I have finally gone through my stash of F1 Racing magazines from the first issue in March 1996 to about 1999. A lot of the 1996 articles are about the Bridgestone tyres, which add to the story already told in my compilation of Autosport and F1 Racing articles. But first, I will start with the Australian GP 1997 programme (and I am now wondering what was included in the Brazilian GP programme of 1997, given the timeline of events? Possibly even Argentina and Spain, given the lead times to print the programmes?). (I will eventually add these too to the first post of this thread – a megapost!)
And now onto the F1 Racing magazine articles (a different magazine to F1 News!) (these will be added to the first post in due course):
F1 Racing, March 1996
A quick guide to the new-for-1996 107% rule, in the days when Hill was at Williams, there was only one Schumi and he drove for Benetton, and Forti were in the sport…
F1 Racing, April 1996
Bridgestone announce their plans to enter F1, but in 1998! Bridgestone had such a limited previous presence in the sport at this point, look at the photo they used!
F1 Racing, May 1996
Dome are looking to enter F1 in 1997. They, at this point, are using Goodyear tyres, but one would expect them to enter with fellow Japanese company Bridgestone, wouldn’t one? Namely, for Dome to postpone until 1998 to enter with Bridgestone? Or to encourage them to join a year earlier?
F1 Racing, June 1996
So Bridgestone are looking to join in 1997 after all? But because they have no teams to test with? What about Dome? But in hindsight, they were right about Michelin not being far behind. Just a shame about Goodyear’s future in the category…
And here is a brief interview from the same issue from a driver who had contracts with Simtek, Pacific, Forti and Lola!
F1 Racing, July 1997
Bridgestone are now testing their tyres in a Japanese-powered car on their own Japanese test-track!
There is also a three-page article on the tyre competition situation as seen at the time.
F1 Racing, August 1996
Arrows tie their mast to Bridgestone tyres. It is looking serious for Bridgestone now for 1997 – teams, testing, etc.
But Lola have not yet committed convincingly enough for F1 Racing to predict their engine supply for the 1998 season yet. It’s only 18 months after the publication of this issue of F1 Racing… And no mention here of Richmond Metals Co. of Richmond, Virginia or Al Melling suppling engines.
F1 Racing, September 1996
An interview with Paul Stewart, bringing Stewart GP into F1 in 1997. It is clear from this that Lola’s customer Ford engine was never going to be on a par with Stewart.
F1 Racing, October 1996
Could Lola have ended up with a more competitive engine if this meeting had gone differently? And is this the first mention of current rising star, Mick Schumacher, in the pages of F1 Racing?
Despite missing a significant number of races, Forti have not yet given up the fight to remain in F1!
F1 Racing, November 1996
Stewart now have announced their driver line-up for their debut season.
F1 Racing, December 1996
Bridgestone are now testing wet-weather tyres, and tests being carried out by Ricardo Rosset and Damon Hill.
Another team to use Bridgestone tyres.
And Lola finally get their first mentions in the magazine! After all, the magazine will be sponsoring the team…
F1 Racing, January 1997
More Bridgestone tyre testing news.
Here is a timeline of the set-up of the Stewart GP team for comparison against Lola.
F1 Racing, February 1997
F1 Racing, as a sponsor of the MasterCard Lola team, carried a ‘news’ story of the team having a stand at the Autosport Show with what would have been a T95/30 showcar.
This issue announces Lola’s 1997 driver line-up.
The livery used at the Autosport Show carried over into the advertising that MasterCard Lola were using to promote the team, particularly in the pages of co-sponsor, F1 Racing (this advertisement for the team featured in the February, March, and April 1997 editions of the F1 Racing magazine):
Oh, and Stewart began testing their 1997 challenger around Christmas. Good for them.
F1 Racing, March 1997
I love the first line of this article of an interview with Eric Broadley: “No, I’m not going to tell you what our targets are for this year, because you’ll only come back and tell me I didn’t hit them.” Hmm. And thus the irony of the last quotation at the end! How they thought they could be better than Stewart who had a better Ford Cosworth and longer lead time into the season, I have no idea…
And F1 Racing looked into their “Kristal Baul” for their driver season preview:
F1 Racing, April 1997
F1 Racing’s results tables for the 1997 Australian Grand Prix. Interesting to note that F1 Racing sponsor a Bridgestone-tyred team, while carrying Goodyear sponsorship on their results pages… And Lola of course top the slowest-through-the-speed-trap table! (And I still rather like their pictorial of the grid – it gives an idea of the field spread, albeit without how far Lola were off the back odf the grid!)
And TWR-Arrows’s Pedro Diniz becomes the first to circumnavigate the 107% rule. But Lola didn’t… This brief news article wonders why!
F1 Racing, May 1997
F1 Racing magazine seem quite sure and realistic as to Lola’s future at this point. There’s no holding back. (Don’t forget that towards the end of 1996, they carried a story of Forti talking of attempting to return to F1 after missing a number of races.)
And there is talk of Rosset jumping ship to replace an underperforming driver at another new-for-1997 team!(As well as an administrative change to the sport as a result of what happened to Lola, and presumably to Simtek, Pacific and Forti too over 1995 and 1996.)
F1 Racing, June 1997
An approximate break-down of Lola’s expenditure for their F1 entry. Presumably F1 Racing had access to figures, having been a sponsor of the team?
And there is a response to an earlier article on Eric Broadley in the May issue (above) on the magazine’s letters page:
(As an aside, I would have dared to have called Bernie an ‘old man’! Compared to a teenager, a man beyond retirement age would have been an ‘old man’!)
F1 Racing, August 1997
Wonder how this was financed? (The MasterCard bit…)
F1 Racing, November 1997
Al Melling, with his MCD firm, completed the work on the Lola engine anyway, and tried to find a home for it.
F1 Racing, December 1997
F1 Racing’s readers rated the drivers of 1997 in a poll:
And just in case you wondered which drivers could have been placed between the two Lola drivers?
As voted for by readers of F1 Racing
- Code: Select all
19. Pedro Diniz
20. Vincenzo Sosperi
21. Jan Magnussen
22. Norberto Fontana
23. Ukyo Katayama
24. Tarso Marquez
25. Shinji Nakano
26. Gianni Morbidelli
27. Nicola Larini
28. Ricardo Rosset
There were just 28 drivers…
F1 Racing, November 1998
Al Melling was still trying to get his engine company competing in F1. Afterall, if Brian Hart, Cosworth and Mugen could do it…
And finally, some images from these articles: