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 1999.
Honda RA099 / RA99
In 1998 Honda was seriously looking to enter the Formula One as a constructor. To do so they started to work on their infrastructure. It became serious when Honda contracted former Tyrrell designer Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite. Already in 1998, the start was made to design the car. When the car was designed Dallara would build the car while Jos Verstappen and sometimes Nicolas Minassian. During late 1998 and mid 1999 the car was heavily tested. Both for the chassis and the engine of course.
Verstappen showed some decent results, which would make the team an interesting and serious contester for 2000. However, disaster overcame the team when Harvey Postlethwaite died at one of the test at Jerez from a heart attack. Honda kept on going for a while with the RA099 though eventually pulled the plug. In 2000, Honda would supply BAR with engines. How about Verstappen ? Well he went back to the Orange Arrows team where he showed some decent results. Remember Canada!
Already covered on UnracedF1 (can be read here) is the fact that Paul Stoddart appeared a couple of times in the paddock in the late 90s. It was rumoured a couple of times that Paul was to take over a F1 team. He already owned a legion of Formula one cars, which were mostly Tyrrell’s. Rumours went in 1999 that Eddie Jordan and Paul Stoddart, in 2003 until 2005 rivals for the FOM money, were in speaking terms. Paul was interested take a stake of 20% in the Jordan Grand Prix team. The deal went off when the Jordan 199 with Frentzen behind the wheel seemed promising by winning even two races. In 2000, Stoddart was flirting with Orange Arrows.
Williams FW20 BMW test car
In 1999 Williams drove with the former Renault engines, batched as Mecachrome. For 2000, the team made a deal with BMW to supply them with the engines. In 1999, Williams used one of their FW20 cars to test the BMW engine. Jörg Müller test most of the time with the Williams BMW test car. Which was mostly a while livery.
Williams FW21B BMW test car
While Williams already finished their car for 2000 the FW21. Williams decided to test the BMW engine as well with their new car. Back then, the rules allowed it for teams to keep on testing during the winter. Actually, teams could test whenever wherever they felt like to test their Formula 1 cars. Jörg Müller mostly tested the car.
Williams FW21B Michelin test car
During the 2000 season Michelin was looking for a decent Formula One car to test their new Formula 1 tyres with. Back than the Formula 1 used to have multiple tyre suppliers. Michelin announced their return in late 1999 already. As Williams would take the tyres and was one of the top teams at that era that dared to use the new tyres, they offered one of their FW21’s to test with. Probably the same car as used for the BMW testing. Again, Jörg Müller tested mostly with the car