FEBRUARY 27, 1995

An eye to the future

The Formula 1 class of 1995 is now finally settled with 14 teams getting ready to fight over the World Championship.

The Formula 1 class of 1995 is now finally settled with 14 teams getting ready to fight over the World Championship. However, behind the scenes there are a handful of other racing organizations which are already working towards entering F1 racing within the next couple of years.

The French DAMS team already has an F1 car built to 1995 regulations. This will be tested later in the year and the team intends to enter F1 next year. Rival Formula 3000 team, Apomatox - run by former racer Dominique Delestre - is also tipped to be considering a future Grand Prix program.

In fact, most of the top F3000 teams today have F1 ambitions: David Sears's Supernova and Paul Stewart Racing are both moving gradually in that direction. Supernova may get to F1 first because Sears enjoys enormous backing from Japanese companies. Rumors suggest that he will have a team in 1996 featuring Takachiho Inoue (who is expected to race this year with Arrows) and highly-rated Italian Vincenzo Sospiri.

Paul Stewart Racing has very definite F1 ambitions and has been quietly gathering up F1 personnel. The team, run by Paul Stewart, but fronted by his rather more famous father, three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart was founded in 1988 but has now grown to such an extent that it is running teams in F3000, British Formula 3 and the Vauxhall Lotus single-seater series, to create what Jackie Stewart likes to call his "Staircase of Talent". It has been a successful operation helping drivers such as David Coulthard, Gil de Ferran, Kelvin Burt and Jan Magnussen to prominence. The PSR Formula 3000 team is run by ex-Williams and Brabham team manager David Stubbs, ex-Brabham and Arrows engineer Allen McDonald and its driver this year is Allen McNish, who has 20,000 testing miles in F1 cars under his belt. It really is just a matter of time before Jackie Stewart is back in F1.

In Japanese F3000 the Dome team is tipped to have an F1 program underway, while Japanese racing businessman Tetsu Ikuzawa is well advanced in his plans to enter a team in F1 next year.

Add to this list famous British car-builder Lola, which has already built a 1995 F1 car and is actively looking for money to enter its own F1 team next year.

And, from the world of rallying, we hear rumors that Dave Richards's Prodrive team is slowly gearing up for F1, possibly with Subaru, Japanese rumors suggesting that Lucky Strike cigarettes is interested in bank-rolling the entire operation.

There may be one or two F1 teams which are currently struggling but it looks like there is a healthy crop of new boys ready to step in, if they can find the money to do the job...