Rear View Mirror
Rear View Mirror
Backward glances at racing history

By Don Capps, U.S.A.
Atlas F1 Columnist

As the opening round of the 2004 season looms, it crossed my mind to take a look at some of the opening rounds of other years ending in "four." I just thought it might be interesting to see how the entries and venues have changed over the seasons. It certainly was a fascinating exercise on my end at any rate to just see how there were mighty leaps and small bounces at times. And the roll call of names, entrants, and marques....

This year, as in many preceding seasons, the opening round of the year is being held in March and at a venue outside Europe. This year, the FIA F1 World Championship begins with the Foster's Australian Grand Prix being held in Melbourne on the Albert Park circuit. On the technical side, all the cars use three-litre Vee-10 engines.

For 2004, there are 10 teams fielding a total of 20 cars for the race:

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro / Ferrari F2004 053

  • Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello

    BMW Williams F1 Team / Williams FW26 BMW P84

  • Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher

    West McLaren Mercedes / McLaren MP4-19 Mercedes FO100Q

  • David Coulthard and Kimi Räikkönen

    Mild Seven Renault F1 Team / Renault R24 RS24

  • Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso

    Lucky Strike BAR Honda / BAR 006 Honda RA004E

  • Jenson Button and Takuma Sato

    Sauber Petronas / Sauber C23 Petronas 04A (Ferrari 053)

  • Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa

    Jaguar Racing / Jaguar R5 Cosworth CR-6

  • Mark Webber and Christian Klien

    Panasonic Toyota Racing / Toyota TF104 RVX-04

  • Cristiano da Matta and Olivier Panis

    Jordan Ford / Jordan EJ14 Ford Cosworth RS2

  • Nick Heidfeld and Giorgio Pantano

    Minardi Cosworth / Minardi PS04 Cosworth

  • Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner

    It is interesting to take a few notes as we work our way through this exercise. Note the continuity and those among the missing as the entries jump a decade at a time. In this first part of the exercise, there are several familiar names from a decade ago, but also some names that are no longer with us, both drivers and marques.

    It is a bit startling to see that Simtek and Pacific were with us only a decade ago, as were Arrows - running under the Footwork name, Larousse, Lotus, Ligier, and Tyrrell. Michael Schumacher, Olivier Panis, and Rubens Barrichello are still strapping on F1 cars for a living.

    The opening round of the 1994 FIA F1 World Championship season was held in Brazil, the Grande Premio do Brasil being run at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace at Interlagos in Sao Paulo. There were 28 entries, but field was composed of 26 starters so there were two who did not qualify for the event. Technically, there are Vee-8's, Vee-10's, and Vee-12's running all on the same grid.

    The teams at Interlagos:

    Rothmans Williams Renault / Williams FW16 Renault RS6

  • Damon Hill and Ayrton Senna

    Tyrrell / Tyrrell 022 Yamaha OX10A

  • Ukyo Katayama and Mark Blundell

    Mild Seven Benetton Ford / Benetton B194 Ford Zetec-R (Cosworth EC)

  • Michael Schumacher and Jos Verstappen

    Marlboro McLaren Peugeot / McLaren MP4/9 Peugeot A6

  • Mika Hakkinen and Martin Brundle

    Footwork Ford / Footwork FA15 Ford HB

  • Christian Fittipaldi and Gianni Morbidelli

    Team Lotus / Lotus 107C Mugen Honda ZA5C

  • Pedro Lamy and Johnny Herbert

    Sasol Jordan / Jordan 194 Hart 1035

  • Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine

    Tourtel Larrousse F1 / Larrousse LH94 Ford HB

  • Olivier Beretta and Erik Comas

    Minardi Scuderia Italia / Minardi M193B Ford HB

  • Pierluigi Martini and Michele Alboreto

    Ligier Gitanes Blondes / Ligier JS39B Renault RS6

  • Eric Bernard and Olivier Panis

    Scuderia Ferrari / Ferrari 412T1 041

  • Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger

    Broker Sauber Mercedes / Sauber C13 Mercedes Benz (Ilmor) 2175B

  • Karl Wendlinger and Heinz-Harald Frentzen

    MTV Simtek Ford / Simtek S941 Ford HB

  • David Brabham and Roland Ratzenberger

    Pacific Grand Prix Ltd. / Pacific PR01 Ilmor 2175A

  • Paul Belmondo and Bernard Gachot

    The two who got the Wooden Spoons were Ratzenberger and Belmondo. On the pole was Ayrton Senna, but taking the checkered flag was Herr Schumacher, one lap clear of the field. Four drivers made their F1 debuts - Verstappen, Beretta, Panis, and Frentzen - and another claimed his first finish in the points - Katayama. And, Eddie Irvine got a three-race ban for being the cause for a four-car demo derby at about he halfway point. Irvine and Verstappen tangled as the latter was attempting to pass the former - and they collected Brundle and Bernard for good measure. The original one-race ban was tripled after Eddie Jordan appealed the decision - but they did drop the $10,000 fine that had also been levied on Irvine.

    All in all, 1994 was not a vintage year for F1. At Imola, first Ratzenberger and then Senna would die when their cars crashed. Then Wendlinger was seriously injured at Monte Carlo. And then the FIA throwing the book at Benetton and Michael Schumacher. The season after Silverstone was enough to make many wonder just exactly what was going on in F1. Remember that this was the year that Benetton had that huge pitlane fire at Hockenheim as Verstappen was being refueled. The plywood fiasco at Spa-Francorchamps and another disqualification and then the collision at Adelaide - just not the sort of year that should have graced the crowning of a worthy champion, Michael Schumacher.

    The 1984 Grande Premio do Brasil was that season's opening round in the FIA F1 World Championship. It was held in March - the 25th, on the Autodromo Internacional do Rio de Janeiro at Baixada de Jacarepagua. This was during the days when the turbos were still allowed so most of the grid were turbo cars, the Ford Cosworth engines being the odd folks out to an extent.

    Motor Racing Developments International / Brabham BT53 BMW M12/13

  • Nelson Piquet and Teo Fabi

    Tyrrell Racing Organisation / Tyrrell 012 Ford Cosworth DFY

  • Martin Brundle and Stefan Bellof

    Williams Grand Prix Engineering / Williams FW09 Honda RA163-E

  • Jacques Lafitte and Keke Rosberg

    McLaren International / McLaren MP4/2 TAG TTE PO1 (Porsche Typ 2623)

  • Alain Prost and Niki Lauda

    Skoal Bandit Formula One Team / RAM 01 and RAM 02 Hart 415T

  • Philippe Alliot and Jonathan Palmer

    John Player Team Lotus / John Player Special Lotus 95T Renault EF4

  • Elio de Angelis and Nigel Mansell

    Team ATS / ATS D7 BMW M12/13

  • Manfred Winkelhock

    Equipe Renault Elf / Renault RE50 EF4

  • Patrick Tambay and Derek Warwick

    Barclay Nordica Arrows BMW / Arrows A6 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Marc Surer and Thierry Boutsen

    Toleman Group Motorsport / Toleman TG183B Hart 415T

  • Ayrton Senna and Johnny Cecotto

    Spirit Racing / Spirit 101 Hart 415T

  • Mauro Baldi

    Benetton Team Alfa Romeo / Alfa Romeo 184T 183T

  • Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever

    Osella Squadra Corse / Osella FA1E (Alfa Romeo 183T) Alfa Romeo 183T

  • Piercarlo Ghinzani

    Ligier Lotto / Ligier JS23 Renault EF4

  • Francois Hesnault and Andrea de Cesaris

    Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC / Ferrari 126C

  • Michele Alboreto and Rene Arnoux

    There were 26 starters and only one Wooden Spoon - Winkelhock being disqualified and letting Palmer into The Show. The sin that Winkelhock committed to be banished into the Outer Darkness? When this ATS ran out of fuel in the pitlane approach road and stopped, the mechanics pushed the car to the pits. Whether he would have been actually been disqualified or not is subject to some question since the decision came after team owner Gunther Schmid erupted during a discussion of the infraction and The Blazers thought that perhaps Mr. Palmer should have an opportunity to race rather than Mr. Winkelhock.

    Look at the 1984 entry list and then take a look at the 1974 entry list. There is only one name that appears on both lists: Super Rat, Niki Lauda. And it was something of a miracle that he would be on the 1984 entry list, but that is a story for another time.

    In 1974, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile et Commission Sportive Internationale Championnat du Monde des Conducteurs - the FIA and CSI World Championship of Drivers, got the season off to an early start. The Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina was run on 13 January on the Circuit No. 15 of the Autodromo Almirante Brown in Buenos Aires. This was during the heyday of the Cosworth DFV and they were found lurking in the rear of the vast majority of the cars that showed up to run in the Argentine heat.

    John Player Team Lotus / John Player Special Lotus 72 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx

    Elf Team Tyrrell / Tyrrell 005 and Tyrrell 006 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler

    Marlboro Team Texaco / McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Emerson Fittipaldi and Denny Hulme

    Motor Racing Developments / Brabham BT44 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Carlos Reutemann and Richard Robarts

    March Engineering / March 741 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Hans-Joachim Stuck and Howden Ganley

    Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC / Ferrari 312B3/74

  • Clay Regazzoni and Niki Lauda

    Team BRM / BRM P160E P142

  • Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Henri Pescarolo, and François Migault

    UOP Shadow Racing Team / Shadow DN1 and Shadow DN3 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Pete Revson and Jean-Pierre Jarier

    Team Surtees / Surtees TS16 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Carlos Pace and Jochen Mass

    Frank Williams Racing Cars / Iso Marlboro Williams FW01 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Arturo Mezario

    Team Ensign / Ensign N174 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Rikki von Opel

    Hesketh Racing / March 731 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • James Hunt

    Embassy Racing with Graham Hill / Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Graham Hill and Guy Edwards

    John Goldie Racing with Hexagon / Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • John Watson

    Yardley Team McLaren / McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV

  • Mike Hailwood

    There were 25 cars on the starting grid, von Opel deciding to park the Ensign due to "handling problems."

    On the pole was The Super Swede, Ronnie Peterson in either a John Player Special Mark 1 or a Lotus 72 - take your pick. However, the race belonged to Carlos Reutemann in the Brabham BT44. Reutemann took the lead on lap three from Peterson and had a curse from the racing gods smote a plug lead from the distributor causing the engine to only use seven of its eight cylinders - and then die on the penultimate lap. This left Denny Hulme, who had been lurking in second place for many laps to take the lead and lead the field to the checkered flag. It was to be his last Grand Prix victory, The Bear retiring at the end of the season.

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    Volume 10, Issue 9
    March 3rd 2004

    Atlas F1 Exclusive

    The Mega Man
    by Biranit Goren

    2004 Australian GP Preview

    2004 Australian GP Preview
    by Tom Keeble

    Australian GP Facts & Stats
    by Marcel Schot

    The F1 Trivia Quiz
    by Marcel Borsboom


    2004 SuperStats: Winter Testing
    by David Wright

    The Paint Job - Part II
    by Bruce Thomson


    Rear View Mirror
    by Don Capps

    Bookworm Critique
    by Mark Glendenning

    On the Road
    by Garry Martin

    Elsewhere in Racing
    by David Wright & Mark Alan Jones

    The Weekly Grapevine
    by Dieter Rencken

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