Monday 30 April 2012

Porsche in Formula 1

When someone thinks of Formula 1, the Porsche name does not necessarily come to mind. That wasn’t always the case though.

In the late 1950’s, Porsche was finding success in the sports car and GT classes of racing, sometimes beating out the much more powerful teams. That was the case for the 1956 Targa Florio where the Porsche 550 of Umberto Maglioli and Huschke von Hanstein won the Sicilian race against the Maseratis and Ferraris.

In the late 1950’s, Porsche decided to try their hand in the 1500cc class F2 races with the Porsche 718. In 1961, the former F2 class became Formula 1, so Porsche went F1 racing with the 718.

It’s 1957 design showed itself as outdated, so Porsche produce a new car, the 804, for 1962.

Porsche 804 Formula 1, rear view, 1962
Pen&ink, paint markers and markers on gray archival paper
17"x 12" © Paul Chenard 2012
This original artwork is available, as are limited editions

American Dan Gurney brought Porsche their first and only Formula 1 win as a constructor, taking the French Grand Prix at at Rouen-Les-Essarts on July 8th. Gurney also finished 3rd at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on August 5th.

With the upcoming Formula 1 rule changes, Porsche decided to withdraw from Grand Prix racing in 1964 to focus on sports and endurance racing.

In 1983, Porsche returned to Formula 1 as an engine developer through TAG for McLaren and helped them win the 1984 and 1985 Constructors Championships.

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