As there are over 650 Unraced F1 projects from the period 1885 – 2020 I decided before to publish articles of unraced projects per year. This is easier for you to see which attempts happened a specific year. Of course, it is easier for me as well as researching and writing an article takes a lot of time, which I don’t always have. If you are interested in one of the summarized attempts perhaps, I can give you more info about it.This is the summarized overview of the Unraced projects in 1988.
Atmos Grand Prix
In July 1988 articles appeared of a new team to be formed for the 1989 season. Atmos Grand Prix is the name. The project was the brainchild of Jean-Francois Mosnier former Lola Motorsport and Roberto Angiolini former Jolly Club. The team had two options. Either to purchase an existing Formula One team or build their own team from scratch. Most interesting was the news that Atmos would have a car completed in November 1988. Atmos never materialized. Five years later Mosnier would try it with the Spanish Bravo F1 Team. He sadly passed away.
Benetton B188 Ford-Yamaha
There is not much info known about this test hack. Benetton used one of their B188s In 1988 to test a new configuration for one of their engines. A Ford-Cosworth DFR was fitted with a Yamaha tune 5-valve head.
Bigazzi F1 Team
Bigazzi was a European Touring car team, which had some decent scores in those days. In 1988, the rumours occurred that the FIA was to cancel the ETC series. Team boss Gabriele Rafenelli stated that his team would enter the Formula 1. As there was no interest from the team to enter the Group A racing championship.
BMS Scuderia Italia made their debut in the Formula One in 1988. As the teams cars, the F188, was not finished yet they decided to enter the first race with the 3087. Which was nothing more than an International Formula 3000 car. Which the team competed with in 1987. Caffi was 18 seconds slower than the pole position time of Ayrton Senna that year. He did not qualify the car.
Already in 1987 John Barnard started working on the Ferrari 639. With the intention to compete in the 1988 season. However, things went slightly different. Due to problems with the car Ferrari had to take a step on the place. It did not mean that car was not been tested. Two prototypes were made of the car. Which would be fitted with Ferrari’s first paddle shifters. At first, the shifters seem not to work. However, this was due a lack of battery power. Roberto Moreno tested an impressive 55 days in total with the Ferrari 639 in 1988 and 1989. While Mansell and Berger only had a couple of days.
I would almost say that the Ferrari F88A is nothing more than a myth. However, the Scuderia actually developed the Ferrari F88A, an evolution on their challenge from 1987 the F1-87. During the 1988 season, the Scuderia appeared with the F88A with Roberto Moreno behind the wheel of the car at Fiorano. I have no more info about this car.
Kansallis Banking Racing
Also known as Rosberg F1 Team or Rosberg Racing. Was a Finnish consortium led by Keke Rosberg who had plans to enter the Formula One as team. Assumable with Keke Rosberg as team manager. The teams aim was to purchase the Tyrrell Racing team from Ken Tyrrell. As the team had some financial difficulties to overcome, a buyout was one of the idea’s circulating in the media to save the team. Eventually the deal felt true as the main sponsor decided not to invest in the team anymore. Tyrrell would revive some of his fame in the late 80s and early 90s before it was sold to BAT.
Larrousse was one of those teams in the Formula One that appeared on the grid and basically started to score some good results. As Lamborghini was developing their new V12 engine, and eventually would supply the team with their engines. Larrousse decided to use the Larrousse LC88. The car use to fit the Ford-Cosworth DFZ V8 engine. That’s why the car had no engine cover when it was tested on the 12th of December 1988 by Philippe Alliot.
The McLaren MP4/4 was the dominant car in 1988. It was the last year of the turbo era and Honda was already working on their atmospheric Honda V10 engine. Emanuele Pirro mainly tested with the car. There is no more info as I only found out about this car recently.
Like all the teams also Williams had to switch from Turbo to atmospheric engines. Williams switched from Honda engine to the Judd V8 engines. To get a feeling with the engines the team used chassis number 7 from their FW11 cars to adapt it with the Judd engine. Ricardo Patrese tested with the car. Williams would only race one season with the Judd V8 engines, as Renault would power the team in 1989
Williams-Renault FW12B and FW12R
That’s how the Williams-Renault FW12B and the FW12R were born. These are two different cars. While you could say that the FW12B was nothing more than the Williams FW12B only extended. It was the test mule in 1988 for the team. All in favour to adapt the Renault V10 engines that would power the team in 1989.
The Williams-Renault FW12R(enault) was actually fitted with the Renault V10 engine. The team would use two chassis to test the Renault engine to its max. While the drivers could adapt the new car. Eventually during the first races of 1989, the Williams-Renault FW12C was used for the first races that season.