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Italy Alfa Romeo
Alfa Logo
Full Name Alfa Romeo
Founder(s) Nicola Romeo
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1950-1951, 1961-1963, 1965, 1968, 1970-1971, 1976-1987
First Grand Prix 1950 British Grand Prix
Wins 12
Pole Positions 15
Fastest Laps 20
Podiums 40
Drivers' Championships 2 (1950, 1951)
Constructors' Championships 0
Final Grand Prix 1987 Japanese Grand Prix

During the 1960s, several minor F1 teams used Alfa Romeo straight-4 engines in cars such as the LDS Mk1 and Mk2 "Specials", Coopers and De Tomasos.

In the end of 1960s Alfa Romeo was developing a new V8 engine for its racing cars, this engine was tested briefly in Cooper T86C F1-3-68 by Lucien Bianchi. Alfa Romeo briefly returned to Formula One for the 1970 and 1971 seasons with a V8 engine based on their sportscar unit. In 1970 the unit was mainly entrusted to Andrea de Adamich, a long time Alfa driver, in a third works McLaren. The combination often failed to qualify and was uncompetitive when it did run in the races. In 1971 a similar arrangement saw de Adamich run most of the second half of the season in a works March car, with a similar lack of success.

EngineAlfaRomeomuseum

Alfa Romeo Flat twelve as used by the Brabham BT46

For 1976 Bernie Ecclestone did a deal for the Brabham Formula One team to use Alfa Romeo engines based on their new flat-12 sports car unit, designed by Carlo Chiti. The engines were free and produced a claimed 510 bhp (380 kW) against the 465 bhp (347 kW) the of the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV. However, packaging the engines was difficult - they had to be removed in order to change the spark plugs - and the high fuel consumption engine required no fewer than four separate fuel tanks to contain 47 imperial gallons (214 L; 56 US gal) of fuel. Murray's increasingly adventurous designs, like the BT46 which won two races in 1978, were partly a response to the challenge of producing a suitably light and aerodynamic chassis around the bulky unit. When aerodynamic ground effect became important in 1978, it was clear that the low, wide engines would interfere with the large venturi tunnels under the car which were needed to create the ground effect. At Murray's instigation Alfa produced a narrower V12 design in only three months for the 1979 season, but it continued to be unreliable and fuel inefficient.

1983 - 1988Edit

Alfa also supplied engines to the small and unsuccessful Italian Osella team from 1983 to 1988. Normally aspirated (1983) and turbo (1984–1987) engines were used. In the beginning, Alfa also offered some technical input to the small Turin team; the 1984 Osella (the model FA 1/F) was based on the 1983 works Alfa Romeo 183T, indeed the first chassis was a lightly reworked 183T. All the following Osella models up to the FA 1/I in 1988 had their origins in the initial Alfa design.

For the 1987 season, Alfa Romeo made a deal to supply engines to Ligier. A Gianni Tonti designed twinturbo 1500 cc straight-4 was tested in a Ligier JS29 by René Arnoux. When Fiat took control of Alfa Romeo, the deal was cancelled (ostensibly due to negative remarks by Arnoux about the engine) and Ligier had to use Megatron (ex BMW) engines for the entire 1987 season.

By 1988, the last turbo season, Alfa was fed up with the negative publicity generated by Enzo Osella's cars, so the Milan-based manufacturer prohibited the further use of its name in connection with the engine. The 1988 engines were simply dubbed "Osella V8". At the end of that season, the relationship finished, ending Alfa Romeo's involvement in Formula One.

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