The place for respectful and reverent discussion of Reject drivers and teams, whether profiled or not as yet
by bigears 14 Jun 2013, 13:49
As I have just shed some new light into the old Life Racing Engines and First Racing teams. I am going to continue my tread with the Onyx/Monteverdi team. I got a lot of information about this team from my Motoring News and Autosport archives.

The Onyx team was formed by Mike Earle and Jo Chamberlain as they moved their F3000 team into Formula One. An eccentric Belgian named Jean-Pierre van Rossem brought in a lot of Moneytron and Marlboro to fund the two-car outfit.

The 1987 season
[spoiler]1987

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Motoring News 25th February 1987.

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Motoring News 16th September 1987.

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Motoring News 14th October 1987.

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Motoring News 4th November 1987.

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Motoring News 11th November 1987.[/spoiler]

The 1988 season
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Motoring News 5th May 1988.

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Motoring News 13th July 1988.

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Autosport 21st July 1988.

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Autosport 11th August 1988.

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Motoring News 2nd November 1988.

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Motoring News 16th November 1988.

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Motoring News 30th November 1988.

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Motoring News 7th December 1988.

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Motoring News 21st December 1988.[/spoiler]

The 1989 season
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Motoring News 4th January 1989.

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Motoring News 22nd February 1989.

The new Moneytron Onyx ORE-1 was launched on Monday 13th March 1989:

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Motoring News 15th March 1989.

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Motoring News 22nd March 1989.

The Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarapagua wrote:Prequalifying
12th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 35.232s.
13th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 37.932s.
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Motoring News 29th March 1989.


Immediately after the Brazilian GP meeting, Onyx is heading for Imola prior to the official FOCA test there which begins on April 15.
Motoring News 29th March 1989.


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Motoring News 5th April 1989.

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Motoring News 12th April 1989.

The FOCA test at Imola wrote:...while Onyx had a tough time with plenty of niggling troubles that kept interrupting progress. The most consecutive laps the ORE-1s managing was five, and Stefan Johansson's best was 1m 32,2s. Gachot ran only in the wet, but went better at Silverstone on Friday.
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Motoring News 19th April 1989.


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Motoring News 26th April 1989.

The San Marino Grand Prix at Imola wrote:Prequalifying
5th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 30. 384s.
8th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 30. 647s.

Stefan Johansson:
Had a new chassis followed destructive accident in testing at Misano. Car not finished until 10 minutes into pre-qualifying session on Friday. Numerous problems including tight steering and brake balance, which caused odd braking points and an off at Tosa. Failed to pre-qualify.

Bertrand Gachot:
Learning the track and how to use carbon brakes. Suffered gear selection problems. Pushed hard but missed the cut.
Autosport 27th April 1989.

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Motoring News 26th April 1989.


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Motoring News 10th May 1989.

The Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo wrote:Prequalifying
6th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 27. 821s.
9th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 28. 897s.
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Motoring News 10th May 1989


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Motoring News 17th May 1989.

Stefan Johansson and Bertrand Gachot shook down all three Moneytron Onyx ORE-1s at Silverstone last week, in preparation for the Mexican GP. The Swede and the Belgian managed 15 laps each in each car.
"Everything went to plan and after our first full test at Ricard, the first time we've run when it hasn't rained or we haven't had niggling problems, we are beginning to learn about the car," said Mike Earle.

Motoring News 24th May 1989.[/quote]

The Mexican Grand Prix at Mexico City wrote:Prequalifying
4th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 32. 288s.
5th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 23.752s.
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Qualifying
21st) Stefan Johansson - 1m 21. 358s.
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The race
23rd) Stefan Johansson - Retired lap 16 with clutch troubles.
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Motoring News 1st June 1989.


The United States Grand Prix at Phoenix wrote:Prequalifying
3rd) Stefan Johansson - 1m 33.768s.
13th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 45.530s
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Qualifying
19th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 33.370s
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The race
13th) Stefan Johansson - Retired lap 51 with suspension problems.
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Motoring News 7th June 1989.


The Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal wrote:Prequalifying
3rd) Stefan Johansson - 1m 24.764s.
6th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 25.952s.
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Qualifying
18th Stefan Johansson - 1m 23.979s.
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The race
18th/DQ Stefan Johansson - Black flagged on lap 14.
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Motoring News 21st June 1989


Stand by your beds department:
Alain Prost and Gerhard Berger are both understood to have received very signigicant financial incentives to race for Jean-Pierre van Rossem's Moneytron Onyx outfit in 1990
Motoring News 12th July 1989.


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Motoring News 12th July 1989.

The French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard wrote:Prequalifying
1st) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 09.617s.
2nd) Stefan Johansson - 1m 09.668s.
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Qualifying
11th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 09.122s.
13th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 09.299s.
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The race
5th) Stefan Johansson - one lap down - 2 points.
13th) Bertrand Gachot - Engine failure on lap 76.
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Motoring News 12th July 1989.


The British Grand Prix at Silverstone wrote:Prequalifying
1st) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 11.506s.
5th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 12.248s.
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Qualifying
21st) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 12.329s.
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Warm-up
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The race
12th) Bertrand Gachot - 2 laps down.
Motoring News 19th July 1989


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Motoring News 26th July 1989

Testing at Hockenheim wrote:Image
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Motoring News 26th July 1989


The German Grand Prix at Hockenheim wrote:Prequalifying
1st) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 47.283s.
2nd) Stefan Johansson - 1m 47.700s.
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Qualifying
21st) Stefan Johansson - 1m 48.348s.
28th/DNQ) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 49.004s.
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The race
21st) Stefan Johansson - Retired with a wheel bearing problem on lap 9.
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Motoring News 2nd August 1989


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Motoring News 9th August 1989.

The Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring wrote:Prequalifying
1st) Stefan Johansson - 1m 22.836s.
4th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 24.412s.
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Qualifying
21st) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 22.634s.
24th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 23.148s.
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The race
17th) Stefan Johansson - Retired with gearbox problems on lap 48.
19th) Bertrand Gachot - Retired after gearbox woes on lap 38.
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Motoring News 16th August 1989


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Motoring News 31st August 1989.

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Autosport 31st August 1989.

The 1989 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa wrote:Prequalifying
1st) Stefan Johansson - 1m 56.279s.
3rd) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 57.720s.
Neither Stefan Johansson nor Bertrand Gachot had any particular problems as Onyx sailed through on Mr Moneybag's home ground.


Qualifying
15th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 56.129s
23rd) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 56.716s.
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The race
8th) Stefan Johansson - 1 lap down
18) Bertrand Gachot - Retired with a wheel bearing problem
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Johansson who ran to a smooth eighth regretting excessibe front wing and resultant oversteer.

Motoring News 31st August 1989.

Stefan Johansson:
Fastest pre-qualifier and fifth fastest in the wet Friday morning session. Tried some developments uprights but thse broke and he had to revert to old set up, and spent the next hours chasing understeer. Fifteenth on the grid. Struggled through the race to finish eighth. A fine showing.

Bertrand Gachot:
Complained of poor engine pick-up and understeer all weekend. Suffered several adventures on the way to 23rd on the grid. Spun early on, but charged back only to have a wheel-bearing failure which pitched his car into wall.

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Autosport 31st August 1989.

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Motorsport October 1989.


Greg Field left the Moneytron Onyx team prior to the Italian GP, having been team manager since Phoenix. His position has been taken by Martin Dixon who filled the role before Greg's arrival. The latter is now exploring other avenues within the sport.

Motoring News 13th September 1989.

The 1989 Italian Grand Prix at Monza wrote:Prequalifying
4th) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 28.344s.
5) Stefan Johansson - 1m 28.588s.
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Qualifying
22) Bertrand Gachot - 1m 28.684s.
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The race
15th) Bertrand Gachot - Retired with overheating issues on lap 39.
By lap 39, as Gachot finally dropped out with overheating caused by a stone-damaged radiator...

Motoring News 13th September 1989.


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Motoring News 27th September 1989.

The 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril wrote:Prequalifying
1st) Stefan Johansson - 1m 18.623s.
5th) JJ Lehto - 1m 20.880s.
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Qualifying
12th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 18.105s.
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The race
3rd) Stefan Johansson - 4 points.
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Motoring News 27th September 1989.
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Motoring News 20th December 1989.


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Motoring News 8th November 1989.

The 1989 Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide wrote:Prequalifying
4th) JJ Lehto - 1m 19.442s.
5th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 19.539s.
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Qualifying
17th) JJ Lehto - 1m 19.309s.
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The race
10th) JJ Lehto - Electrical problems that caused an accident on lap 27.
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Motoring News 8th November 1989.
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Motoring News 20th December 1989.


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Motoring News 6th December 1989.

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JJ Lehto had responsibility for Moneytron Onyx's test programme, the Finn managing a best of 1m 20.32s...

Motoring News 13th December 1989.[/spoiler]

The 1990 season
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Motoring News 4th January 1990.

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Motoring News 24th January 1990.

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Motoring News 7th February 1990.

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Motoring News 14th February 1990.

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Motoring News 28th February 1990.

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Autosport 1st March 1990.

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Motoring News 7th March 1990.

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Motoring News 7th March 1990.

The United States Grand at Phoenix wrote:Qualifying
28th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 33.468s.
29th) JJ Lehto - No time.


The Brazilian Grand at Interlagos wrote:Qualifying
28th) Stefan Johansson - 1m 21.241s.
30th) JJ Lehto - 1m 21.323s
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Motoring News 28th March 1990.


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Motoring News 11th April 1990.

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Motoring News 19th April 1990.

Testing at Imola wrote:Image
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Motoring News 25th April 1990.


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Motoring News 2nd May 1990.

Testing at Imola wrote:Image
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Motoring News 10th May 1990.


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Motoring News 10th May 1990.

The San Marino Grand at Imola wrote:Qualifying
23rd) Gregor Foitek - 1m 28.111s.
25th) JJ Lehto - 1m28.625s.

The race
12th) JJ Lehto - 2 laps down.
16th) Gregor Foitek - Engine failure on lap 35


The 1990 Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo wrote:Qualifying
20th) Gregor Foitek - 1m 24.367s.
26th) JJ Lehto - 1m 25.508s.
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The race
7th) Gregor Foitek - Was running sixth until he was punted off by Eric Bernard on lap 67.
11) JJ Lehto - Retired with gearbox issues on lap 53.
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Motoring News 31st May 1990


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Motoring News 6th June 1990.

The 1990 Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal wrote:Qualifying
21st) Gregor Foitek - 1m 24.397s.
22nd) JJ Lehto - 1m 24.425s.

The race
14th) Gregor Foitek - Engine failure on lap 53.
16) JJ Lehto - Engine failure too on lap 46.


Ony has postponed its scheduled move to Peter Monteverdi's base in Basel until after the British GP at Silverstone in July 15, instead of after this weekend's Mexcan race as initally planned. It cites the logistics involved, and the very tight travel schedule ad race programme over the next few weeks as the reason for the delay.
Motoring News 20th June 1990.


The 1990 Mexican Grand Prix at Mexico City wrote:Qualifying
23rd) Gregor Foitek - 1m 21.012s.
26th) JJ Lehto - 1m 21.519s.
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The race
15th) Gregor Foitek - two laps down.
21st) JJ Lehto - Engine failure on lap 27.
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Motoring News 27th June 1990.


The 1990 French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard wrote:Qualifying
29th) Gregor Foitek - 1m 08.232s.
30th) JJ Lehto - 1m 08.487s.
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Motoring News 11th July 1990.


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Motoring News 18th July 1990.

The 1990 British Grand Prix at Silverstone wrote:Qualifying
29th) JJ Lehto - 1m 12.631s.
30th) Gregor Foitek - 1m 13.271s.
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Motoring News 18th July 1990.


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Autosport 26th July 1990.

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Autosport 26th July 1990.

The 1990 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim wrote:Qualifying
25th) JJ Lehto - 1m 46.857s.
26th) Gregor Foitek - 1m 47.209s.
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The race
12th) JJ Lehto - six laps down/Not classified.
18th) Gregor Foitek - Spun off on lap 19 (caused by JJ Lehto!)
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Motoring News 1st August 1990.


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Motoring News 15th August 1990.

The 1990 Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring wrote:Qualifying
29th) JJ Lehto - 1m 22.647s.
30th) Gregor Foitek - 1m 24.361s.
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Motoring News 15th August 1990.


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Motoring News 22nd August 1990.

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Autosport 23rd August 1990.

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Motoring News 30th August 1990.

JJ Lehto and Gregor Foitek, refugees from the Monteverdi shambles, were both on the lookout for fresh F1 opportunities in the paddock at Spa.
Motoring News 30th August 1990.


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Autosport 30th August 1990.
by Faustus 13 Apr 2016, 13:48
Great read bigears! Thank you for compiling this!
So many interesting tidbits in there:

Onyx had an Italian sponsor lined up for 1989?
Lehto was lined up to join Scuderia Italia for 1989, but Marlboro blocked it?
John Watson was going to test the Onyx in 1989?
Eric van de Poele was going to drive in 1990?

Following Formula 1 since 1984.
Avid collector of Formula 1 season guides and reviews.
Collector of reject merchandise and 1/43rd scale reject model cars.
by William Hunt 07 Jun 2017, 23:13
Amazing post

I clearly remember about van de Poele lined up to drive at Spa and Watson going to test for them (he did test for Jordan in 1991 at one point I believe)

Now in one of the scans, the one about a test session in Imola, I noticed Antonio Tamburini at the bottom of the timing sheet. It's a shame that that article doesn't mention the cars of the drivers.

Now I am pretty sure that Tamburini tested for Coloni in 1991 but.... this was an article and a test from May 1990, did he drive a Coloni that day?
I assume that he did. Would be nice if someone could confirm this.

On Gregor Foitek: he was an underrated and very quick driver.
Because he had cause that major accident at Brands Hatch where Johnny Herbert broke his legs he had a bad reputation that followed him his complete carreer and that's a shame because he was damn quick.
If you look at his qualifying record in F1, he was quicker as Lehto in most sessions.
At one point he was rumoured to be moving to Arrows (don't know exactly in which year, I think for 1990) but that somehow never materialized.
by AndreaModa 08 Jun 2017, 20:51
I was reading an old Motor Sport article on Stefano Modena today, and there was a short piece from Mike Earle at the end which stated that he wanted to launch the F1 team in 1988, as the articles above indicate, but that Marlboro were unwilling to front some of the costs, so it had to be delayed.

I notice that it one also says it was Earle who refused to let Modena test for Benetton midway through 1987. According to Stefano though, it was he who decided not to test, preferring to focus his efforts on the F3000 title.

I want my MTV...Simtek Ford

My Motorsport Photos

@DNPQ_
by William Hunt 08 Jun 2017, 23:00
Modena did test at the end of the season for Benetton though, I'm certain about that, he was hoping for a race seat but they chose Nannini instead and Benetton offered Stefano only a test & reserve contract for '88.

Few people understood why such a talented driver chose Eurobrun but I think a lot had to do with the fact that Eurobrun was run by Giampaolo Pavanello's Euroracing (who had run the Alfa Romeo F1 team before) and he Stefano knew several of the staff and mechanics of Euroracing, I think he knew them from his F3 days.
Also Modena signed late in the year, most seats were already full by then, he was waiting for the Benetton decission too long I think, I think Benetton decided in November to pick Nannini but can't tell for sure. It was for many F1 journalist at the time baffling to see such a major talent who was also hyped a lot in an Eurobrun.

It's true that Mike Earle and Onyx wanted to start a year earlier with Modena in his line-up.

I know Jean-Pierre Van Rossem personally, when I get the chance I will ask him some questions about Onyx and especially why he had fired Gachot, I never knew why. Bertrand was a quick driver.
by William Hunt 08 Jun 2017, 23:11
Simtek wrote:
William Hunt wrote:I know Jean-Pierre Van Rossem personally...

*jaw drops*


his health is really bad these days, he suffered from depression the past two years.
he gave private lessons (very cheap actually) of macro economics as a hobby a couple of years and I followed lessons from him, he's a nice man with still a big mouth and a lot of humour. He is actually a very friendly, funny and charming man (especially to the ladies, my girlfriend got compliments from him) nowadays.

He served his time in prison for what he did back in the Moneytron days. He's very smart and a brilliant macro economic specialist although I do disagree with him on certain things, like him I am also a Keynesian but he cares less about redistribution of wealth than I do.

When I get the chance I will speak to him about Onyx and Gachot. As a kid (I was 13 in '89) I was very angry at him when Gachot got fired, I didn't like him, thought he was arrogant and a fraud (well he was a fraud for sure), little did I know that I would get to know him many years later.
Last edited by William Hunt on 09 Jun 2017, 05:05, edited 2 times in total.
by watka 11 Jun 2017, 13:26
Don't know if you would call it a privilege to have spent so much time with him, but wow. Van Rossem is definitely one of the most interesting guys from that era of F1.

Watka - you know, the swimming horses guy
by William Hunt 11 Jun 2017, 23:14
I would call it a privilege if I could spend time with let's say Jackie Stewart, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis or Frank Williams to name some people.

But JP Van Rossem? Not really. He has a lot of knowledge about macro economics and that makes him interesting to me but that's about it, he misbehaved quite a bit in the period when he owned the Onyx F1 team which is why I had never asked him about it
by William Hunt 11 Jun 2017, 23:26
Jean-Pierre just bought that F1 team because he loved fast cars, he owned many Ferrari's, Onyx was just a hobby for him but he had absolutely no knowledge of the racing scene and he knew even less about how to run a team. And the money from Moneytron was some kind of massive fraudulent pyramid scheme, a bit comparable with what Lernaut & Hauspie did. Moneytron was an empty box really.
The other team owners had a background in racing, they climbed their way up from junior formula, people like the two Enzo's (Coloni & Osella): they had a true love for racing, I have much more respect for those people than for someone who just bought himself in the F1 world.
by ibsey 15 May 2020, 18:30
Great info and I found the fact that Onyx were trying to operating out of Westergate House in 1989 very interesting. Because that was an attractive grade 2 listed Georgian detached mansion so would have been massively expensive and hard for them to expand or implement a wind tunnel. Presumably that is why there were rumors of Van Rossem wanting to move the team to Belgium in the summer of 1989. And why the team did eventually move to Switzerland (summer 1990).

Coming January 2019 a new F1 book revisiting 1994.


Pre order it here; www.performancepublishing.co.uk/1994-th ... eason.html


The book's website; www.1994f1.com/

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