AUGUST 7, 1995

Vanwall - is it serious?

RUMORS over recent weeks about a possible Vanwall F1 team continue to circulate but there seems to be little likelihood of the project actually getting off the ground.

Initial stories suggested that Vanwall - the name is owned by British engineering giant GKN - was trying to put together a package involving Ford V10 works engines, with backing from Hertz Rent-a-Car and Coca-Cola. There was talk of NigelÊMansell being involved and of a return to F1 racing by Dunlop.

The man at the center of the project is believed to be former Onyx Grand Prix boss Mike Earle. His sudden revival of interest in F1 appears to have come about because his plans to build the chassis for next year's Formula 3000 failed to come to fruition.

Earle was among those who tendered to the FIA for the job of building F3000 chassis in 1996. In an effort to convince the governing body that he had the capability to do the job, he had expanded his production facilities at the 3001 International's headquarters at Littlehampton, England. This involved hiring ex-March F1 managing-director Mike Smith and ex-McLaren and Brabham designer John Baldwin.

Earle's plans for F3000 went awry when the FIA awarded the chassis-building contract to Lola, and we believe that the Vanwall idea came as a result of Earle looking for other ways of using his workforce.