 only to have the able to qualify for the race and secure their future. The Tamoil saga in the winter of 1992/1993 was probably the last nail on the coffin for March.
Some projects for 1993 were canned and eventually cancelled in an earlier stage or due to the economic situation that occurred. Peugeot and Toms Grand Prix were two of the serious attempts that were canned. Peugeot had an already the foundation ready for their Formula One team. While Toms showed a mock-up of their Formula One car that was to appear on the grid.
However, two teams were almost certain to appear on the grid in 1993. Pacific Grand Prix, which most likely completed their PR01. The German Michael Bartels even sat in the monocoque, as he was to debut the car. The other team was the Spanish Bravo Team, which would use the S931 design from Nick Wirth’s Simtek Company. Jordi Gené would have been one of the drivers.
Pacific Grand Prix Pacific Grand Prix is one of a kind story if you ask me. Keith Wiggins founded the team in 1984. Since their first race, the team was competitive in several lower Formulae series such as the Formula Ford and the International Formula 3000. In May 1992, Keith Wiggins came for the first time with a serious statement regarding the teams’ jump towards the Formula One. He said it would depend on proper technical support and proper financial backing if Pacific Racing (as it was called at that time) would debut or not. Later in June Wiggins stated that the design stage was completed as well that an engine deal was signed. At that time a Honda-Mugen V10 or the Cosworth HB V8.
In Hockenheim the same year, it seemed that Pacific Grand Prix would appear on the grid in 1993. Both Wiggins and Rinland were spotted on speaking terms with Bernie Ecclestone. Discussing the entry. The financial situation was stable and the team was on the verge to announce their driver for 1993, which would become Michael Bartels. It was during the Tokyo International Motorsports Show held at the Makuhari Messe convention center when Pacific showed their windtunnel model to the public.
The car looked simple but need and seemed to be able to compete in the midfield. The team would made its debut with only one car. While it was a public secret, Michael Bartels was announced on the 11th of January 1993 as their driver. Eventually photos appeared of Bartels seat fitting in the monocoque of the PR01. However, only weeks later, Keith Wiggins told that they had to postpone their project. Instead of 1993, they would debut in 1994.
Escuderia Bravo F1 España The other team that was almost certain to appear on the grid in 1993, with even an impressive financial backing at first view is the Spanish Bravo F1 Team. In one of the first publications, it was said that the team was backed by the Spanish government. As well several International companies like Repsol. The team would have had a budget for five years. You would ask yourself what could go wrong. Well, everything.
The announcement of the Bravo team came in October 1992; at that point, the team was already working on their car for 1993. Nick Wirth was asked to design a new car; previously he designed the Andrea Moda S921 and the BMW S192 concept. Late Jean-Francois Mosnier was managing director assisted by former Formula One driver and later Team owner late Adrián Campos. While the team was based in Barcelona. The team already struck a deal with Judd to supply them with their V10 engine. Mosnier stated that he hoped that they would be able to test with the S931 in January or February. At that time the team was seeking for driver interestingly is the fact they were speaking with Boutsen, Larini and Cesaris.
However, during the 22nd of December 1992 the Bravo team presented themselves in Barcelona. Jordi Gené was there, and was announced as one of the teams’ drivers that would appear on the grid in Kyalami for them. It wouldn’t be long after the presentation that it went quickly downhill with the team. Sources stated that the S931 was on the edge to be banned as the crash test showed how dangerous the car was. As well, the financial situation was not as good as they said it was. The make it worse, Mosnier sadly passed away which let the team to abandon their F1 plans. Eventually the plan was to race in the F3000 with one car for Jordi Gené so more time would be available to fine-tune their F1 dream. Eventually it never materialised.
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