Dallara planning a return to F1

We hear from Italy that the Dallara company is likely to return to the Formula 1 world in 2006 with a Formula 1 chassis having been commissioned by a mysterious investor. It is not clear who is behind the idea but it would not be the first time that Dallara has been involved in such a programme, having played a major part in the development of the Honda Racing Developments F1 prototype that ran in 1999. This was designed by Harvey Postlethwaite's engineers in Britain and built by Dallara in Italy.

Dallara has been a hugely successful business in recent years, dominating the Formula 3 market for more than a decade and also being involved in a variety of other championships, including the Indy Racing League. The company, which is run by former Ferrari engineer Giampaolo Dallara, has been building racing cars since the late 1970s although Dallara himself was designing F1 cars in the 1960s. The company was first involved in F1 in 1987 when industrialist Beppe Lucchini of Brixia Motorsport (BMS) commissioned Dallara to build him a car for the Scuderia Italia team. Sergio Rinland was hired to design the car and in the years that followed the Dallaras were quite competitive with Andrea de Cesaris scoring a podium finish in Canada in 1989 and JJ Lehto scoring a second podium at Imola in 1991. The team then switched to Ferrari engines for 1992 but the programme was not a great success and Lucchini made the decision to form a new alliance with Lola Cars.

The interesting thing about the new project is the question of who is behind it.

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