JULY 24, 1995

More on Vanwall F1

FURTHER stories are emerging concerning the rumored attempt to revive the Vanwall name in Formula 1 racing. Vanwall raced between 1954 and 1960 and employed top British drivers such as Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks and Stuart Lewis-Evans.

Founded by bearing magnate Tony Vandervell, Vanwall led the British vanguard in F1, winning the Formula 1 Constructors' Championship in 1958 but closing down in 1960, leaving Cooper and Lotus to carry the British flag in Grand Prix racing. Vandervell died in 1967 and the Vandervell bearing company was later sold to British engineering conglomerate GKN.

A couple of years ago, GKN raised the possibility of building road cars bearing the Vanwall name, but it never took off. Now, it seems, a Vanwall racing team may be used to resurrect that scheme.

We hear that Nigel Mansell is somehow involved in the scheme and that Mike Earle is also being mentioned. Earle is currently making money building McLaren show cars and cockpit simulation machinery for Marlboro with his 3001 company, which previously ran a Formula 3000 team. We hear that the team wants to use the new Ford V10 engine and that Dunlop tires - partners of Vanwall in 1958, Dunlop's first year of GP racing - is also being courted.

The financial realities of F1 racing at the moment make launching a new team a hazardous business, but it is worth watching out for a Vanwall comeback. One man who was linked to Vanwall in the old days was F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who managed Vanwall driver Lewis-Evans.